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Specifiy location for iMovie on external hard disk

6411 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Aug 27, 2007 12:03 AM by Espen Vestre RSS
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Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 16, 2007 5:53 AM
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
  • 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
    Dual-Core Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10), Sony TRV 900, HDTV, Cinema Displays
  • virus2500 Calculating status...
    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).
    Macbook Pro 2,16 15", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • webfrasse Calculating status...
    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
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • 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.
    2.0GHz Intel Core Duo iMac, Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • 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
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2007 9:10 AM (in response to webfrasse)
    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
    Dual-Core Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10), Sony TRV 900, HDTV, Cinema Displays
  • Aristophanes Level 2 Level 2 (320 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2007 9:37 AM (in response to Schneb)
    +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.
    iMac G5 Rev. B 20" 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • 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
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • 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
    Dual-Core Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10), Sony TRV 900, HDTV, Cinema Displays
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