There are most likely going to be times when the video you want to edit or work with doesn't come from a video camera or a still camera, but maybe instead from a file that someone has e-mailed you or sent you on a disc. Well, iMovie can import just about any video file that ends with .mov, .mp4, or .dv. I copied the folder surfing clips to my Desktop from the exercise files folder. So if you have access to the exercise files, you can follow along with me, because we'll be using some of this footage in many of the upcoming movies throughout the rest of this course. And you can see these are all .MOV files. Now to use this footage in iMovie, I just need to go to File > Import > Movies.
I need to locate my files, so I'll look in my Desktop, and there is surfing clips. I'm just going to leave that folder selected, and again, we see many of the same options that we see when we imported from a camera. We can choose what hard drive we want to import to, whether we want to add to an existing event or create a new event. I'll create a new one. I'll call this one Surfing Clips. I'm going to leave Large selected instead of Full so I can save a little bit space on my hard drive. Now here we can choose whether we want to copy the files or move the files. By copying the files, I am essentially copying the files from that folder on my Desktop into my iMovie event folder. Or I can move the files, meaning those files will be moved from the folder into my event folder and will no longer appear in that folder on my Desktop.
Since I've plenty of space in my hard drive I'm going to leave Copy files selected. That way I still have a clean copy of those movies on my Desktop should I ever need them again. So I'll click Import. Now because I had a folder selected, iMovie is asking, are you sure you want to import everything in this folder? I'll say OK. And that's all there is to it. Notice I now have Surfing Clips as an event here under my 2010 imports. And now I can work with this video like any other video I might have imported from a camera.
Now if you have a video that iMovie just doesn't seem to want to import, like a Windows media file or an AVI file, you're going to need to convert it to a format that iMovie likes. In many cases, you can use QuickTime 7 Pro to convert most files into .mov files. QuickTime Pro costs $30, and you can purchase a license from apple.com/quicktime/extending, and here you'll find a button to Buy QuickTime 7 Pro. Now just be aware that it won't convert every formatted video you might run across. If you do have trouble getting a certain file type into iMovie, try doing a Google search for that file type and the word iMovie to find a solution.
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