iMovie Home


iMovie is video digitizing software developed by Apple. Using iMovie, you can grab video clips from VHS cassettes, laserdiscs, DVDs, VCDs, and digital video camcorders. iMovie will allow you to edit these clips and then export them as a Quicktime movie that can be used on PCs or Macs and, at some locations, output them to VHS, digital tape, and DVD.

It is extremely important to read through all of the documentation because not all features are available at all of Wellesley's digitizing stations and some may work differently in different locations.

If you have read these instructions before, jump to another section of our documentation! If not, please read this page first.

Where to find this software

iMovie HD is installed on the video digitizing stations in Knapp (#24-38 and PR 111).

Getting Started

Before using iMovie, please read through the documentation carefully. Make sure iMovie is capable of doing everything you want to do. Please consult the Knapp Center Project Planning and Support page for tips on planning your project.

Here are a few tips that you should be aware of before you begin:

  1. You will need to be able to create your iMovie in one sitting. This means digitizing, editing, and exporting all in one single sitting. Knapp is not open 24 hours a day. You will need to complete your project before Knapp closes for the night. You will not be able to save your files for another day.

    Be sure to check the hours for the Knapp Center (same as for Clapp Library)

  2. Uncompressed digital video files are VERY large. You will not be able to back up the raw files for your project into FirstClass or the 24 hour drop folder. In most cases your raw files will not fit on a zip disk and in many you will not be able to fit them on to a CD. Some iMovie projects can now be saved onto a data DVD. You must purchase a DVD-R in order to save your project onto a data DVD. Note: The Mac's in Knapp will only read DVD-R's not DVD+R's. It's important to purchase the correct format. The bookstore has DVD-R's.
    • An empty 250MB zip disk will only hold about 1 minute of uncompressed digital video clips.
    • An empty CD-R will hold only about 2 and 1/2 minutes of uncompressed digital video clips. 
    • An empty data DVD-R will hold only about 15 minutes of uncompressed digital video clips.

    Backing up your uncompressed clips to a disk, CD or data DVD can be very time-consuming because of the size of the files.

    The best plan is to finish your project in one sitting. Exporting your movie to either a QuickTime movie, back out to a VHS cassette, DV tape or onto a video DVD before you leave the lab.

  3. Plan how you will use your finished movie before you begin. QuickTime movies can be played on the web, sent through email, and posted to a FirstClass conference. Exported QuickTime movies should be small enough to save to a zip disk or to attach to a FirstClass message. VHS cassettes will be able to play in any NTSC VCR. Video DVD-R's will play in a wide range of DVD players, but not all. To determine whether your DVD player will play DVD-R check with your DVD player's manufacturer.
  4. Practice first! Play with iMovie a bit before you work on your major project to try out any techniques that you might want to use, and to find any questions you may have. Remember the longer the clip, the longer it will take for each transition or title to generate, and the longer it will take to export your final movie.
  5. Remember that the videos that you are digitizing are probably copyright protected! To learn more, see Wellesley's Copyright Policy .