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Old 21st April 2012, 4:21 PM   #1
espresso Thread Starter
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Default iMovie SLOW, not using CPU

I have a few video files that I want to stitch together. When you import a file, iMovie "optimizes" the file before you can do anything with it. This takes around 20mins+ per file depending on how long it is. Wondering why it takes so long I opened up Activity Monitor to see that iMovie is using barely more than 1/4 of the available CPU time. Disappointing, as I have 4x 2GHz cores in total, leaving just under 3 cores in total doing sweet f/a.

I don't know a lot about software, but is there anything I can do to get iMovie using more of the resources available on my machine? I'm doing this all on an old Mac Pro 1.1:

2x 2Ghz Xeon Dual Core (upgrading to 2x 2.33Ghz QC once they arrive)
4GB Ram (adding 8GB once it arrives)
7300GT 256MB
120GB SSD plus a couple of old 750GB HDD

Also, Is there any way of seeing how much a program is using a GPU in the same way you can see it using the CPU?

EDIT - I found atMonitor that shows usage for CPU, RAM, GPU, ETH and disks...
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Last edited by espresso; 21st April 2012 at 4:33 PM.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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the HDD might be a bottle neck depending on how big the files are?

i don't do much movie stuff, but i'm not 100% sure if the import movie is multithreaded. do you have the latest ilife package?
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Old 25th April 2012, 6:55 AM   #3
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iMovie's "optimising" proces is conversion to DV-stream format, as that's the only format it understands internally. Being a non-Pro app, the conversion process is single-thread.
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Old 26th April 2012, 1:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Paronga View Post
the HDD might be a bottle neck depending on how big the files are?

i don't do much movie stuff, but i'm not 100% sure if the import movie is multithreaded. do you have the latest ilife package?
I'm using a SATAIII SSD (running at 3G negotiated speed) so it's not the HDD. I'm guessing iLife '11 is the latest?

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iMovie's "optimising" proces is conversion to DV-stream format, as that's the only format it understands internally. Being a non-Pro app, the conversion process is single-thread.
Ahh, so the only way for me to get more speed out of it would be to swap out the CPUs... Or get some other software that can splice video files together.

I don't want to pay through the nose for this sort of software as I'm not splicing files together for commercial use. I've looked around for some video editing software but it seems prices generally start at or above $200. Does anyone know of a software package for Mac that I can use to splice video files together? Preferably something multi-threaded I guess...
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Old 26th April 2012, 2:08 PM   #5
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I use Adobe Premier, works very well.
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Old 26th April 2012, 9:17 PM   #6
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iMovie's "optimising" proces is conversion to DV-stream format, as that's the only format it understands internally. Being a non-Pro app, the conversion process is single-thread.
wow, yeh i just did a test for an mpeg file.

on my mac pro it was slow as a dog, barely using 1 core.

perhaps file type plays a big role??

i've done editing on there before, i guess i never really noticed
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Old 27th April 2012, 6:41 AM   #7
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I'll give Premier a bash and see how that goes... I really only want to stitch 2-3 files together per video, but there are around 13 left to go. If it takes 3-4 hours to "optimize" the video and then another 4-9 hours to finalise and export, it's going to take me through to next summer to get them all done unless I set up a fancy schedule or something... Even then it will practically take a whole week if not more.
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Old 27th April 2012, 9:30 AM   #8
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If they're plain AVIs, Virtualdub in a VM'd Windows will do it in a microfraction of the time.
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Old 27th April 2012, 12:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by espresso View Post
I'll give Premier a bash and see how that goes... I really only want to stitch 2-3 files together per video, but there are around 13 left to go. If it takes 3-4 hours to "optimize" the video and then another 4-9 hours to finalise and export, it's going to take me through to next summer to get them all done unless I set up a fancy schedule or something... Even then it will practically take a whole week if not more.
what file type are they?

I've used QuickTime 7 pro to put my files intoquicktime intermediate format (or something like that) when I've made time lapses. and that worked really well.

but when I tried to import a rip of a tv show from DVD it was lame and slow.

might be worth getting final cut x?

it'll scream on your quad cores
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2i + 3 - 2(i + 1) = 1
2inf =
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Old 28th April 2012, 8:31 AM   #10
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Mostly old TV rips and VHS tape rips. Most of them are in an AVI container, but there are a few here and there in other formats. So far my process has been to convert them into .MP4 in Handbrake first because iMovie wouldn't see the AVI files.

QC's arrived during the week, just need enough spare time to swap them out now.

I'll try VirtualDub as well, I'm sure I still have a Windows disc in a drawer somewhere... I did d/l a trial of Premier Elements 10, just haven't given it a burl yet.
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Old 28th April 2012, 3:56 PM   #11
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Premier was screaming along on my 2x dual cores. I reckon I'll go with that... If only I could swap out my CPUs already!!

EDIT: Seems I was a little hasty. Importing files is very quick, rendering work area is also relatively fast. Exporting however seems slow... Only maxing out 1 core... Is this normal? Sipheren, are you using Premier Elements or Pro and do you see the same thing?

NVM... Seems that the export takes a bit to get going... absolutely screaming along like a banshee now!
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Last edited by espresso; 29th April 2012 at 9:50 AM.
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Old 29th April 2012, 5:41 PM   #12
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nice!

yeh i think they work better as mp4s
disappointing to hear consumer apps are single threaded.

hope they update that as all their computers are super multithreaded now!!
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No, infinity is not like i. i can be added, subtracted, multiplied or whatever with real numbers and you can come out with a real answer.
2i + 3 - 2(i + 1) = 1
2inf =
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