[MacDV] Problem exporting to tape--iMovie4

Gregg Gorrie ggorrie at telus.net
Thu Sep 16 12:50:02 PDT 2004

on 9/16/04 11:04 AM, John Collins at johnccollins at comcast.net wrote:

> Karl & Bernard--thanks for your responses-- now there are 3 of us with
> similar problems exporting the finished iMovie back to tape. It sounds
> like our problems are similar but different.
> My end product as I export to tape looks like a jigsaw puzzle for a 6
> year-old--that is, big chunks that have interlocking edges(as seen in
> the LCD). When I actually play that tape back it almost looks OK but it
> isn't. It shifts and shimmys as it plays.

Have been following this thread a little bit and have some observations. I
had exactly what you described above (the "jigsaw puzzle" video on output) a
number of years ago when I first jumped into the DV fray. This was with an
older Umax clone (604e) using a third party Firewire card (Orange Micro). To
get things working I eventually had to upgrade my computer with a G4/400
daughter card and finally found the culprit was the sluggish Orange Micro
Firewire card, so replaced that with a VST card and all was good - sort of.
I got the "blocky" video when I tried to upgrade to FCP3, but iMovie 2 and
FCP2 still work for me on OS9. All my research pointed to a limitation of
the bus speed and bus timing issues (this old clone has a bus speed of 45Mhz
- slowwww) as being the main culprits.

All that being said, I find it unbelievable that the three of you are having
similar problems with the machines you now have (don't have the original
posts anymore, but I seem to recall at least G4/G5 machines with 1GHZ+
cpu's, one even a DP!). Even the old B&W G3/400's with native FW support
eliminated this problem for most people.

I don't recall seeing this in the original posts, but what are you recording
you're video to/from - internal HDs or external FW drives? I know there have
been issues in the past with some setups when you try to import/export DV
between the camera and a FW hard drive. Some users found that using separate
FW ports helped; others mentioned that the problem was solved when they
daisy chained the camera through the FW hard drive's second port. Disk
fragmentation can also be an issue, particularly if you're streaming to/from
the same drive your OS/Apps are on. Hopefully your using a separate drive
(or at least partition) for your DV.
> In watching this list and studying video--I hear references to
> "stuttering" and drop-outs, but I am not sure what these really look
> like. Is that what I have? The problem has to be in the computer--tho
> everything seems OK.

Stuttering and dropouts are a little different. When I use FCP3 with OSX on
my old beast, I get this ... the video and audio stops/starts intermittently
(the audio sounds like sounds like someone stuttering) and eventually the
two go out of sync. This is most likely because my machine's CPU just can't
keep up with the task at hand, although this issue can also happen with a
hard drive that is too slow.
> Are there any suggestions of what I could try in respect to the
> computer?
> John in Tucson

While I agree that it does sound like a hardware issue, it is possible that
there may be a software problem with iMovie export as there are now at least
three of you having similar problems.

Maybe you could post more details (ie what drive you are recording/playing
video from) etc.

Also, you're using fairly recent Apple hardware and Apple software. I would
try to put the ball back in their court - maybe take the machine back to the
vendor you purchased it from to see if they can help.

Hope this post helps in some way.

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