MacMost Now 362: Importing Incompatible Video into iMovie

Most video cameras produce files in a format that iMovie can handle right away. However, some cameras use special video formats that iMovie can't read without your help. There are three strategies you can use to get incompatible video into iMovie: installing software that comes with your camera, researching solutions on the company Web site, or converting the video using free third-party tools.

Comments: 20 Responses to “MacMost Now 362: Importing Incompatible Video into iMovie”

    YesterNova
    9 years ago

    I’ll try this guide with EDIUS CODECS.

    THX

    Ross Craig
    9 years ago

    I use Handbrake to convert my video files. I have a Panasonic SDR-SW20 and it uses the .mod format. Handbrake is a resource hog, but the clips I convert are only short ones.

    josh
    9 years ago

    god has bless you with a great way to teach….i go a question…..i want to do my mac all over again but im afraid to lose my final cut and all my important programs …..how can i make a copy of a program already install in my snow leopard 10.6?????? ill be waiting “god bless you very much”

      9 years ago

      Make sure you have your original install CD/DVDs for those handy. Usually, for complex programs, you need to re-install. Simply copying files won’t do it. If you downloaded some of the programs, then make sure you have all of your registration codes ready, and know where to get new installers, or save the installers you have.
      Very important: make sure you have a complete backup of everything. Keep the backup around for a long time so if you discover you are missing a document or data file down the road, you know where to find it.
      Is there a reason you are doing this? Unless you have a good reason, I wouldn’t attempt this as there is so much that can go wrong.

    madalina
    9 years ago

    oh my God! it won’t let me select the mpeg4, and the mp4 in audio doesn’t exist

      9 years ago

      What won’t let you select mpeg4? Which application are you trying to use, and which file are you trying to convert? And where, exactly, did the file come from (camera make and model).

        Ebla
        7 years ago

        I have the same problem as Madalina…
        I imported a file from my camera, and it became VLC. I tried to select mpeg4/mp4 on Streaming/Exporting Wizard (VLC) but the only the encapsulation format I get to choose is mpeg ts.
        I double checked everything and I have tried several times, but it still won’t work… I am trying to convert a small 17s film.

    madalina
    9 years ago

    i did what you said here to do with the vlc but still doesn’t work :(

    madalina
    9 years ago

    the file came from the net; after i upted the vlc i could choose the mpeg4 audio option, but i couldn’t import it into my i movie; maybe i don;t have imovie09 so it won’t let me import it

      9 years ago

      I’m not sure what you are trying, exactly, but if it didn’t work, then try something else. Try using another export setting in VLC. Try using one of the other programs: MPEGStreamclip or FFMpegX.
      It sounds like you don’t know what format the original is in — if you got it from the net, then I can see why. You’ve just got to keep trying formats and applications until you get something that works with that particular video.

        Donna Brooks
        8 years ago

        Gary, could you perhaps do a video on the VLC Player, showing us various features, explaining the menus, and telling us how to use it besides just having it open when we click on a video? I hate having underutilized apps just b/c I don’t know what they can do! Perhaps you can also review Miro & Realplayer features, uses, & menus? Your iMovie vids were SO helpful!

        I find all these video formats, software, codecs, etc. to be bewildering. For example, what is this app used for? http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/20273/x264-quicktime-codec

        And this is similar: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/24173/x264encoder When I went to the Developer’s website, to try to learn about the app, I became even more confused b/c he has several other similar plugins for dif formats: http://www003.upp.so-net.ne.jp/mycometg3/

        Maybe you could do a vid just explaining what all these formats are, why they exist, and what, if any, are their practical applications?

        Would the average user find Handbrake helpful?

        THANKS!

    madalina
    9 years ago

    it’s .avi the format original, and i made it mpeg4, mp4 with your help so it says on it’s info; thank you

    kelvyn
    9 years ago

    Thanks! Spent a lot of time looking for help with conversion until I came across this… Thanks again.

    Donna Brooks
    8 years ago

    Just wanted to offer my experience from this week. I *tried* using VLC, the Miro Converter, & the Realplayer Converter to convert an .avi to a format to import into iMovie. None of these worked, even though I tried different settings, etc. Sometimes I got error messages when I attempted to open the converted version or there was no audio. So then I tried MPEG Streamclip (my first time using it), and was able to convert into both a .mov and .mp4. I then imported the .mov file into iMovie with no problem. There were a lot of settings and terminology in MPEG Streamclip that I didn’t understand, so I may not have chosen the settings to get the best quality of image & sound, but I was really happy with how easy it was to use! They do have a User Guide, but I just needed one video converted and didn’t have time to read about all the settings. I will do so in the future, though, because I was happy to have an app that generated a file that actually PLAYED properly!

    paige
    7 years ago

    Um, I have a wmv file, and I also have VLC player installed. So I did what you said to do with the whole converting thing, but the only option that it allows me to convert the video to is a MPEG TS. It won’t allow me to change it to a MPEG 4 / MP4. I’ve tried tons of times, thinking I did something wrong, but I swear I did everything the video said to do. PLEASE HELP!

      7 years ago

      Not sure why VLC isn’t giving you more options. Perhaps try updating/re-installing it? Or, just try another program like Miro or MPEG Streamclip.

    Jorgé
    7 years ago

    When I try to go to MPEG 4 Audio (in VLC) it is not there.

    Samantha Lauzon
    7 years ago

    I used your instructions above to try and transfer some videos that were sent to me by my brother. He convinced me to download VLC in order for me to view the videos. I was able to convert two videos into the format that the quicktime player should have been able to read but still get an error message indicating “The document “michelle.mp4” could not be opened. The movie’s file format isn’t recognized.”. Can any further advice be offered? Thank you!!!

      7 years ago

      Just try something different. You have lots of options when exporting from programs like VLC. Try some other options. Or, try another program mentioned in this video.

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