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Timecode

In Chapter 2, I explained how timecode works as it applies to a camcorder. Although it operates the same in iMovie, you’re going to run into slightly different versions of it in various places while editing.

Timecode in iMovie

  • At the Playhead. The Playhead’s timecode always shows the time relative to the entire movie. So, for example, positioning the Playhead two seconds into a clip that appears in the middle of your movie displays something like “08:04” instead of “02:00” (Figure 8.1). The only exception is when you select a clip on the Shelf, which isn’t yet part of your movie.

    Figure 8.1. The Playhead timecode refers to time location within the context of the movie, even if only a single clip is selected.

  • In the Clip Viewer. In addition to showing timecode of individual clips, the Clip Viewer and Timeline Viewer display the movie’s total length. The Thumbnail Playhead, a red inverted T, indicates where the Playhead appears (Figure 8.2).

    Figure 8.2. A Thumbnail Playhead appears in the Clip Viewer, but without a timecode indicator. (Note that I’ve turned off short timecode display in this example, so you can see the full timecode; see the tip at left.)

  • In the Timeline Viewer. Although the Playhead in the scrubber bar shows a timecode, you often need to refer to the Timeline Viewer (and its Playhead) when editing. Individual clips include a timecode indicating their length, as space permits (Figure 8.3).

    Figure 8.3. The Playhead in the Timeline Viewer includes its own timecode indicator, which is based on the movie’s total time.


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