Cutting h.264 Video without long import using iMovie (Mac), for example from an cheap Aiptek AHD-200/720P
this is a extremely usefull hint, but not worth an instructable, so I thought I'dd share it in the forums.
iMovie is a very easy to use but still usefull video editor. Even though I have a Desktop running Windows and Linux, I usualy use an old iBook G4 to quickly edit some videos (unless it needs some fancy editings which I can not do with iMovie, for example greenbox or other effects. Then I'll use WAX 2 or Zweistein for example.)
We have recently bought an Aiptek AHD-200 Camcorder (US: A-HD 720P), also available with optical zoom (z300/GO-HD - 720P).
It records with the "little" 720p HD-Resolution which is 1280x720 (30 frames per second) and for about 130 Euro with a 2 GB SD-Card (Sells for about the same in dollars in the US) its a great camera that beats most cheap 200 Euro DV-Camcorders.
It records videos as AVC/H.264 Video in a MOV-Container.
Now most (free) video editors will convert the video or import it which takes very long at that resolution.
Only Jahshaka (which is extremely slow with 720p) and Avidemux 2 (Which is available for all systems but only allows basic keyframe cutting) will open it without long imports / converting the video. Some videoeditors can not handle MOV and you'll need to convert the video prior to importing with SUPER or Avidemux, Virtualdub (which needs a mov-plugin) etc.
iMovie suffers the same problem.
Then I found a hint on another forum:
Save your project, and rightclick (Click+ctrl) the file.
Choose "show package contens".
Now simply copy or drag&drop all your MOV-Files into the MEDIA-Folder.
If you'll re-open your project, iMovie will display the message that there are items in the trashbin. Choose to show them, and drag them onto the clips or timeline.
Now they are ready to edit without waiting to import them!
I suppose importing them has the advantage that they will be rescaled in order to output DV-Material directly to the camera. Still, adding effects and burning to DVD works well this way, no matter if you have chosen DV or HD-Format. So you do not even have to work with the 720p resolution.
I have only tried this with iMovie 6, as it is the last version that will work on a g4/800MHz with Mac OS X 10.3.9. (Yes, I use it to cut HD720P Video; Its not fast but works fine)
iMovie 3 stores projects in regular folders and the trick does not work with it.
If anyone could confirm if this works with iMovie 8, please do so :-)
The only problem that remains with the camera:
It lacks of image stabilisation.
There are several shareware image stabilisator plugins for iMovie, but all cost 30 dollars or more. Under windows, there is "DeShaker" for VirtualDub which has many more option then all the shareware plugins have! Plus, it can interpolate the missing image areas from the past/next frames instead of zooming in.
Does anyone here know of a good (free?) DeShaker-Alternative for Linux or Mac OS X?