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Category: Macintosh

iMovie Tips

iMovie Tips

Based on iMovie version 10.1.9

How to create highlight video from Volleyball game

  • Drop entire game into timeline.  You can just use Finder and drag and drop files
  • Use Zoom-In/Zoom-Out slider
  • Start watching using keyboard hotkeys to fast forward until you get to part where you are involved in play.
  • Play normal and decide if you want this clip.
    • For Hitting I like to start just before the set and after SOME celebration
    • For Serve Receive I like to start with ball just before it crosses the net and end after setter sets
    • For Digs I like to start just before hitter hits or maybe include set too, end after next hit of ball
    • Include serve only if it has great velocity or placement, not due to bad SR
  • Position head at starting frame, hit <Command><B>
  • Position head at ending frame, hit <Command<B>
  • Select and delete video before the highlight clip
  • Advance to video past highlight clip and continue
  • Use a Title above the last highlight clip in timeline (Reveal Lower Third) to remind you where you left off
  • Don’t use transitions.
  • Don’t include “lucky” plays like a server that hits top of net and goes in.
  • Don’t include “basic” plays like a serve or free ball that comes right to you.
  • Remember these should be “highlights”, not video of what anyone can do.

Keyboard Shortcuts
<Space>: Play
< L >: Fast Forward (repeat for faster). Use <Space> or <K> to pause
< J >: Fast Rewind (repeat for faster). Use <Space> or <K> to pause
< Left Arrow > Single frame backward
<Right Arrow > Single frame forward (Try holding down)
< Up Arrow> Previous Clip
<Down Arrow> Next Clip
<X>: Select Entire Clip

Split Clip : <Command><B>
<Command>Click to toggle selection
Select All: <Command><A>
Copy: <Command><C>
Paste: <Command><V>
Undo: <Command><Z>

<Option> < F > : Add Freeze Frame using current position. Grab frame handle (circle at top) to shorten/extend time

Remove (soften) Audio:  Position cursor toward bottom of clip in timeline just above sound graph until you see double-arrow cursor, grab and pull down

Advanced Editing

Slow Motion
Stabilize Shaky Video
Adjust Color

Syncing Audio/Music with Video

  • Mute all Audio by selecting all clips <Command><A> and from menu select Modify…Mute Audio
  • Drop in audio file below the video.
  • If you forget to mute audio first, just select all again which will select audio track, then use <Command>Click on the audio track to deselect it. Make sure your cursor is an arrow before clicking.
  • For play-by-play audio, find beginning of match by starting to listen and split and delete when audio is about to leave screen, drag remaining audio back to start. Repeat until beginning of match is found.
  • Find audio for each video clip. Decide if you want to keep video/audio pair, doesn’t have to be perfectly in sync to review
  • If you decide to clip clip, edit audio first.
  • Edit Audio clip just like video deciding when to begin and when to stop.
  • Create a freeze-frame at beginning and/or end of video clip using <Up Arrow> & <Down Arrow> & <Option><F>, stretch using circular handles so that audio will stay with video clip.  Zoom in if necessary to gain better control.  Make sure freeze-frame is not blurred. If last/first frame is blurred find non-blurred frame to freeze.  Make sure video and audio ends at same point.


Working on multiple highlight videos at once.

What if you want to create different highlight videos from the same source video?  iMovie only supports 2 video timelines and you can take advantage of that and stack one set of clips over the other.  The top timeline is really designed for overlays like text and such, but it can be done with some careful management.

Another option if you only need to save off a few clips for another purpose is to simply use copy/paste of a clip from your main project to another. After copying, switch projects and paste the clip.  Not ideal but it works.



Macbook Pro 15in 6,2 (2010) refurbished

Macbook Pro 15in 6,2 (2010) refurbished

I haven’t used my Macbook Pro from 2010 for the past two years.  When I last used it, it was crashing all the time.  I need to use it again so I got it fixed. It Needed a new Logic Board to fix a graphics issue (NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M driver was crashing).  The hard drive and battery were dying.  I got those three items replaced.  The new hard drive came with Snow Leopard (10.6.8) the version that was on it before.  I was going to upgrade it to El Capitan but thought I’d wait until I absolutely had to.  I have a USB video adapter to allow me to plug in a second external monitor (only have 1 mini-display port). Drivers for the dongle are only supported up to Snow Leopard. I don’t like the version of iMovie that comes with Snow Leopard, that’s the #1 reason I would want to upgrade the OS, but I upgraded our other 2010 Macbook Pro 13in 7,1 to El Capitan and can do video editing on that.

Of course I lost my Boot Camp installation so I won’t be running Windows 10 on it anymore.

Can’t eject drive because it is in use (on Mac) ?

Can’t eject drive because it is in use (on Mac) ?

Get the following dialog when you try to eject an external drive on a Mac?


You can try identifing the program using the drive with the following command at a terminal prompt:

lsof | grep DODO

If this doesn’t help, type:

diskutil unmount “/Volumes/[drive name]”

The quotes are in case there is a space in name

This  donationware app is pretty handy: What’s Keeping Me 

Mac startup problems

Mac startup problems

Mywork MacBook Pro wouldn’t boot up.  It was hung on the gray screen with the apple logo and the spinner spinning.  THIS article told me what to try and fortunately, the save-boot did the trick.  However the safeboot booted into the blue screen and I had a mouse cursor I could move but Finder did not appear.  I turned it off and back on and it came up all the way. This article has more details on the problem.

Update: Next day wouldn’t boot up at all. Was stuck on blue screen.  I took the following steps to backup files:

  • Reboot and hold down <Command> S to boot into Single User Mode shell
  • /sbin/fsck -fy
  • mount -uw /  ; Make drive writeable
  • mkdir /Volumes/usb
  • ls /dev/disk*   ; Locate usb drive, should be last one listed
  • /sbin/mount_msdos /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/usb
  • cp -r srcFolderName /Volumes/usb
  • /sbin/umount /dev/disk2s1  ; !!! Important. Unmount before removing drive
Connecting to Windows machines on network after upgrading to Leopard

Connecting to Windows machines on network after upgrading to Leopard

After upgrading my MacBook Pro from  Tiger (10.4) to Leopard (10.5.8), I was no longer able to see the other Windows machines on my network.  What appeared to  work  is  to select Sharing from the System  Preferences, clicking the  Options button and turning on Share files and folders using SMB. Then in the Finder menu selecting Go…Connect to Server… and entering smb://ComputerName for each. This doesn’t seem to be permanent between reboots however.

Here is a thread discussing this issue.

One suggestion from the thread is to go System Preferences…Network and select Assist Me at the bottom.  Trying to setup a connection sets some values (DHCP?) which may fix things.

Connecting to Mac File Sharing from Vista PC

Connecting to Mac File Sharing from Vista PC

I've been befuddled by Vista, unable to connect to my MacBook Pro from my Vista laptop.  I could always connect from the MacBook to my Vista laptop, though.  Connection issues has been a source of pain for me ever since I started using Vista.

I searched and came across this tip that solved all my problems!  Thanks Matt!

  1. “Click Windows Visa Start Orb
  2. In search box, type “regedit” and return
  3. Once regedit opens, click File -> export to make a backup copy
  4. Navigate to Computer HKEYLOCALMACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Lsa.
  5. In the right pane, right-click the “LmCompatibilityLevel” key and select “modify”
  6. Change the value from 3 to 1
  7. Exit regedit and you should now be able to properly authenticate to your Mac OS X (or other Samba) share.”
Copy a file path to the clipboard on a Mac

Copy a file path to the clipboard on a Mac

The Mac does not support copying a file or folder’s path to the clipboard; weird.  Get Info separates the path from the filename and doesn’t allow you to select either.  There are various workarounds.  This thread discusses some.  I went with this solution which offered a "workflow" file download which I opened in Automater and saved it as a context menu for Finder.

It was suggested that you can drag and drop into a terminal window and then copy paste the path that displays.  You can do this with any program that offers an editbox control.  For example open TextEdit, do File…Save As and drag and drop to the filename EditBox which you can then copy to clipboard from.

BTW, if you ever need to drag & drop into a widget, start dragging then hit F12 to switch to the widgets screen.

Update:  Today an article came out in MacWorld on this subject.  Their first suggestion using Finder Services didn’t work for me.  I just get an icon of a folder or file and when I put TextEdit into plain text mode I get nothing.  Also, the workflow solution I linked to above gives a HFS (colon separated) path,  whereas the article has an example of a script generating a "POSIX" path.  You can download the POSIX version here (thanks Scott) and copy it to ~/Library/Workflows/Applications/Finder/.

Pixen: A Free image editor for Mac

Pixen: A Free image editor for Mac

I am using Pixen for image editing on the Mac.  Like others that have written, I was surprised that no such program was included in the Mac OS.  I’ve just barely started using it but it so far it does what I need.  I was particularly impressed with the getting started wizard that took you through an overview of the program and  allowed you to set some program settings at the same time!  I model of what all programs should offer.  The only think I would recommend is showing a Page X of Y on each wizard page to let the user know how long it is.

Update:  Paintbrush is a nice alternative that emulates the Windows Paint program

Archives in Cocoa

Archives in Cocoa

If you need to save and load data from files, and you don’t mind creating binary files (don’t need to read or edit them), then Archives are the simplest way to go.

Load contents of file into an NSArray:

    NSArray* m_ProcessedFiles = [NSKeyedUnarchiver unarchiveObjectWithFile:destPath];

Save contents of array to file:

    [NSKeyedArchiver archiveRootObject:m_ProcessedFiles toFile:srcPath];