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How to Import a DVD into iMovie

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/28/2011

A step by step process on how to import a DVD into iMovie.

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    Convert DVD to iMovie

    iMovie, as the boiled down version of a non-linear video editing program offered free by Apple with new computers, has the ability to do most of the tasks you need. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it sounds to actually import a DVD into iMovie or just to convert a DVD to being an independent digital file on your computer. Instead, if you are trying to figure out how to import a DVD into iMovie you will have to use a simple outside program to rip the DVD into a digital file. Here is a step by step process on how to import a DVD into iMovie using HandBrake.

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    Video Conversion

    Picture 16 The first thing that you have to do is to download and install HandBrake, a free DVD ripping and video conversion program. Once you have HandBrake installed, you need to insert the DVD you want to import into iMovie into your computer, and then open HandBrake. It will then open up a prompt for you to find the file that you want to convert, Picture 17 and you just select the DVD as a whole. Do not select any of the folders that you find within the DVD, as this will not work correctly for video conversion.

    From here, you will want to adjust the settings according to what you want. You will likely want to keep the file type for the video conversion as MP4 and maintain the same frame rate, and you will also want to avoid any type of cropping if you want to convert the DVD to iMovie in its original form. What you will want to do is to raise the quality of Picture 18 the video conversion so you can get the video file you end up with to as high of a quality as possible. To check the video ahead of the conversion you can check the Preview window from the upper task bar to get a sense of what the video will look like. If you go into the Picture Settings you will be able to alter the dimensions of the overall video, but again you do not want to make any choices here unless you have a clear reason to alter the video. This could be that you want it to match other types of footage in your iMovie project. From here, you will want to set a destination location and then hit the Start button to begin the video conversion.

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    Import to iMovie

    Once the video conversion has completed and the video file exists independently, open up your iMovie project. Go to File and Picture 19 Import, allowing the browser window to come up. Locate the outputted video file and select it, and you will convert the DVD to iMovie. The movie will then come in as a single file in your iMovie project that you can then use as part of your editing, or you can export it as a full movie again in a different file type.

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    Source: Author's own experience.