1 2 Previous Next 19 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2008 12:28 AM by rainsong23
rainsong23 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi,
Just got a new macbookpro 17inch. Liking it but having to learn the switch to mac. I have an mpeg file i want to try to resize, but imovie doesn't seem to recognize it at all. I thought macs were supposed to be the computers where everything just worked. Why won't it let me take this in? I thought mpegs were fairly common and quicktime has no problem opening it. Am I using the wrong program? Do I need to go back onto my ancient Toshiba and use Windows Movie Maker just to resize a video?

macbook pro 17 inch, 2.6 Ghz, 2 gig ram, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • 1. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (17,630 points)
    Why won't it let me take this in?



    Because multiplexed files like MPEG-1, MPEG-2, VOB, Flash, etc. employ a somewhat different form of technology. They are essentially a single stream of data in which the various components are spatially synchronized by placing them in interspersed physical blocks of data while QT content normally consists of parallel tracks of data which are temporally synchronized to a common arbitrary unit of time.



    I thought mpegs were fairly common and quicktime has no problem opening it.



    MPG (i.e., muxed MPEG-1) files are "Playback Only" supported by QT. That means the files can be played (assuming they are properly terminated and have no "timecode breaks") in QT but cannot be edited nor converted (without loss of audio) by QT applications. "Muxed" MPEG files (usually MPEG-2 video multiplexed with MP2 audio), VOB files (usually MPEG-2 video multiplexed with AC3 or PCM audio), and M2V (MPEG-2 video)/AIFF (Linear PCM audio) paired elementary data streams are normally not supported at all unless the user has purchased and installed the QT MPEG-2 Playback component. And even then AC3 audio is not "natively" QT supported as a "muxed" option. Thus, while MPEG-1 and MPEG2 files are fairly common, they are not a normal based on QT technology as embedded in the QT core structure.



    Am I using the wrong program? Do I need to go back onto my ancient Toshiba and use Windows Movie Maker just to resize a video?



    That would likely depend on what you mean by "resize a video." QT Pro will allow you to re-scale the dimensions of either an MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 file without having to re-compress the file. The normal QT Player will allow you to temporarily change the display size of a playing MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 file but not save these changes. On the other hand, if by "resize" you are referring to the storage size of the file, then you would need an MPEG-based, third party application in order to re-compress the file to either a different compression format or the same compression format but using a lesser data rate. Since iMovie '08 is an editing application and MPEG-1/2 file are not editable in it, then "Yes", you are using the wrong application.



  • 2. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    rainsong23 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, thanks for the info. So basically all I wanted to do was take a video I made on my camera and make it smaller or lesser quality or something so I could upload it to the internet faster. What is the best option for me to do this? My camera, a small sony cyber shot point and shoot, says Full HD 1080 on it, does that mean it does something other than mpeg. Maybe it only converted to mpeg after it was put onto a computer. Actually my girlfriend had taken the files out of the camera on her laptop so she could use more space to record more of our band tunes at a gig. If I take some video and plug the camera directly into my mac would there be a chance of me getting that stuff into imovie in a format other than mpeg that could be recognized?
  • 3. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (17,630 points)
    My camera, a small sony cyber shot point and shoot, says Full HD 1080 on it, does that mean it does something other than mpeg.



    Most digital cameras today take still photo many times larger than "full HD" (i.e., 1920x1089). Even the Cyber-shot point and shoots are mostly in the 8-10 Megapixel range today, but their capacity to SHOOT and SAVE MPEG VX (MPEG-1) files is limited to SD (i.e., VGA 640x480 dimensions) within the camera itself. If you are referring to the use of such cameras as an input device, then you need another device to actually do the capturing and storing of your audio/video content and in this case the compression format would be dependent on the hardware/software used to actually capture/store clips. (I.e., hooking up your optical output to a TV or HDTV for viewing purposes does not store the content -- HD, VGA, QVGA, or other.)



    Maybe it only converted to mpeg after it was put onto a computer.



    No, this is the format in which most Sony cameras store store their video clips for later retrieval.



    If I take some video and plug the camera directly into my mac would there be a chance of me getting that stuff into imovie in a format other than mpeg that could be recognized?



    Digital camera files are normally copied to either a photo/digital clip management application or to your hard drive at the Finder level. These files are not converted as part of a Finder level transfer. The only way you would get iMovie to import/convert your files would be for you to convince iMovie '08 that the content was DV, HDV, AVCHD, or MPEG-2/AC3 and that it was located on a camcorder. Such files can be imaged to appear as a camcorder but your MPEG-1 files cannot. Further, such files are "Playback Only" supported and currently could not be converted automatically and retain their audio content. Lastly. even if it were possible to image the files in this manner, it requires about the same effort as converting directly to a compatible format in the first place. Why don't you simply download the free iSquint application, drag the files your want to the application's drop window, and press the button that tells the application to convert all of the dropped files to either MPEG-4/AAC or H.264/AAC files either of which can be imported and edited by iMovie '08.



  • 4. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    rainsong23 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Jon Walker wrote:


    Such files can be imaged to appear as a camcorder but your MPEG-1 files cannot. Further, such files are "Playback Only" supported and currently could not be converted automatically and retain their audio content. Lastly. even if it were possible to image the files in this manner, it requires about the same effort as converting directly to a compatible format in the first place. Why don't you simply download the free iSquint application, drag the files your want to the application's drop window, and press the button that tells the application to convert all of the dropped files to either MPEG-4/AAC or H.264/AAC files either of which can be imported and edited by iMovie '08.

     



    Ahh, this is the info I think I was looking for. As to why I didn't just use iSquint, I had no idea it even existed. I just bought my mac about a week ago and am relearning things. And about it being "playback only" that kind of surprised me because I've been under the impressions that macs are more powerful and that they "just work". I was able to load the files into windows movie maker easily enough, and they didn't seem to be play only. I was able to edit them and the sound worked and everything. I was just surprised it wasn't at least that easy on the mac. But it seems this other program you told me about will do what I need thanks. I wonder why apple didn't just make it so that imovie could read those files. If windows movie maker can than it must be possible to do. Wouldn't they have anticipated that someone might take video on a hand held camera and then want to edit that video in some way? Is there some reason or advantage of them having made it this way instead of not just making the program do everything that someone might want to do?







     

  • 5. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    rainsong23 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    by the way, how did you quote just specific parts and make them blue. When I click the quote symbol it automatically quotes everything. Are you typing in your own html codes or something?
  • 6. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    jr378 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am in the same boat. Just changed from Windows and I have a bunch of "movies". It looks like none of these can be imported into iMovie. Is there a list of what formats iMovie is compatible with and what formats it can not handle (mpg no, mpg4 no, avi no, wmv no, vob no, etc.) I do not think I have a single "movie" file that iMovie is compatible with.

    Is there some special camera that is needed to record movies that iMovie will recognize?

    I guess I need to get a third party program again to have my files work with my new MacBook Pro.
  • 7. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (17,630 points)
    I wonder why apple didn't just make it so that imovie could read those files. If windows movie maker can than it must be possible to do. Wouldn't they have anticipated that someone might take video on a hand held camera and then want to edit that video in some way? Is there some reason or advantage of them having made it this way instead of not just making the program do everything that someone might want to do?



    There is a problem regarding the difference in technologies. QT Is Apple's proprietary multimedia software system. It is modeled on magnetic film strips and/or video tape which employ separate audio and video heads/tracks for playback. MPEG-1 files, on the other hand, contain a single stream of data which is composed of interspersed blocks of audio and video data. Thus, the different technologies require different "engines" to work properly. Since Apple only supports its own technology base as it applies to rigid standards, anything outside this scope is not supported. For instance, QT is very particular when it comes to files being properly terminated and proper time coded while muxed formats like MPEG-1, MPEG-2, VOB, Flash, etc. files are notorious for having broken time codes since these files rely on the physical interspersing of data blocks. Windows files are also very rely on FourCC codes/extension for proper playback while QT files frequently rely on the specific data instead for proper playback. In addition, files like MPEG-2 are edited at the GOP (group of pictures) level which normally consist of a repeated cycle of I-, P-, and B-frame types (e.g., IBBPBBPBBPBBPBB) while QT files are edited at the individual frame level. And so on and so forth. While some applications may contain "hybrid" engines to handle multiple technologies, Apple has typically supported its own technologies. They are, for instance, not in the habit of supporting codecs contained in the AVI file container which Microsoft dropped a decade ago but which is still in such common use by Windows users that it has not been allowed to die a dignified death. In short, Apple is looking ahead to the new codecs which are highly scalable and very versatile in terms of data rates/file size efficiency which can handle anything from e-mail clips up to SD content and beyond to full HD encodings. While an MPEG-1 VCD may offer compatibility with a wide range of older devices it does not offer the same quality to storage capacity ratio offered by H.264/AAC encoded files.



    how did you quote just specific parts and make them blue.



    I use the Level 4 mini text editor.



    Are you typing in your own html codes or something?



    Sometimes. For instance, the new forms are not as HTML "quote" or "line feed" friendly as the old forum. So I no longer indent the blue quoted text and use the "

    " (paragraph) to add additional line spacing.



  • 8. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (17,630 points)
    s there a list of what formats iMovie is compatible with and what formats it can not handle (mpg no, mpg4 no, avi no, wmv no, vob no, etc.)



    DV, AIC, M-JPEG, Photo-JPEG, MPEG-4, and H.264 files are iMovie '08 compatible. With regard to MPEG-4, if you are using proprietary codecs (e.g., Microsoft, 3ivX, etc.) have incompatible audio (e.g., DVI ADPCM), or extraneous tracks (like "Tween" tracks), then they would not be compatible with iMovie '08. As we keep reminding people here, it is what is inside the file container that determines what is and what is not compatible with iMovie '08. For some reason many people seem to think that a movie is a movie is a movie and probably believe a beta tape should be able to be played on a VHS tape machine.



    Is there some special camera that is needed to record movies that iMovie will recognize?



    Only if you don't want to manually convert the files. For instance, some of Casio digital cameras use M-JPEG/DVI ADPCM AVI content which is not compatible with iMovie '08 because of the adaptive PCM audio. However, some of their cameras also use M-JPEG/Unsigned Integer compressed content which is compatible with iMovie '08 in its original AVI container.



    I guess I need to get a third party program again to have my files work with my new MacBook Pro.



    iMovie HD or GaragBand will convert most files (excluding "muxed" compression formats) that will play in QT or for which you have the proper QT decoder component installed. For muxed files you can use any MPEG-base, third-party converted like iSquint (free), MPEG Streamclip (free but requires $20 MPEG-2 component for MPEG-2 content), FFmpegX (donation-ware), Visual Hub (pay-ware), etc.



  • 9. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    jr378 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    As a general uwer and not a programmer or "movie" editor I was under the belief, via Apple's marketing and promotion of iMovie, that iMovie could be used as a catalog or movie album to access, view, and upload to your Mac account on the net your movies much the same way the iPhoto handles your photos.

    I am not looking for iMovie to be able to edit, manipulate, etc. all the movies I have in my system. As it stand now a user can not use iMovie to do the things that Apple shows on their site in reference to having a place to organize your existing movies and being able to easily upload them to the net for viewing by friends.

    These non compatible to iMovie file formats can be viewed by Apple products and people on the net, they just can not be imported into iMovie so that a user can do the things Apple shows and promotes when they show how iMovie works and the benefits iMovie has to the user.

    Much of the "lingo" being thrown about sound neat but has little meaning to the average computer user trying to figure out why iMovie does not function like iPhoto or like the Apple web site make a prospective user believe it will function.

    It is very frustrating.
  • 10. New User Questions
    kmaznic Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    For all those who are new users, use Apple Support that you are entitled to for 3 years. They have been most helpful, troubleshooting, walking you through steps, etc. This forum is great; however, if you are as frustrated as I was, call them. There have been a few things, however, that this forum was of more assistance, but use the Support if you can't get your answer here.
  • 11. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    rainsong23 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I downloaded the isquint application, but not sure if I am using it the right way, I tried to convert the file. It told me the conversion was complete but now I can't close iSquint, the close tab is just grey and not responding. This is the second time this happened, I forced quit the first time. Am I missing something?

    Also, the only two options seem to be to make ipod files or tv files, why can't i see more choices? Jon gave me advice to "press the button that tells the application to convert all of the dropped files to either MPEG-4/AAC or H.264/AAC files either of which can be imported and edited by iMovie '08'but like I said all I see is options for ipod or tv conversion. Where do I find the option to select the exact type of conversion type I want? Is there more than one version of iSquint?
  • 12. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    Brandon Howard1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    i think VisualHub is a must buy if your doing any kind of work with video. It's by the same people as iSquint. Just convert your mpeg video into mpeg4 and then you can import it. Also Visualhub will be signifigantly faster than iSquint. I didn't read the entire feed so someone might of already suggested this :P oh! and H.264 will give you better sizes and maybe even better lookin video
  • 13. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    rainsong23 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So does that mean it is not possible with isquint? The stuff I'm doing at this point with video is not professional stuff. However if Visual Hub is not expensive and can make my life easier I may consider buying it.
  • 14. Re: Why won't my mpeg import into imovie?
    Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (17,630 points)
    So does that mean it is not possible with isquint? The stuff I'm doing at this point with video is not professional stuff.



    iSquint (free) will convert MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 without having to purchase the QT MPEG-2 Playback component ($20) but limits you output to MPEG-4/AAC or H.264/AAC. Visual Hub offers DV, as well as, Windows formats (AVI, WMV, and Flash which dod not work in iMovie '08). I prefer MPEG Streamclip (free) which will do MPEG-1 but requires the QT MPEG-2 component for MPEG-2 and VOB conversions. The choice is up to you and really depends on what additional compression formats you may need for your various work flows and distribution of your finished product.



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