How To Import Non-Commercial DVDs Into iMovie ’08

Hopefully this hasn’t already been discussed; I searched all over the web and couldn’t find a good answer, so I figured it out myself and thought I’d spread the word!

So I had a couple of DVDs of wedding footage shot by my wife’s great uncle, and I wanted to edit the footage in iMovie 08. First I tried Handbrake to create a M4V file, but no dice, iMovie wouldn’t read that format. Then I figured out this method:
1) Insert DVD.
2) Open Disk Utility.
3) Select the disk and then select “New Image”. Save the disk image wherever is convenient, such as the desktop.
4) Once the disk image is written, open iMovie 08.
5) Mount the new disk image. A “Camera Detected, Scanning Contents” window will appear in iMovie 08, followed by an import window. You can now import the DVD contents and start editing away.

I wish iMovie would just say, “Hey, this DVD doesn’t have copy protection, it must be yours, so I’ll import it for you!” Alas, this is not the case, making the process a little more cumbersome. I can image that the idea of importing straight from a DVD was shot down by Apple’s legal team… sigh.

Hope this helps somebody! If so, spread the word!

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