I'm making a short movie with iMovie.

From time to time (more than once per day) I export it in medium format.

I did it with my last version, then I refined the video and when exporting again iMovie started crashing.

After lot of hacking, reading (this great post for instance, which gives multiple very useful solutions), I understood that the cause was some corrupted video.

I crashes probably in the part where I included some video produced with iMovie itself. So, I create a temp project with iMovie, and I export it to use the exported video in my MAIN project.

I removed it and now it works. If I include it again it sometimes crashes, and it is the weird thing: I never changed this video, and when I include it again some time the project is exporting well, sometimes not (it seems a not-reproducible issue! crazy!).

Hence I have the following questions:

  1. is it possible to 'repair' the video which make the project crash?

  2. is there a way to understand, from the error report, WHICH WAS THE PART CAUSING THE CRASH?

  3. iMovie is great but I think it is still somewaht a toy. So if I buy final cut pro x, can I import iMovie videos without getting crazy?

-- UPDATE --

The followings are not possible solutions:

  • Removing the "organic" title (I'm not using it)
  • clean the preferences entry in the library folder (com.apple.iMovieApp.plist), I've already tried it

2 Answers 2


You can try to convert the defunct video to a different codec. Use something Lossless like ProRes, if you can, or Motion JPEG. Then put the clip back into your project.

I had this problem once in FCP7 for about a week. It didn't go away until I re-recorded that video (which was painful, but in my case, doable). I wouldn't suggest such a radical solution in your case though. There's a lot you can still try. Read the linked post. Basically what I did was: "circumvent or force media conversion at different production stages".

You can also open Console and take a look at the log when the app is crashing. That normally gives hints what is going on in the background.

  • Do you have suggestion about a good converter (free is better!)? Thanks
    – Daniele B
    Feb 11, 2013 at 9:12
  • 1
    Yes, try HandBrake or Adapter for "end product" conversion and MPEG Streamclip for "in production" (ProRes, Animation, MJPEG) conversion.
    – Zettt
    Feb 11, 2013 at 12:58
  • Zett, how can you get hints from the log? any suggestion? It seems to me it gives a lot of information about the threads, the libraries... but not many indicaiton on where the problem happened (just having the exact time where the problem was generated would be of great help).
    – Daniele B
    Feb 11, 2013 at 13:21
  • Look on the left where it says ~/Library/Logs and User Diagnostic Reports. I assume there's something somewhere inside. If not you can always type the apps' name in the search field.
    – Zettt
    Feb 11, 2013 at 14:01
  • I think I found the problem!!!! This has nothing to do with the video. It's the lettering. Some lettering makes it crash! The good news is that it crashes also when you play it from iMovie editor, so can know it doesn't work before exporting it.
    – Daniele B
    Feb 12, 2013 at 9:38

I've solved the same problem by removing all animations of my introduction. I hope this is helpful for future problems.

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