Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Apr 27, 2016 11:31 AM by iStockholm Branched to a new discussion.
drew879 Level 1 Level 1

For some reason iMovie '11 won't let me import videos.  Specifically, I'm trying to add MP4 files that I copied to my hard drive from my GoPro HD 960.  For GoPro users, I used the R2 (720p) format.  They open properly in QuickTime and VLC but can't be imported into iMovie (or iPhoto).  When I select File-->Import-->Movies and browse to the directory where I saved all the .mp4 files on my hard drive, they're all greyed out.  And actually, it seems that just about no video files at all on my computer can be added (all greyed out)--even other MP4 files.


I downloaded MPEG Streamclip but that says "unrecognized file format" when I try opening the videos.  I also installed Perian and rebooted.


In case it helps:

- I have an Intel MacBook running OS X 10.6.8 with iLife '11

- QuickTime info for the video format says "H.264, 1280 x 720, Millions; AAC, 2 channels, 48000 Hz"

- VLC says "Stream 0 (Video) - Codec: avc1" and "Stream 1 (Audio) - Codec: mp4a"


Any ideas?  This is incredibly frustrating!

  • drew879 Level 1 Level 1

    Update - I went here: and downloaded "sample_mpeg4.mp4" and even that was grayed out when I tried to import it into iMovie. When attempting to import into iPhoto, it said it didn't recognize the file type.


    I wonder if something is wrong with my version of OS X or perhaps iLife...

  • jw2110 Level 1 Level 1

    "I wonder if something is wrong with my version of OS X or perhaps iLife..."


    Hey drew879,


    For what it's worth, the problem may not be your OSX or iLife. The problem may just be iMovie itself. I am running iMovie 09. I can't import any video from my hard drive into iMovie either. Maybe someone can help. For now, I will probably finish my project using Final Cut Pro. Good luck.

  • DHEX Level 1 Level 1

    I was having the same trouble with my Gopro files. If you let iphoto import the file first that should solve your problem.


    Hope it works for you.


  • Nelson Scott Level 1 Level 1

    Technically, iMovie does import MP4 video. However, iMovie only import  MP4 files that are encoded with MPEG4/AAC or H.264/AAC data. And yet,  MP4 is a video container format that may contain various audio and video  codec (and sometimes even subtitle streams included). If the MP4 file  is not encoded with iMovie support codec, iMovie will refuse to import  this kind of MP4 video.


    In order to successfully import all kinds of MP4 files to iMovie, a recommended solution is to convert iMovie unrecognized MP4 to iMovie supported video format.


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  • Uchiluck Level 1 Level 1

    According Apple official website, iMovie (including iMovie '11/'09/'08) can only import DV, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, MOV and M4V. Though the MP4 file format defines the storage of MPEG-4 audio, scenes and multimedia content using the ISO Base Media File Format, the MP4 file may also contain any number of audio, video, and even subtitle streams. So it is impossible for the MP4 file to determine the type of streams in an MPEG-4 file based on its filename extension alone.  To enjoy MP4 file in iMovie freely, it is a quite wise choice to change MP4 file format to imovie support MP4 file format.


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  • carloulair Level 1 Level 1

    I agreed, what you need to do is find a good video converting software to recorde the .mp4 video to iMovie supports formats such as MOV formats in this case, as fas as I know there are several freeware supports to converting videos of nearly any formats on Mac, FFmepg and Handbrake are all great, completely free and no other cost. Handbrake has both windows and Mac version. I have been using Handbrake to converting video for years.


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  • waleedem Level 1 Level 1

    Faasoft's great "Video Converter" is probably one of the best commercial choices though to convert mp4 to imovie compatible formats. I've been using it for a while now.

  • Macflustered Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same problem with iMovie 11.  I convert a MOV file through handbrake - set on H.264 and all that - and after 4 hours of importing a 600meg file there is nothing.  Another file, converted the same way, imports with no problem.  One tried to have may daughter convert on her windows machine, and that worked. Go figure.

  • Stevomacrocket Level 1 Level 1

    I have two video cameras


    Oregon ATC9k and Panasonic HDC-SD9 AVCHD


    I have used these for years successfully, I used them in January and February 2015 successfully and imported the movies from iphoto to imovie so that I could prepare a movie for loading to youtube and Vimeo. Worked fine.


    Last night I tried to add more video to imovie so that I could modify the contents of the project file with extra video minutes.


    I went round in circles but failed to get imovie to load the video.


    Somebody at Apple has modified OSX latest version 10.10.3 and caused this function not to work!

    When I first bought an imac in 2008 it was precisely because the imac would import Panasonic HDC-SD9 AVCHD video files!!

  • Jennfolee Level 1 Level 1

    I had a similar problem but I seem to have found a workaround. I downloaded some videos from youtube using a third-part downloader that only offers MP4 as an output format. I just imported the downloaded videos into itunes, then from itunes to imovie. Worked just fine that way.

  • reformdesigns Level 1 Level 1

    Who at Apple thought this was a good idea? Or is it just to force people to purchase Final Cut so they have a usable software for video on their Mac?

  • woodyonboard Level 1 Level 1

    I had a similar problem today, the GoPro MP4 file I made today wouldn't load into iMovie 09.  The reason was because I had changed the name of the file without including .MP4 in the new name.  After renaming the file again ending with .MP4 it imported with no problem. 

  • phyldelOR Level 1 Level 1

    This worked for me!  I simply removed .m4v and used .mp4 instead.

  • stan58 Level 1 Level 1

    I had the same problem, I was trying to drag the files, it was frustrating to see them jump back. this is what I found.

    select the file on your desktop.( in imovie )... go  to file.... click on import ...... click on movies... you will see files that can be imported ,  if you need to change the format I am using Wondershare video converter ultimate and under editing it has a converter to go from anything to  iMovie.

    hope this helps. Blessings

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