iMovie ’08: adding chapter markers for iDVD

I’ve been doing a lot of playing around with video in what little spare time I had over Xmas. Besides importing VOBs, my other big problem was adding chapter markers to iMovie edits before importing into iDVD.

Yes, what Steve giveth with one hand, he taketh away with the other. The iMovie ’08 interface, with its skimming feature, is brilliant – miles ahead of every other editor, which will all work like this when the patents expire – but one of the lost functions that needs to be restored (Apple, are you listening?) is the ability to add DVD chapter markers.

Apparently there’s a way of doing this in GarageBand, but I’ve never used it and deleted it from my MacBook to save space. Instead, I discovered a nifty utility that can add chapters for you: the curiously named Metadata Hootenanny.

It’s not perfect – iDVD started importing widescreen footage in 4:3 aspect ratio after I added chapter markers, which I fixed by adding a tiny bit of blank widescreen footage to the beginning of the video – but it’s quick and easy.


4 Responses to iMovie ’08: adding chapter markers for iDVD

  1. Rootboy says:

    Hi John,
    I’m having the same issue of iDVD importing in 4:3 instead of 16:9 after adding chapter markers. Following your tip, I pasted a blank frame at the beginning of my chapter marked movie (copied out of the original un-marked movie), but I’m still having the same result. Maybe I need more than a frame? iDVD complained about modified assets, I simply said continue, got the 4:3 result. So then I tried a new project placing the chapter marked movie in it, and still the 4:3 result. When I chose a theme, iDVD commented the theme was for 4:3, but that I could continue to use the 16:9, which of course I selected to do so. I cannot find any other mention of this issue on the web. Can you please elaborate on how I might resolve this? Thank you!

  2. Anthony says:

    I’d just like to say that this is a GREAT tip. I’ve been going crazy trying to find a quick and easy way to add chapter markers to exported iMovie .dv files and this is the best solution by far. Saving as a reference .mov file takes only a few seconds and importing that to iDVD makes all of the chapters show up right off the bat. Thanks a lot for the suggestion!

    I am only using 4:3 content (old home movies) so I haven’t had any experience with the widescreen issues yet.

  3. Shirley says:

    Thank you so much for the tip. I am so relieved that I don’t have to export the movie to GarageBand from iMovie and then to iDVD (according to other blogs) which might change the quality.

    However, coz I am also using the 4:3 format, I don’t really know much about working with the 16:9 format.

    Thank you heaps 🙂

  4. Karl von Rabenau says:

    Chapter markers are available in iMovie ’09 – open preferences, general menu,click to show advanced tools. Two red buttons will show up in the top right of editing screen. The one with the white arrow is the chapter marker. Just drag and drop where you want a chapter.

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