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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Turn off "generating thumbnails" in iMovie?
    Is it possible to turn this off? I have some files I am trying to import and it takes like 30-45 minutes to "generate thumbnails". I don't need it to generate thumbnails. This is absolutely insane. This is with "optimize video" unchecked. If I had that checked, it would take like 2 hours to import one file. I really don't understand how iMovie is even used, if I wanted to import all these videos I have, it would take like 2 days.

  2. #2

    MightyGem's Avatar
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    I really don't understand how iMovie is even used, if I wanted to import all these videos I have, it would take like 2 days.
    iMovie is a basically a video editor to allow you to edit video footage, add music and sound and then share to various destinations. It sounds like you are wanting to use it to a bit like iTunes, but for videos.

  3. #3


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    ... and that would be incorrect.

    iMovie absolutely has to have those thumbnails in order to allow you to scrub through the footage and find scenes quickly. It doesn't really work without them.

    If you just want to play videos, QuickTime Player will play them, or you could put them into iTunes, which is handy for syncing them to mobile devices.

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    ... and that would be incorrect.

    iMovie absolutely has to have those thumbnails in order to allow you to scrub through the footage and find scenes quickly. It doesn't really work without them.

    If you just want to play videos, QuickTime Player will play them, or you could put them into iTunes, which is handy for syncing them to mobile devices.
    How about this scenario: I want to import home movies. iMovie creates .dv files and that's all I need. I don't need thumbnails.

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Import home movies from where/what format?

    And convert them to .dv why? e.g. to play them where/on what device?
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6

    MightyGem's Avatar
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    And convert them to .dv why?
    That's what iMovie does when you import, certainly with my MiniDV camcorder. For other formats it creates AIC files.

    How about this scenario: I want to import home movies. iMovie creates .dv files and that's all I need. I don't need thumbnails.
    That's fine. iMovie stores your imports in Home Folder>Movies>iMovie Events>Your Import. However, your import will (usually)be split into separate clips based each time you started/stopped filming. Not ideal for playing back.

    Using iMovie you can put the clips in a Project, edit out all the rubbish and export as a single movie file. For that you need the Thumbnails.

  7. #7

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    But, it converts for the purpose of editing - hence the thumbnails...

    If in the case of the poster above me is not to edit, but merely to re-encode their media to another format, there may be much better alternatives out there than iMovie.

    Hence, an attempt to get at what they're trying to do in lieu of figuring out how to do some work around with a software that's not necessarily designed for that specific task.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2012
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    To expound:

    I have: video tapes
    I want: video files
    Why? To consolidate the video and to preserve its quality.

    When I started this project, I tried importing the digital 8 tapes into Final Cut Pro, but there were timecode breaks everywhere. It's been so long I don't remember exactly why this rendered Final Cut Pro useless as an import tool, but I think it was because I could have it care about or not care about the timecode. If it cared about the timecode, it was unusable for a reason I don't remember. If it did not, the video and audio got completely out of sync. So I did an Internet search and the majority of people seemed to agree that if you had video with a bunch of timecode breaks, it's better just to import it with iMovie.

    Yes, it resulted in a bunch of tiny clips. Moreover, since I was already using iMovie by this point, I imported the analog tapes, which I also have, via Canopus ADVC-55 using iMovie as well. I don't remember whether I tried Final Cut Pro for the analog tapes, but my confidence in it was already lost after the audio/video sync issues, with it going about its jolly business and handing me an out-of-sync video clip. For the analog tapes, iMovie gave me one clip for the entire tape, which was good enough for me. Again, the highest priority is to get the content of the tapes onto a hard drive lest the analog tapes continue to degrade, and also free up the space they've been taking up in my cabinet.

    So ideally, with all of the remaining digital 8 and VHS-C (via ADVC-55) tapes I have left, I would have a tool that:
    - Imports them with no audio/video sync issues
    - Imports them without a significant loss of quality
    - Makes only one video clip, not several for each timecode break or blank frame
    - Does not import while the tape is blank
    - Stops importing once the tape is at the end and saves a video file with a usable format, like .dv
    - Does not spend time on tasks that I don't require (like generating thumbnails). I don't need thumbnails, as there are plenty of programs that can edit .dv files without them, and I'm not going into every video to tweak little pieces of it, I may just take the entire .dv file, or even several, and put it onto a DVD.

    The thumbnail generation is a time-waster because while it's generating thumbnails, I could instead be importing another tape. So if you have suggestions for a workaround or a better or more appropriate tool for what I'm doing, I'd love to hear it.

  9. #9

    MightyGem's Avatar
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    I, like you I'm sure, can't find anything on the net that indicates that you can import video using the Canopus without using something like iMovie or Final Cut as the importing Application.

    However, with Elagato's Video Capture you import using the included Elgato software which imports the footage as a single video file.
    Video Capture - Turn analog into digital video

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    Thanks - that was actually what I tried before buying the ADVC-55. As I recall, the output from the elgato looked pretty good (better than I had expected actually), but I wanted something better. Still, I think that would be probably the best option for many people in a similar circumstance (and maybe I'm just picky).

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2013
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    Elgato EyeTV
    I've been using Elgato for years, both to convert VHS tapes and to watch/record antenna TV. Works fine, the only confusion at first being that the hardware is called the same thing as the accompanying software. They're both EyeTV. They/it allows me to use my MacPro (with disk farm) as a digital TV recorder. -------
    Don't know why there would be any untoward degradation. Tape gives analog output that is low quality to start with compared to today's standards. A/D should be pretty much A/D.

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdTakken View Post
    Don't know why there would be any untoward degradation. Tape gives analog output that is low quality to start with compared to today's standards. A/D should be pretty much A/D.
    You can read about the various errors to which an ADC is prone at Analog-to-digital converter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    As it happens, my analog content spans four decades and there are some tapes that demonstrate conversion errors rather poignantly.

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2013
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    I'm a little surprised that you say "some tapes that demonstrate conversion errors rather poignantly." I haven't converted all of my collection of VCR and other tapes yet and so would like to know more about your experience.

    The wikipedia reference is standard electrical engineering. Audio CD's have the same kind of errors built in, too, but offer better fidelity than records. The goal in product design is to make the electronic errors not unnoticeable, and the EE has lots and lots of low-cost, high-performance A/D chips to choose from. Flat screen TV sales from Korea are supplanting those from Japan even though the visual display is not quite as good. It's because they are cheaper and the degradation isn't quite noticeable.

    Tapes don't have conversion error. Tapes have quality and play problems and it is the conversion process that has conversion errors. So to ask my question let's start with definitions of three version of any given video: A = original VHS, C1 = a digital version, C2 another different digital version made from different A/D conversion hardware.

    I find that A degrades with time, that C1 is about like A if A is of good quality, but that C1 is worse than A if A is of poor quality. I don't have a C2 to compare. Are you saying that C1 and C2 can be markedly different?

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