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Well, it's been awhile since I posted any more information about using GarageBand for DVD chapter markers. Since that time I have come across two very common problems that people have encountered in the process:

1. Large movies sent from GarageBand to iDVD lose their audio track.
2. DVD quality can be poor.

Here are two very useful pieces of information for those have been experiencing these problems.

1. Apparently, the audio dropping during the move from GarageBand to iDVD is a known issue. Sid shared in the comments on the original post that deselecting "Auto Normalize" in the Advanced pane of the Preferences.

I haven't experienced the problem, so I can't confirm that it works, but this is certainly worth a try.

2. There has been a lot of discussion about the best way to squeeze the highest quality DVDs from your audio. The problem is that iMovie requires you to render your movie before you can send it to iDVD, where it just gets rendered again into MPEG 2 format for DVD players.

I have it on good authority from a very knowledgeable expert at Apple that the best quality will come by exporting from iMovie using the Apple Intermediate Codec. You can access this as an export option by choosing "Export Using QuickTime" in the Share menu.

Once there, select "Movie to QuickTime Movie" in the Export dropdown menu. Then click "Options." You will see this window.

Click the "Settings" button to access and choose the Apple Intermediate Codec.

You will also want to export the right size of file. You can do this by clicking "Size" in the Options window. For people in the US, NTSC at 720 x 480 is a good size for widescreen content. If is is 4:3 content, choose NTSC 640 x 480.

Once you are done, export it to your Movies folder in your home folder. You can then add chapter markers in GarageBand, which you read about here:

How to add chapter markers

Or you can send the file straight to iDVD. Just open an iDVD project and drop in your movie file.

14 comments: to “ How to add chapter markers: an addendum

  • mgarbowski
    November 5, 2007 at 10:44 AM  

    I can confirm the value of the Garageband tip. I sent a long movie (1h 50m) from Garageband to iDVD, and there was no sound. I made the adjustment noted in this post, did it again, and it was fixed.

  • Anonymous
    November 9, 2007 at 11:28 AM  

    Spot on! The Apple Intermediate Codec is the way to go. Thank you.

  • Edward
    November 22, 2007 at 9:24 AM  

    Great tip. The only problem is that there is no available setting for 640X480 NTSC. What to do?

  • Anonymous
    November 26, 2007 at 10:46 PM  

    Alternatively, can use MetaData Hootenanny to add a chapter track to exported movie that iDVD will recognize.

  • Fireboy
    November 30, 2007 at 12:49 PM  

    Thank you from Czech rep. :-) AIC is really the way ...

  • georgy
    January 28, 2008 at 5:58 AM  

    I found a pretty easy way to get back all the iMovie HD chapter markers and iDVD interaction.

    Ths solution is to use iMovie HD to add the chapters, which is more convenient than GB and implies NO CONVERSION TIME...

    How to :
    1. once your film is finalized in iMovie 08, export it with Quicktime (Apple Intermediate Codec, with the full resolution), which is always a good idea before going to iDVD
    2. Create an empty iMovie HD project (and keep one aside, for that matter) and close it again
    3. Open the package of that empty movie
    4. Open the project in iMovie again
    5. When the app telles you it found something in the trash can, recover your movie.
    6. Drag to time line (whatever the name is in English)
    7. Add all necessary markers

    Alternatively when you are compiling different movies on one DVD :
    8. Close project
    9. In the Finder, open the project package again
    10. Take out your media and put it somewhere safe
    11. In the "Shared Movies:iDVD" folder, you'll find a movie that contains all your markers... just copy it to somewhere safe and then use it in iDVD, either for the whole dvd or for a chapter (with sub-chapters).

    I made a 2 hour DVD with that technique, making 5 different movies sequences, adding chapters in iMovie and than loading everything in iDVD.

    The upside : you only export once (from iMovie 08) and dont have to convert when loading in iMovie (compared to what it'll cost you in GB), nor do you have to convert on exporting your iMovie, since the chaptering doesn't need to work on converted data.

    Juste before commenting I tried it by putting together three different types of video : a .4mv from iMovie 08, a .3gp file from my nokia phone and a .flv from Youtube... All opened properly in iMovie without in or out conversion and could be watched live. (note: i'm also using Flip4Mac and Perian, that's why I can use the exotice formats)

    Also, instead of dragging your original files to the iMovie HD project media folder, your can use a symbolic link to your media (useful when the content is spread on different drives). This is fabulous, since you do not have to move huge files around. Read this in case you want to try it : http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2001110610290643

    Sorry for this long comment, but I have no blog and thought that could help.

    Maybe I'll make an explanation of this on youtube one of these days.

  • Georgy
    January 28, 2008 at 6:01 AM  


    After much copy/pasting I left out something VERY IMPORTANT in my previous comment :

    between steps 3 and 4 : copy your exported Quicktime file in the :Media: folder of your iMovie project.

  • Kyle
    July 1, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

    I don't know if it is just me but when i tried using the Apple Intermediate Codec I actually got a worse outcome. It looked a lot more washed out. Does this codec just work good for certain types of files?

  • Simon
    July 16, 2008 at 4:57 PM  

    The AIC works great for me, but when I open my 16:9 Quicktime file (exported from iMovie) in iDVD it plays back as a squashed 4:3 file with black bars on the left and right. Can anyone help with this?

  • Dirk
    July 23, 2008 at 10:05 AM  

    I've got exactly the same problem as Simon. iMovie and iDVD projects are in PAL 16:9 but the imported video gets squashed into 4:3 in iDVD, with black bars on right and left sides. Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous
    July 24, 2008 at 4:07 AM  

    If you get squashed result try to select DV Widescreen when creating a new project in iMovie HD.

  • Erica
    August 30, 2008 at 11:38 AM  

    I followed these instructions and have my quicktime movie located in my home folder's Movie Folder. However, I am unable to retrieve it in Garage Band. It doesn't show up as an option to select. Any ideas why that could be??

  • Adam
    October 6, 2008 at 12:04 PM  


    I had the same problem as you and then I tried opening up the Movie folder in 'Finder' and dragging it from there into the iDVD window to add it to the movie. That seemed to work.

  • Anonymous
    October 7, 2008 at 1:50 AM  

    Just curious... My Dad has a new iMac 3.0 GHZ.. and he says he made a DVD from iDVD going from iMovie '08. He said it looked great in iMovie '08 but by the time he got the DVD.. it was "Skipping" frames. I'm thinking he should #1 export the movie in DV format first from iMovie '08 (or should he use Intermediate format instead? and will iDVD import that directly? I know it will import DV format). He should also set his encoding quality in iDVD to Professional right? Also.. we have to import his camera footage twice in iMovie '08 because it first imports without sound, then it completely disappears from the event library. I have to get it out of the imovie 08 folder and re-import it to get it to stay.. He uses a Sony Tape Camera. Any thoughts?