I reviewed this problem with Apple support. after reviewing machine and s/w configs they asked me for the model of my DVR whic is a Sony DCR-TRV30. iMovie recognizes the model but apparently its not on the supported camera list.
Regardless after some coaching from the Apple rep - I tried to forced quit the application but had to power-off the machine since since iMovie would not force quit and I could not get the O/S to shutdown. I re-imported the video affer reboot The generating thumbnails was finsihed in less time than the 7 minute segment I imported.
There seems to be some bug which caused the application hang in a loop which only consumed 3.5% cpu utilization and 22 threads. Virtual memory was about 1GB
Mine doesn't hang, but takes very long. I mean we are talking very small thumbnails and my movie needed 30 of them? Why does it need to take as long as 15mins????
I have a different bigger issue. Every time I try to import something my iMovie 08 crashes. when I restart it it goes straight into generating thumbnail for the imported movie which crashed previously.
I don't want to sound like a harsh critic, but boy Apple's reputation has been taking hit on the software front lately. I think we all know why, or at least it appears that way.
One more thing. I think that if support told you that the camera is not supported they probably don't they own product. If the camera has FireWire, it's all what is necessary and has nothing to do with generating thumbnails. As long as it's able to pass through DV stream nothing else is required. So what the support was talking about I have no clue ...
I too want to turn off iMovie's ability to generate thumbnail or at least reduce the time it takes. I imported a 640 Mb movie, the import took 3 minutes, the thumbnail generation took 12 hours!!! After all is said and done, I now have to export the movie to my .Mac gallery and the estimated time is 1340 minutes!!! (For small and medium rendering)
Back to the thumbnail issue, I looked at the iMovie Events folder and the thumbnail for the 640 Mb movie is 650 Mb! I wouldn't call that a thumbnail, would you? No wonder it took 12 hours to generate.
There must be some setting somewhere to turn this off or Apple should try to eliminate this obvious bug.
Tried importing another QT movie and while the movie copied pretty quickly (100 Mb), the thumbnail is again taking a long time to do. The finished thumbnail is as big as the movie, what gives? Is there some setting that I am missing here? Or do others see this problem as well, which means it is a bug waiting for Apple to fix.
I found a work-around, sort of.
After the iMovie finished importing the files and started generating thumbnails, I force quit the program.
The imported MOV files were left in the iMovie Events folder. I moved the files out of that folder and trashed it, then restarted iMovie and all's well.
Caveat: I'm only using iMovie to import these files because Final Cut doesn't let me use the "Log and Transfer" command on non-HD files on my camera (a Sony SR-1). I think if you want to work with the files in iMovie, you're stuck with the thumbnails.
This is ridiculous! Now we are even considering getting alternative software!
One of the reasons I paid over the odds for a MB (About double compared to the equivalent Windows laptop) was for the excellent OS and bundled software.
The very first thing I wanted to do was edit my home movies, and that was going to be easy right?
It just works.
First I had to spend literally days transcoding all my old movies because iMovie doesn't understand the sound in MPEG-2 muxed files.
Then I thought I would just have to drop the files into iDVD, crop out the bits I didn't want add a photo slideshow and that would be it.
Oh no. I needed to edit them outside of iDVD. Fair enough, you might even say it's a reasonable separation of the two functions, but now I am hitting the same problem as others on this thread.
Importing a 300MB file is taking hours, and the estimates are constantly changing (though never very far down).
Even this might be tolerable, but I need to make a DVD for someones birthday in 2 days time, and I have another 30GB of raw movies I need to import and edit to do it. By my rough estimate it's going to take another 6 days just to import them.
I'm screwed. But at least my massively overpriced (since the software doesn't work) laptop looks really good. And I hadn't heard the fan much until I started importing, so now it's going constantly it's a refreshing change.
Laptop AND fan heater. Perhaps that was why it was so expensive?
I was someone who was really hoping Apple would change my miserable Windows using life. But I've been so badly let down I could cry with frustration.
It's WORSE than my (old) Windows PC and software!
Shame on you Apple!
I've just discovered something that might help.
My new video camera outputs in H.264, and all my old movies were transcoded into H.264, but there is clearly some difference between the encoding, because the one's form my new camera load into iMovie really quickly (a few minutes a movie instead of 1:30 hours).
I also found my old movies, that took all the time to import, don't actually work!!!
You just can't make movies with them! When you are previewing them by dragging the cursor over them in the event library no movie appears in the top right pane, no sound either. I guess it was unfortunate that these were the first one's I tried, as I only realised something was up when I went and looked at the video tutorials.
Now I don't think this gets Apple off the hook much. The problematic movies play fine, with sound, in Quicktime, so it seems to me they should work in iMovie, especially after taking hours to generate thumbnails. But at least I might now be able to find a codec setting to transcode my old movies in a way that I can actually use them!
Message was edited by: TheMightyBoosh