iMovie for Mac: About memory cards and cables

About memory cards and cables

To import media from your recording device to your Mac, you need to remove the memory card from your device and insert it into either your Mac or a memory card reader. You can also connect your device directly to your Mac using the appropriate cable. Then you can import the media on the memory card or device. For more information, see Import from file-based cameras.

Memory cards

Many file-based camcorders and devices record media on a removable memory card. You can connect a card reader to your Mac and transfer the contents of your memory card onto your Mac. Some Mac computers feature an SD (Secure Digital) or SDXC (SD extended capacity) card slot that allows these computers to read and write data to SD media inserted in the slot. If your Mac has a card slot, you can remove the card from the camera, insert the card into your Mac, and then import the files.

For more information, see About the SD and SDXC card slot.

SD memory card

Cables and devices

You can also connect your device to your Mac using a Thunderbolt, USB, or FireWire connection. The kind of cable you need depends on the kind of device you’re using:

  • Thunderbolt device: Devices that use Thunderbolt I/O technology use a connector that plugs into the Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort output port on your Mac and looks like the connector below.

    Thunderbolt connector
  • USB device: You use a USB cable for file-based camcorders, digital still cameras that record video, and iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The USB cable may have a Type-A connector that plugs into your Mac (at the top in the illustration below). The other end of the USB cable has a Type-B connector, which plugs into your recording device (in the middle in the illustration below). Newer camcorders may use a USB cable with a Type-C connector on both ends (on the bottom in the illustration below).

    USB Type-A, Type-B, and Type-C connectors
  • FireWire device: For most camcorders that record to tape, you use a FireWire cable with a 6-pin connector on one end that plugs into your Mac (at the top in the illustration below) and a 4-pin connector on the other end that plugs into your camcorder (on the bottom in the illustration below).

    FireWire 4-pin and 6-pin connectors

    Or you might have a FireWire 800 cable, with a different end that plugs into your camcorder or Mac.

    FireWire 800 connector
Published Date: Oct 10, 2019
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