Using iMovie

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Matt-Man-Plus, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Matt-Man-Plus macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2008
    Hello All. I'm new to mac. I have a new unibody, aluminum macbook. What a beautiful and powerful little machine this thing is. Everyday it suprises me with something else that is just easier, more intuitive and overall better than a windows machine.

    Anyway, I really want to utilize the applications that come with it. So, I have some home movies that were recorded to mini DVD's. I cannot load these into the macbook's superdrive (only bummer btw but I was aware of this before I bought it.) so i've been loading them into my old windows machine and using Handbrake for Windows to encode them to MP-4 format. Then the files are transfered over to the macbook via external HD. No problems with any of this.

    Now, I transfered the files directly into the iTune's "Movies" folder. Here's where i'm a little confused. When I import the file into iMovie, it says something like, "generating thumbnails" or something to that effect and says the process is going to take over 2 hours!!! I'm talking about a 20 minute, standard MP-4 file.

    My questions to you guys are: Is iMovie an application for storing, organizing and viewing movies, or is it mainly used for just editing? If it can be used for just storing and viewing, why does it take this long? Could I be doing something wrong?

    Also, in my iPhoto library I have a few small video clips that are .MOV format that were taken with the digital camera. Everytime I open iMovie, it promt me to generate thumbnails for these clips and again, says that it's gonna take like 2 hours to do. I have just been hitting the "later" button. What exactly is iMovie trying to do here? Thanks for your help.
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    First off, welcome to the Mac. You'll find it's quite an awesome machine the more you use it.

    What iMovie is mainly used for is editing. What iMovie is doing when it's saying it's going to "generate thumbnails" is that it will scan through all the videos in your Movies folder, in addition to any movies you've got in iPhoto from your digital camera.

    It does this because iMovie uses small thumbnails of your video clips to allow you to quickly scan through your movies and find the portions of the video you want to edit. Unfortunately, when there's a LOT a video to go through, it does take a long time. Also, mp4 files are sometimes known for being a little more difficult to convert, which could be helping add to the time. While it's easy to convert TO mp4, going from mp4 to something else is a little harder.

    So hopefully that helps answer some of your questions!
  3. Matt-Man-Plus thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2008
    Ok, great. Thanks for the replies. Now I have more movies to do. Some need some minimal editing. Would it be a better idea to convert them to something other than mp4 for ease of editing?

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