Adding YouTube videos to your iMovie project


[UPDATE, FEB 2010: THESE INSTRUCTIONS APPLY TO iMOVIE HD/06. FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON USING YOUTUBE CLIPS IN iMOVIE 09, see http://wic.library.upenn.edu/multimedia/tutorials/youtube_imovie09.pdf]

We’ve received many many questions about adding clips from YouTube to iMovie projects. And until now, we haven’t been able to do that in the lab. But today we’ve started to add that functionality to the lab workstations thanks to a free, open-source plugin for QuickTime Pro called Perian. Basically, the steps are:

1. Download the YouTube FLV file to your workstation using a service like keepvid.com
2. Export the FLV file to a QuickTime file with QuickTime Pro and Perian
3. Import the resulting QuickTime file into iMovie.

Keep in mind that YouTube video is notoriously low quality, but when you don’t have a source of high-quality video, this method will do in a pinch.

Right now, Perian is installed only on the lab consultant’s machine, so if you need to use a YouTube clip in your iMovie project, just ask the lab consultant on duty for help. We’ll be installing Perian on the remaining lab workstation in the coming days. We’ll also post a step-by-step tutorial so you’ll be able to do it all without the help of a lab consultant.

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