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What codecs WILL iMovie play?

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Stephen Vidano
What codecs WILL iMovie play?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 6:32:32 am

I'm getting ready to ship off a bunch of QuickTime movies to someone in California to suck into iMovie.

I have Final Cut Pro. They do not.

The first time I sent my hard drive full of movies they could not view half of the movies.

I know that part of the problem is that when I was exporting some of the movies (not ALL of the movies) I did a FILE - EXPORT - QUICKTIME MOVIE. From what I understand, only people with Final Cut Pro can view these types of movies that are exported "natively" - directly out of FCP (with out using compressor or QuickTime conversion).

I also know that another issue with my friend viewing the files is that some of my QuickTime movies are in codecs that iMovie just can't view.

Question #1: Could someone please tell me a safe, solid codec to export my movies with so that when my drive arrives my friend will be able to suck them into iMovie quickly and easily?

As I've done some reading I'm getting the picture that ProRes doesn't work. HDV doesn't work. DVCPRO HD doesn't work. And more.

So what DOES work in HD for iMovie? And what DOES work in SD for iMovie?

Is H264 the only sure bet here?

Question #2: (This may be a little confusing. Sorry.) When a person exports a movie from FCP and uses the method of clicking FILE - EXPORT - QUICK TIME MOVIE, the movie that is exported seems to be a NATIVE Final Cut Pro QuickTime movie. With that said...is there any easy way (by only looking at the "Information Inspector Window") to see if a QuickTime movie is a native FCP movie...or just a QT movie?

In the past when you double clicked on movies that were exported straight out of FCP they would re-open up in FCP...not QuickTime software.

I'm trying to find a quick and easy way to distinguish between the two by just looking at them on my hard drive.

The reason I'm asking is that I need to make sure I can Identify the QuickTime movies that are native FCP and re-compress them so that my friend can view them on his non-FCP mac.

Anyone have any info on this issue?

Thanks in advance.






Stephen Vidano
TuneSociety.com
"Set Your Music Free"


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Rafael Amador
Re: What codecs WILL iMovie play?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 8:19:09 am

[Stephen Vidano] "Question #2: (This may be a little confusing. Sorry.) When a person exports a movie from FCP and uses the method of clicking FILE - EXPORT - QUICK TIME MOVIE, the movie that is exported seems to be a NATIVE Final Cut Pro QuickTime movie. With that said...is there any easy way (by only looking at the "Information Inspector Window") to see if a QuickTime movie is a native FCP movie...or just a QT movie?

In the past when you double clicked on movies that were exported straight out of FCP they would re-open up in FCP...not QuickTime software.

I'm trying to find a quick and easy way to distinguish between the two by just looking at them on my hard drive. "

The only difference is that one is set to open with Fc and the other with QT.
You can change it your self, just Com-I and change "Open with..".
About the formats supported by iMovie, in SD works with "DV Sequence" files (.dv) that supports DV and DV50. In HD i think that iMovie transcode everything to Appel Intermediate Codec.
All this should be in the iMovie manual.
Cheers,
Rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Stephen Vidano
Re: What codecs WILL iMovie play?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 4:36:45 pm

Yeah. Checked the iMovie manual and it has zero information on this.

But based on all the responses to this post I'm getting the picture that my movies need to be in DV standard def to be sure that my friend can play them.

Thanks.

Stephen


Stephen Vidano
TuneSociety.com
"Set Your Music Free"


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walter biscardi
Re: What codecs WILL iMovie play?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 9:46:33 am

[Stephen Vidano] "So what DOES work in HD for iMovie? And what DOES work in SD for iMovie?
"


Ask the folks who have iMovie to go into the Help menu and search Codec. That will tell you for sure. H.264 is a big one for them as is the DV codec. Other than that, I'm not sure as it is very limited in codec support.


[Stephen Vidano] "When a person exports a movie from FCP and uses the method of clicking FILE - EXPORT - QUICK TIME MOVIE, the movie that is exported seems to be a NATIVE Final Cut Pro QuickTime movie"

No, it's not a native Final Cut Pro movie. It's a Quicktime file created with the exact same parameters as the timeline or the clip being exported. It will open in Quicktime Player or FCP provided that the codec exists on the machine.

If the file was created in Final Cut Pro, then the file is associated with FCP and if you simply double click it it will open in FCP. But if you right click it you can choose to open it in QT Player. Similarly, if you send the file to anyone else who does not have FCP, but DOES have the proper codec on their machine, they can play the file in QT Player as well.

You do not need FCP to play any quicktime file created in FCP.



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Stephen Vidano
Re: What codecs WILL iMovie play?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 2:18:34 pm

Rafael, Walter, Tom - Thanks so much for your replies.

What you are saying definitely makes sense.

So, am I to deduct that if someone with iMovie downloads the correct ProRes codec at the sight below then they will be able to view my ProRes QT movies in iMovie as well? Or is it just QuickTime that will play them?

http://support.apple.com/downloads/Apple_ProRes_QuickTime_Decoder_1_0_for_M...

I don't know why I didn't check the iMovie manual online. I'll read it to see if there are any other codecs it supports.

Thanks for all your replies.

Stephen


Stephen Vidano
TuneSociety.com
"Set Your Music Free"


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Rafael Amador
Re: What codecs WILL iMovie play?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 2:53:56 pm

I guess that whatever thing that QT can read iMovie will be able to import it to one of his native formats.
If you have QT Pro I guess that you will have more import options.
I guess you will need FC to access certain codecs.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Tom Wolsky
Re: What codecs WILL iMovie play?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 10:55:25 am

It works in DV for standard def and the Apple Intermediate Codec for HD.

2. FCP exports QuickTime with FCP as the creator type. There is no way to tell them apart. A machine that does not have FCP on it will open the file in QuickTime. A machine that is using 10.6 will open the file in QuickTime and ignore the creator type.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP6," "Basic Training for FCS2" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Author: "Final Cut Pro 5 Editing Essentials" and "Final Cut Express 4 Editing Workshop"


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Zane Barker
Re: What codecs WILL iMovie play?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 3:54:26 pm

The 2 codecs that I believe iMovie uses when capturing are DV for standard def and Apple Intermediate Codec for HD.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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