1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Aug 27, 2007 12:03 AM by Espen Vestre
Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
Has anybody found a way to specifiy the location of your videos on your external hard disk? My external hard disks are not root-writable, since they're used by several family members which have separate accounts, so I would like to write my iMovie projects and events to e.g. /External HD/Users/JohnAverage/iMovie Library/

- but iMovie '08 insists on using the root directory, and even gives a completely bogus error message unless the root directory is writable.

Has anyone found a way to circumvent this? Have you tried moving the events and projects folders to a nonstandard position on an external disk or the system disk?

There are lots of missing features in iMovie '08, but this one is going to pretty much stop me from trying it out at all

MBP C2D 15" 2.33/2/160 - MB (white) 2/2/120 - PBG4 12" 1.33/1.25/60 - 8GB nano, Mac OS X (10.4.8), My workstation runs debian linux
  • 1. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    Has anybody found a way to specifiy the location of your videos


    What is meant by "your videos"? iMovie projects? iMovie's library of imported clips? Exported movies?

    I would like to write my iMovie projects and events to e.g. /External HD/Users/JohnAverage/iMovie Library/


    Your drive/user configuration sounds unusual, so I want to make sure we understand how it works...

    Why are there user accounts defined on the external drive? Are these boot drives or something, where each family member boots to his/her User on the drive?

    Normally Users reside (only) on the computer's main drive only and are allowed to save documents on the external. (Note that to make those files available to everyone, the Get Info window for the drive lets us tell the Mac to ignore permissions on an external drive. Not the solution here, probably, but a useful feature.)

    Karl
  • 2. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    virus2500 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I would like to write my iMovie projects and events to e.g. /External HD/Users/JohnAverage/iMovie Library/


    Your drive/user configuration sounds unusual, so I want to >make sure we understand how it works...


    I think this was just an example. He just stated that his external HD root directory is write protected. The folders below aren't, so he want to configure imovie to store his library in an subfolder!

    I can't help on this topic though cause i am boycotting ilife 08 (the major app for me is imovie, and since it lost so many features, its not interesting for me anymore).
  • 3. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    Karl Petersen wrote:
    Has anybody found a way to specifiy the location of your videos


    What is meant by "your videos"? iMovie projects? iMovie's library of imported clips? Exported movies?


    iMovie 08 projects and iMovies library of imported clips. I started by trying to import a iMovie HD project located on the external disk. You can then choose whether you want the project imported to the internal disk or to any external disk. If you import to the internal disk, everything is fine, iMovie 08 puts your files somewhere inside the Movies folder, but on the external disk, it will put it in the root directory, which is pretty stupid if there are several users of that disk with their own iMovie projects and libraries.


    Why are there user accounts defined on the external drive?


    There aren't any accounts defined, just directories owned by each user of the drive.

    the Get Info window for the drive lets us tell the Mac to ignore permissions on an external drive.


    As you have probably guessed by now, I have unchecked that, in order to make the external drive real multi user. So the external drive has per-user write, read and execute permissions just like the internal drive.

    But even if I hadn't enabled permissions, I would certainly want to be able to control where on that drive iMovie puts my stuff! I don't want to buy one external hard drive to each of the 6 family members, but suppose I did: Even then I would like to be able to organize the external drive in subdirectories, and tell iMovie to e.g. stay inside a "Movie" folder on that drive.
  • 4. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    virus2500 wrote:


    I can't help on this topic though cause i am boycotting ilife 08 (the major app for me is imovie, and since it lost so many features, its not interesting for me anymore).


    The new iPhoto is cool though.

    I thought I'd be open-minded and give iMovie 08 a try, but so far I must conclude that the limitations are too severe.

    It's a pretty cool video library application, but as you can see in this thread, even that functionality is hard for me to use.

    Instead of starting from scratch, I would rather have seen a iVideo HD with the library features added (and the much better integration of digicam clips from iPhoto), plus the automatic transitions, which are quite nice.

    If Apple fixes the problem I stated in this thread plus adds better sound editing support and chapter markers, I can do with the missing video effects for a while, and will probably give it a new try.
  • 5. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    webfrasse Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    I haven't tried this yet but I will over weekend. I agree that it's extremely annoying that you can't move around you iMovie's but...how about putting the whole thing on a disk image?

    I'm going to create a sparse diskimage this weekend and the put my library on it. Should work fine and I can move around the dmg file as I please and even put a password on it.

    /Mikael
  • 6. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    Interesting idea. I have never tried to work with such huge diskfiles, I wonder how the performance will be? Let us know!
  • 7. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Schneb Level 5 Level 5 (4,940 points)
    The new iPhoto is cool though. I thought I'd be open-minded and give iMovie 08 a try, but so far I must conclude that the limitations are too severe.

    I agree with this assessment as well. Although for me, GarageBand had some killer additions and upgrades. It is one solid editor now. iPhoto still needs to import Spotlight comments. Seems ridiculous for Apple to exclude that from the search options.
  • 8. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    webfrasse Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Ok, I tried my idea of importing and storing my iMovie Events on a diskimage and it works perfect. Just create a diskimage of type Sparseimage. It will only grow as large as what you store in it. If you delete clips from the Events library you can reclaim the space with a simple command. I can see no performance hit and the storage overhead is minimal. Advantages are that you're now free to move around your iMovie Events folder.

    The Project file is not to large (less the 20Mb for a 12GB/1 hour) movie and is stored in the default Movies folder on your boot drive.

    /Mikael
  • 9. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    Using a disk image is a good idea. A similar method is to partition the external drive, so each user has his/her own volume. (Then each volume appears on the Desktop as a separate drive.)

    Disk images are great for some things — I use them too — but they share one pesky feature. Disk images can be a pain to back up. I use Retrospect to back up all the Macs in the house each night, looking for files that have changed and backing them up to an external Firewire drive. The backups are incremental, meaning each changed file is backed up AND old backups of the file are retained. (This lets you retrieve an iMovie project — or any file — as it existed 3 weeks ago.)

    When Retrospect encounters a disk image that has changed it backs up the entire disk image, not just the files inside. If it encounters a changed file on a volume, however, it backs up just the file, not the entire volume.

    iMovie projects contain big files and little files. When saved in a disk image the disk image file tends to be quite large, causing Retrospect to back up an entire large disk image file even when only a tiny file inside the disk image has changed.

    On the other hand, when the iMovie stuff is saved on a partition volume we can tell Retrospect which files to ignore and which to never back up. We can tell it to never back up events, for example, but to back up iMovie exports saved to the Media Browser. In other words, we can pick and choose what to back up and what to ignore. Can't do that on a disk image. It's all or nothing. And all is almost always very large, making incremental backups almost impossible. Each incremental backup consumes a lot of space on the backup media so Retrospect quickly runs out of backup space.

    Karl
  • 10. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Aristophanes Level 2 Level 2 (320 points)
    +iPhoto still needs to import Spotlight comments. Seems ridiculous for Apple to exclude that from the search options.+

    1. Leopard may have something to say about that.
    2. Someone could write a plug-in for iPhoto.
  • 11. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    Karl Petersen wrote:
    Using a disk image is a good idea. A similar method is to partition the external drive, so each user has his/her own volume. (Then each volume appears on the Desktop as a separate drive.)


    Good idea! But not very flexible, since you fix the amount of disk space given to each user.

    Oh well, I think I'll continue to use iMovie HD for a while and see what Apple comes up with... but thanks to all of you for your suggestions!
  • 12. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    webfrasse Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    I would rather have one diskimage per iMovie Project than fooling around with partitions. That way the images doesn't become too large and I will only backup up the ones I just worked on.

    /Mikael
  • 13. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    If you are still there, Espen...

    I just discovered an iMovie feature that doesn't do exactly what you want but may offer a bit more flexibility in iMovie 7.

    I've found that the iMovie Events library accepts reference movies. That's good news. (Reference movies are tiny movies that contain no video or audio of their own, just pointers to other movies. When we save a new movie in QuickTime Pro it lets us save as a reference movie or a standalone movie.)

    Using QuickTime Pro, this lets you open a movie saved anywhere on the hard drive and save it — or just a portion of it — as a reference movie in the iMovie Events folder. The next time iMovie launches it generates Thumbnails for the reference movie. Now you can use it like any other movie.

    It might offer some interesting possibilies. Haven't tested whether it works across multiple accounts. Test carefully before using.

    So long as the source movie remains on the drive, iMovie doesn't seem to care whether it is moved to other folders. (Obviously reference movies are quite smart.)

    Karl
  • 14. Re: Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk
    Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    Karl Petersen wrote:
    I just discovered an iMovie feature that doesn't do exactly what you want but may offer a bit more flexibility in iMovie 7.

    I've found that the iMovie Events library accepts reference movies.


    Interesting discovery - thanks for sharing, Karl!
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