3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 4, 2008 12:51 PM by F. Carl McIvor1
thriftone Level 1 (0 points)
I've read a lot of forum questions about VHS to iMovie conversion, but haven't seen a clear answer to my question.

I want to transfer a VHS home movie to iMovie to edit. Since I don't have a camcorder, I want to contract a video service to make an analog to digital conversion. If he converts the VHS to a QT format (say mpeg-4) and makes a data file disk, can I just download the disk to my hard drive and import into iMovie? Is it that simple? A better way or format?

Also, is there a way to block the audio from the final product or is that "baked" in?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Ziatron Level 4 (3,830 points)
    You don't need a video service. It is easy to do yourself.

    To get your VHS video into iMovie, look at the Canopus ADVC300. Audio and Video go in, FireWire comes out. It also comes with a nice Macintosh application that works flawlessly with iMovie 06 and iDVD 08 (not sure about iMovie 08).

    The program that comes with the ADVC300 has some nice filters that can improve video and audio of the source material. The ADVC300 will take Audio and Video from any source and convert it to FireWire (iMovie will treat it like a camera).


    There is also the ADVC110 less money but not as good.


    If you don't want some of the audio, just unplug the audio cables or set the audio to zero in iMovie 06.

    iMovie 06 is a free download to iLife 08 owners. (THEY WANT YOU TO HAVE IT!)


    The differences between iMovie 06 and iMovie 08? I have found the below link to be helpful.

  • thriftone Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the advice, but the video service is a potential $25 solution versus the Canopus$250-400 solution. I just have one VHS tape to convert and want to keep down the cost.
  • F. Carl McIvor1 Level 3 (510 points)
    Hi thriftone

    Canopus is the preferreed solution if you are dong a lot of VHS transfer. However, since you are "thrift" conscious, her's a workable solution.

    Contact your local public library to see if they have video cameras for loan. Many do! Alternatively, you can try a local high school or elementary school. Many of them will have an AV department. They may loan the camera or you could take your VHS to them and transfer it there. They'll be delighted to have a novel learning experience to share will students.

    Meanwhile, if you find you end up doing a lot of these transfers, it's be best to buy a camera or a Canopus model of choice. A search on eBay yields quite a few. Stick to Canopus. There are other less expensive models but they don't work as well. Most noticeable with less expensive competitor models, the audio will often drift out of sync.

    If you use a video camera to pass through the VHS and record to tape, make sure the camera's audio is set to 16 bit and not 12. Many cameras default to 12 bit audio. At 12 bits your audio will drift out of sync.

    Let us know how you make out.


    I am not affiliated with Canopus and make no money from my suggestion.