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Ask Max: How can I convert DVD scenes to something iMovie compatible?

Asked on 09/22/2009:

Hey Jacob,

I hope you can help me. I've found the new iMovie annoying. The last version was so simple! Dealing with what it is now... I'm an actor and I try to maintain my own acting reel, adding scenes from things I do on TV or film. I usually get them on DVD and need to convert my scenes into either .mpeg4 or .mov in order to import them into iMovie. Handbrake describes itself as .mpeg4 converter, but every time i convert, it comes out as .m4v, which iMovie won't take.

And I missing something? Help!


- Kelly


Handbrake is specialized for converting your DVDs to iPod friendly formats but it should ultimately work for you. When it matures, you may want to try Videomonkey to convey your video files to something iMovie will easily accept. Currently it is iPod focused but has plans to convert to other formats.

For general video converting you should have both VLC and Perian installed on your Mac to make extra video formats usable. Even if you don't need them, both these applications are a must for the modern Mac wanting to work with video.

In Handbrake, make sure the checkbox for "Use iPod/iTunes friendly (.m4v) file extension is for MP4" is unchecked. Then you should be able to export into a MP4 format and it will use the ".mp4" extension on the end. After Handbrake is finished, use the Import/Movies... option from the iMovie File menu. It should import without any issues.

- Jacob

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