Apple’s iMovie is part of the iLife suite of software products that comes free with every Mac. The iLife apps are designed to enhance users digital lives by making playing and working with digital media easy for all users. As it’s name suggests, iMovie is about about video editing.
iMovie can import video from a wide variety of sources. You can bring video in from your digital camera over a USB or Firewire cable, import it through your Mac’s built in camera or even pull it in from a DVD that’s been converted into a .mov file. In this iMovie tutorial you learn several ways to bring video into iMovie.
Hardware & Software Required
- Macintosh Computer
- iMovie 7.1.4 or later
- Video Camera with USB or Firewire connection
- USB or Firewire cable
Step 1: Launch iMovie. From the the File Menu choose New Project and specify a name for the project you plan to create.
Step 2: Connect your digital video camera to your Mac using either a Firewire or USB cable. Note, not every video camera can connect to a computer. When you purchase a video camera, make absolutely sure that it has a USB or Firewire connection. A Firewire connection is substantially faster than a USB connection, so that’s something to look for in video cameras you plan to purchase. You will usually have to purchase a cable to connect your computer to your video camera. Make sure that the cable you select has the right plugs to fit both the camera and the computer.
Step 3: Make sure the video camera is on. Confirm that the tape or mini-DVD in the camera has the video you want to import.
Step 4: If iMovie is open and the video camera is on and plugged into the computer, iMovie will automatically open the Capture window. If this does not appear to happen, or if you accidently close the Capture window after it opens, click the Camera icon.
Step 5: Click the Capture button in the Capture window. This will capture the data on the tape or DVD in the video camera. Note, you can capture video directly into iMovie from your Mac’s built in I-Sight camera. Do this when you want to record, edit and upload a video blog all from within iMovie.
Step 6. Specify the name of the Event at which the video was captured, then click OK. This will store the captured data into a folder with that name. Click Stop to stop the capture when you have the video you need. Click Done to exit the capture window.
Step 7: To import previously created .mov files into your iMovie project, right-click in the Event Library area and choose Import Movies. Select the movie you want to import. Specify a new Event name if desired. The imported video will now be available for you to edit.
Tip: To import data from an existing DVD, first download and use a free application like HandBrake to turn the DVD into a .mov file.