iMovie and Final Cut Pro HD Export Issue

By: Richard Glaser - Revised: 2006-06-15 devin

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A workaround to an issue with Final Cut Pro HD and iMove that prevents iMovie from exporting to camera.

What is the issue?

Currently, there is a conflict with having iMovie 3 & 4 & Final Cut Pro HD installed on the same Mac, that prevents iMovie from exporting to camera.

The solution is to temporarily move the following files from /Library/QuickTime/ to another location:
Restart the computer and try exporting from iMovie to your camera.

Then when you want to use Final Cut Pro HD, move the files back into /Library/QuickTime and restart.

For more details about this issue, see Apple Support Article ID: 93804.

This solution is NOT ideal in a multi-user environment like a lab at an educational institution, where users will not, or should not have permissions to directly move files in/out of /Library/QuickTime and it will not be done in a consistent manner from user to user.


We needed to have iMovie 4 & Final Cut Pro HD installed on our Mac's. So, we came up with the following workaround.

First, we use the following script, swap_fcp_imovie_files, to swap the conflicting files in/out when the user is exporting to camera with iMovie or using Final Cut Pro HD.


file3='/Library/QuickTime (Disabled)/DesktopVideoOut.component'
file4='/Library/QuickTime (Disabled)/DVCPROHDVideoOutput.component'

if [ -e "$file1" -a -e "$file2" ]; then
       /bin/mv "$file1" "$file3"
       /bin/mv "$file2" "$file4"
       if [ -e "$file3" -a -e "$file4" ]; then
              /bin/mv "$file3" "$file1"
       /bin/mv "$file4" "$file2"

Next, we created a GUI front-end to give users feedback & information and execute the script. The GUI was written using Cocoa frameworks with Xcode, called "Fix iMovie-FCP Export".

iMovie Exporting to Camera

When the user wants to use iMovie and export to camera, they launch the application and get the following dialog:

Then the use, clicks the button "Switch to iMovie" then will get prompted to restart the Mac:

When the user clicks the OK button, the files:
are moved into the folder:
/Library/QuickTime (Disabled)
and the Mac is restarted.

Using Final Cut Pro HD

If since our last file system maintenance run (i.e. radmind), a user used the "Fix iMovie-FCP Export" to use iMovie to export to camera, then the user needs to run the application again, to use Final Cut Pro HD. Else, the user can use Final Cut Pro HD like they usually would.

Again, launch the application, click "Switch to FCP" and click OK button.

the files:
are moved from the folder:
/Library/QuickTime (Disabled)
and back into the folder:


There are a few details you need to know to use the script & application.

First, the script needs to be installed in:
And needs to have SUID root permissions and executable. Note, make sure that this script is NOT writable by any users other than administrators, else it could be modified and used for unattended purposes.

You can use the following commands to set permissions & owner:
chown root /usr/local/bin/swap_fcp_imovie_files
chmod 4555 /usr/local/bin/swap_fcp_imovie_files
The application can be stored wherever you like, but should be easy to find for users who need to use it.