How do I import my Flip video movies into iMovie?
I recently bought a Flip Video camera. After shooting some videos, I wanted to import them into iMovie. This is what I found out:
What doesn’t work:
- Use the “import from camera” command.
Although iMovie does recognise the Flip camera and automatically pops up the import from camera window on startup (with the camera already plugged in to the USB port), when I try to import a video I get an “Error while importing” message, and nothing is imported.
What does work:
- Use iPhoto to import the videos, and then use these in iMovie (my favorite).
First I use iPhoto to import the videos from the camera. After this, quit iPhoto (this seems to be important to prevent errors, don’t ask why…) After that start up iMovie. It tells me it needs to generate miniatures for all the videos in my iPhoto library. This can take quite some time, depending on how many videos you have imported. After this is done, I can use my movies in iMovie by selecting them in the “iPhoto-videos” in the Events library.
Pros: The iPhoto library is intergrated into iMovie, and has preview filmstrips which allow you to “preview-scroll” through the movie.
Cons: There will probably be duplicate copies of the imported movies in both the iPhoto and iMovie library. This takes up twice as much disk-space.
And iPhoto doesn’t show a preview of the videos you import. It does allow you to skip already imported videos.
- Select “Import movies…” from the iMovie File menu.
Make sure you Flip camera is plugged in to your computer. Now navigate to FLIPVIDEO > DCIM > 100VIDEO. The “100VIDEO” folder is the folder where all your movies are. Select the ones you want to import and import them.
Pros: The videos are on your hard-disk only once.
Cons: The videos have names like “VID00001.MP4″. Not very descriptive… And there is no preview either so you have no indication of what you are importing.
- Use the FlipShare program that comes with the Flip camera.
In FlipShare, select one or more videos to import. Then press the “Save to computer” icon at the bottom of the screen. The videos are now saved to your computer. Now select “Import movies…” from the iMovie File menu. Navigate you home folder and then to Movies > FlipShare Data > Videos. The “Videos” folder is the folder where all your movies imported with FlipShare are. Select the ones you want to import in iMovie and import them.
Pros: FlipShare shows nice previews before importing videos.
Cons: When importing movies into iMovie from the FlipShare video directory, there are no previews and the videos have names like “VID00001.MP4″ again…
(Although this text is in English, I am Dutch, and so is my copy of iMovie. So I hope I translated all command- and menu-names correctly)