Tutorial: use disk images to manage iMovie projects on shared computers

Posted on June 15, 2012


Tutorial for Teachers: using disk images to manage iMovie projects from Charles Huette on Vimeo.

I’ve had a number of conversations recently with teachers who use iMovie in their classrooms and have the following problem: the event library and project library will display all projects and events from everyone ever who has used that computer, so if a kid opens up iMovie, he’s going to see all the projects, duplicate projects, abandoned projects–everything. A recipe for a headache.

Granted, you could assign a unique login to each kid, but then you get into all sorts of other issues–especially because video editing is not something easily done over networked storage (unless your school is lucky enough to have a super-fast network). So I thought I would pass along a strategy that’s very similar to what I use for my students who edit on Final Cut Pro X. (Mainly my Broadcast 1 classes. My Broadcast 2 class uses Premiere Pro in addition to FCPX.)

The short of this tutorial: You can use disk images on your computer to help manage a large number of iMovie projects and associated media. If you’ve mounted a disk image, you can see and access all projects and events on that disk image after you’ve launched iMovie; if, on the other hand, it’s not mounted, the projects and events on that disk image aren’t visible from within iMovie. It’s that simple, and it’s a great solution for classrooms or libraries that want to use iMovie on computers shared among many students.

If you don’t want to go through the video for more explanation, here are the steps involved:
1. Quit iMovie.
2. Open Disk Utility. (Applications >Utilities >Disk Utility)
3. Select New Image from the toolbar, or select File >New >Blank Disk Image from the menu.
4. Name, locate, and size your disk image, and remember to select “sparse disk image” from the Image Format pulldown.
5. Launch iMovie.
6. Select the disk image in the Event Library and create a New Event.
7. Get to work.
8. After you quit iMovie, eject your disk image by dragging it to the trash.

This also works with Final Cut Pro X. Same procedure.