12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 26, 2014 5:46 AM by Richard Green2
Richard Green2 Level 1 (60 points)

I still use iMovie 6 for some projects. One advantage (for me) is when I want to share a project, there is an "expert settings" choice where I can pick the settings that I need. I also have Final Cut Pro X 10.0 but that doesn't have an "expert settings" choice. You can pick a pre-made setting like Youtube, Vimeo, DVD, etc. And the other choices are Apple ProRes (several variations), h.264, etc. but I can't make any changes within those choices.


I know that iMovie10 also offers those pre-made Youtube, Vimeo choices, but I wondered if there was an "expert settings" option as in iMovie 6.


What I'm looking to do is downsize some 1920 hd vids to 720 size. I can't do it with FCPX 10.0 and wondered if I could with iMovie 10.


Thank you.


Rich Green

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 (31,915 points)

    you need 3rd party tools.


    For FCPX for sure Compressor (40$) is choice No.1, because you create a 'share plugin', which is avail within FCPX, so, your own creation of settings is avail without launching Compressor.


    iMovie is meant as a consumer toy tool

    So, it offers for convenience just a selection of 'most popular' settings - vice versa: most amateurs would get lost in 'options'... plus, those export options are 'optimized' for Macs hard- and software..


    So, share from within iM in 'high', open that huge file with free Mpeg Streamclip, Export/Encode with any setting you like or need....

  • Richard Green2 Level 1 (60 points)

    Thank you Karstein.


    I considered that Compressor might be a choice.


    This is my problem to solve - I'm shooting some lecture videos for a client. They will be approximately 30 minutes long and the client wants to upload them to Vimeo.


    I did a test on a 30 minute video I have using expert settings - h.264, ACC, 1920x1080 - and that file ended up being 13GB! That's too large for to upload. The Vimeo setting on FCPX is automatic. I'm uncomfortable with that because I have no idea what I'm getting. I like to save a copy to my hard drive first so I can review it - both quality and file size -  and make any needed changes. I can't do that if it automatically uploads it to vimeo.

  • Ben Bloks Level 4 (2,275 points)


    Why don't you give it a shot with iMovie 10. (it's free)

    Just don't use the "convert libraries" at the start-up.


    Import your exported movie into events. You can either export your clip directly or first create a project from the entire clip.


    Here is one I did directly from iMovie10:




    This movie was shot in very low light without any additional light. I shot it in mp4,  with a bitrate of 20 Mbps with a Panasonic DMZ-150. I did some post processing to tune the exposure , enhancements and colour-temparture on some parts.

    It was an experiment to stress the possibilities of as well the camera and iMovie10.


    Another possibility is of course to lower your bitrate on your exported movie (in case you didn't know that already).

    A bitrate around 6.000 - 9.000 kbits/sec. 1280x 720 for 720P and constant framerate is recommended by Vimeo.




  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 (31,915 points)

    Richard Green2 wrote:

    …  This is my problem to solve …

    fully understood - but I'm no Apple employee, this is a user2user board, I can only share my sympathies...


    to squeeze 30min of fullHD in under 500MB (Vimeos limit) is ... dedicated


    and 'special' - again: afaik, all those interface elements are under the mantra of simplicity, covering 80-85%s needs.


    For your personal needs:

    consider to install x264, the 'free' re-engineered version of h264, which offers better results on (ultra)low bitrates...

  • Richard Green2 Level 1 (60 points)



    Took a look at your video. Very Nice!


    Regarding iMovie 10 being free, maybe by you, but for me it's $14.99 (US dollars).


    I'm going to retest my video at a lower setting and see what get.




    Rich Green

  • Ben Bloks Level 4 (2,275 points)

    You're welcome,

    Good to hear you liked the video.

    About being "free". I overlooked the fact that you're still on iMovie 6. It's free if you were to have iMovie 9. .

    Also for iMovie 10 you need Mavericks.


    Do you by change have Quicktime pro 7.  You can do a lot with export and compression settings. (I still use it occasionally).





  • Pieter_from_Ehv Level 1 (45 points)

    iMovie 10 provides 4 predefined export ("Share")  settings, including 720p and 1080p.


    The exports I've done sofar to 720p get a bitrate of around 10 Mbps. A 30 minutes video will take 2.25GB.

    The 1080p exports get a bitrate of around 20 Mbps, so a 30 minutes video will take 4.5GB.Bitrates of course will have some dependency on the content being exported.


    An advantage of iMovie 10 over previous iMovie versions is that it handles interlaced input better; it doesn't throw away half of the lines. Another advantage is that you can now import 50p and 60p material (without .plist trickery). Such material is exported by iMovie 10 as 25p or 30p though.

  • Richard Green2 Level 1 (60 points)

    Ben, no I don't have quicktime pro 7.


    Pieter, thanks for the info. Unfortunately these videos will need to be uploaded to vimeo and the max file size is 500 mb. I still have to figure out something. Compressor is probably the answer as there more adjustable settings.


    Rich Green

  • Ben Bloks Level 4 (2,275 points)



    Perhaps you already realised, your client propably needs to upgrade the Vimeo account from Basic (free) to Plus (5 GB in stead of 500Mb per week ?). It's a yearly cost of $ 69,-.

    As Pieter and Karsten indicate it is not likely to get HD-quality for 30 min below 500 Mb ? Curious though (I don't have 30 min of video to experimemt), DvD (SD quality) kan hold 60 min and takes appr. 4 GB  ?


    On the other hand SD at Vimeo might be sufficient. (I wouldn't prefer but I of course cannot judge the quality requirements). This one is in SD-quality (Though shot in HD)






  • Pieter_from_Ehv Level 1 (45 points)

    Adding to Ben's comment.


    The 500MB is a limitation imposed by iMovie, not by Vimeo.

    When you upload your movie outside iMovie to Vimeo (e.g. via a webbrowser), it can be larger than 500MB.


  • Ben Bloks Level 4 (2,275 points)

    Hello Pieter,

    I don't think thats completely correct, it depends also on your Vimeo account.

    I have a Basic account and that is limited to 500 Mb per week, a Plus account is limted to 5 GB per week  (260 GB per year) and a Pro account to 20 GB a week. (1000 GB per year)

    According to Vimeo's priceplan.


    I wasn't aware though of the iMovie limitation (as I never ran into that and mostly upload outside iMovie).



  • Richard Green2 Level 1 (60 points)

    Ben, Pieter,


    Very much appreciate the info. Yes, I have to ask the client what type of vimeo account they have. The job request just came in on friday (Jan 25th) and didn't have a chance to ask. Had to work the estimate and other job details first to get client approval (which I did).


    There will be multiple videos that I'll have to upload and I'm sure they'll all be over 1 or 2 GBs (or more) each. Not looking forward to uploading such large files, though. It'll take forever. I hope they just want me to give the videos to them and they'll handle it, but I don't know.