NEWBIE-may switch from PC-iMovie question

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by campfire, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. campfire macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    Hi all;
    Thinking of buying a MAC.
    I have searched your message forum for the answer, and can't seem to make my decision.
    I have mpeg files burned to over a dozen DVD discs,+R media. I captured all the clips from an older Analog Video Cam. Family trips, etc.
    If I buy an iMac G5, will I be able to use those clips to create DVD's home videos, for my family to play in their DVD players?
    From what I see, it looks like I have to be a real tekkie, and perform acrobats to get this to happen. I really would love to switch to MAC, but it all hinges on this little hobby I want to get into.
    Thanks for any light on this.
  2. biozombie macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2005
    MPEG and MPEG2 should import fine into iMovie and iDVD. Try the Support forums at apple too.
  3. mcadam macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2004
    A quisck search in iMovie help revealed this:

    I assume that if they are not muxed you should be fine. And if they are it can't be that complicated to find a nice little app. that'll do the converting.

    Imo iMovie is a really nice and simple app to learn and use.

  4. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    If you still have the old analogue versions, and a new DV camcorder, you may be able to digitise them to DV format that iMovie will happily import. You can do this from the old camera plugged through the new one or from VHS tapes etc.
  5. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I'm assuming you've burned regular DVD video disks that will play in any DVD player. It is possible to import the video on them into iMovie, but it takes some work and knowledge. It's no harder (or easier...) on a Mac than on a PC, but on either machine it takes a little bit of effort.
  6. campfire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    Switch decision-hinging on Video Files

    I don't have a DV camera yet. I do have a digital camera that shoots video, resulting in QT files. It's a Kodak V550
    The files that I currently have on DVD disks, are there JUST for storage. NO movies were created, only clips captured through ADS DVDxpress from the old analog camcorder.
    The files are now listed as .mpeg extensions.
    They are MPEG-2
    I currently use Ulead Video Studio 8 to do any movie editing.
    My desire is to SWITCH to an iMAC and use Apple Software to create family movies with iMovie and then BURN those creations to DVD's that will play in home DVD players
    I hope this clarifies my situation.
    Deb :cool:
  7. 20rogersc macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2005
    Brighton, UK
    I've used Drop2DV to convert files into a dv format, and it's worked fine, however, they are pretty large, and I just used Simple Video Splicer to put them together (without effects/transitions/etc), as iMovie copies in all files first, and has a size limit.

  8. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a


    Feb 22, 2005
    As an added note: if you digitize it to the dv format by putting the files on your computer (mpeg) and then having quicktime convert those to dv files, the picture will come out but not the sound if it is anything where the sound and video is one file (muxed aka multiplexed) However, after doing my own video with an older camcorder with mpeg can get around this dilemma but you have to export the file to a dv file, then do a seperate pass of just the sound from the mpeg file...and then go into iMovie and copy the dv file into one track and the sound into another track. It's a pain, so the idea of having a camcorder do this for you would be a whole lot easier. iMovie doesn't like mpeg files from my past experience with it.

    Somebody please do correct me if I'm wrong if there is an easier way to do this though.
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    From what I'm reading, perhaps the best way to find out once and for all is to go to your nearest Appe Store (or other retailer) and bring one of those MPEG discs... Try importing it, and see how hard or easy it is.

    I think you'll find that doing things on the Mac is generally easy, though sometimes you have to find a little helper program or utility, like to convert video files if it's a format that iMovie doesn't support.
  10. strydr macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2005
    OK, look into FFMPEGX. It will change your files to just about any format. I have just done this on my iMac @ home. Ripped MPEG2-> Video_TS for making a DVD. I'm sure, with some adjustments, you can get FFMPEGX to export the correct format for iMovie (don't know what that is though).
  11. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    An awesome place
    I looked at the specs on that camera, it takes video as mpeg4.

    You have the abillity in iMovieHD to make MPEG4 projects.

    iMovie site.

    Look at the supported formats on the right.
  12. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I've done what you're trying to do, so I'll try to summarize the answers in this thread:

    The MP4 files from your camera shoud, unless Kodak is using some funky version of the format, import just fine into iMovie.

    The MPEG2 files you have are a bit more complicated, as iMovie does not handle them natively and does a poor job of importing them (MPEG1 and 2 files are a special case, unlike almost any other format). What you will need to do is to convert them into a .dv stream, which is the "native" format that iMovie does all its work in.

    This isn't terribly difficult with the right piece of shareware; ffmpeg, mentioned before, is effective but a hassle to figure out--very confusing interface. Drop2DV is a better choice--it's free and should do what you want without hassle.

    The only thing to keep in mind is that editing video with iMovie requires a lot of space, as it uses a fairly low-compression codec (again, DV). DV files require about 1GB per 5 minutes, so be prepared. And although the simplest method of getting your video clips into iMovie will require twice the space for a short period of time (you first convert from the files on DVD to .dv streams, then import those into iMovie, then delete the original .dv streams), there is a way to add .dv files directly to an iMovie project--if you make the purchase and need to know, just come back and ask.

    Were I you I'd go for it--the initial stage of file conversion and the learning curve might be a bit annoying, but iMovie is a VERY powerful and easy editor, and you'll be producing nice looking videos before you know it. Seeing a finished DVD come out of iDVD is a very satisfying thing, too.
  13. campfire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    Thanks so much

    I really needed to hear from you.. You mention that you've actually already done this. That's real encourgement for me.
    I went to the local Mac reseller and he didn't know what to tell me. It sure put a stall on my buying decision.
    You've helped so much.
    If I make the buy, I will contact this board again to learn about the other software that will take the .dv streams directly into iMovie.
    Deb :p

  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Just so that he doesn't have to check this thread again (because he probably won't even remember that he posted in it), just send him a personal message (PM). ;)
  15. campfire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    I made the Switch

    NEW to Mac, 6 days.
    Thanks for all your prior help.
    Another question tho....Without waiting for shipment from Apple for a MPEG-2 Playback component, is there any other way to watch my MPEG-2 clips in my new Mac? On the PC, I used Real Player, WMP, other freeware programs.
    I'm leaning toward purchasing DropDV to convert my MPEG-2 clips to DV to use in iMovie. But first, I'd like to be able to watch them from my disks, BEFORE converting, so I can pick and choose what to convert.
    I'd buy the Apple QT MPEG-2 component today, IF I didn't have to wait for shipment. I'm used to buying online electronic software versions, without waiting for things to come in the mail. I live in Canada and the mail is ugly!
  16. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I thought that the QT MPEG-2 component was a download. It may say 'ships in 24 hours' but it says the same for QT Pro, and that's just an email with the appropriate code.
  17. campfire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    I'll dig a bit deeper

    I'll check that out, before I give my credit card.
  18. Superdrive macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
  19. campfire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    Thanks for the help

    Thanks all for the assistance.
  20. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    As said, VLC plays MPEG2 files just fine, and it's free.

    If you haven't bought it already, I would only pay for Apple's MPEG2 codec if you REALLY need it for some reason, since I don't think it allows transcoding, just playback--it's just a way to view MPEG2 files directly in QT Player. I just use VLC for those files and save the $20, personally.

    And good luck with your new Mac, though in general I recommend starting a new thread if you want to ask additional questions.
  21. campfire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    Converting MPEG-2 to DV


    In your reply you mentioned there is maybe a better way to accomplish my task.

    "if you make the purchase and need to know, just come back and ask".

    I made the purchase and I'm back with a question.

    1. I'd imported analog footage from old camcorder to my Windows PC via ADS Express Capture
    2. I now have MPEG-2 clips stored on DVD's
    3. I do also have the QT MPEG-2 component so I can view those clips.
    4. I downloaded MPEG STREAMCLIP to convert to .DV
    5. I have not converted the clips as of yet.
    6. My goal is to use various clips from those DVD's and build projects in iMovie
    and then burn to DVD movies to watch in a home DVD player
    7. I also bought iDive to organize all the clips

    Is the easiest way to accomplish my goal to do as follows?
    1. Find and view each clip
    2. Determine if it's one I wish to convert and use
    3. Convert with STREAMCLIP

    At this point, what do I do with all the converted clips?
    Do I have to build the movie right away in iMovie?
    Or do I burn the now converted .DV clips back onto another DVD for storage?
    And then delete those from my hard drive?

    Sorry for so many questions, but I wanted to outline my workflow.

    Deb :confused:

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