why must iMovie suck so much?

Dear Lazyweb,

I have a 45 minute MPEG file. Audio and video play fine in Quicktime Player. "Movie Info" says "MPEG1 Muxed, 29.97 FPS, 320x240".

I want to burn it onto a normal video DVD (not a data DVD that happens to have an MPEG file on it, not some DivX nonsense, a "real" DVD-R.)

I've tried importing it into iMovie in a few different ways, and each time, it imports video but leaves out the audio.

When I go into "Export" in Quicktime Player Pro, the output options that say anything about audio (e.g., MPEG-4) say "Audio: No audio track in source movie". And yet, I can hear it.

So how do I turn this into a DVD with sound?

Update: ffmpegX was able to convert it to a DV and retain the sound, and iMovie was able to import that.

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11 Responses:

  1. tkil says:

    I haven't done this on OSX myself; I have successfully created and burned VCD and SVCDs in Linux, but if you're in strong "only if you've done it yourself" mode, skip away.

    The input file is really close to being proper VCD format; it might be possible to use straight unix-based CLI tools (I've done it on Linux, don't know how many of those were ported over, and it's back to the world of pain anyway). See for instance http://www.satlug.org/~bigjnsa/vcd-linux.htm

    This looks promising for doing this conversion on OSX: http://homepage.mac.com/major4/index.html

    It includes a guide on going from Divx to SVCD, which is close to what you're trying to accomplish: http://homepage.mac.com/major4/divx_svcd.html

    If nothing else, the command-line mplayer stuff can de-mux the input file (giving you separate video and audio streams) which you might then be able to import individually into iMovie / iDVD and play with them that way.

    Other options are using the Linux CLI stuff to build an image that you then burn using your Mac. Back to the way of pain, though. <lj user="nirikrss" /> just finished transferring old family video (8mm film transferred onto VHS captured and then eventually stored on DVD... wow); he might have some pointers on doing it in Linux. If you want some pain. :)

    I've never gotten into the iLife stuff, really; my photos overwhelm iPhoto (or at least used to) and most of the rest of iLife overwhelms my computer (1GHz G4 TiBook). Meh. It runs unix and X11 so it's a fine travel companion for me.

    Good luck.

  2. tkil says:

    Or I could just look for what you were actually having trouble with. Because there I found:

    Which in turn leads to this Apple support doc:

    The first URL offers the suggestion of using a shareware package "DropDV"; ffmpegX claims to have demux capabilities, and of course the Pain Line Interface tools metnioned in my other message can do so as well.

  3. ywwg says:

    Whenever I've wanted to create a dvd video I just drag the movie directly into idvd. It usually does all of the conversion necessary. I've never tried that with an mpeg-1, however.

    • taffer says:

      If you can play it in QuickTime, iDVD should be able to turn it into a DVD image or burn it directly for you. I've been doing this with various downloaded cartoons and it's been working great.

      • Yeah, there's really no reason to learn a new program. Importing the movie file into iMovie is an unneccesary step. I made bootleg Family Guy DVDs from Divx files I downloaded, for example, and it took about 5 mins of prep before it was encoding/burning.

        • cabrius says:

          QuickTime (and any apps that use it) seems to have trouble with MPEG-1 files specifically, though. It will play them, but any time I wanted to convert them to a different format it would suddenly seem to forget that an audio track was even present and give me only the video.

          This was with QT Pro 6.5, but it sounds like they still haven't fixed it.

  4. danomite55 says:

    This utility will [I'm pretty sure] help you out:


    Just choose Export to DV..., NTSC, and whatever other options you want.