On iMovie 10 and Network Drives

If you’ve been struggling to find out how to get iMovie 10.0 to work with your network-attached storage devices, the answer is here.

One happy announcement made during Apple’s media event of October 2013 (Footage of Apple Media Event – October 22, 2013) was the immediate release of new iLife applications for the Mac and iOS. The new iMovie 10.0 is 64-bit, and I bit into it, thinking that it would be helpful in speeding along my home video project.

Unfortunately it looks like iMovie 10.0 and network drives do not play together well out of the box. Fortunately the iLife update did not remove my existing iMovie 9.0.9 installation.

Getting iMovie 10 to Work with NAS

The solution is to create a sparse disk image in which to house iMovie media. iMovie will read and write from a mounted sparse disk image that is located on a network drive. A step-by-step breakdown is as follows:

Open Disk Utility
Click New Image and make the changes below:

iMovie 10.0 will work with NAS when a sparse disk image is used

Type in a name that describes your content
Select sparse disk image under the Format list
Save your new sparse disk image to your network-attached storage device

Name: your-name
Size: Custom (up to the size of your external drive)
Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
Encryption: none
Partitions: Single partition – Apple partition map
Image Format: sparse disk image

After this, you should be able to close out of Disk Utility. Open a new Finder window and your newly created sparse disk image should be mounted as if it were another device, physically attached to your Mac.

iMovie 10.0 will work with NAS when a sparse disk image is used

You can now copy all of the iMovie content that you want to have access to into this sparse disk image.

Just make sure to mount the sparse disk image before opening up iMovie, and you’re good to go.

Finding a Working Solution

I created a couple of discussion threads seeking help and found that other users on the Apple Support Communities are were also being left stranded. The sparse disk image solution was presented five days after my thread was posted.

I am investigating a solution and hope that one is quick to surface.


Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion