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iMovie 08 won't recognize avi format. How do I convert my files?

2968 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 29, 2007 2:01 PM by Roy Pembroke RSS
RNratched Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 29, 2007 8:34 AM
I just installed the new iLife up-grade to my iMac. The iMovie will not recognize all my avi movies (the old iMovie did). Is there a safe converter that I can use? Is there an easier way? What's a mother to do?
iMac, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (17,520 points)
    I just installed the new iLife up-grade to my iMac. The iMovie will not recognize all my avi movies (the old iMovie did).

    More likely, iMovie '08 recognized the AVI compression formats and cannot edit the audio and/or video so it won't let you import it. Remember, iMovie '08 will only import files that it can edit. iMovie '06 only edited DV compressed files and so it automatically converted your AVI files to DV as they were being imported. For example, many Casio cameras use Motion-JPEG/DVI ADPCM compression in the AVI file container. iMovie '08 is quite happy to import/edit you Motion-JPEG video track but doesn't like the DVI ADPCM audio. Kodak owners have a similar problem with Kodak's use of MPEG4/µ-Law compression combination in an MOV file container. (Once again the video is fine but iMovie doesn't like the µ-Lay audio preferring a more standard AAC (MPEG-4 audio) format to go along with the MPEG-4 video.

    Is there a safe converter that I can use?

    Since these files are already conversion but edit compatible with your system, you have quite a number of options. You could, for instance, drop/import them to iMovie '06 and they will be converted to DV clips which can be edited in either iMovie '06 or '08. If in iTunes, they can be converted to H.264/AAC using iTunes. If you have QT Pro, you can use that to convert them to any number of edit compatible file formats. In fact, you can even use GarageBand to export the files to an edit compatible format. Then, of course, you can always download any of the free, donationware, shareware, or payware converters available on the internet and frequently recommended here.

    Is there an easier way?

    You can always continue to edit in iMovie '06.

    What's a mother to do?

    Sorry, that's not my department.



    2.0GHz 3GB G5/533MHz 384MB G4 DeskTop/400MHz 384MB G4 Ti PB, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 60GB 5G iPod, 4GB iPhone, Nikon D-70, Nikon CoolPix 990, Sony HDR-HC3
  • Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (17,520 points)
    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction Jon, I was able to export my avi movies from iMovie HD (old) using the "share" comand. After that I could import them with the (new) iMovie 08. Worked like a charm.

    Converted DV files imported to iMovie '06 can also be removed from the iMovie '06 project "package" and imported directly into iMovie '08 without having to "Share" them. Depending on the compression format you used, this workflow may produce a better quality source file for editing but file will also likely be larger since they are DV here.


    2.0GHz 3GB G5/533MHz 384MB G4 DeskTop/400MHz 384MB G4 Ti PB, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 60GB 5G iPod, 4GB iPhone, Nikon D-70, Nikon CoolPix 990, Sony HDR-HC3
  • Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (17,520 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 29, 2007 1:53 PM (in response to RNratched)
    I tried accessing the files from iMovie HD before I tried the share route. iMovie 08 wouldn't load them.

    Can't see them directly, that's why you have to move them out of the "package." (Or you can drop them to the timeline and import them as a "project.")


    2.0GHz 3GB G5/533MHz 384MB G4 DeskTop/400MHz 384MB G4 Ti PB, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 60GB 5G iPod, 4GB iPhone, Nikon D-70, Nikon CoolPix 990, Sony HDR-HC3
  • Roy Pembroke Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Strangely, I discovered this problem yesterday when I tried to import some video taken on a Nikon 5000 camera. I found the simplest way of overcoming the problem was to convert the clips to QT .mov files by using MPEG Streamclip (free to download), save them to the desktop and then import them to IM08. A bit laborious but it was simple and it worked.
    iMac Intel, Mac OS X (10.4.9)

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