Will iMovie work with 4K on an old Mac machine?

Will iMovie work with 4K video on an early iMac? If you are having issues editing 4K media in iMovie on an old Mac machine, you may wish to read this post. It displays a workaround to make iMovie smoothly handle 4K files.

Will iMovie work with 4K video on an early 2009 iMac?

“So I did some 4k recording with DJI Mavic Pro yesterday and the video playback is very choppy in iMovie. I’m work on an early iMac. Is this a computer issue or iMovie issue? Will iMovie work with 4K on an old Mac machine? Any ideas? Thanks in advance.”

4K video is very processor-intensive. If your old machine is not powerful enough, you will definitely encounter 4K jerky issues in iMovie. In that situation, we would recommend down-scale 4K video to 1080p AIC .mov for use in iMovie flawlessly. Here’s how.

How to down-convert 4K media to 1080p AIC for iMovie editing?

Software requirement
HD Converter for Mac
You can download a demo to see if it is able to do what you want in simple steps with good quality.
choppy issues editing 4K footage in iMovie

The steps:
Step 1: Open up HD Converter for Mac as a 4K Converter for iMovie. When its main interface comes up, click ‘Add File’ to load your source media.
convert 4K video to Apple InterMediate Codec for iMovie

Step 2: Select output format for your editing program
To convert 4K movies to AIC MOV for iMovie, from ‘Profile’ list, choose ‘Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC)(*.mov)’ as output format under ‘iMovie and Final Cut Express’ column.
4K files are choppy in iMovie
If you’ve loaded a number of video clips to do batch conversion, please do remember ticking off ‘Apply to All’ option before you start.

Step 3: Custom video and audio settings (optional)
If necessary, you can click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profiles Settings’ panel to modify video and audio settings like video encoder, resolution, video bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, audio encoder, sample rate, audio bit rate, and audio channels. 3D settings are also available.

Step 4: Begin 4K video to 1080p AIC Conversion on Mac
When ready, click ‘Convert’ to start format conversion. Once the conversion process is complete, you can click ‘Open Folder’ button to get the generated AIC MOV files for editing in iMovie on your old Mac with optimum performance.

If you don’t want to wait for the entire conversion process, you can tick off ‘Shutdown computer when conversion completed’ and go away to do other things.

Related posts
DJI Mavic Pro 4K video is jerky in iMovie, how to fix?
Issues editing Sony a9 4K XAVC-S video in iMovie
How to import Sony F55/F5 CineAlta 4K XAVC to FCP without plugin?
How to edit Blackmagic 4K footage in iMovie, FCP, Avid, and Premiere Pro?