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iMovie '11 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by Aaron Miller, David Pogue

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Appendix B. Troubleshooting

Apple does amazing things with each new version of iMovie. They add features new not just to iMovie, but new to consumer video editing, period. And you know what happens with brand-spanking-new features, right? Right: glitches.

Here’s an impressive compendium of the problems you may run into—and the world’s best attempts at solving them.

Two Golden Rules

If there’s any common wisdom at all about iMovie, here it is—a pair of golden rules that will stave off a huge number of problems down the road:

  • Use the latest version. Each “.01” or “.1” iMovie upgrade zaps a whole host of bugs and glitches. The updates are free, so when your Software Update program advises you that one is available, jump at the chance to install it.

  • Set your camcorder to 16-bit audio. The typical tape camcorder can record its audio track using either 12-bit or 16-bit audio. The factory setting is 12-bit, which gives people who aren’t computer owners a chance to overlay a second audio track without erasing the original camera sound. Trouble is, 12-bit audio may slowly drift out of sync with the video when you burn your finished project to a DVD.

    Use your camera’s menu system to switch to 16-bit audio. You, an iMovie aficionado, can easily overlay additional audio using your computer, so you give up nothing—except a lot of frustration. (Make this change now, before you record anything important.)

General iMovie Troubleshooting

Let’s start general, shall we?

Weird Inconsistent Problems

When a program’s ...

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