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iMovie won't import .mov files

62717 Views 33 Replies Latest reply: Dec 1, 2010 8:39 PM by carbonboy RSS
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Freddy Johansen Calculating status...
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Jan 27, 2010 3:33 AM
I have had to convert a lot of my .mts files to .mov because the computer could not find the camera all of a sudden. I used Toast 9 to convert in full HD since my Canon HF11 records Full HD.

I coverted all the files from .mts to .mov in order to import into iMovie, but iMovie refuses to import them.

I click File, import movies, but all the files are not selectable.

What format am I supposed to use if I want to import into iMovie 09?

Any suggestions
iMac, MacBook Pro, iBook, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Jc Trilogy Architecture Calculating status...
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    Jan 27, 2010 5:11 PM (in response to Freddy Johansen)
    I find it ridiculous that iMovie will not import .mov
    A work around for us at our firm was to convert the .mov into a .dv file which iMovie could then import. Try that, but there was a significant loss in quality when this was done.

    Try that. Let us know what happens.

    Cheers.
    Mac Pro 4.1, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Paperbag Rider Calculating status...
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    Jan 28, 2010 4:33 AM (in response to Jc Trilogy Architecture)
    I've tried this. I've tried that. The movies that come out of my camcorder are in .AVI. Everybody says movies must be converted to some OTHER format FIRST before iMovie can recognize and import. So I've used a free downloadable (MPEG Streamclip) to convert to .MOV and .DV. These formats don't work either. In fact, it seems Streamclip isn't really converting anything at all. This means I can't even get to the starting line of the conversion process. Surely there must be an easy way to get a movie into the greatest movie editor of all time.
    eMac, Mac OS X (10.4.6), Loud Fan
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
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    Jan 28, 2010 10:53 AM (in response to Freddy Johansen)
    iMovie will only import codecs that it can edit. imovie can import MP4, DV, Apple Intermediate Codec, h.264, Photo JPEG, Motion JPEG, Apple Animation, and perhaps others.

    MOV is a container, not a codec. It can contain any of the above codecs, but it could contain other codecs that are not editable, such as MPEG 1 or MPEG2.

    Similarly, AVI is a container, not a Codec, so saying you have something in AVI does not really provide many clues as to how you might convert it.

    One way to move forward is to see if your file will open in QuickTIme Player. If it will, click Window/Inspector and see what is listed next to the word "Format". These are the audio and video codecs. (Did I mention that the Audio codecs must be editable as well?) Then it might be possible to give you some specific advice.

    Also, iMovie will not edit MOV files that have a closed caption track, a chapter track, or a tween track. These must be removed before importing into iMovie. If these exist, you would see them when you open the QuickTime Inspector.
    iMac 24 2.8Ghz, iPhone, TV, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Panasonic HDC-SD5 iMovie 8.0.5
  • Paperbag Rider Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
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    Jan 28, 2010 2:51 PM (in response to AppleMan1958)
    Hmm. Are you talking about opening .AVI files in QuickTime PLAYER (the freebie) or QuickTime Pro? Won't open in the Player. Downloaded the recommended WMV Player, which has had no effect.
    eMac, Mac OS X (10.4.6), Loud Fan
  • F Shippey Level 7 Level 7 (21,500 points)
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    Jan 28, 2010 2:55 PM (in response to Paperbag Rider)
    If you just want to play them try the free VLC Media player.


    If you want to bring them into iMovie, use the free MPEG Streamclip to convert them into DV if they are 4:3 or use the Apple AIC codec if they are 16:9.
    933mhz G4 Quicksilver - 1.33Ghz G4 12" Al PowerBook - 2.8Ghz 15 " MBP, Mac OS X (10.6.2), I DO NOT receive any form of compensation from my recommendation or link.
  • Paperbag Rider Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
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    Jan 28, 2010 3:05 PM (in response to F Shippey)
    MPEG Streamclip doesn't seem to offer a AIC option. Converted into DV. For a moment I was fooled into thinking something was going to happen with that. But nothing did.
    eMac, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • rugger Calculating status...
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    Jan 28, 2010 3:56 PM (in response to Freddy Johansen)
    I just found the same problem. Once again, Apple makes an "upgrade" that isn't, screwing over its customers. Which is the latest version of imovie that will do it? A version I used back in '05 or so seemed to work
  • F Shippey Level 7 Level 7 (21,500 points)
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    Jan 28, 2010 5:59 PM (in response to Paperbag Rider)
    MPEG Streamclip doesn't seem to offer a AIC option.


    In MPEG Streamclip:

    File>Export to QuickTime
    Compression:Apple Intermediate Codec
    933mhz G4 Quicksilver - 1.33Ghz G4 12" Al PowerBook - 2.8Ghz 15 " MBP, Mac OS X (10.6.2), I DO NOT receive any form of compensation from my recommendation or link.
  • Paperbag Rider Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
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    Jan 28, 2010 6:06 PM (in response to F Shippey)
    Thanks for that, F. Shippey. This was pointed out to me by " zyfert" in Australia. Results are described in thread, "Getting Movies Into iMovie."
    eMac, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • JML Designs Inc Calculating status...
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    Feb 18, 2010 6:38 PM (in response to Freddy Johansen)
    On my macpro (osx10.5.8) I have iMovie 8.0.4. This is the latest I believe. The interface is much more intuitive although I too, find it ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS that you cannot use Mov files. This is possibly the stupidest thing I've ever encountered on osx being that IMOVIE CREATED THIS FREAKING MOV FILE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    I found the solution to be using my macbook pro laptop which still has 10.4.11 with iMovie 6.0.3 on it which DOES in fact accept mov files. WHy the heck Apple deemed it necessary to screw all apple users (buy final cut??) I have NO Idea. Again, apple, get on the ball here. And thanks in advance for decimating my shares with the iPad flop.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), 16gb Ram, 2x2.66 mghz quad core
  • theom777 Calculating status...
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    Feb 19, 2010 12:19 AM (in response to Freddy Johansen)
    This Imovie 09 is the biggest load of crap I've seen in a LONG time... It won't import a .mov file made on a mac? Look Apple, if you're trying to made us buy Final Cut, then just have the balls not ot put a IMOVIE app on your computers in the first place... ********!!!!
    imac, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Ellefsen Calculating status...
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    Feb 22, 2010 10:14 AM (in response to theom777)
    i wonder if anyone found a solution to this problem ?
    i have the same problem at the moment.. MPEG Streamclip didn't solve it- .dv and quicktime converted .mov didn't solve anything either.
    someone must have some sort of solution!

    edited:
    What makes me really think..is the fact that when i use the camera on my mac to make a video, it won't play that video either.... only the sound! it's weird. Especially when the videos can be played with regular quicktime. Can anyone mention some movie file type they know work for sure! would like to test it out with, what ever.

    Message was edited by: Ellefsen
    Imac and Macbook., Mac OS X (10.6.1), Intel Mac.
  • Nameless68 Calculating status...
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    Mar 19, 2010 5:07 PM (in response to Freddy Johansen)
    Gaijin73 wrote:
    I have had to convert a lot of my .mts files to .mov because the computer could not find the camera all of a sudden. I used Toast 9 to convert in full HD since my Canon HF11 records Full HD.

    I coverted all the files from .mts to .mov in order to import into iMovie, but iMovie refuses to import them.

    I click File, import movies, but all the files are not selectable.

    What format am I supposed to use if I want to import into iMovie 09?

    Any suggestions


    if you still have the .mts files here is something I learned for my misc mts from switching from pc.

    With toast 10 with HD plug I set up to make a Blue ray disc and dragged the mts files I wanted into it. I set the encoding option to NEVER re-encode files (since they are already correct format) then save as DMG file instead of burning. Mount the DMG and then import into iMovie. So far the test I made work with files from two of my HD cameras. The only thing I find is that date/time is not the original ones (imports with the date the DMG is made), but you can change dates in imovie. No LONG encoding needed as toast only multiplexes the files into m2ts files over my mts files, what the deference is, I do not know, but it works.Only takes minutes not hours! I do not know if toast 9 works the same though. if you can, I would give it a try.
    Mac Mini x2, 13" Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Robert Rogers Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
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    Mar 28, 2010 6:44 PM (in response to theom777)
    Hi, I wonder if I am missing something. I just bought a Kodak HD hand held movie camera that records in HD 1080p and the format is .mov files. These are recorded on an SD card. When I connect the camera it is not recognized by imovie 09 but if I go to import movies a screen pops up showing all my drives including the SD card. Pointing to it and selecting the files they get imported into imovie as usual. I see them as an event that I created and can edit them and create projects. What am I missing here? I don't seem to be having the problem. Just curious.
    2X 2.26 Quad Core Nehalem 16GB mem, Mac OS X (10.6.2), ATA HD 4870 video card
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