Moving iMovie data to external drive (3 questions)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by AppleInLVX, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. AppleInLVX macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #1
    Hey there, I have found almost everything I need to know about this, but I do still have three questions I was unable to answer in my research if someone wants to indulge me.

    First is a question that may or may not be a bug. When I attempt to move my project file and all associated events, iMovie will sometimes tell me it can't move some of the music/audio files. This is pretty much a show stopper, as what good is moving things off the hard disk if it destroys the project's audio? I have my iTunes library on a different external drive, so I'm wondering if that's the issue, or if something else is amiss. If anyone has any experience with this, and especially how to circumvent it, I'm all ears.

    Second is a simple question of logistics. What happens if more than one project uses source material from the same event? I understand that if I choose a project and move it, it takes all event data along with it. What about remaining projects that have linked to that event data? Is iMovie smart enough to just go to the reassigned event data with all projects that have used it? Do I then only need to move the project files? I don't want to bugger anything up so I have not attempted this.

    Finally, the third is an opinion/recommendation question: Since I'm running an older iMac which has neither thunderbolt nor USB 3 abilities, will running iMovie off an external USB 2 drive work, or should I absolutely go with Firewire 800?

    Thanks a lot folks...
     
  2. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #2
    1. I have my iTunes library on a different external drive, so I'm wondering if that's the issue.

    Yes, you will have to have the drive with the music that you used connected as iMovie will take the music with the Project to the new drive.

    2. What happens if more than one project uses source material from the same event? I understand that if I choose a project and move it, it takes all event data along with it. What about remaining projects that have linked to that event data?

    I'm fairly certain that when you move a Project and it's assiciated Events to an external drive, those Events get copied across, so the same Events are still on the original drive for use by other Projects.

    3. Since I'm running an older iMac which has neither thunderbolt nor USB 3 abilities, will running iMovie off an external USB 2 drive work, or should I absolutely go with Firewire 800?

    I import my video onto a portable USB external drive and that works fine with iMovie. Obviously Firewire 800 will give higher transfer rates, but USB should work fine.
     
  3. AppleInLVX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #3
    Hey Dave,

    Thank you very much for taking the time answer my questions. I really appreciate it. By way of follow-up:

    The external drive containing the iTunes library is attached and accessible. It's a 1TB USB-powered drive. It never gets unplugged. So technically, iMovie should have all the files available, it just (apparently) doesn't 'see' them and tosses an error when I try to move the project and associated files. I can't figure out why. Ah well.

    I'd like to move the projects, not copy them. The goal was to free space on the iMac's internal drive, so I don't want to replicate the data, I want to move it. That being the case, I wasn't sure if once the associated events of a given moved project leave the internal drive, if other projects that used those events would be smart enough to look for them in their new location.

    Excellent. That is very good to hear. I was concerned the whole thing would kack out if iMovie couldn't pull the events fast enough.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Grasher macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    #4
    I'm going through the same process of trying to clear HD space on my MBP but came to a different workflow. I'm now importing footage and working with projects on the internal HD, then once I've finished I move the whole project and its events out to the external USB2 drive as a backup, freeing up the internal HD space again for the next project.

    My projects tend to be standalone so I don't need to use events from previous projects. My initial plan was to get a FW800 drive and use that to edit and store footage that but then figured out that I could just use the workflow above and save the $$$ cost of FW. At the back of my head was also the fear that firewire is getting obsolete in favour of USB3 and Thunderbolt so didn't see the point in investing in something that might not work with my next laptop upgrade. The external drive that I bought was USB3, with backwards USB2 compatability.
     
  5. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #5
    That is not recommended. It will cause excess wear and tear on the internal drive as you constantly access it during the editing process. Ideally you should import to an external drive.
     

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