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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects Apps
When your final masterpiece has been completed in iMovie and you wish to compress it for posting, do not use iMovie to do this, use QuickTime Pro instead. For some reason, QuickTime Pro does a much better compression job. Do this by exporting your final-edit movie using the Custom selection, and choose the DV Stream codec. This is good for two reasons. First, it exports quickly because it is the native format of iMovie. Second, it is a great way to back up your movie in case your iMovie file becomes corrupt.

Now take this new DV Stream movie and open it in Quicktime Pro, export and choose your codec and size output.

[robg adds: I can't confirm this one at the moment -- if anyone has any comments regarding why (or even if!) this works, please post them...]
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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: Robert Hancock on Dec 27, '03 06:15:00PM

I must be thick because I don't understand these instructions at all. In my version of iMovie (3.0.3), there is no Custom selection for exporting the iMove file and neither is there a DV Stream codec. There is an output to iDVD export option but that requires iDVD 3.0. The only three export options are To Camera, To QuickTime and to iDVD so where is the Custom selection and the DV Stream codec?



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: navratil on Dec 27, '03 06:39:40PM

I haven't tried the QTPro half of the equation (don't have Pro, don't want to spend $30 right now), but I'm pretty sure I can answer your question:

File->Export

Export: To QuickTime
Formats: Expert Settings...

Export: Movie to DV Stream
Use: Default Settings

...and that's all you need. I think.



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: Mitchell on Dec 27, '03 08:30:00PM

There's actually no need to do the first export from iMovie. When you save the iMovie project, a QuickTime movie with the same title is saved alongside the iMovie project file and the Media folder. Open this QuickTime movie file in QuickTime Player Pro and it will export into the format of your choosing. It's also possible to send this QuickTime movie file to ffMpegX or another transcoding utility.



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: kevinv on Dec 27, '03 09:23:35PM

The quicktime movie file saved in the folder with the movie pieces just contains links to the movie pieces needed. So it'll work for this hint, but you can't just e-mail that .mov file to someone and have it work. Also it won't work for a backup like exporting a full quality DV Stream will (actually I export DV Streams of clips to create libraries of clips that I can re-combine into new movies)



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: b-baggins on Dec 29, '03 02:48:21PM

True, but you can do your export, or save as a self-contained movie to eliminate the links. You can also do all the cut, copy, etc. features allowed in pro on this .mov file.

It's a very nice way to make a long movie then export portions of that movie. Select the portion you want to export, choose trim, then make your export. Just make sure you don't save the original movie!



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Render DV from iMovie first - otherwise, sound problems
Authored by: drdarrow on Dec 29, '03 04:24:05PM
--[There's actually no need to do the first export from iMovie. When you save the iMovie project, a QuickTime movie with the same title is saved alongside the iMovie project file and the Media folder]--

My experience has shown me that the .MOV created by iMovie does not retain volume adjustments -- it plays cuts and tracks at full volume, and doesn't play all iMovie tracks. If you want a .mov file that "honors" all your editing and multiple audio tracks, you have to render a Full DV file first.

I have been playng with DV recording of TV shows, etc., using iMovie, my DV Cam's A/V to DV pass-through option, and my VCR acting as a tuner. Later I use iMovie to edit the DV clips on my hard drive, eliminating commericals, etc.

With a simple set of sequential clips, minus commercials, I have been able to successfully make VCDs in Toast, using only the iMovie-saved simple /mov file (no need to render a Full DV file), but found that if I faded in/out, or in any way manipulated levels of audio using the Edit Volume feature in iMovie 3.03, these audio effects were ignored in the VCD-burn in Toast.

I always have success in Toast when I use a rendered DV file instead, made from INSIDE iMovie.

It seems iMovie, Quicktime Player and iDVD3 all "honor" iMovie volume edits and additonal tracks without rendering, but other programs and some Export options do NOT honor such extras.

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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: brycesutherland on Dec 28, '03 12:33:29AM

In addition, this hint is also useful for those unpredictable occassions when iMovie's export function suddenly quits in the middle of a compression. This was a nasty bug for some people in iMovie 2 (including me) and I haven't trusted iMovie 3 not to have the same issue.



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: meyersde on Dec 28, '03 03:17:51PM

I can definitely verify this for Panther. I've compressed about 100 movies using the following compression schemes:

iMovie: Custom, 300x400, 15fps, Motion JPEG-A codec.
then
QTPro: MP4 Export, 300x400, 15fps

I get a 12GB movie usually down to 800MB with very little loss of video quality, apart from the fps, but the movies are still very watchable.



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: Tom Robinson on Dec 29, '03 02:30:17AM

I did an MPEG-4 export from iMovie, then opened the project's .mov file in QuickTime and did the export from there--the resulting files appear identical in quality and are almost identical in size (within a few bytes).

Cheers



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: schneb on Dec 29, '03 06:16:39PM

I believe the MPEG-4 side of things will result in the same size/quality. At the time, I was using Sorensen. However, some of the added benefits such as a safety backup, are worthy of exploration of the technique. But if you do not own QTPro, it's nice to have iMovie's ability to create a custom output with MPEG-4. It's all good.



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: derrickbass on Dec 29, '03 05:53:29PM

I'd still like to know whether anyone can confirm that the quality is higher. I can't figure out any reason why exporting with QT Pro would be any better than exporting with iMovie. They both simply use the QT facilities provided by the OS. The only difference is that with the method listed in the hint you export to DV first, but I can't see any reason why that would make a difference either, except perhaps some small differences in the audio (the video is already in DV format, since it is, as the hint mentions, iMovie's native format).



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Use QuickTime Pro to compress iMovie projects
Authored by: huzzam on Dec 29, '03 11:24:48PM

The hint wasn't saying the quality was better (I think), but that the resulting file is smaller.



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QT Pro makes smaller movies
Authored by: frankie1969 on Dec 30, '03 03:46:08PM

I will also confirm that QT Pro does significantly better compression (or equivalently, better quality in the same file size) than saving a mov/mp4/etc from within iMovie.

Annoying that QT's capabilities don't pass through to the iApps transparently, but I suspect Apple did this to prod sales of FCX / FCP.



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QT Pro makes smaller movies
Authored by: friedmaj on Dec 31, '03 07:24:45AM

I'd like to see examples of this, as I have been unable to see any difference between mp4 compression in iMovie vs. QTPro, as judged by file size or quality.



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