Previous 1 2 3 Next 32 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2013 9:54 AM by jbpete87 Go to original post
  • Nate Lee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks very much for the explanation and suggestion, Daniel. I am now batch converting to AIC using MPEG Streamclip (neat app, didn't know about it until you pointed me to it). Will keep all of this in mind in the future! It sure would be nice if Apple would port the import-at-render-time feature from FinalCut Pro, but I know I'm dreaming.
  • Atrophius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Is MPEGstream clip any faster than letting iMovie do the conversion itself? The problem is the time it takes to do the conversion, not necessarily the conversion itself.
  • Alan Cook2 Level 3 Level 3 (885 points)
    The OP stated:

    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.

    Has anyone figured out why iMovie 11 is doing this, whereas iM 09 didn't?
  • kfoggy1 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Ditto to Alan's question. I am noticing the same thing. Anyone?
  • Daniel Slagle Level 7 Level 7 (22,415 points)
    Because iMovie will no longer read H.264 files without converting them to AIC. PLEASE be sure to send your findings and shortcomings to Apple it is the only way to get things noticed and hopefully fixed http://www.apple.com/feedback/imovie.html

    --
    Daniel C. Slagle
    Keeper of the
    "Unofficial" iMovie FAQ
    I may receive some form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from my recommendation or link
  • fero7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm using iMovie. I had used final cut for a film and exported it using quicktime at a fairly high data rate. Ended up with a very good quality film. Now I've lost use of final cut and had some editing to do and had to use iMovie. I'm using clips from the original and exporting using Apples export option 720p HD. The quality is very good and nearly impossible to differentiate from 1080p on a computer screen. My use is primarily sharing films online, facebook, vimeo etc. The quality is still more than sufficient for Apple TV on a large television screen. The other option is to export using quicktime at 1080p with a 16,200 data rate. I'm not sure what use optimizing the movie is. If someone can explain that?

    Tom, what do you mean h.264 is not designed for production? Production of what exactly? What codec is standard? Assuming one is not going to transfer to back to film.
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (111,860 points)
    H.264 is a interframe compression codec. It's used in acquisition and in delivery. Because compression is spread across multiple frames it's not suitable for production. Either a system converts the media to an intraframe compression, where every frame is encoded separately and can be edited with precision, or the system does this on the fly. No Apple applications do it on the fly. It is simply too great an expenditure of processor resources and makes the editing application a dog, i.e. see Premiere Pro struggling to edit this media.
  • andrespibr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Someone has found any good workaround for this issue? I'm trying to import mp4 files, NTSC 30fps, 720x480, from some vhs tapes i intend to write do dvds. So first i'm capture the video to mpeg2 because the software i use cant do it to mp4 directly. Then I convert mpeg2-mp4 video using handbrake. When I import the video to imovie it optimizes it, even if the optimize video box is unchecked.

    Thanks,

    Andre.
  • BehindTheLight Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yeah, this is nuts. I am trying to import a 10 minute clip and it takes 60 minutes. Really, really frustrating because it takes so long to do anything.
  • thawn1 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I found a workaround using ffmpeg to copy the video from the camera into a mov container this is quick since the video and audio streams are just copied into a new container format. Unlike mp4 or avi, the mov is then accepted by iMovie 11 for import without recode.

    Here is how I did it:

    1. Download Miro video converter and install it into you applications folder.
    2. open a terminal and type (withour the quotes): "cd /Applications/Miro\ Video\ Converter.app/Contents/Resources"
    3. type (without the double quotes but with the single quotes. tip: you can get the path of your source video by selecting it in the finder, pressing cmd c and then cmd v in the terminal): "./ffmpeg -i '/Path to your source video' -strict experimental -f mov -vcodec copy -acodec copy '/Path to your target video.mov'"
    4. open iMovie, select import->movie, choose the new .mov file and make sure the optimize checkbox is turned off. Voila you have a small file in your library without long waits during import but with slower processing by iMovie.
    5. In principle this can be easily written into a bash script that does batch conversion.

     

    one disadvantage is that the new files have the date when you did the conversion and not the date when the original clip was taken. this can be worked around using touch.

    in a terminal type (again without double but with single quotes): "touch -r '/Path to your source video'  '/Path to your target video.mov'"

    enjoy

  • DaKaZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had been using ffmpeg to convert my recorders 1080p60 content to 720p60 for use in iMovie 09.  It worked very well, but now, like most others, I am pretty upset that I upgraded to iMovie 11 and it now takes EXPONETIALLY longer to import videos.  I did not mind the export / encode delay, and I did not mind the "dogishly slow" performance due to working with the content in h.264 long gop.  Why must iMovie 11 do this???  Unlike thawn1, my convert (with or without scaling) results in insanely long iMovie 11 imports.  I find this complete unacceptable.  Common Apple, don't DOWNGRADE the features in a new release!

  • mapar70 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Another problem that I'm having that led me to find this forum: there's no way to cancel the optimizing once it has started. I made the mistake of importing three mp4 files at once, and now I can't stop it (short of killing the process in activity monitor, which i don't want to do for fear of corrupting the files).

     

    EDIT

    Aaaauuuugggghhh! Now it's generating thumbnails. Make it stop!

  • nvidia2008 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi all, not sure if it helps but my 2 cents is the generating thumbnails bit is not that horrible, just let it run. Also, try without using MPEG Streamclip. Import full size into iMovie '11 then right click the clips and then select "Optimize Video (Full)". I was going crazy wondering why my iPhone 4S 1080p video was stuttering despite having a 7200rpm drive.

     

    Simple fix, right click, Optimize Video. Let it do it's thing with Optimize and Thumbnails, it will make editing much smoother and easier, from what I find.

     

    On my Core 2 Duo 2.4ghz MacBook Pro mid-2010 13" the optimisation is around realtime, ie. 2 minutes to optimise a 2 minute clip.

     

    On the 2011 Core i5 and Core i7s it should be half of that, so, let it do its thing.

     

    Optimize as in Optimize Video (Full) option.

  • nvidia2008 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    DaKaZ wrote:

     

    I had been using ffmpeg to convert my recorders 1080p60 content to 720p60 for use in iMovie 09.  It worked very well, but now, like most others, I am pretty upset that I upgraded to iMovie 11 and it now takes EXPONETIALLY longer to import videos.  I did not mind the export / encode delay, and I did not mind the "dogishly slow" performance due to working with the content in h.264 long gop.  Why must iMovie 11 do this???  Unlike thawn1, my convert (with or without scaling) results in insanely long iMovie 11 imports.  I find this complete unacceptable.  Common Apple, don't DOWNGRADE the features in a new release!

     

    Try to Import directly to iMovie '11 as full size (don't transcode with anything else), then in iMovie '11 right click and Optimize (Full Size) clips. I'm now using iPhone 4S 1080p video and the Optimize in iMovie '11 makes things silky smooth in one click (just have to wait for the Optimization, it can be anywhere from 30fps to 100+fps to Optimize depending on your Mac)

     

    Optimize as in Optimize Video (Full Size) option.

  • AJ 2010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just wanted to say thanks for the suggestion about using MPEG Streamclip to convert to Apple Intermediate Codec prior to importing to iMovie. It's so, so much faster than trying to import an MP4 file straight to iMovie and waiting for it to go through the painfully long optimization process.

     

    Drop your file onto the middle of the MPEG Streamclip window and then select the File menu and then Export to Quicktime. Set the compression type to Apple Intermediate Codec, leave the quality at 50% and sound at uncompressed, stereo, auto. Select the frame size if needed. If the source was interlaced, check the box next to Interlaced Scaling. If the source was originally 720p then you can uncheck this box. That should be it. Click Make Movie and then import the file it makes to iMovie.