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iPhoto not importing videos; "The following file could not be imported...."

465 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2014 1:16 PM by Maklufi RSS
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Feb 13, 2014 10:55 AM

iPhoto '11 isn't importing certain of my videos; they are a combination of .mov and .mp4s.  Other of the same file types are imported without trouble.  I get the error "Unreadable Files: #   The following file could not be imported. The file is an unrecognized format" and then a list of the files.  I'm on a current generation iMac with up-to-date OS.


The files open fine in Quicktime with a double click.  I used HandBrake to convert the files (into all .mp4s) and have the same importing problem, even though the files continue to open when clicked.


FWIW, I'm copying the items into the iPhoto library (i.e., that box is checked in preferences), based on the advice of this site.  However, when I previously did not do that (i.e., when I had a referenced library) I didn't have this problem.


Any help?  Thanks.

iPhoto '11, OS X Mavericks (10.9.1)
  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)

    As a test launch iPhoto with the Option key held down and create a new, test library.  Import some photos and test to see if the same problem persists. Does it?



  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)

    Yes.  It appears that your library has been damaged. Apply the two fixes below in order as needed:


    Fix #1


    1 - launch iPhoto with the Command+Option keys held down and rebuild the library.




    2 - run Option #4 to rebuild the database.



    Fix #2


    Using iPhoto Library Manager  to Rebuild Your iPhoto Library


    1 - download iPhoto Library Manager and launch.


    2 - click on the Add Library button and select the library you want to add in the selection window..


    3 - Now that the library is listed in the left hand pane of iPLM, click on your library and go to the Library ➙ Rebuild Library menu option.


    4 - In the next  window name the new library and select the location you want it to be placed.


    5 - Click on the Create button.


    Note: This creates a new library based on the LIbraryData.xml file in the library and will recover Events, Albums, keywords, titles and comments but not books, calendars or slideshows. The original library will be left untouched for further attempts at fixing the problem or in case the rebuilt library is not satisfactory.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)

    The "weight" of a Library (in GB) makes no difference to iPhoto. It's the number of items that matters.  Assuming you have enough disk space, of course, to iPhoto there is no difference between 100GB. iPhoto 11 is good for 1,000,000 irems.


    A couple of them: Finding videos that supposedly weren't imported already, but were.  It also did strange things to the files: They still read as .mp4 or .mov, but became very small in file size (<100K in some cases) and without thumbnails; upon opening them, Quicktime would convert them into larger files (>MB).


    THis makes no sense. Quicktome cannot make any file bigger. Where are you finding these 100k files?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)

    As I mentioned, iPhoto was finding videos that it said were not in my library, and asking if I wanted to import them.  I said no, since I didn't believe that they were duplicates, and iPhoto saved them in a recovered photos folder.  It went through this process each time I opened iPhoto


    Go to your Pictures Folder and find the iPhoto Library there. Right (or Control-) Click on the icon and select 'Show Package Contents'. A finder window will open with the Library exposed.


    Look there for a Folder called 'Import' or 'Importing'.


    Drag it to the Desktop. Make no other changes. Start iPhoto. Does that help?

    If it does then look inside that folder on your desktop. Does it contain anything you want? If not you can trash the folder.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)

    Question: Why is the Finder hiding these files (not all are .avis; some are, e.g., .mp4s)?


    How is the Finder "hiding" these files?

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)

    Where were these "invisible" files located?

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)

    Whatever made them invisible to the Finder probably made them unusable to iPhoto as well.`

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