OK, I feel like I’ve already outgrown iMovie, and I’ve only used it for two or three weeks!
Anyway, I found that iMovie video projects sometimes get corrupted. People recommend that we keep backing up older versions of the projects while working on them. I didn’t realize this at first, and was just a little way into a 10 minute video project when I found that some clips were not playing properly.
THE PROBLEM: iMovie appears to freeze on the last frame of a healthy clip just before a transition, and it stays stuck on that frame till all or part of the way through the following (corrupted) clip. The audio track, meanwhile, plays on.
I searched the forums for possible solutions, and couldn’t find any useful suggestions. On recommendation, I deleted various iMovie files and folders which were replaced by iMovie the next time it started up, but I still had the playback glitches. Many of the threads on this subject (citing iMovie skipping, freezing, stalling, refusing to play certain ‘random’ clips etc) tended to end up nowhere. In one thread, the iMovie user had been given the standard ‘delete such-and-such a preferences file’ answer. He came back and said nothing had changed, and what else could he try? [Silence]. “Yello?” said the iMovie user. [No reply]. “Nevermind.” I felt like that as well, though it must be difficult (and sometimes impossible) to diagnose problems in a computer you’ve never seen.
(I’ve got a sense of déjà vu here, and I’m not really sure why, as I’ve never used iMovie before! This ‘yello, nevermind’ thing! Nevermind).
I feared I was going to have to do what another iMovie user said he had to do… start the project all over again and keep it backed up in stages. It seemed such a waste, though, as MOST of the project was working. I didn’t want to mess around with expensive software like BBEdit or Final Cut Pro (I’m just an amateur!) so I threw those ideas out of bed as well.
Finally I found something that fixed the glitches for me, but it’s more of a process than a single thing that has to be done. Because it was a process, I fixed one glitch by mistake and then spent ages wondering why the other glitches wouldn’t follow suit! Finally I got it…
THE SOLUTION (for my own glitches, at any rate, maybe it will work for other people’s glitches as well): Usually the clip that freezes is not the corrupted one. The transition that follows it should also be OK. The following clip, which iMovie just skates through without playing, is the one that has to be fixed. You can see where it is marked (with an orange line) in the Event that houses the original video clips. That clip in Events hasn’t been damaged, but somehow the information concerning it in the Project has gone wrong (as I see it). If you delete the bad clip in the Project (NOT the Event, as that’s your original), you will see the orange line disappear from the original clip in Events.
Having done that, you can’t immediately recopy that clip to your Project and expect it to be fixed, because it isn’t yet!
I discovered that if I switched away to a completely different Event (one that had nothing to do with the video at hand), then came back to the current Event and reimported that clip to the Project, it should now play smoothly with no glitches.
It worked for me; maybe it will work for others — good luck!