Organizing Movies The Mac Way

I’m very meticulous on managing memories. I think it’s a very important thing to do. I guess my thought has always been “If you plan to live a life worth talking about then be sure the story can be told.”

Computers make organization much easier than it has been in the past. Right now on my computer I have 10 years and 2200 pages of journals, 9000 photos all carefully tagged with keywords and after this weekend I now have all home videos imported, organized and tagged. And of course I have everything backed up. Following is my experience with organizing movies with the new iMovie from Apple.

The new iMovie is radically different than the old iMovie. It still comes free with all new Macs and I like this one better. Before it was a tool focused mostly on the project. But the new iMovie does well the with project AND helps you organize all of your home video footage. It is almost like an iTunes for your home videos now. Watch any video any time. It’s quite fun.

Since we have a new HD camera coming this week, I thought it was time to have all of our current home videos imported so we could sell our current video camera. iMovie makes this incredibly easy. You just need to plug your camera in and hit the button for automatic import. This procedure rewinds the tape, imports everything on it, and then rewinds the tape again for you to eject and store somewhere safe. I especially like that iMovie makes each day a separate event. So, if you have a Christmas Eve dinner one night, and then record Christmas presents the next morning, iMovie already separates these as two different events. You can then name them and tag them with keywords so they are easy to find later. iMovie takes it even further by organizing them in chronological order by year.


Once you have all your clips imported, it is quite fun to work with them. iMovie makes it easy to highlight different parts of clips (much like highlighting text to copy and paste) and then you can drag it into a new project. Mix and match different clips. Add transitions, text, music, photos, etc. Then, when you get done it just takes one click to send it to iTunes for your iPod/iPhone/AppleTV or one click to send it to Youtube. And if you’re a .Mac member then you can send straight to your gallery. (See an example gallery here. They are nice.)


So if you’ve been waiting to preserve all your old home videos, Apple has made it quite easy. And don’t forget, tape based videos have a shelf life of 10 years before they start to degrade and turn dark. Get those memories from your childhood while you still can.