7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 13, 2007 10:47 PM by David Babsky
MACPOWER Level 3 (575 points)

I would like to know how I can burn an iMovie (imported from DV camera) directly to a DVD that can both be viewed in a DVD player or edited with a PC.

Here's the deal. I have a buddy who recently got married and have around 4 mini DV tapes that I imported to iMovie. He will go back to his country soon, and asked me to put the tapes onto DVDs so that he can edit them on his Windows PC when he goes back to his country.

I'd also have to make a copy of each one of these movies for the family here, but I guess I'll be doing that with iDVD. In any case, what's the workaround for burning each iMovie project directly to a DVD so that he can edit the files on a PC computer? I have no clue what software he will be using. Thanks!


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  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 (52,237 points)
    DVD's hold about 4.3GB's of data. Your DV tapes are about 13GB's per hour of recoding time. You'll need lots of DVD's and a method of "spanning" the data over them or break the .dv files into parts small enough to fit a single DVD.
    Import one tape at a time and export it back to a new blank tape and give your friend the tapes to use. Much more practical solution to your problem.
  • tilman Level 4 (1,235 points)
    You'll need
    lots of DVD's and a method of "spanning" the data
    over them or break the .dv files into parts small
    enough to fit a single DVD.

    You need 12 DVDs to be exact, 3 per tape. That's not too bad - it can be done. If you capture with iMovie, you should have the tape contents broken into clips in the Media folder of your iMovie project. Grab as many as you can to fit on a DVD, burn it, repeat with the next set.

    If you have a dual-layer burner, you can get away with 6 DVDs.
  • David Babsky Level 6 (14,175 points)
    You can do those two things separately, but not really achieve both uses with one set of DVDs.

    The movies can't, with best quality anyway, "..both be viewed in a DVD player or edited with a PC.."

    To view on a DVD player - darn this cat that's scratching itself against me - you could burn the movie using iDVD.

    Your friend could then use a 'dvd-ripping' program on his PC to retrieve the VOB (movie) files, and convert them, back home, into a format which he could edit.

    HOWEVER, if you cut the movie into 20-minute chunks, then (..in iMovie, as tilman suggests..) you could choose 'File' and 'Burn Project to disc...' and that would burn the data ..the movie files.. onto a DVD. (..It's only doing it because it wants some food, I know..)

    But as Matti often points out, this 'Burn Project to disc...' facility doesn't "span" across multiple discs, as Kirk describes ..although, apparently, Toast can do that. So that's why you'd have to Burn no more than 20 mins' worth at a time.

    Note that these Project Burns can NOT "..be viewed in a DVD player.." because they're discs full of data files, and they aren't converted - in the way that iDVD does it - into MPEG-2 movie files, ready for playing.

    So: use iDVD and let your pal "unscramble and extract" the original video for editing, and/or Burn Project on a succession of data discs for your pal to edit at home.

    BUT ..if the tapes were shot in a 'PAL' country (..did you really mean Italy?..) and your pal is going home to an NTSC country, such as the USA - or vice versa - the video which you've imported into iMovie may be at the wrong frame rate to use in a different country. So while, or after, it's edited by your friend back home, it may turn out horrible when your pal burns it to a DVD for playing in a DVD player: the type of movie which it is in iMovie (PAL or NTSC) has to be preserved in burning that movie to a DVD ..otherwise it may turn out very jerky. So he'd better make sure that he creates the right type of movie project - and burns the right kind of DVD - when he starts to edit that movie material.

    So ..is the video standard (NTSC or PAL) in his "home" country the same as the type of camera with which the movie was shot? If not, difficulties ahead, or - at least - your friend needs to be aware of what kind of video (PAL or NTSC) he'll be dealing with.

    To keep the video footage editable, Burn Project from iMovie.

    To make a viewable DVD from iMovie, send the material to iDVD.

    (..cat's gone back to sleep..)
  • MACPOWER Level 3 (575 points)
    Thanks a BILLION everyone!

    I will be burning the project to iDVD for the folks that want the videos here (in Italy) and will burn the projects to a DVD with iMovie (for my friend going to California!) so that she can edit them.

    As I said, she has no Mac. Will she be able to read off the DVD's with what program?

    Thanks again!
  • David Babsky Level 6 (14,175 points)
    "..Will she be able to read off the DVD's with what program?.."

    There must be lots of Windows programs for "ripping" video content of DVDs (..'Popcorn', for a start).

    Why not just look - or suggest that she looks - via Google.

    I really don't know what Windows software is out there ..I stopped using Windows at Win 98 SE.

    ..Oh, sorry; I see what you mean: which Windows programs for reading the data DVDs. I really don't know. There are various Windows movie-editing programs (Studio DV, Ulead something-or-other, Pinnacle something-or-other ..dozens of them; just pick up a camcorder magazine) but I don't know if they'll read the movies straight off the DVDs. They should do if the movie files have the .dv suffix.

    But again ..I stopped at Win 98 SE..
  • tilman Level 4 (1,235 points)
    As I said, she has no Mac. Will she be able to read
    off the DVD's with what program?

    If you burn the DVDs using the Mac burn-folder feature, then the resulting disks will be readable on both Macs and Windows PC. There are lots of programs on Windows that can edit DV footage, including the free Windows MovieMaker that comes with Windows XP. Windows DV editing apps typically don't know what to do with .dv files, but expect .avi files (also refered to as DV-AVI). To turn your iMovie clips into DV-AVI files, gather them on the timeline (remember not to exceed 20 minutes at a time), then click on Share -> Expert Settings -> Movie to AVI. Then click on options, and change the video settings to use "DV-PAL" or "DV-NTSC" (whatever matches your footage).
  • David Babsky Level 6 (14,175 points)
    Thanks for the clarification, tilman!