Run iMovie 10 from an external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by respect306, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. respect306 macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2014
    Hello everyone! I've been working on this issue for almost a week now and am really struggling. This forum seems to be one of the best Mac communities so I'm hopeful.

    I have read multiple tutorials on how to move iMovie libraries to an external drive and have followed the instructions here.

    I'm not really sure what all I even need, but I just want my wife to be able to store her videos on her external hard drive. I'm not even sure what the difference between the library, projects, and events are. When I tried the above instructions it only moved the library, and the new library was around 40GB, but the one on her Macbook Air was close to 75GB. Also, her "Record Voiceover" feature stopped working when she tried to use it on the library on the external hard drive. It said it recorded, but then had the yellow exclamation point and would not play sound.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. I am happy to provide any more details as needed.

    Thanks again!
  2. asriznet macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2013
    Are you using iMovie 2013? because that article you are following is based on the new version of iMovie.

    If yes, then it should be easy for you.

    1. Quit iMovie if it's opened
    2. Just locate the file ~/Movies/iMovie Library
    3. copy that file to your external HDD
    4. Once copied, hold down Option while clicking on iMovie icon, you will see the option to choose which iMovie Library to use
    5. Select the iMovie Library which is located on your Ext HDD and you're good to go.

    verify if the contents are good then you can delete the one in the internal HDD.
  3. respect306, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014

    respect306 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2014
    Yes I am using 2013 iMovie. Thank you for your reply. I've read that doing the copy like that will potentially break links/some files won't play. Has that been changed with iMovie 2013?

    I also saw the iMovie Theater file as well as iMovie Projects and iMovie Events folders in that same folder. Can I/Do I need to do anything with those? Can they be moved to the external hard drive?

    edit: I also tried to record a voiceover after copying the file and opening it from the new location, but again there was no sound. The mic definitely works in other programs and when we use it on the original hard drive. /edit

    Thanks again.
  4. asriznet macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2013
    in iMovie 2013, all the events/clips are stored on the single package file "iMovie Library" unlike the previous versions of iMovie which have files stored in many locations. This is similar to iPhoto file structure, if you have been using iPhoto for awhile now.

    This is what I have tested for you...

    I didn't wanna copy my iMovie Library over to an external HDD because it's huge! about 180GB

    1. File -> Open Library -> New: I then created a new library in my external HDD.
    2. Quit iMovie
    3. Hold down option while launching iMovie and select the newly created iMovie Library
    4. it's a blank library, with none of my data on it
    5. Added some short clips and created a blank movie
    6. no issues adding voiceover to my timeline here.

    Something to take note, if an application is using the microphone or camera, no other application will be able to use it at that point of time. So make sure you quit all other applications that might still be using the microphone.

    Also check the Voiceover option and see if it selected the correct microphone( the 3.

    The iMovie Theater package consist of the final product(Movie) that you have created, yes you can copy that too because it too will increase in size as you create more movies and store them in the theather.. For me, I do not store all my movies in iMovie Theater after completing a movie project for that reason it's taking up space on my HDD, just the ones i like.

    The iMovie Events Folder belongs to the older iMovie versions therefore you don't need that in iMovie 2013, just the 2 package files.

    Attached Files:

  5. respect306 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2014
    Thanks again for working with me on this. I have done exactly as you said, even created a new library the way you did. The voiceover feature still does not work. It works fine with the original library, just not with any on the external hard drive. It acts like it is recording (the microphone symbol vibrates as I talk), but then that clip immediately gets a yellow triangle and will not play. It is also a solid green color instead of having waves like normal voiceover clips.

    All settings are as you described. Any other ideas? It just seems like it's putting the voicover file in a different location and then can't find it, but maybe I'm making that up. Any help is greatly appreciated and I'd be glad to post any information you deem helpful.

    Thanks again.

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