Fixing missing iMovie 08 Files

A while back I wrote about how I lost my file server. On my file server were a number of video files that I was editing in iMovie 08. While I had managed to transfer the files from tape again, my project file still showed the files as missing. Recently I finally decided to get back to fixing the project and here is how I did it.

I headed over to Apple’s discussions area and searched a bit. After a while I found a thread that discussed my exact issue and it mentioned editing the project’s project file. Well, that was for an older version of iMovie. iMovie 08’s project file is a binary file rather than a straight text file making it much more difficult to edit.

So, rather than edit the file I thought I’d take a look at the contents of the file and make sure my files were in all the same spots iMovie was expecting them to be in. Using terminal, I browsed to my iMovie project file location of ~ruedu/Movies/iMovie Projects/Big Production. In this directory is a file called Project. On this file I used a command called strings. Strings will search for and display any strings that are present in a binary file. Using strings, this is what I saw.


X/Volumes/RAID/iMovie Events.localized/Video/clip-2007-11-03 14
;08;26.dv
X/Volumes/RAID/iMovie Events.localized/Video/clip-2007-11-03 14
;10;25.dv
X/Volumes/RAID/iMovie Events.localized/Video/clip-2007-11-03 14
;1

I then compared this to what was really present on my RAID volume. Sure enough, the file names didn’t match. It was


X/Volumes/RAID/iMovie Events.localized/Import/clip-2007-11-03 14
;08;26.dv
X/Volumes/RAID/iMovie Events.localized/Import/clip-2007-11-03 14
;10;25.dv
X/Volumes/RAID/iMovie Events.localized/Import/clip-2007-11-03 14
;1

I renamed Import to Video and restarted iMovie. My project was now correct!

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