How to use GoPro Hero 3 with iMovie


Above: a still from one of my first GoPro videos: Hodgemoor Wood, Bucks

Way back in 1998, I cycled at speed down a Normandy valley wishing I could have videoed the experience. Some 15 years on, I have the answer: the GoPro Hero 3 video camera. I’m still learning how to make the most of it, but I love this clever bit of kit, which brings together two of my passions, cycling and video.

I usually edit my videos on my Mac with Apple’s iMovie app. All the reports I’d read suggested that GoPro videos needed converting from MPEG 4 to a format iMovie can handle. But the first time I tried importing directly, iMovie seemed to handle everything fine without converting. But then I ran into difficulties. I had to cancel the first import – and couldn’t get the Mac to resume. (It wouldn’t do anything without the camera being connected.) I had no better luck the second time. So today, I bit the bullet, and converted my latest video footage in GoPro Studio before attempting to edit it in iMovie. It worked flawlessly.

So my best tip for anyone else wanting to edit GoPro footage in iMovie is this: accept you need to convert the footage first. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration.

I’ll end with one last still from my Hodgemoor video. There’s nothing better on a wet and windy evening than reliving a wonderful sunny day on the bike. I wish I’d had this for my 2002 Land’s End to John O’Groats ride…


Here’s the Hodgemoor Wood video:

PS: read my review of the GoPro jaws clamp mount.

It’s true: Apple is losing its way

I was sceptical when the first stories appeared claiming Apple was losing its way. Styling the modest improvements in the iPhone 5 as evidence of a company on the slide seemed overblown. Yet recent experiences suggest that Apple products are becoming unreliable – the curse that Apple fans have long attributed to Microsoft products.

Take the iLife suite. A bargain, as it comes with every Mac. But Apple hasn’t updated iLife for two and a half years – an eternity in the IT world. And many of the iLife apps are showing their age in frustrating fashion.

I loved emailing iPhoto images to Dad. But no matter how many tweaks I make, iPhoto has stopped emailing. No point checking email account settings – it just doesn’t work.

iPhoto won't email Photos any more

iPhoto won’t email photos any more

It’s a similar story in iMovie. Sometimes it will post movies to YouTube. Usually it won’t. It seems to be related to the Mac going to sleep during the upload.

This kind of frustration is par for the course with Microsoft, but Apple claims higher standards. But as the Maps fiasco showed, Apple’s attention to detail is failing. It doesn’t mean that Apple is in crisis, but it is a warning sign. Apple needs to pay more attention. Otherwise we’ll hesitate to pay premium prices for below premium products.