Previous 1 2 3 Next 32 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2013 9:54 AM by jbpete87
Atrophius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
When I was using iMovie '09, I made a habit of not optimizing (transcoding) events on import so that I could import a ton of stuff fast, take what I need and put together the final movie, and then do the transcoding during the rendering phase. This is absolutely essential for importing large events that I only want to use several clips out of, because it keeps me from wasting a ton of time upfront (what's the use of transcoding 4 hours worth of raw video for a 10 minute final render?) for all of my projects.

Now, with iMovie '11, even when I don't check the box for optimizing on import, it seems to do it anyway. What's going on here? Is there anything I can do about it, or will I just need to go back to iMovie '09?

Intel Macbook Pro 3rd Generation, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (111,850 points)
    Exactly what media and format specification are you talking about? Maybe you can ingest more selectively, rather than the whole 10 hours.
  • Atrophius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    As far as I know, they're pretty standard H.264 MP4s. Ingesting more selectively requires a lot of opening in QuickTime, trimming out the part I want, save as, reopen, new trim, save as, reopen, new trim, save as, etc. I'd prefer to just import fast, select what I need from the event viewer, and just trash the rest when I'm done.

    My complaint is that this method worked fantastically in iMovie '09 and it's now taking 2 hours on my Macbook to import less than 10 minutes worth of video with iMovie '11. Generally speaking, except for this one massive flaw, the software feels much better and faster. I want to like it, but waiting 2 hours for it to transcode 10 minutes of video is a little over the top. I don't mind that kind of wait while it's rendering, because that's the end result. I need to import several, more than 10 minute clips and that dramatically increases the total time it takes to put together a project.
  • ttaps Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Did you ever find a solution to this problem? For me this is a HUGE issue! I import around 1hr at a time, so it turned a 1 to 2 hr process into somewhere around 10! Why have the optimize checkbox IF IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING!
  • iphonejunky Level 3 Level 3 (525 points)
    First off, it would be nice to know exactly what kind of files we are dealing with.
    What is the Make / Model / Record setting / Video dimension / Frame Rate, from the device that generated the source video?

    Second, what kind of import are you guys doing? Camera Import or File Import?

    This may help others sort out your issue.
  • Atrophius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Doing a File Import.

    If it helps, here's a smaller example file:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/984396/201011_11_2_2448.MP4

    H.264/AAC, 720p (1280x720), 60 FPS, a little under 13 Mbps bitrate. iMovie '09 could import and work with these files without transcoding ahead of time without skipping a beat. iMovie '11 forces me to "optimize" these videos every time they're imported.
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having exactly the same problem here - there appears to be no way to import a movie into iMovie 11 without it spending HOURS optimizing them. This is really untenable - iMovie 09 didn't do this! Am I missing a setting somewhere, or is this a bug?
  • Steve Mullen Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    I suspect I'm knows it can't work with 60p video--which likely is really only 30p--and decides to convert to 30p.

    You never say what it is being converted to. If AIC, then apple has decided, at least for 60p, to not directly edit h.264! If this is also true for 30p h.264 it will be a killer for those who shoot long clips! The virtue of h.264 is that iMovie left it alone. I once wrote a program to cut long clips into tiny clips. Looks like I may need to see if it still runs.

    When people say "me too" it would be helpful since you want help, to tell us your camera and what you are shooting.
  • Daniel Slagle Level 7 Level 7 (22,415 points)
    What the heck encoded this? Look at the format.

    Gameplay FPS on Twitpic

    I would either use iMovie 9 or use MPEG Streamclip to cut the framerate down to 30 and correct the encoding.
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Using iMovie '11, I'm having what appears to be the same problem when importing H.264-encoded .mp4 files created by Handbrake using the latest "Normal" profile. The movies are forced through this many-hours-long optimization process when I import them. It is transcoding the .mp4s to .mov files, and the .mov files are MUCH larger than the corresponding .mp4 files - for example, a 2.8GB .mp4 is expanded to a 14.46GB .mov file. The .mp4 files use H.264, and the .mov files created by iMovie use the "Apple Intermediate Codec".

    The movies in question are home videos originally shot on VHS; then pulled into iMovie 07 (years ago) via a DV cam and burned to a video DVD via iDVD 07; then ripped from DVD and converted to .mp4 by Handbrake last week.

    This is very frustrating - I was planning to make a short video for my Dad's birthday this week, so I upgraded to the latest iLife before starting... and now 4 days later I'm still waiting for it to SLOWLY transcode them all just so that I can cut a few snippets out of each to use in my Dad's birthday video. Is there any way to speed this up?! Or do I need to revert to iMovie '09? WHY is iMovie '11 forcing this - I thought that iMovie could edit H.264 natively.

    Message was edited by: Nate Lee
  • Daniel Slagle Level 7 Level 7 (22,415 points)
    Why not just use MPEGstream clip to batch convert the "originals" to AIC and be done with it?
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Because I didn't know about MPEG Streamclip until you mentioned it? I'll check it out, thanks.

    I'd still really like to know why iMovie '11 is forcing this transcoding, and how to avoid it - it should be unnecessary to manually convert to an intermediate format just to pull out a few clips.
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (111,850 points)
    H.264 is a delivery codec. It is a interframe codec not designed for production. Apple editing applications are QuickTime based and work best with I-frame (intraframe) codecs like AIC.
  • Daniel Slagle Level 7 Level 7 (22,415 points)
    My guess is it gets too slow if you leave it in it's compressed format. Take a transition for instance. iMovie would have to decode both ends of the clips. Write the I/O out somewhere. Apply the transition. then re-encode it. All the will you are going, "why is iMovie taking so long"

    Final Cut has a sweet feature that lets you bring in the video as a "rough cut" then when you are done with your project you do the actual import. Then.. You render the real project and walk away.
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the explanation, Tom!
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