OK, so Apple messed this one up. In Final Cut, when a clip is missing FCS has a sufficiently sophisticated method of finding the files. iMovie? Not so much. In fact, it doesn’t even ask for help!
Background: I don’t like using iPhoto Library for my video files so I moved them out of iPhoto (using Finder, not iMovie) and into a separate iMovie Events folder. iMovie found these files no problem and can even help me maintain them (moves, adds, changes). BUT, it wouldn’t scan this folder for missing clips!
What to do?
On the Apple forum, there is a LONG thread about this problem:
It points out two things:
- The Project file in the iMovie project, contains the path to the links to the media. Fix the path and the iMovie project will be fine.
- It also notes that the iMovie Events folder is actually called iMovie Events.localized so if you are using this folder, include the “.localized”
That didn’t work for me. When I made those two changes, my iMovie project wouldn’t open. Things were getting worse!
This link provides the missing link (couldn’t resist!):
It points to another link, that describes the Project file as a binary file and it must remain binary for iMovie to work . THANK YOU, CHRIS!
Finally, for extra credit, I found this link, that helped me believe, I was on the right track:
There is a utility that changes property list files (iMovie Project file) from binary to XML and back again.
So what does all this mean?
If you decide to move your iMovie clips outside of iMovie’s way of doing things:
Then you must do three things:
1) Change the path in the Project file to point to the proper location
2) Ensure the Project file remains binary
3) Include “.localized” on the iMovie Events folder
If you’re clever enough to understand how to do this from the links above and the three clues, great! If not, I put a lengthy tutorial together so I would remember how to do it. Have fun.
Based on the OS X Hint above about creating a function called pledit that would convert to XML then back to binary with a edit sandwiched in the middle, I decided to do just that. It works great! Be sure to use the -w flag so that the Terminal waits until the file is written before continuing.
Last thing… I also added Open Terminal Here from Marc Liyanage’s excellent site to my Finder toolbar.