Just got a new iMac and iMovie is giving me beachball lag

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by optimusp517, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. optimusp517 macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2010
    So not sure what's going on, but just got this imac 27'' last week. Fully loaded except for the HD. I'm editing videos and it was fine the first few days and until yesterday I started to get the the beach ball icon while editing a video. What could be causing it and how do I fix it?
  2. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Where are you storing your video?. Check how much space you got on your hard drive as video files take up a load of space. I would be inclined to store all my video files on an external hard drive.
  3. optimusp517, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013

    optimusp517 thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2010
    Well I have a 1TB fusion drive. All my footage is on iphoto right now and I just make a copy of it when I transfer to imovie. shouldn't lag at all since it's a new computer and everything.

    Also the beach ball shows up for 5 seconds and it goes away. Not sure why.
  4. salacious macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    Computer specs
    What you used to record the footage on
    What codec/container the footage is now
    how long is the footage (20 second clip, 1 hour long clip)
  5. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    As a video editor my self...

    Beach balls will always be there with video.

    The thing is that the video software has to pull an stream of data continually and that causes problems with the buffers.

    When you load a software, those are small packages of data with no timing.

    One thing you can do is to check what sort of codec you are using when editing.

    For example H264 is a codec for delivery, not for editing because is compressed into packages. Many times video cameras uses that sort of codec to save space.

    For video editing you need something like Apple Pro Res HQ, it separates the packages into individual frames. That was the video editing software do not need to decompress on the fly when you are editing.

    Those may be the reason of your beach ball, specially if you use HD.
  6. optimusp517, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013

    optimusp517 thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2010
    Spec wise:

    3.4 i7
    16 gb ddr3
    geforce gtx 680mx 2048mb

    videos are taken from a flip cam
    they all total to be around 20-30 min of footage, but i don't use all of it.
    Should i upload directly from the flipcam to imovie?

    What I've been doing is uploading it to iphoto and then making a copy of it to imovie.

    And it just doesn't make sense for it to lag like that at all on such a new computer.
  7. Its Trish, Jul 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013

    Its Trish macrumors member

    Its Trish

    Nov 23, 2008
    Hi @optimusp517,

    You didn't acknowledge the CODEC advice from @rei101.
    Sounds like you should try what he suggested.

    Also, you didn't reply back with the status of your available diskspace
    after @daybreak mentioned that available diskspace is important.

    It's always good netiquette to acknowledge and thank
    those who take time out of their day to try to help you : - )
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Schedule appointment with Apple Store Genius Bar. They'll diagnose it.
  9. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    I can edit in Final Cut Pro X off a USB 2.0 drive on a 2.0 i7 mac mini without beachballs, so you should certainly not have a problem like this. :(
  10. darthmaynard macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2008
    Not to hijack the thread (but I guess I'm going to), but I wondered if it was really the codec that was giving me troubles instead of my MBP (2.4 C2D, 8GB ram, 1 TB HDD).

    I tried out the FCP demo editing 1080p video from a Vixia 300 and it was a miserable experience. This made me feel that I had the Macbook Amateur as it couldn't run a pro app. I'm sticking to 720p until I can upgrade my comp. But maybe it's a matter of having the right codec for editing?

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