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iMovie '11 Optimize on Import

52344 Views 32 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2013 9:54 AM by jbpete87 RSS
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Atrophius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Nov 7, 2010 7:49 PM
When I was using iMovie '09, I made a habit of not optimizing (transcoding) events on import so that I could import a ton of stuff fast, take what I need and put together the final movie, and then do the transcoding during the rendering phase. This is absolutely essential for importing large events that I only want to use several clips out of, because it keeps me from wasting a ton of time upfront (what's the use of transcoding 4 hours worth of raw video for a 10 minute final render?) for all of my projects.

Now, with iMovie '11, even when I don't check the box for optimizing on import, it seems to do it anyway. What's going on here? Is there anything I can do about it, or will I just need to go back to iMovie '09?
Intel Macbook Pro 3rd Generation, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)
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    Nov 8, 2010 2:05 AM (in response to Atrophius)
    Exactly what media and format specification are you talking about? Maybe you can ingest more selectively, rather than the whole 10 hours.
    15" 2.4G MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • ttaps Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 12, 2010 10:57 AM (in response to Atrophius)
    Did you ever find a solution to this problem? For me this is a HUGE issue! I import around 1hr at a time, so it turned a 1 to 2 hr process into somewhere around 10! Why have the optimize checkbox IF IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING!
    Mac Book PRo, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • iphonejunky Level 3 Level 3 (525 points)
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    Nov 12, 2010 3:11 PM (in response to Atrophius)
    First off, it would be nice to know exactly what kind of files we are dealing with.
    What is the Make / Model / Record setting / Video dimension / Frame Rate, from the device that generated the source video?

    Second, what kind of import are you guys doing? Camera Import or File Import?

    This may help others sort out your issue.
    iMac Intel, MacBook, iPad, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iMovie for iPhone 1.1, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 17, 2010 5:42 PM (in response to Atrophius)
    I'm having exactly the same problem here - there appears to be no way to import a movie into iMovie 11 without it spending HOURS optimizing them. This is really untenable - iMovie 09 didn't do this! Am I missing a setting somewhere, or is this a bug?
    Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Steve Mullen Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
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    Nov 18, 2010 2:08 PM (in response to Atrophius)
    I suspect I'm knows it can't work with 60p video--which likely is really only 30p--and decides to convert to 30p.

    You never say what it is being converted to. If AIC, then apple has decided, at least for 60p, to not directly edit h.264! If this is also true for 30p h.264 it will be a killer for those who shoot long clips! The virtue of h.264 is that iMovie left it alone. I once wrote a program to cut long clips into tiny clips. Looks like I may need to see if it still runs.

    When people say "me too" it would be helpful since you want help, to tell us your camera and what you are shooting.
    Cheers, author; The Ins and Outs of iMovie 09: Maximum Quality HD and DV
  • Daniel Slagle Level 7 Level 7 (22,415 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2010 10:59 PM (in response to Atrophius)
    What the heck encoded this? Look at the format.

    Gameplay FPS on Twitpic

    I would either use iMovie 9 or use MPEG Streamclip to cut the framerate down to 30 and correct the encoding.
    3.33 Ghz 6 way, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 6GB RAM
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 19, 2010 5:54 AM (in response to Steve Mullen)
    Using iMovie '11, I'm having what appears to be the same problem when importing H.264-encoded .mp4 files created by Handbrake using the latest "Normal" profile. The movies are forced through this many-hours-long optimization process when I import them. It is transcoding the .mp4s to .mov files, and the .mov files are MUCH larger than the corresponding .mp4 files - for example, a 2.8GB .mp4 is expanded to a 14.46GB .mov file. The .mp4 files use H.264, and the .mov files created by iMovie use the "Apple Intermediate Codec".

    The movies in question are home videos originally shot on VHS; then pulled into iMovie 07 (years ago) via a DV cam and burned to a video DVD via iDVD 07; then ripped from DVD and converted to .mp4 by Handbrake last week.

    This is very frustrating - I was planning to make a short video for my Dad's birthday this week, so I upgraded to the latest iLife before starting... and now 4 days later I'm still waiting for it to SLOWLY transcode them all just so that I can cut a few snippets out of each to use in my Dad's birthday video. Is there any way to speed this up?! Or do I need to revert to iMovie '09? WHY is iMovie '11 forcing this - I thought that iMovie could edit H.264 natively.

    Message was edited by: Nate Lee
    Mac mini (2008), Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Daniel Slagle Level 7 Level 7 (22,415 points)
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    Nov 19, 2010 6:05 AM (in response to Nate Lee)
    Why not just use MPEGstream clip to batch convert the "originals" to AIC and be done with it?
    3.33 Ghz 6 way, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 6GB RAM
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2010 6:16 AM (in response to Daniel Slagle)
    Because I didn't know about MPEG Streamclip until you mentioned it? I'll check it out, thanks.

    I'd still really like to know why iMovie '11 is forcing this transcoding, and how to avoid it - it should be unnecessary to manually convert to an intermediate format just to pull out a few clips.
    Mac mini (2008), Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,630 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2010 6:37 AM (in response to Nate Lee)
    H.264 is a delivery codec. It is a interframe codec not designed for production. Apple editing applications are QuickTime based and work best with I-frame (intraframe) codecs like AIC.
    15" 2.4G MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Daniel Slagle Level 7 Level 7 (22,415 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2010 6:38 AM (in response to Nate Lee)
    My guess is it gets too slow if you leave it in it's compressed format. Take a transition for instance. iMovie would have to decode both ends of the clips. Write the I/O out somewhere. Apply the transition. then re-encode it. All the will you are going, "why is iMovie taking so long"

    Final Cut has a sweet feature that lets you bring in the video as a "rough cut" then when you are done with your project you do the actual import. Then.. You render the real project and walk away.
    3.33 Ghz 6 way, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 6GB RAM
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2010 6:56 AM (in response to Tom Wolsky)
    Thanks for the explanation, Tom!
    Mac mini (2008), Mac OS X (10.6.5)
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