Where is the QT reference movie in iMovie HD?

iMovie 3 introduced a clever thing: when you saved a project, it also created a QuickTime reference movie of the contents of your timeline, effectively creating a QuickTime movie of your movie. Being a reference movie, the file itself was just a pointer to the various media files in your Media folder, but you could drag the refernce movie into iDVD, for example, as a quick and easy way to import a movie without going through iMovie’s Export/Share process.

Projects in iMovie HD, however, are stuctured differently. Instead of having a single project file, a Media folder, and a reference movie, everything now is bundled into an iMovie project package — one file that acts like a folder.

So what happened to the QuickTime reference file? It’s still there… you just need to know where to find it:

  1. Control-click your project file (it will look something like, “iMovieTest.iMovieProject”), and choose Show Package Contents from the contextual menu that appears.
  2. Open the Cache folder.
  3. Locate the file named “Timeline.mov”. That’s the reference movie.

You can then copy the reference movie to another folder, or drag it into iDVD.

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