iMovie HD: Export movie settings

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Suppose you just captured some scenes from a VHS tape or a DVD using iMovie HD and you want to export the scenes to a movie file that you will later upload to a streaming server. You might be thinking what settings to choose so that your movie has a good quality while maintaining a small enough file size suitable for uploading on the internet.

You should use these export settings in iMovie HD in order to save to a movie format:
1. Select the file that you want to export.
2. Click on the Share menu and select QuickTime from the list. You should see something similar to Figure 1 after selecting QuickTime:

iMovieHD-shareMenu.png3. From the Compress movie for category select Expert Settings. Figure 2 represents the Expert Settings menu: 

iMovieHD-Expert Settings.png
4. In the Video menu, click on Settings
5. From the Compression Type menu select H.264
6. From the Motion menu you should have selected Every 24 frames
7. From the Data Rate menu click on the radio button next to the Restrict to option and type in 600 in the kbits/s box
8. In the Compressor menu the encoding selected should be Best quality (Multi-pass)
9 Click OK to exit from the current window. 
10. Click on the Size button to specify the output resolution of your file. 
11. From the Dimensions drop-own menu select the 640X480 VGA option and click OK to exit from the current window. If you want to chose a lower resolution, then you might want to change the Data rate restriction to something close to 300 kbits/s.
12. Make sure that Prepare for Internet Streaming is checked and that Hinted Streaming is selected from the drop-down menu
13. Click on the Settings button next to the Prepare for Internet Streaming
14. Make sure that the Optimize Hints for Server option is selected and then click OK to exit from the menu. The Optimize Hints for Server will create a larger file size, but offers the advantage of allowing more users to watch the movie from the streaming server at the same time. Keep in mind that enabling this option doubles the final size of the file. You can look at the table below to have an estimation on how long it will take for a file to save and how large its file size is going to be.
15. Click OK to exit the Movie Settings menu. 
16. At this point you should be prompted by the program to give a name for your movie clip and a location where you want the file to be saved. Add these details and click Save. Depending on how long the file is the process of saving the file could last between a couple of minutes to a couple of hours.

Please keep in mind that the approximated time for IMovie HD to render the clip is dependent on a lot of variables and just serves as estimation for what you might expect to see when you are saving the movie clip. Also, depending on the hardware of your personal computer you might experience shorter or longer times to render. For example, the approximated time to render from the table above was obtained by using a MAC with the following specifications: Processor-2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Memory: 4 GB or RAM DDR2 SDRAM at 667 MHz, Video Card: ATI HD2600 at 256 MB. 

This completes the tutorial on exporting a movie clip from iMovie HD. If you have any questions related to the content of this tutorial, feel free to contact the STA Office at Trinity College at

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Nick do you remember what is the average file size for a 10 minute clip? I remember some of the 10 minute clips were about 100 mb, however you converted another clip later and the file size was much larger.


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