8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 20, 2013 12:18 PM by Terence Devlin
Brad Crews Level 1 (5 points)

some time ago i noticed that iphoto had converted all of my videos in the application to jpg format. at that time i did a quick search online and it looked like it was a common problem, there seemed to be some workable solutions, so i put it away to another day. now that i've come back around to try to sort it out, i discover that i can longer find anything online about the problem, and even worse, the videos don't exist anywhere on my hard drive anymore! unfortunately there are no backups for these videos. is it possible to return the files to their original mvi form or has iphoto simply destroyed them forever?


i'm using:


iphoto 8.1.2

mac os 10.6.8

macbook pro

don't think it should matter, but just in case: i have about 12 GB of free space on my hard drive

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • LarryHN Level 9 (76,810 points)

    1 - iPhoto does not convert anything - when you import 9by default) it makes an exact bit by bit copy in the iPhoto library and in addition to always keeping this original it creates a JPEG preview of the first frame of the video  for use by iPhtoo and other programs to display what the video is


    2 - If you double click on a video in iPhoto does it play?


    3 - the way to access your videos is to import them into iMovie or to export as kind = original


    Without more back ground no one can do more that give general answers and make guesses



  • Brad Crews Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Larry, thank you for your suggestions. I do genuinely appreciate them and I'm sorry that you feel not enough information was provided. the site didn't suggest that more information was necessary and, without you making yourself clear about what 'background' you expect, i can't imagine what else you feel like you need to know. in any case, if you're interested in knowing more:


    1 - i imported the movies long ago and they used to play in iphoto just fine. at some point i noticed that they no longer played.  i have never gone into the iphoto library and have never messed with any of those files before. i have done absolutely nothing other than import the files from my camera into iphoto, then look at the photos/videos in iphoto.


    i decided to try to see where the original file was, so i chose 'show original file' from the menu. nothing. all of the original files have apparently disappeared. i also checked the 'show file' option, which showed me a file with the video's original name, but which was now followed by .jpg instead of .avi, with the size of the file reflecting the change as well (meaning the size is now small, like a photo). if i click on that file, i get an image that opens like a photo, which is obviously a screen grab from the original video.


    considering all of this, the only thing i could imagine was that one of the iphoto updates must have done something strange to the library and converted all my films to pics. in fact, i remember reading something to this effect some time ago when i did an internet search on the problem. other people had the exact same problem. in any case,  all upates of iphoto were done via software update. i willingly admit when i've done something that could have interfered with an application's normal functioning, but in this case there is literally nothing i could have done to screw anything up. i've never liked iphoto and really just used it to stash my photos/vids until i could get around to finding a better program. so that's all i've done: import, open, look, quit.


    2- no, the videos do not play in iphoto


    3 - attempting to export as "kind = original" gives the msg. "unable to create". importing into iMovie is impossible because it doesn't recognize the files as video.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,883 points)

    Have you ever moved the library from one machine to another?

  • LarryHN Level 9 (76,810 points)

    Your originals are missing - no one but you can identify how that occured - typically it is user error - upgrades to iPhoto do not remove files - often people run MacKeeper or other clean up programs and those remove critical files form iPhoto and other programs causing major problems and loss of data and photos - only you know what you have done


    At this stage unless you have a backup of tem then they are gone



  • Brad Crews Level 1 (5 points)

    hi terence,


    i hadn't thought about that. i did transfer the contents of an older computer onto this one when i bought it, but that was about 4 years ago and the files did work just fine on this computer after they were transferred.

  • Brad Crews Level 1 (5 points)

    larry, please stop replying to my posts.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (76,810 points)

    Happy To - Good Luck



  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,883 points)

    Mistakes when transferring from one machine to another is one common way for this kind of error to occur. But as you say the videos played fine after that, that blows that theory. We do see these things reported from time to time but without any good explanation. I do see a correlation between these incidents and folks who would really prefer not to use the app. I mention this as there are several ways to achieve this situation via the Finder, especially via the All Images and the All My Files smart searches, and a frustrted user can do a lot of damage if not careful. My best advice is if you don't want to use an application then just don't. iPhoto is a very well designed and powerful application but it's not for everybody. There are plenty of alternatives. It's not compulsory nor necessary. Just export your material from the Library to the Finder and forget about it.


    This User Tip









    has details of the options in the Export dialogue.