Slow iMovie import

TrackZ

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 16, 2010
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I have a new retina macbook pro and am trying to add 2,300 pictures to an iMovie project to make a time lapse video. The import is amazingly slow. It's been 20 minutes and only halfway done and it says it will take another half hour.

This doesn't seem right at all. I could drop this many pictures into Windows Movie Maker and they would import instantly. The macbook is also getting extremely hot during the import.

Should I suspect something is wrong? Any advice? Thanks.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
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located
How do you import them exactly? Via the Photo browser? And it probably takes this long, as iMovie creates a file out of it using the Apple Intermediate Codec, which takes time depending on your settings.
And the computer gets hot, because it is a CPU intensive activity (CPU draws more power, more heat gets radiated).
 

TrackZ

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 16, 2010
88
17
I was dragging and dropping from a Finder window. I thought this would be a simple drop in. Didn't expect it to be doing any real processing to add to the project.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
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Okay, I just tried the same with iMovie 8 (iLife '09 I suppose) and 669 photos with a size of 1920 x 1200 pixel on my 2009 MBP with a C2D 2.8 GHz CPU and iMovie told me, it would take around 3 minutes to do so.
Therefore I would like to know, what iMovie version you use, what exact Mac you have (or the correct CPU) and what resolution those photos have (and what format they are stored in - JPEG, CR2, PNG, NEF, ...).
 

TrackZ

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 16, 2010
88
17
Okay, I just tried the same with iMovie 8 (iLife '09 I suppose) and 669 photos with a size of 1920 x 1200 pixel on my 2009 MBP with a C2D 2.8 GHz CPU and iMovie told me, it would take around 3 minutes to do so.
Therefore I would like to know, what iMovie version you use, what exact Mac you have (or the correct CPU) and what resolution those photos have (and what format they are stored in - JPEG, CR2, PNG, NEF, ...).
It's iMovie 9.0.7. It's the base model $2,199 retina macbook pro. Pictures are 3072 x 2304 resolution JPG.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
It's iMovie 9.0.7. It's the base model $2,199 retina macbook pro. Pictures are 3072 x 2304 resolution JPG.
Okay, those photos have thrice the resolution of the ones I tested in and it would probably take 46 minutes (3*4*3 - time for import of test pictures by factor of your pictures divided by mine by thrice the resolution) with my machine, but since you probably have an HD or LARGE project, the photos also have to be down-sized (original resolution to 1920 x 1080 or even lower), which also takes time.
WMM probably didn't take that long because it didn't care about such stuff, but was probably a bit laggy during editing or some other step (to be honest, I don't have any experience with WMP, only saw results and was astonished by its lack of quality).

As iMovie is not really that multi-threaded, it will also not use all available cores and threads, as far as I know.