Importing Flip video into iMovie for iOS

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The iPad 2 offers a number of exciting new features. Chief among them is the ability to capture video from the integrated cameras and edit them with the new iMovie for iOS 1.2. Unfortunately, the video camera on the iPad is better suited for FaceTime video calls than for capturing a child’s first steps, or similarly important moments, for posterity.

Thankfully, you can import video files captured from other devices, though compatibility is hit or miss. We haven’t had any luck importing files captured from Canon DSLRs, but we have had some success with Cisco's Flip video cameras. If you have a Flip, here’s how it works.

Step 1: Capture a movie

Cisco Flip camcorder

Use your Flip to shoot some video.

Step 2: Connect your Flip to the iPad

Apple Camera Connection Kit

Pop out the Flip’s built-in USB connector and connect it to the iPad 2 using the Apple Camera Connection Kit’s USB adapter. Note: On the Flash Ultra HD Flip camcorder I used, I had to plug in a powered USB hub between the Flip and the Camera Connection Kit. The Flip Mino HD did not require a hub.

Step 3: Import to Photos App

Once the Flip is connected to the iPad, the Photos application will launch. A Camera tab will open and thumbnails of your Flip’s clips will load in the window. If you’d like to import all of the clips, immediately hit the blue Import button at the bottom of the screen. To select individual clips to import, simply tap the thumbnail image and a blue checkmark will appear on the thumbnail. After you’ve selected your clips, then tap the blue Import button at the bottom of the screen.

The app will ask if you want to import all or just the selected clips. Make your choice, and the app will begin importing your images. When the iPad is done importing, Photos will ask if you’d like to delete the files from the camera. Speaking from prior experience, I recommend choosing Keep Files, and make sure that the movies or photos transferred successfully before deleting anything from the camera.

Step 4: Launch iMovie

Tap the iMovie icon on your iPad. When the iMovie app opens, Tap the + (plus) icon at the bottom of the screen to start a new project.

Step 5: Edit your video

The video clip, as well as anything you’ve captured to the iPad or imported via syncing, will show up in the upper left hand side of the screen in a window called Video. Tap on the clip and a blue arrow appears, along with a yellow handle at each end of the clip. You can tap and drag the handles to select the section of the clip you want to bring onto your timeline and click the blue arrow to bring it into your project to edit. That's it!

Have you had either luck or problems getting your video clips into iMovie for iOS? Post your suggestions or questions in this story's comment section.

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