8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2007 3:37 PM by Smtr
soren lorensen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
hi, i am new and i've never had a problem playing my video files that are imported into iPhoto until now.
here's what's happening:

I usually import videos from my digital camera, a Sony Cybershot, into iPhoto, double click on them, they open in Quicktime and play with no problem.
Now, only my most recently imported video files will play normally but when i double click on my older video files +(that have always played fine in the past)+, Quicktime opens but nothing happens.
If I go to Quicktime and do file, open, and find the file - it is listed as a .jpeg +(my recently imported ones are still listed as .mpg's)+, and when they open and i press 'play' - the slider zooms across the time bar and the video doesnt play.

The only major change i can think of that i've made recently is that i rebuilt my iPhoto library (+or thumbnail cache, i dont remember which+), like iPhoto suggested.

These are all video files of my child so i'm kinda freaking out and fearing the worst.
I am not computer-tech savvy at all so hopefully somebody can help me with this +(and use simple terms that i can understand, heh)+.

Message was edited by: soren lorensen

iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.10), Sony Cybershot P72
  • 1. Re: HELP! Video files in iPhoto wont play anymore!
    Smtr Level 5 Level 5 (5,450 points)
    Soren,

    Right-click (Control-click) on a video clip and choose "Show File" from the contextual menu. A Finder window should open with the file of the move clip already selected. Try this with some of the clips that do play and again with some that don't play.

    If the chosen clip does not open as selected in the Finder, then iPhoto has lost the link to the original clip.

    Background info for you:

    When you import a video clip into iPhoto, the movie file is stored in your iPhoto Library/Originals folder, in a subfolder for the year, and finally a subfolder with the same name as the Film Roll in your iPhoto library. (A movie imported today, in a film roll called "First Birthday" will be filed like this: Home/ Pictures/ iPhoto Library/ Originals/ 2007/ First Birthday.)

    Upon import, iPhoto also takes the first frame of your video and creates a jpeg for displaying when you view your library. That jpeg goes into the Modified folder. (In the above example, the first frame goes into Home/ Pictures/ iPhoto Library/ Modified/ 2007/ First Birthday.)

    Finally, as with every item you import, iPhoto creates a thumbnail to make loading and displaying the library more efficient. When the size slider is set to a smaller size, you are shown the thumbnails. They are stored in the library's Data folder.

    It sounds to me like iPhoto has lost the link to your Original movie clips. You are opening the jpeg in the Modified folder, which is not a movie and won't play. Look inside your iPhoto Library folder and see if you can find the clips in the Originals folder. *Warning: don't tamper with the items inside the iPhoto Library folder from inside the Finder.* Look, but don't touch. If you move, rename, or in any way change something you could break more of iPhoto's links; at worst you can damage your entire database.

    iPhoto suggested that you rebuild your library/thumbnail cache because it detected a problem. Have you changed anything in the library folder from inside the Finder before? Did you have a crash or do a force quit while iPhoto was running? At any rate, the rebuild was unable to correct the problem with the video clips.

    If you find the original movies then you can probably correct the problem. Please report back with your results and we'll go from there.

    Regards.
  • 2. Re: HELP! Video files in iPhoto wont play anymore!
    soren lorensen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    +*Right-click (Control-click) on a video clip and choose "Show File" from the contextual menu. A Finder window should open with the file of the move clip already selected. Try this with some of the clips that do play and again with some that don't play.*+

    1. right-click>show file
    on videos that dont work: nothing happens. a finder window does not open up.
    2. right-click>showfile
    on videos that do work: finder window opens and file will play.

    does this mean my files are gone forever now?



    +*It sounds to me like iPhoto has lost the link to your Original movie clips. You are opening the jpeg in the Modified folder, which is not a movie and won't play. Look inside your iPhoto Library folder and see if you can find the clips in the Originals folder.*+

    When i look in the iPhoto Originals Folder, i do not see the older video files at all, (not even as .jpeg's)....
    When i look in the iPhoto Modified Folder, i see them but they are .jpeg's...



    +*Warning: don't tamper with the items inside the iPhoto Library folder from inside the Finder. Look, but don't touch. If you move, rename, or in any way change something you could break more of iPhoto's links; at worst you can damage your entire database.*+

    and THIS is why apple should either make an iPhoto for Idiots version, or at least configure the program to have a big neon blinking warning window pop-up when such actions are attempted :P
    i'm not 100% sure that i've done these things but it is quite possible.



    +*iPhoto suggested that you rebuild your library/thumbnail cache because it detected a problem. Have you changed anything in the library folder from inside the Finder before?*+

    i dont think so, but if i did, i know that i did not do it to 80 files. maybe a handful at the most.



    +*Did you have a crash or do a force quit while iPhoto was running?*+

    1. Crash - yes (does 'crash' = 'iPhoto has quit unexpectedly' ?)
    2. Force Quit - pretty sure i did at least a few times
    ^but even if i did, the files still played fine after said crashes/force quits occured up until a few weeks ago. so why would they quit working all of a sudden?


    so are we talking 'worst case scenario' here? are these video files gone forever???
  • 3. Re: HELP! Video files in iPhoto wont play anymore!
    Smtr Level 5 Level 5 (5,450 points)
    so are we talking 'worst case scenario' here? are these video files gone forever???


    It would be very rare for files to vanish from the library folder. You didn't delete them from inside iPhoto, or the jpegs would be gone, too. You would have had to delete them from the iPhoto Library/Originals folder using the Finder. Hopefully, they're just misplaced.

    How big is your hard drive, and how much space is available? (Click on the hard drive's icon in the Finder and do File > Get Info.) Is your library on the boot drive or an external drive? Had you copied it from one location to another before your videos went missing? If you are low on disk space, things can begin to go very wrong....

    If not, try a Finder search for the video files. Since you have the filenames in the Modified folder, you can look for those filenames. The only difference is the file extension, and you can check that by looking at other video clips created by the same camera. Here are step by step directions:

    Navigate a Finder window to your iPhoto Library folder. With the library folder selected, do File > Find (or type Command F). Across the top of the search window you should see: Servers-Computer-Home-Folder "iPhoto Library"-Others...

    Be sure that Folder "iPhoto Library" is selected from that list across the top. This will limit your search to that folder.

    Choose "Kind" - "Movies" Set the window to List view (View > as List) and you'll see more information: Filename, Date Modified, size. Click the column header "Date Modified" to sort them by that category, then the up or down arrow for ascending or descending order. (Hint: don't let the modified date throw you. My 2002 video clips are dated 2006 because that's when they were imported.) Click a file once to see its path at the bottom of the window. (If you know the filenames, you can sort alphabetically by clicking on the Name header.)

    Do the missing videos appear in the list? If so, look at their paths to find them. Include the path in your reply so I can best tell you how to restore them to your iPhoto Library.

    If not, then widen your search. Select "Computer" from the list at the top of the search window.

    Warning: don't tamper with the items inside the iPhoto Library folder from inside the Finder. Look, but don't touch. If you move, rename, or in any way change something you could break more of iPhoto's links; at worst you can damage your entire database.


    and THIS is why apple should either make an iPhoto for Idiots version, or at least configure the program to have a big neon blinking warning window pop-up when such actions are attempted :P i'm not 100% sure that i've done these things but it is quite possible.


    I agree, this is often a lesson learned too late. It's probably why Apple changed the library in iPhoto 7. It is now contained inside a "package file" that is more difficult to open. People are complaining loudly about that on the iPhoto '08 forum - perhaps you'd like to testify on behalf of this change.

    iPhoto suggested that you rebuild your library/thumbnail cache because it detected a problem. Have you changed anything in the library folder from inside the Finder before?


    +i dont think so, but if i did, i know that i did not do it to 80 files. maybe a handful at the most.+


    The problem is that if you changed the path to the files, then iPhoto will lose track of all of them. For example, if you have 80 movie clips inside one folder (film roll) and you rename that folder in the Finder, you have only changed one thing. But now iPhoto can't find any of the 80 files because their path has been changed. They would still be inside the library folder, just inaccessible to iPhoto.

    As for the crash/force quits, they can damage the database (but not delete files). Usually the damage is apparent the next time iPhoto is launched. This is probably not the cause of your missing movies.

    Regards.
  • 4. Re: HELP! Video files in iPhoto wont play anymore!
    soren lorensen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    +*It would be very rare for files to vanish from the library folder. You didn't delete them from inside iPhoto, or the jpegs would be gone, too. You would have had to delete them from the iPhoto Library/Originals folder using the Finder. Hopefully, they're just misplaced.*+

    i've been able to type 'mov' into the search box of iPhoto and produce the thumbnails of the 'missing' files; and when i click the 'info', they are indeed MPEG1 MOVIE files with the extension .MPG....however i cannot search and find them anywhere else.


    +*1. How big is your hard drive, and how much space is available? (Click on the hard drive's icon in the Finder and do File > Get Info.)*+
    +*2. Is your library on the boot drive or an external drive?*+
    +*3. Had you copied it from one location to another before your videos went missing?*+
    +*4. If you are low on disk space, things can begin to go very wrong....*+

    1. capacity: 37,14 GB
    available: 3.12 GB
    used: 34.01 GB on disk
    +(i had way less than this available up until recently when i began deleting a bunch of stuff to make room because i kept getting the 'startup disk full' alert and my ibook was running sooooo slow.)+

    2. library on the boot drive

    3. not sure, give me an example of what you mean?

    4. heh, see #1

    +*(after following your instructions, yada yada yada....)Do the missing videos appear in the list?*+
    +*1. If so, look at their paths to find them. Include the path in your reply so I can best tell you how to restore them to your iPhoto Library.*+
    +*2. If not, then widen your search. Select "Computer" from the list at the top of the search window.*+

    1. only 1 missing file turned up in this search:
    Users/emilysewell/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Modified/2006/Roll 91/MOVO1566.mpg

    2. selected computer and the no others were found.

    So what now???
  • 5. Re: HELP! Video files in iPhoto wont play anymore!
    Smtr Level 5 Level 5 (5,450 points)
    Oh, dear. I'm afraid this may be the key:

    1.available: 3.12 GB (i had way less than this available up until recently when i began deleting a bunch of stuff to make room because i kept getting the 'startup disk full' alert and my ibook was running sooooo slow.)


    OS 10 needs lots of free space on the boot disk in order to function. By the time you get the 'startup disk full' alert very bad things can be happening. It was probably then that your movie files were lost.

    You're not out of the woods yet. Most recommendations I've read say you need an absolute minimum 5 GB free; 10 GB is the typical recommended minimum. External hard drives have come way down in price in the last couple of years. Your easiest solution would be to buy one and keep your iPhoto library on it. iPhoto can be run from an external drive, and it works exactly the same as on your internal drive, with the only difference that you must have the external drive mounted when you run iPhoto. Then you can delete the iPhoto library on your boot drive to free up that needed space.

    If you do get an external hard drive, be sure to use Disk Utility to format it Mac OS Extended (journaled) before you put any data on it. Most drives come formatted for Windows. They can appear to work fine, until you have trouble with your iPhoto library or movies, and it's too late to repair the damage. Better to format them first.

    Better still, get a second external drive to use as a back up for your other drives. You can clone your startup drive, and you'll have a way to recover if it fails. Copy the drive with your iPhoto Library, so you have your files in the event that its drive fails.

    Now, about that movie file. Navigate to it in the Finder: iPhoto Library/Modified/2006/Roll 91/MOVO1566.mpg. Right-click the mpg file and choose "Open with" from the contextual menu. Then navigate the dialog box to QuickTime and open the file. Does it play?

    If it plays, drag it out of the iPhoto Library folder and onto your Desktop. Look around in the above named folder and see if there are any other mpg files to be found. If so, create a folder on the Desktop and move them to it. If not, they are probably really gone. Just the fact that one is in the Modified folder shows that strange things have happened inside your library.

    To get the file back in your iPhoto library, you must first delete the file that iPhoto thinks it has in there. (If iPhoto thinks the file is already in the library, it will refuse to import it again.) You'll have to use iPhoto to find the thumbnail of the movie MOVO1516.mpg. (It may be tricky if you changed the movie's title in iPhoto.) Use Film Roll View, locate Roll 91, and find the thumbnail that matches the movie. Drag it to the iPhoto trash, then empty the trash (using the command in the iPhoto menu). Once deleted from iPhoto, you will now be able to import the movie from your Desktop back into your library. After importing, double-click it to see if QuickTime opens and plays the movie correctly.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed....
  • 6. Re: HELP! Video files in iPhoto wont play anymore!
    soren lorensen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    1. +*Oh, dear. I'm afraid this may be the key:*+

    +*1.available: 3.12 GB (i had way less than this available up until recently when i began deleting a bunch of stuff to make room because i kept getting the 'startup disk full' alert and my ibook was running sooooo slow.)*+

    +*OS 10 needs lots of free space on the boot disk in order to function. By the time you get the 'startup disk full' alert very bad things can be happening. It was probably then that your movie files were lost.*+

    just to make myself clear:
    when i did all that deleting, i know i didnt delete those files in iPhoto. i may however deleted them in Finder like you suggested i might have done (not realizing what i was doing of course) but i honestly cannot remember if i did.
    so knowing what you know and how things work, would you say its a safe bet that i did this?

    also, when you say 'lost', you mean forever/never coming back? even though i can still find the thumbnails in my iPhoto library and they say that they are .mpg files and not .jpg files???



    2. +*Now, about that movie file. Navigate to it in the Finder: iPhoto Library/Modified/2006/Roll 91/MOVO1566.mpg. Right-click the mpg file and choose "Open with" from the contextual menu. Then navigate the dialog box to QuickTime and open the file. Does it play?*+

    no it does not play.

    3. +*If it plays, drag it out of the iPhoto Library folder and onto your Desktop. Look around in the above named folder and see if there are any other mpg files to be found. If so, create a folder on the Desktop and move them to it. If not, they are probably really gone. Just the fact that one is in the Modified folder shows that strange things have happened inside your library.*+

    can i try this with .mpg's i find in my iPhoto library that wont play?
    and with the .jpg's that are supposed to be .mpg's i find in my Finder???

    4. +*To get the file back in your iPhoto library, you must first delete the file that iPhoto thinks it has in there. (If iPhoto thinks the file is already in the library, it will refuse to import it again.) You'll have to use iPhoto to find the thumbnail of the movie MOVO1516.mpg. (It may be tricky if you changed the movie's title in iPhoto.) Use Film Roll View, locate Roll 91, and find the thumbnail that matches the movie. Drag it to the iPhoto trash, then empty the trash (using the command in the iPhoto menu). Once deleted from iPhoto, you will now be able to import the movie from your Desktop back into your library. After importing, double-click it to see if QuickTime opens and plays the movie correctly.*+

    do you still want me to try this even if it didnt play in suggestion #2 above?
  • 7. Re: HELP! Video files in iPhoto wont play anymore!
    soren lorensen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    omg i feel like such an idiot!!!

    my mom just reminded me that when i did all that "deleting" a few weeks ago to make room, i had moved all of my video files onto a jumpdrive reason being: TO GET THEM OFF MY COMPUTER BECAUSE THEY TAKE UP SO MUCH SPACE!

    god i have the memory of an ant! i am so sorry to have wasted your time with all of this.
    but thank you soooo much for helping me regardless.
    and dont think i didnt learn anything from this because i definitely did! several important things as a matter of fact, like the bit about not changing things in finder, the amount of free space needed to operate properly, getting an external hard drive and formatting it first, and i'm sure there are several others i'm just so excited right now that i didnt lose those files.
    i really almost fainted when i read that they might have been gone for good, lol.

    again, thank you so much!
  • 8. Re: HELP! Video files in iPhoto wont play anymore!
    Smtr Level 5 Level 5 (5,450 points)
    Hooray! That's great news. And don't feel bad, I've had my share of mother's memory lapses too.

    When you deleted your movie files directly from the Finder, you confused iPhoto. That may be why it had asked you to rebuild the thumbnails. It is also why iPhoto was still reporting the files as mpeg - the database didn't know that the videos had been removed. To correct it, round up those movies (rather, the broken thumbnails representing the movies) in the iPhoto window, move them to the iPhoto Trash, then empty. If they are scattered throughout your library, simply open the keywords pane (lower left corner) and click on your Movie keyword to bring them all up. iPhoto assigns that keyword automatically with each video clip you import, so they are easy to find. Delete the old clips which you had removed, and be careful not to trash the newer clips until you have them saved elsewhere.

    If you need to remove files from the library, use iPhoto to do it. For example, to save your newer video clips, select them in the iPhoto window. Do a File > Export > File Export. Choose "Full Size" and "Original" Format (Don't change your movie files to jpegs, or it would defeat the purpose of the export.) Create a folder on the Desktop and export them to it. You can copy that desktop folder to a jumpdrive, CD, DVD, etc. to save the files. Then go back to iPhoto, move the videos to the iPhoto trash, and empty.

    When you get that external drive, moving the library is easy. Copy the entire iPhoto Library folder to the location you want on the external drive. (Don't move it in pieces; leave it closed and move as an entity.) Once copied, hold down the Option key as you launch iPhoto. Select "Choose Library" and navigate to the iPhoto Library folder on the external drive. It will open in the same condition as before the move. (Note: there is NO importing involved when you move a library.) After you have played with iPhoto a bit and verified that everything functions properly, you can delete the iPhoto Library folder on your boot drive to free up that space.

    Of course, feel free to come back for any further assistance. And thank you, it's such a relief to be able to uncross my fingers again. I do love a happy ending.