The 'Unofficial' iMovie FAQ

Importing Windows Media or Importing Real Movies

Last edited:17 April, 2005
Authors: Equss
Daniel Slagle

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Both Real Networks (.RM, .RA, and .RAM video files) and Microsoft (.ASF, .WMA, and .WMV video files) make it VERY difficult to import footage encoded with these formats. Especially on a Mac.


The Cheap Way:

There's another way to get .asf, .asx, and SOME .wmv files into iMovie. Get the latest version of VLC (0.8 or better) . Launch the program. File -> Open File and browse for your file or type the path. Check the Advanced Output box and click the Settings button. Select your Encapsulation Method from the popup menu. I've had the best luck and quality with MPEG-4, so that's what I'll refer to here. Go up to the Browse button and select a name for your file and where to put it. (If you do this after you select the Encapsulation Method it'll put the right extension on it.) Check the Video box and select mp4v. Check the Audio box and select mp4a. Set the bitrates for audio and video as close to their original settings as you can (from the Info option in Windows Media Player). "Channels" is usually 2. Don't bother changing the scale because iMovie is going to scale it to full screen anyway. Click OK, then OK again and it will play to a new file.

At bit more money:

Pay for one of these high end converter Compression Master 3 or for a little less money and functionality Flip4Mac or the soon to be released QT plug-in from PopWire.

A last resort:

Record the video using Snapz Pro X and then capturing the audio with either Wiretap or Audio Hijack. In the same way that I capture iTunes visuals.

Once you have the audio and video you just reassemble the footage in iMovie or Quicktime Pro.


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