Customize your QuickTime export with expert settings

The default export options in iMovie work for the most common situations: when you want to share your movie using YouTube, Facebook, or MobileMe, and so on; when you want to share your movie with iWeb and other Apple applications through the Media Browser; and when you want to burn your movie to a disc.

If you want to use a different video compression type, such as Apple Intermediate Codec, and if you’re familiar with video file formats and compression options, you can use the expert settings to export your files the way you want.

iMovie supports many video formats, including AVI, Image Sequence, and QuickTime.

Multiple video compression options are available with these file formats. For example, when saving your movie in QuickTime format, you can choose video compression formats such as H.264, MPEG-4 Video, DV/DVCPRO-NTSC, and others.

iMovie also supports many sound compression formats, such as AAC, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, and more.

To export your movie with expert settings:

  1. In iMovie, open the project or select it in the Project Library, and then choose Share > Export Using QuickTime.

    The Share menu appears in a light gray bar across the top of your computer screen.

  2. Type a title for your movie in the Save As field.

  3. Choose the location where you want to save your movie.

    If the location you want doesn’t appear in the pop-up menu, click the blue Arrow button to the right of the Save As field, and then navigate to the folder you want.

  4. Choose the file format you want to export to from the Export pop-up menu.

  5. Click Options to see the default settings for compression, quality, key frame rate, frame reordering, encoding mode, and dimensions.

  6. To change the compression settings (known as the codec), including quality and frame rate, click Settings (this option isn’t available for all export formats), and then specify your settings. Depending on the export format you choose, you see different codecs and compression options. If you select “Movie to QuickTime Movie” as your export format, you can make the following adjustments:

    • To change the compression type, frame rate, key frames, data rate, and compressor quality, click Settings. Setting a low key frame number (such as every ten frames) creates a better-quality movie with a larger file size. Set the frame rate last; you might get choppy-looking video playback if you set the frame rate to less than about 12 frames per second. Settings for higher levels of compressor quality result in a larger file size for your movie.

    • To add filter effects, such as blur, color adjustments, or “aging,” click Filter, select a type of filter from the list, and then make your adjustments. Any filters you apply affect the entire movie. You see a preview of your changes as you work.

    • To set the frame size, click Size, and then choose a dimension setting from the pop-up menu. This size setting affects the overall size of your movie. You can also choose to preserve letterboxing using this menu.

    • To export a silent movie, deselect Sound. Or, select it and then click Settings to change the default sound export settings, including format, sample rate, sample size, and channels.

    • If you plan to stream this video on the Internet, select “Prepare for Internet Streaming,” and then select a streaming type. If you select Hinted Streaming, you can further specify streaming behavior, including payload encoding, packet size, packet duration, QT metadata interval, repeat packets, and repeat interval.

  7. After setting your preferences for export, click Save.