Import VOB into iMovie
September 13, 2008 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Wife's new Macbook: import VOB into iMovie?

My wife has a burned DVD of an hour-long talk she contains one big VOB file, a couple of smaller VOBs, and some other files.

She wants to import the VOB into iMovie and selectively cut out about 5 minutes worth of video and paste the pieces together.

In googling it doesn't seem quite as straightforward as we we'd hoped, so if anyone can point toward a clear description of how to achieve this (or explain it) I'd certainly appreciate it.

Neither of us has any experience with Macs, but we had the impression that this would be much simpler to achieve than it is on Windows (she was using Movie Maker and rather than pay $550 for Sony Vegas and try to run it on her old Dell she thought buying a new Macbook would be more fun).
posted by jjsonp to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Try this:

If the VOB filename extension is changed from .vob to an MPEG-2 type file extension such as .mpg or .mpeg, the file is still readable and continues to hold all information, although most MPEG-2-capable players don't support subtitle tracks.

From wikipedia.

Or email me one of the smaller files to play with.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:53 PM on September 13, 2008

There are any number of tools that can do this on Windows for free, if that remains an option. Avidemux should be able to do it and will work on eOS X or Windows or Linux.

It would be better (more stable) on Windows to use MKVMerge GUI to open the VOB directly, set your cut points and mux to MKVs, join the desired output files together using MMG's "append" function, demux the resulting MKV using MKVExtractGUI, and finally use Imago MPEG-Muxer to remux the resulting video and audio to a new VOB. Total cost: $0, no re-encoding or quality loss.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:54 PM on September 13, 2008

or this:

Drop2DV - 1.0c

DV file should work.

QT Pro might be able to do it and that's under $100.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:56 PM on September 13, 2008

I had to do this for a friend a couple of months ago. Exact same problem.

I downloaded Handbrake.

I used Handbrake to convert it to an Mpeg-4.

IMovie can handle Mpeg-4 files and I was able to extract the 5 minutes that he wanted.
posted by miles1972 at 6:40 PM on September 13, 2008

MPEG Streamclip.

Open source. Free. Able to convert DVDs (unencrypted) directly to DV format, which imovie wants. Pretty easy. Feel free to drop a line if you need more info. But it's been the answer for this sorta use before.
posted by filmgeek at 7:03 PM on September 13, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone...she's downloading Handbrake now, and will experiment with Drop2DV & MPEG Streamclip as well.

She hasn't tried just changing the file extension.
posted by jjsonp at 7:34 PM on September 13, 2008

Response by poster: She has output format options on Handbrake of:
- MP4

Which is the best for importing into iMovie (or does it not really matter)?
posted by jjsonp at 7:35 PM on September 13, 2008

I would go with AVI for MPEG-4 ASP (DivX equivalent) and MP4 for either MPEG 4-ASP or H.264 (newer Quicktime-compatible format). Quicktime uses a crippled version of MP4 as the "MOV" container and a crippled version of H.264 for Quicktime's H.264, so be sure to use a Handbrake preset marked for Quicktime compatibility.

Matroska (MKV) and Ogg Media (OGM) are both (1) the result of open-source projects and (2) less common than AVI or MP4 or MOV and directly compete with Apple's formats so I would be surprised if iMovie can natively import either.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:25 PM on September 13, 2008

I think the Inspector has it in terms of what to convert to... how's it going did you figure it?
posted by miles1972 at 10:58 PM on September 13, 2008

Response by poster: She used Handbrake, converted to the default settings (MP4 plus whatever codecs), and it imported into iMovie fine. Thanks!
posted by jjsonp at 4:34 PM on September 14, 2008

« Older How do I get my LG Dare phone to stop talking?   |   What did the Emperor have to say about the Prince? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.