Import Homemade or Commercial DVD to iMovie on Mac El Capitan

Diana Joan

May 04, 2016 09:07 am / Posted by Diana Joan

For Mac users who have homemade video footage of weddings, christenings, holidays onto DVD disc or purchase some DVD movies from Target, Best Buy and Amazon, etc, do some fantastic editing such as inserting titles, adding effects or create a full soundtrack with Apple's free but powerful video editing App - iMovie would be as simple as drag and drop.

Import DVD to iMovie

However, the big point here is that the video formats supported by iMovie are limited to MPEG-4(MP4, M4V), QuickTime Movie(*.mov), MPEG-2, AVCHD, DV & HDV, therefore, it seems that you can't direct import DVD to iMovie for editing. Below article will show you how to import DVD to iMovie in different situations.

Import Homemade DVD to iMovie 09

Import Homemade DVD to iMovie 11

Import Commercial DVD to iMovie 09/11

Import Homemade DVD to iMovie 09

For homemade DVD with no copy & region code protection, you can directly import them into iMovie 09 or its previous version by using the disk utility and get a new image of the DVD. Once done, launch iMovie and open the disk image, iMovie will detect the disk image as video coming from a camera and you will then able to import the video.

Import Homemade DVD to iMovie 11

Most people who have update to iMovie 11 find that using Disk Utility to copy DVD does not work with iMovie 11 or later versions. If you are unwilling to buy a third-party app to convert DVD to iMovie 11 importable file formats, you can have a try at the following 2 alternative solutions:
Solution 1: Download the free open-source video transcoder tool - Handbrake for Mac to rip non-commercial DVD to MP4, then you will have no problem to import that video into iMovie 11.
Solution 2: Use free MPEG Streamclip for Mac to convert the VOB files in the TS-Folder of the DVD back to DV which iMovie 11 is designed to handle. Besides that, you will also need

Tips: If you are running Lion or later:

The installer of the MPEG-2 Playback Component may refuse to install the component in Lion. Apple states the component is unnecessary in Lion onwards, however MPEG Streamclip still needs it.

To install the component in Lion, please download MPEG Streamclip 1.9.3b7 beta above; inside the disk image you will find the Utility MPEG2 Component Lion: use it to install the MPEG-2 Playback Component in Lion. The original installer's disk image (QuickTimeMPEG2.dmg) is required.

The current versions of MPEG Streamclip cannot take advantage of the built-in MPEG-2 functionality of Lion. For MPEG-2 files you still need to install the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component, which is not preinstalled in Lion. (The same applies to Mountain Lion and Mavericks even though they have it preinstalled.) You don't have to install QuickTime 7.

Import Commercial DVD to iMovie 09/11

For adding commercial DVD with copy & region code protection to iMovie, you will first need to break the protection and then convert DVD to iMovie 09/11 accepted editing formats listed above. It would be a waste of time and energy to find one program to bypass the protection and another program to perform the conversion process. Here, a combo function called Pavtube DVDAid for Mac (best dvd ripper), which helps to remove DVD copy & region protection without any third-party plug-in, in addition, you can easily rip DVD to iMovie supported formats listed above. If you are perusing a high performance and high quality of post production workflow of DVD video with iMovie, you can choose to output iMovie best editing codec - Apple Intermediate Codec.  

Set DVD subtitles in ripping process

With the program, you can select internal desired DVD movie subtitle track, enable  "Forced Subtitle" option to disable the traditional subtitles while still preserving the subtitles that translate foreign language speaking parts periodically throughout the film to help you understand what they are saying. If the foreign language DVD movie do not contain any language subtitles you understand, you can download a SRT subtitle file in your first language of the DVD movie from a safe and reliable subtitle download site (such as and add subtitles to the DVD video.

How to Rip commercial DVDs for iMovie Importing and Editing on El Capitan?

Step 1: Load commercial DVD disc.
Run DVD to iMovie converter on your Mac computer, click "File" > "Load from disc" to Load commercial DVD disc into the program.

Load commercial DVD disc into the program

Step 2: Output iMovie supported editing formats.
Click "Format" bar, from its drop-down option, choose one of iMovie supported file formats such as MPEG-4, DV, HDV, MPEG-2, AVCHD. You can also select to output "Apple Intermediate Codec(AIC)(*.mov)" to get a high performance and high quality editing workflow.

Output iMovie supported AIC codec

Step 3: Set DVD subtitles.

Select desired subtitles: On the main interface, check the movie title you want to rip, click the drop-down list of Subtitles, then all the subtitles info in the DVD movie will be shown clearly, so you can select your needed language as subtitles freely.

Select desired subtitles

Enable"Forced subtitles"option: Check "Forced subtitles" option besides "Subtitles" option, then you will see subtitles only when actors are speaking a different language.

Add external subtitles: Open "Video Editor" window, click "Subtitle" tab, check "Enable", then you will be able to add external SRT/ASS/SSA subtitles to DVD movies.

Add external subtitles

Step 4: Begin the ripping process.
After all the setting is completed, go back to the main interface, hit right-bottom "Convert" button to start converting DVD to iMovie supported formats or codec.

When the conversion is finished, click "Open Output Folder" icon on the main interface to pop out the folder with converted files, then you will have no problem to import video to iMovie for Hollywood movie making.

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