How to Record Videos in iMovie

Last updated on June 9, 2018 by Ericson

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How to Record Videos in iMovie

screen record in iMovieiMovie is best known as video editing tool created by Apple company for Mac and iOS devices. It works well in making and editing video clips which can be easily sent via iCloud or shared to different social media websites like Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and others. However, there is another appealing function specially designed for recording videos in iMovie. This function can also be used for making tutorial or demo videos, touting the tool more than just a video editor. There are two possible options to record using iMovie. The first one is with the use of the built-in iSight, the camera usually found on the latest Mac device, and the second option is with the use of an external camera, which needs to be connected first on your Mac device. In this article, you will know how to record video in iMovie and learn some of the alternatives to it.

How to Screen Record with iMovie?

Step1 Open iMovie from your Mac

Open your iMovie program from the application folder on your laptop. Once you have opened the recorder, go to the “File” menu on top of your screen and click the “Import Media” option or use Control+I keyboard shortcut.


Step2 Import Camera

From the sidebar of the import window, choose the camera on the left side menu option under “Cameras” that you want to import. Once done, a live feed will be displayed. If you are an old Mac device user, you will need to connect the Mac to a stand-alone camera by using the FireWire Cable.

import camera

Step3 Select the Project

Choose the project or event that you want to record your movie into by clicking on the “Import to” field located at the top of the import window. You have three options to specify the events or projects, you can choose an existing event, create a new one, or choose the open project as you like.

import media

Step4 Start Recording

When you are ready to start recording a video with your web camera, simply click on the “Record” button at the lower center of the main window. This allows you to make a live recording of what you want to show your viewers, whether it is a live video of yourself giving speech or lectures or showing how-to activities.

imovie recording

Step5 Stop, End, and Save Recording

Once you are finished recording and you want to stop recording, just click on the “Record” button again. The captured video will be displayed as a movie clip in the project event library that you selected to import the video into. Moreover, you can place the recorded file into an existing iMovie project. If you wish to add some effects to your video, you can utilize the toolbar at the upper right of the main window. You can edit your video, add text, overlay, use transitions, adjust volume, and more. Then click on save button once you are done.

edit recording

iMovie seems to work well in recording webcam, however, it is the only video source it supports and it does not allow users to change the recording setting prior to the recording process. This can prompt users to look for other tools that can do more and better suit their need for screen recording. Here are some of the best alternative tools to iMovie.

Screen Grabber Pro Mac - iMovie Alternative to Record Video

mac screen recorder website Screen Grabber Pro Mac is an effective alternative to iMovie for video recording. Its ability to record video is not limited only with a webcam like iMovie, instead, it can also record screen activity in full screen or specific region which makes it a reliable tool for creating tutorial videos and capturing a video, movie or gameplay. In addition, this Mac recording tool can also record videos along with the audio coming from the system, microphone, or both simultaneously. It has a built-in video converter that you can use to convert recorded file into various formats of your choice, such as MP4, AVI, WMV, and more, and more importantly, you can upload your videos directly to YouTube and other video streaming sites and share them instantly with your friends and family.

Here is the instruction on how to record using the Screen Grabber Pro Mac:

Step1 Download and install

This is the first thing you need to do, you must download and install the program on your Mac computer. You may click the buttons below to easily access the tool and download it directly to your device.

Try It Free

Step2 Customize Settings

Once installed, you can customize the settings on the “Option” menu under the “Settings” tab on the main interface. This will let you modify the frame rate, edit the cursor settings, quality, and set hotkeys.

general settings of screen grabber pro mac

Step3 Select the region to record

Click on the “Record” tab and select the recording mode according to your need. You can choose to record the screen or the webcam. If you wish to record both, simply select the “Region” option and drag the cursor over the screen. Then, click on the webcam icon to add it to your recording.

select region to record

Step4 Visit the target website and Perform Recording

Once you have selected your capturing mode, go to your target website or video that you want to record. As mentioned, if you wish to record only a specific region on your screen, simply drag your mouse over it and click the blue “OK” button. After clicking the OK button, the recording process will immediately start at the count of three.

target video

Step5 Annotate while Recording and Stop

If you wish to annotate while recording, simply click on the pencil icon below the screen capture frame. You can easily add texts, captions, shapes, arrows, etc. in different colors of your choice. This is especially useful when you are making tutorials to make your video more comprehensive.

video annotations

Step6 Play and Share

Once you are done recording, your recorded file will automatically be saved to the main interfaca as well as in your hard drive. Here, you cannot only play it but also convert, rename, remove or delete from the list, and upload it directly to video-sharing sites like YouTube.

task list of screen grabber pro mac


  • Intuitive interface
  • Real-time editor
  • Screen recording task scheduler
  • Offline screen recording program


  • Need to buy the full version to completely experience the benefit out of it

Get Free Trial Now


OBS in MacOpen Broadcast Software, better known as OBS, is an iMovie alternative tool for screen recording live streaming videos online on your Mac device. It is a completely free and open source screen recorder that also supports Windows and Linux operating systems. This tool is often used to record gameplay, as it is able to record video along with its audio. It also allows users to switch between a number of windows at a time. Not only can it record screen, it also has functions for video editing, filtering, color correction, and actual audio enhancement and noise removal using its built-in sound enhancer. Aside from the screen, OBS can also record web camera for a better picture-in-picture recording and video streaming experience.

Here is how you can get started with OBS:

Step1 Launch the program

Visit OBS website, then download and install the program on your computer. You may click this link to directly access the tool: OBS

download obs

Step2 Select source

Go to the “Sources” menu located near the bottom left corner of OBS. Then a list of sources will appear. Select the “Display Capture” option to open the “Create or Select Source” window.

select source

Step3 Prepare Display to be Recorded

Select the display you want to record. You do not need to change anything when you have only one video card or monitor. However, if you want to record another display, simply choose from the “Display” drop-down menu and then tap on OK button.

prepare display

Step4 Adjust the Volume

From the “Mixer” tab at the bottom part of OBS window, you can easily alter the volume the way you like it. You can adjust the volume of audio coming from desktop and external input like a mic.

adjust volume

Step5 Start Recording

Simply click on the “Start Recording” button at the bottom right of the OBS window to start the process. Then, hit “Stop Recording” when you are done, which is right below the “Start Streaming” button.

start recording

Step6 View your File

Once you are done with your recording, it will be automatically saved in your computer for you to easily play and watch it. You may repeat the whole process if you want to start over.


  • Free and Open source
  • Over 20 plugins
  • Unlimited number of scenes
  • Streams to most live video streaming


  • Does not work on Windows XP
  • Takes time to completely master
  • Intimidating interface
  • Difficult troubleshooting

QuickTime Player

quicktime playerQuickTime Player is known as a pre-installed app developed by Apple company which serves as the default media player for Mac devices. This application can also be used as a screen recorder for Mac OS, which lets you record anything viewable on your screen. It has a clean user interface that makes it easy to accomplish screen recording task, especially for beginners. Whether you want to record gameplay footages or make tutorials, you can use QuickTime Player without a fuss. It can also record web camera, iPhone screen, and audio from computer system or microphone.

How to use the QuickTime Player?

Step1 Open the tool

Since QuickTime player is a preinstalled screen recorder in Mac, it can be accessed easily. Open the program and go to the “File” menu at the top left of your screen and select “New Screen Recording” option.

screen recording

Step2 Select the Audio Source

Select the audio source by clicking on the arrow pointing downward beside the recorder button and choose the option to record or not the mouse clicks.


Step3 Start Recording

To start recording, click on the red circle “Record” button as shown above. You can choose to record the whole screen or just the manually highlighted region from it. Once you get satisfied with your video and you want to stop the recording, simply hit the same red button and your video file will be saved in MOV format on your iMac system.

start recording


  • Easy and fast to use
  • Easy video editing
  • Comfortable and user-friendly interface


  • Preparation before recording takes quite long time
  • Needs to install an additional codec
  • Does not have an advanced editing feature


monosnap in mac 1Another solution for recording your Mac screen activity is with the use of Monosnap. This is a perfect choice for taking quick screenshots as well as recording video with better quality. You can also edit your video files or add annotations, shapes, lines, highlights during the recording process. It gives users the option to use a mic, system audio, web camera simultaneously. This tool also lets you choose where to export your processed video, as it supports different cloud storage sites like Amazon S3, Dropbox, Box Storage, Evernote as well as video sharing platform like YouTube. With all these features, it can be said that Monosnap is also good for creating short tutorials, online demo, and more.

Follow the steps below to use the Monosnap:

Step1 Download and install

Download and install the screen recorder on your Mac device. You may visit the link by clicking the Monosnap.


Step2 Choose Record Video

At the top of your screen, you will see the thunder icon of Monosnap, click on that icon and select the “Record Video” option.

record video

Step3 Configure the Settings

Once you select to record video, a video recorder icon will appear at the top of your screen. Clicking the drop-down menu of the video recorder icon will let you choose from options like Start Recording, Settings, Switch to Full-Screen Mode, and Quit video recorder. Under Settings options, you can adjust the number of frames, recording quality, and so on.


Step4 Begin Recording

After setting up the necessary options, simply click on the red “Record” button to begin recording or click the “Start Recording” option from the drop-down menu of the video recorder icon. Click the red button to finish the recording.

start recording


  • Advanced screenshot function
  • No time limits
  • Has voice over feature


  • Need to Register a Monosnap account
  • Need a long time to familiarize self with all of its features


screenflow macScreenFlow is one of the best alternative tools for iMovie when it comes to recording video in your Mac laptop. It gives quality video recording which makes it effective for a tutorial or demo videos using its built-in tools where you can make simple annotations, add images, texts, shapes, background music, and transitions. You can record the entire screen, a specific region, different monitor, and web camera. Similar to the previous tools, this tool is capable of recording audio from microphone, system, and other external audio input. Once you have your recorded file, you can choose to export your video into various video format like MP4, MOV, M4V, etc. as well as upload it to social media platforms and cloud storage device like YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Google Drive, or Dropbox.
If you want to try the ScreenFlow, here are the steps for you to follow:

Step1 Download the screen recorder

Download the tool on your Mac computer. Get this at ScreenFlow. Once downloaded, you should see it located in your Application folder.

Step2 Open the tool

Click on the downloaded tool to open. Then a window will pop-up on your screen where you can configure your desired audio source, whether you want to record with a mic or not and include the computer audio, choose your camera input, and more by just clicking the square box before the options according to your need.

screenflow new recording

Step3 Start Recording

To start recording, simply hit the red circle button on the main window showed above or tap on the recorder icon on the top of your screen and click the record option. You can also use keyboard shortcut, just press and hold shift command 2. Once you are done recording, simply go to the recorder icon again and click “Stop Record” option.

screenflow record

Step4 Edit and Publish your Video

Once you stop the recording, another window will be displayed on your screen where you can play, adjust volume, and edit your video.After that, if you are satisfied with what you edited, go to the “File” tab on the top of your screen and click “Export” option to save your work on your computer.

screenflow edit video


  • Easy to use
  • Various editing features
  • Higher stability
  • Intuitive User Interface


  • Leaves Watermark to exported videos
  • Exporting HTML5 is not supported
  • No built-in templates


Recording with iMovie is a good choice if you prefer to record with webcam alone. However, if you are looking for more features while making a screencast, the abovementioned iMovie alternatives are some of the best tools to choose from. As you notice, every alternative has its own upsides and downsides. But the tool that really stood out among others is the Screen Grabber Pro Mac, as it was designed primarily for screen recording and it has features that other tools do not have like the ability to record screen activity even during your absence using the task scheduler function.

April 17, 2018
Post By Ericson to Recorder on Mac
Last updated on June 9, 2018

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