11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 11, 2011 9:11 AM by MartinR
gharaldson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello, I need to convert .mov files into another format, but I can't even play the .mov files on my Mac w/Snow Leopard and Quicktime 10.0. Why is that? What do I need to at least play them back on my MacBook Pro? Thank you, gharaldson

MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Snow Leopard and WinXP systems as well
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (64,350 points)
    What was the source of the .mov files?
  • J D McIninch Level 5 Level 5 (4,060 points)
    There's a number of reasons that they may not play.

    .MOV is what's called a "container". Namely it stores audio and video streams in any format and then includes descriptive information about that data to help select the software (codecs) required to play them back.

    A QuickTime movie won't playback if it's: a.) not actually a quicktime movie, b.) a damaged file (data is corrupted), or c.) the content was encoded using a method that isn't part of standard quicktime.

    Generally speaking, if you use Quicktime or Apple applications, then they will encode audio and video using one of the mechanisms built into Quicktime. However, it's possible to create valid Quicktime files using other software that uses encoding mechanisms not in the standard Quicktime bundle. Software like FFMPEG and VLC can be used to produce such files, for example.

    Do you have an error that indicates the nature of the problem?
  • gharaldson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The source was a DSLR camera that my partner was using during a video shoot. He downloaded the video files from the card in his camera to a DVD. The files have a .mov extension. One issue is that I need to convert these files for my video project. The other is I'm wondering why I can't even view them on my MacBook Pro computer. Thanks, gharaldson
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (64,350 points)
    It would help to know the camera model. You may be able to determine the video format by reading the camera model's review on http://www.dcresource.com/ or http://www.steves-digicams.com/

    MPEGStreamclip may be the tool you need to convert the video.
  • gharaldson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    No, there is no error except when I try to play the files in Quicktime, I'm told it can't open the files and that I need some additional software. I just don't know which software I need to view them.
  • gharaldson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I believe it is a Canon 5D Mark II. I did download MPEG Streamclip, but it will only play the audio from the file - no video.
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (64,350 points)
    Try installing Flip4Mac. When nothing else reads it, likely it is a Windows Media Player video. If that doesn't work, you may need to install Windows on your Mac to read it.
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (64,350 points)
    That's odd that MPEGStreamclip can't read it. I looked up the camera and it is H264/PCM video/audio. That normally is able to be read by the Mac. Maybe something got corrupted.
  • gharaldson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, I still can't open these files. I sent one of the movie files back to the guy who originally shot the video for me. He can open the files on his Mac. Just can't figure out why I can't open them on mine. He's going to try and convert the files for me and send them back to me, but I still would like to know why I can't open them. He does use Final Cut Pro, which I don't have installed, but I don't imagine that is the problem here. Anyone else have any suggestions?

    ~thanks, Gail
  • gharaldson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I did install Flip4Mac, but no joy.
  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,850 points)
    The 5D shoots not-quite-standard AVCHD encoded video in a .mov container. Your friend can play it on his Mac because he has the camera, FCPro and the Canon 5D plugin for FCP.

    In addition, copying only the .mov or .mts files from an AVCHD camera is a common error. With AVCHD video, you need the +entire folder structure and files+ from the camera's memory card - they are needed to capture or play back the video.

    It's possible that Clipwrap may be able to convert the files for you, but it would be better if your friend converts the video to +QuickTime/Apple Intermediate Codec+ or QuickTime/ProRes422 for you. You should then be able to play it in the QT player on your Mac.

    Note: QT ProRes422 can be played in the QT X player on Snow Leopard but cannot be edited in iMovie or Final Cut Express.