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  1. #1
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?
    I'm trying to import a 10 minute movie and it takes almost an hour.

  2. #2
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    wow this is so bad

  3. #3
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    imported a 9 minute movie(did not optimize). deleted everything but 2 seconds worth of video. then I wanted to slow that video down. guess what happens? iMovie still has to optimize the whole video, not just the 2 seconds. unreal....! so basically, if you want to edit everything out except for 2 seconds, it still takes about an hour to convert the clip. this is a joke.

  4. #4
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?
    MightyGem's Avatar
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    What was the format of the video that you were importing? Which Mac/OS have you got and which version of iMovie?

  5. #5
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    It was a HD file from a Hauppauge HD PVR......What are they called, like MT2S or something. Well the Hauppague can convert those to .mp4 files. That .mp4 is what I was trying to import.

  6. #6
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?
    MightyGem's Avatar
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    HD file from a Hauppauge HD PVR
    So even as an mp4 it's probably going to be quite a big size, and then iMovie converts it to DV format, but an hour seems a long time. Not worked with HD footgae myself so can't really judge it against anything that I've done.

  7. #7
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyGem View Post
    So even as an mp4 it's probably going to be quite a big size, and then iMovie converts it to DV format, but an hour seems a long time. Not worked with HD footgae myself so can't really judge it against anything that I've done.
    Yeah man, the files are big. 20 minutes is almost a Gig.

  8. #8
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?
    MightyGem's Avatar
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    20 minutes is almost a Gig.
    Actually, that's quite small for a 20 minute clip. Digitla Video(DV) works out at about 12GB per hour.

    A couple of tests that I've just done are as follows:
    A 500mb DV clip took 1 minute to import, equating to 1GB every 2 minutes. Because it was DV it didn't need converting.

    A 4GB Quicktime video(.mov) took 15 minutes equating to 1 GB every 7 minutes or so. This one had to be converted to DV hence the longer time.

    What size are you HD clips? Full size HD(1929x1280) takes up 40GB of HDD per hour, whereas 960x540 video only occupies 13GB per hour. iMovie should give you an import size option.

  9. #9
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyGem View Post
    Actually, that's quite small for a 20 minute clip. Digitla Video(DV) works out at about 12GB per hour.

    A couple of tests that I've just done are as follows:
    A 500mb DV clip took 1 minute to import, equating to 1GB every 2 minutes. Because it was DV it didn't need converting.

    A 4GB Quicktime video(.mov) took 15 minutes equating to 1 GB every 7 minutes or so. This one had to be converted to DV hence the longer time.

    What size are you HD clips? Full size HD(1929x1280) takes up 40GB of HDD per hour, whereas 960x540 video only occupies 13GB per hour. iMovie should give you an import size option.
    I'm recording in 720p at about 7000-9000 kbps or mbps. So I have about 15 files that range from 500megs to about 1.5gigs and they take anywhere from 40-60+ minutes. You said above that you imported a 1GB .mov file in 7 minutes. It takes me about 45 minutes to import a .mp4 file.

    Thanks for the help.

  10. #10
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    May not be related, but how much free space do you have on your hard drive? If it's too full it could be bogging down.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  11. #11
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
    May not be related, but how much free space do you have on your hard drive? If it's too full it could be bogging down.
    Also, which Mac and how much RAM do you have.
    Processor speed, amount of free space and speed of the HD, and RAM will all come into play here.

  12. #12
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    It is a brand new macbook pro that I bought from Best Buy 2 months ago. I'm sure you guys know the specs on that. 4 gigs of RAM and around 180 gigs free HDD.

  13. #13
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    I know this is old, but I ran into this earlier and came across this thread in a google search. As it turns out, it takes forever because it converts the video to .mov container (DV format). I found through further searching that you can instead just drop the videos into your imovie project data folder and it will use them without converting. It still takes a few minutes to process (1 hr .m4v 1920x1080 clip took 12 minutes on my new Air, instead of 9 hours as previously estimated through normal import), I suppose indexing or something, but much better.

    Specifically, in your home folder, go to Movies -> iMovie Events -> (project name), and drop in your video there. When you start iMovie it should start processing the files, but it didn't actually convert the files. They just popped up in my event library ready to use.

    This has to be the stupidest thing I've come across, as the forever conversion seems completely unnecessary for the application to function. perhaps it's a safety net for certain other formats.

  14. #14
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?
    chas_m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sorsor View Post
    This has to be the stupidest thing I've come across, as the forever conversion seems completely unnecessary for the application to function. perhaps it's a safety net for certain other formats.
    Kind of. The reason iMovie wants to work with DV is because it's a relatively lossless, edit-friendly format; repeated editing won't degrade the quality.

    Whereas direct editing on an MP4 file is the video equivalent of editing a JPG; compressed video gets re-compressed with each edit, degrading the quality the longer you work on it.

  15. #15
    Why does it take FOREVER to import in iMovie?

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    Seems to me that's a reason not to render your project to a lossy codec (if you further want to use that render in another project), but to force a transcode from a lossy codec to a lossless one just to have it in the library seems strange. The imported source files don't get rendered, saved, re-rendered over and over as I work on my project; there's no further loss than what occurred when they were created on my camera, and converting to DV doesn't make them better. It's especially strange because of the options; sure, make transcoding the default, but if I select 'move' I obviously want to work on the file as-is.

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