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How to Import Video Into iMovie '11 From an iPhone or iPod touch

You can edit your iPhone and iPod Touch Videos using iMovie '11

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There are a number of options for importing video into iMovie '11. You can import video from a tape or tapeless camcorder, some DVD camcorders, or an iPhone or iPod touch, among other possibilities. You can also import a movie file that you've saved to an internal or external hard drive. In addition to video, you can also import photos from some digital still cameras, iPhoto, your hard drive, or another source. In this tip, we'll import video into iMovie '11 from an iPhone or an iPod touch.

If you would like to import video into iMovie '11 from a tape (DV or HDV) camcorder, you'll find instructions in this tip:

How to Import Video Into iMovie '11 From a Tape Camcorder

If you would like to import video into iMovie '11 from a tapeless camcorder, see this tip:

How to Import Video Into iMovie '11 From a Tapeless Camcorder

Import Video From an iPhone or iPod touch

Importing video into iMovie '11 from an iPhone or iPod touch is a simple process. If you've ever imported video from a camera or a USB device, it will also be a familiar process, because it works pretty much the same way.

  1. Turn on your iPhone or iPod touch and connect it to your Mac with the sync cable. (For simplicity's sake, we'll just refer to the iPhone from here on.)

  2. Quit iPhoto, if it opens.

  3. Launch iMovie '11 by double-clicking its icon in the Applications folder, or by clicking its icon in the Dock.

  4. The iMovie Import From window should open automatically. If it doesn't, click the Import button (the camcorder icon) at the left end of the iMovie toolbar. Use the playback controls below the Import window if you want to review the video clips on your iPhone.

  5. Select the Automatic setting in the lower left corner of the Import From window if you want to import all of the clips into iMovie. If you only want to import some of the clips, select the Manual setting, and then select the clips you want to import. Keep space and time in mind when you're selecting video clips. An hour of standard digital video takes up 13 GB of hard drive space; an hour of HD digital video takes up as much as 50 GB of hard drive space. This is a good time to start the editing process by weeding out any video clips that are less than impressive, or that don't at least show some promise. (But if you're on the fence, you can always import everything and delete the less-than-perfect stuff later.) To view a clip, click its thumbnail, and then click the Play button (the right-facing triangle).

  6. When you've made your selections, click the Import All button.

  7. A dialog box will ask where you want to save your video. It will also show you how much free space you have on your Mac (or other target save location), as well as the length of the video you're importing, in hours and minutes.

  8. You can save the video to an existing event (if any) or create a new event. If the video was shot over more than one day, you can save each day as its own event.
  9. Analyze Your Video for Stabilization or People

  10. You also have the option to analyze the video for stabilization, people, or stabilization and people after the import is complete. If you choose to analyze the video for stabilization, iMovie will hide all evidence of your shaky camera work. If you choose to analyze the video for people, iMovie will mark the clips that contain people, for easy reference. This is a time-consuming process, but it only needs to be performed once. You can choose to do it as part of the import process, or you can skip it for now and do it later.

  11. Finally, you can import the video at its original size or at a smaller size, to save hard drive space and improve playback performance.

  12. Make your selections, click the Import button, and then kick back and relax for a while, because this is going to take some time.
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