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How to import a DVD to imovie?

63621 Views 40 Replies Latest reply: Jan 11, 2014 12:56 PM by dgwhiting RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Bears0065 Calculating status...
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    Dec 7, 2012 4:55 PM (in response to Balfa)

    And just how do you do that, Balfa? This is becoming way too much work. I have been a loyal Mac user since high school, so well over 20 years. It is becoming very frustrating trying to work with videos, it's very hard to believe that there isn't a simple solution to this....

  • panoramaBobl, Bob Thompson2 Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
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    Dec 7, 2012 5:06 PM (in response to Bears0065)

    I suggest converting the DVD video files with either Toast 11 or Elgato's Turbo164HD.  There are other ways.


    Good luck.  Video is not simple.



  • Bears0065 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 7, 2012 5:10 PM (in response to panoramaBobl, Bob Thompson2)

    I've been messing around with it for a long time, making highlight videos for our football players. Unfortunately this year we forgot our HD camera at home for one of the games and had to film it on and older Canon camera. This came with a Firewire cable, but as you know the new Macs don't have a Firewire port anymore! So now I've spent a few days trying to get the footage from the camera to the iMac, and thought maybe I could just import the DVD to iMovie instead. But I see that's not going to be possible without using other applications and spending more money. Just pretty frustrated right now, sorry.

  • Klondike Kid Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
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    Dec 9, 2012 12:12 AM (in response to Bears0065)



    If your Mac doesn't have FW anymore (not even FW800?) then you must have Thunderbolt ports. Apple sells a Thunderbolt to FW800 pigtail plug for $29.  But that FW800 9 pin end will not be physically compatible with those camcorders that use the old FW400 cables that were connected to the Mac with a 6 pin male end.  For just a few bucks on Amazon you can purchase a Menotek Firewire 800 9pin male to Firewire 400 6pin female crossover plug. Just connect the adapter to your FW camcorder cable and then plug it into the Thunderbolt to FW800 plug and you can import that way.


    Note this Thunderbolt/FW cable and the small adapter also come in handy to connect older FW400 external hard drives for additional storage.  Essentially the Thunderbolt circuitry is also cross compatible with FW800 and FW400 hardware using these adapters.  I'm using this set up to import my Canon HV30 and Sony Z1U tape footage as well as connect an older FW400 Maxtor backup drive.


    And as far as converting a non-copy protected DVD to iMovie files for editing I've been very happy with DVDxDV. Works great and after I did the minor editing and run it back to a DVD I could not see any hint of image deterioration from the roundtrip process.  Since then I've worked on a couple of friends "family DVD" movies where the source material was long gone and have no complaints about the final product back on disk.

  • Zamanrve Calculating status...
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    Feb 20, 2013 11:47 PM (in response to España)

    You're welcome. And to be sure, I'm not saying that importing into iMovie is a bad thing to do. It's just the long way to the same destination. And, of course, all this is thrown out the window if you need to edit, add titles, etc. to the source video. Then by all means, use iMovie.


    And if so, these are the basics steps (as I see it; there are other methods): 1) Pull the VOB files off the DVD using MacTheRipper, 2) Convert the VOB files to DV Streams using MPEG Streamclip, 3) Import DV files into iMovie, 4) iMovie edits, etc.

  • Klaim-doc Calculating status...
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    Feb 28, 2013 8:31 PM (in response to España)

    I haven't tried MacTheRipper to compare it, but I agree with Karsten Schlüter's recommendation for Handbrake.

  • kennethfromboise Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2013 7:29 PM (in response to pacmania)


    I too am new to the apple community.  I've had my macbook pro for almost 2 years, and cannot import/copy/or burn my DVD's so I can watch them on my iPod Touch.


    Is there a way? 



  • hughmass Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
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    Aug 19, 2013 5:35 AM (in response to kennethfromboise)

    Check out Handbrake.

    It lets you rip your own legal dvds and convert to form that can be used on iPod Touch etc.


  • kennethfromboise Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 20, 2013 6:10 AM (in response to hughmass)

    Greetings Hughmass,


    After viewing a couple of youtube videos, I was able to get handbrake to work on my MacBook Pro.  Well actually I used the bootcamp portion as I couldn't get handbrake to work with OSX.  My first attempt wasn't close as the movie converted to a ".m4v" format and didn't work at all (I just picked the "universal" setting.  My second attempt was closer as I picked the "iPhone and iPod Touch" option and it looked very promising as it used the ".mp4" format.  I was able to get the file into iTunes, but the movie was pixelated and unviewable. Today I'll try a few different settings.


    Heck, I'm retired and have time to do these things.


    Thanks again for the tips and I'll keep you posted



  • Glennski Calculating status...
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    Oct 15, 2013 6:46 PM (in response to Balfa)

    In response to the prior post about 'just open the vob file in Quicktime' -

    Are you using Quicktime Pro or something? I have Mtn Lion (10.8.5) and Quicktime cannot open a .vob file.

  • dgwhiting Calculating status...
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    Jan 11, 2014 12:56 PM (in response to Glennski)

    Conclusion:  Macs are expensive, non-intuitive, and they are no better than Windows or Linux at multimedia.  But they look awesome.

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