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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

iMovie and and external hard drive


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rdean

 
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I am quickly realizing that if I am going to import my home movies from my Sony Camcorder into iMovie that I am going to need and external hard drive, my question is sort of simple.

Is anyone out there importing their home movies from their camcorder into iMovie directly to an external hard drive? If so, do you have the hard drive hooked up through USB or Firewire? I am trying to figure if one connection type is desirable over the other. I have seen a bunch of external hard drives out there with USB 2.0 or Firewire 400 connectors or both. If I want to do what I described above, do I need the speed of Firewire 400 or is USB 2.0 fast enough to handle the incoming video stream?

In other words I don't want to have to import my movies to the internal hard-drive first then copy it to the external hard-drive because the external hard-drive that I purchased is not quick enough. I want to be able to import and edit directly on the external hard drive.

Thanks for any input.
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Kash

 
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I'm using a breakout box to import movies from VHS straight into iMovie. I'm saving the videos directly to a 500GB external hard drive connected via USB (the WD My Book to be exact). It works great and is rather smooth. The best part is that while it's importing, I can continue doing other things on my Mac like browsing the web and listening to music.


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Firewire or USB 2 will be fine for importing video. If your camera is firewire and shares the same firewire bus as the hard drive, then you could end up dropping frames. Some people have had that issue in the past. With USB you don't want to be doing any other heavty lifting while importing because USB requires much more of the CPU.

You might get better responses if you say which Mac model your using, version of iMovie, and if your camera is using firewire or you are using some connector box.
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rdean

 
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Thanks guys.

I have been looking at the Western Digital 500 GB myself so it is good to know that work.

As for connecting it to USB or Firewire and my camera, I had not even thought about that. I do hook my camera up toe the Firewire 400 connector for which I think I only have one on my Macbook Pro, and the Western Digital Hard drive uses USB 2.0 or Firewire 400 so I guess that negates the possibility of hooking an external drive to the Firewire 400 while I am importing video through the Firewire 400 port.

Thanks again for the info.
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That's actually one of the reasons why I'm using a USB hard drive, the connector box uses my sole Firewire connector. But I wanted to use the Firewire from the start since I know that you get best results when importing video via Firewire. I use the box to import video from a VCR, an 8mm camera, and a mini-DV camera.


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rdean

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kash View Post
That's actually one of the reasons why I'm using a USB hard drive, the connector box uses my sole Firewire connector. But I wanted to use the Firewire from the start since I know that you get best results when importing video via Firewire. I use the box to import video from a VCR, an 8mm camera, and a mini-DV camera.
Thanks. I just wanted to verify that the USB 2.0 was quick enough to capture the video directly to the hard drive and it sounds like it is working for you. I will probably get the Western Digital also.

Thanks again.
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I can most definitely assure that it works just fine. I started doing this two or three weeks ago and I try to transfer movies whenever I get the chance. I usually just hit Play and then click Import in the iMovie capture box, and in one to two hours, I'll hit Done when the video ends, and just sit back as the clips are created.

Now there is a preview screen as the video is being imported. Don't worry if it looks like frames are being dropped, because they're not. When I play the video it looks just like the original, no dropped frames.


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Forgive me if I sound dense - I would like to import movies directly to an external drive too - Specifically, do you:

Open iMovie
Plug in the movie (wherever it comes from - camera or DVD or whatever)
Click "import" - then ? Can you choose where to import it?
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I believe you can set the preference of where to store your imovie imports beforehand.

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No, it's as simple as jlautner mentioned. When you hit the import button, you choose right there as to where you want the footage saved.


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Dimitri

 
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Yeah, now that I think about it, that's right. Must've gotten iMovie confused with something else.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdean View Post
Thanks guys.

I have been looking at the Western Digital 500 GB myself so it is good to know that work.

As for connecting it to USB or Firewire and my camera, I had not even thought about that. I do hook my camera up toe the Firewire 400 connector for which I think I only have one on my Macbook Pro, and the Western Digital Hard drive uses USB 2.0 or Firewire 400 so I guess that negates the possibility of hooking an external drive to the Firewire 400 while I am importing video through the Firewire 400 port.

Thanks again for the info.
Here is a 500GB Western Digital on sale now for only $99.00 brand new.USB 2.0 instead of firewire connection.
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