How to Import Video to iMovie

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The first thing to do is to choose your iMovie HD import setting - large or full-size. Full-size is the original format of your footage, or you can have iMovie recompress your footage to 960x540.

Apple recommends recompression, as it makes for much smaller file sizes and smoother playback. The difference will be negligible if you're sharing the video online, but the resolution will be lower.

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Import Video to iMovie From Your Computer

You have several choices when you import video to iMovie directly from your computer. First, you can choose which hard drive to save it to if you more than one attached to your computer.​

  • iMovie Events: Help you organize the footage that you import. You can choose to save your imported files to an existing Event or create a new Event.
  • Optimize Video: Which is available for HD footage, compresses files for faster playback and easier storage.

Lastly, you can select to move or copy the files you're importing to iMovie.

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Record Video to iMovie With Your Webcam

Record from Webcam makes it simple to import video to iMovie directly from your webcam. Access it through the camera icon in the center left of the screen or through ​File>Import from Camera.

Before import, you need to decide where to save the new file, and which event to file it in. Also, you can have iMovie analyze your new video clip for recognizable faces, and stabilize it to remove any camera shakiness.

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Import Video to iMovie From Your Video Camera

If you have video footage on a tape or camcorder hard drive, you can easily import it into iMovie. Connect your video camera to your computer, and turn it on in the VCR mode. Select Import From Camera, and then select your camera from the drop-down menu in the window that opens.