Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2014 1:16 PM by Maklufi
Maklufi Level 1 (0 points)

iPhoto '11 isn't importing certain of my videos; they are a combination of .mov and .mp4s.  Other of the same file types are imported without trouble.  I get the error "Unreadable Files: #   The following file could not be imported. The file is an unrecognized format" and then a list of the files.  I'm on a current generation iMac with up-to-date OS.

 

The files open fine in Quicktime with a double click.  I used HandBrake to convert the files (into all .mp4s) and have the same importing problem, even though the files continue to open when clicked.

 

FWIW, I'm copying the items into the iPhoto library (i.e., that box is checked in preferences), based on the advice of this site.  However, when I previously did not do that (i.e., when I had a referenced library) I didn't have this problem.

 

Any help?  Thanks.


iPhoto '11, OS X Mavericks (10.9.1)
  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,487 points)

    As a test launch iPhoto with the Option key held down and create a new, test library.  Import some photos and test to see if the same problem persists. Does it?

     

    OT

  • Maklufi Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for the prompt reply OT.

     

    I tried as you suggested and all the videos imported fine.

     

    Does this mean that I have a corrupted iPhoto library and therefore need to create a new one and re-import everything anew? 

     

    I'll do that if necessary, but that's what I was in the process of doing when I got this error.  (I.e., I had a referenced library, read that it was a bad idea, and started a new copied library and got this error upon first import of these videos, after importing ~30K photos.) 

     

    Isn't the same error likely to happen again, and how to I avoid?

     

    Thanks!

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,487 points)

    Yes.  It appears that your library has been damaged. Apply the two fixes below in order as needed:

     

    Fix #1

     

    1 - launch iPhoto with the Command+Option keys held down and rebuild the library.

     

    iPMfirstaid.png

     

    2 - run Option #4 to rebuild the database.

     

     

    Fix #2

     

    Using iPhoto Library Manager  to Rebuild Your iPhoto Library

     

    1 - download iPhoto Library Manager and launch.

     

    2 - click on the Add Library button and select the library you want to add in the selection window..

     

    3 - Now that the library is listed in the left hand pane of iPLM, click on your library and go to the Library ➙ Rebuild Library menu option.

     

    4 - In the next  window name the new library and select the location you want it to be placed.

     

    5 - Click on the Create button.

     

    Note: This creates a new library based on the LIbraryData.xml file in the library and will recover Events, Albums, keywords, titles and comments but not books, calendars or slideshows. The original library will be left untouched for further attempts at fixing the problem or in case the rebuilt library is not satisfactory.


  • Maklufi Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you.  I tried the first solution (using iPhoto to rebuild the library) and it worked...for a while.  Then it had trouble again with the videos, and also was doing weird things. (A couple of them: Finding videos that supposedly weren't imported already, but were.  It also did strange things to the files: They still read as .mp4 or .mov, but became very small in file size (<100K in some cases) and without thumbnails; upon opening them, Quicktime would convert them into larger files (>MB).)  I'll try iPhoto Library Manager and report back.  (And, at some point, is it better to just suck it up and reimport the photos/videos, so that the library is "factory new" and not "refurbished"?)

     

    Relatedly: Is it recommended that a library not get beyond a certain size? (Without videos, it is ~100 GB; with videos, it will swell to > 300 GB.) Or that you have multiple libraries, e.g., one for photos and videos?  (Which I guess then could be managed with iPhoto Library Manager.)  I'm just having a feeling that troubles arise as the library gets more full. 

     

    Thanks again.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    The "weight" of a Library (in GB) makes no difference to iPhoto. It's the number of items that matters.  Assuming you have enough disk space, of course, to iPhoto there is no difference between 100GB. iPhoto 11 is good for 1,000,000 irems.

     

    A couple of them: Finding videos that supposedly weren't imported already, but were.  It also did strange things to the files: They still read as .mp4 or .mov, but became very small in file size (<100K in some cases) and without thumbnails; upon opening them, Quicktime would convert them into larger files (>MB).

     

    THis makes no sense. Quicktome cannot make any file bigger. Where are you finding these 100k files?

  • Maklufi Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Terrence.  Thanks for the upper item limit information.

     

    On the QuickTime point: As I mentioned, iPhoto was finding videos that it said were not in my library, and asking if I wanted to import them.  I said no, since I didn't believe that they were duplicates, and iPhoto saved them in a recovered photos folder.  It went through this process each time I opened iPhoto, and so I'd end up with duplicate files in the various recovered photos folders (e.g., file x.mov and x_2.mov).

     

    As an example: One file was saved as x_2.mov and is identied by the finder as being 12 KB; there is also a file x.mov, which is 6.3 MB.  When I double click it the 12 KB file, it opens as a small rectangular video in QuickTime, with QT saying "Converting," and then opening another window with the converted video.  After saving the converted file, I have the file x_2.mov (Converted), which is 6.3 MB, the same size as the x.mov file.

     

    I don't know enough to speculate as to what's happening, although I can state that it's quite frustrating.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    As I mentioned, iPhoto was finding videos that it said were not in my library, and asking if I wanted to import them.  I said no, since I didn't believe that they were duplicates, and iPhoto saved them in a recovered photos folder.  It went through this process each time I opened iPhoto

     

    Go to your Pictures Folder and find the iPhoto Library there. Right (or Control-) Click on the icon and select 'Show Package Contents'. A finder window will open with the Library exposed.

     

    Look there for a Folder called 'Import' or 'Importing'.

     

    Drag it to the Desktop. Make no other changes. Start iPhoto. Does that help?

    If it does then look inside that folder on your desktop. Does it contain anything you want? If not you can trash the folder.

  • Maklufi Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Terrence.  Thanks for your post.  See below, which answers your questions, after some digression.

     

    Old Toad and Terrence--Given that the problem I have is only with videos, I've decided--for the time being at least--to have a photos-only and videos-only library.  I used iPhoto Library Manager to rebuild the photos-only library, and it seems to be OK (for the moment; fingers crossed).

     

    As for the video library: I created a new library (by holding down "option" while opening iPhoto).  I imported one folder of videos, faily small in number, with no problem.  Then I opened a set of four folders (i.e., a parent folder containing four subsidiary folders) with 500+ videos and started experiencing import problems again. The videos play fine from the finder (double clicking opens them into QT).  But for some reason iPhoto is saying it can't import/doesn't recognize the format, even though these are .mp4s and .movs.  (I thought for a while that the subsidiary folder videos would import fine I did the subsidiary folders one by one, but the import/unrecognized format came back.)  This is where I need help most.

     

    To answer your specific questions, Terrence: As mentioned, I split into photos-only and videos-only libraries.  Neither of the exposed libraries has a folder called "Import" or "Importing" (they do have "Auto Import", but it's empty).  Other folders include "Attachments," "Database," "iLifeShared," "Masters," "Previews," and "Thumbnails."

  • Maklufi Level 1 (0 points)

    An addendum: Some of the import errors I'm finding are for .avi files--hidden .avi files.  After finding these hidden files and converting them to .mp4s, they seem to import OK.

     

    Question: Why is the Finder hiding these files (not all are .avis; some are, e.g., .mp4s)?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    Question: Why is the Finder hiding these files (not all are .avis; some are, e.g., .mp4s)?

     

    How is the Finder "hiding" these files?

  • Maklufi Level 1 (0 points)

    I mean that the videos are "hidden" files, not ordinarily viewable in the Finder; I needed to use an app (in my case, Show Hide Invisible Files, recommended on this forum) to find them, and then used HandBrake to convert the files, and then imported them into iPhoto.  Some of these hidden files were the ones that iPhoto apparently had trouble importing as described, although a majority of the trouble files weren't hidden.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,487 points)

    Where were these "invisible" files located?

  • Maklufi Level 1 (0 points)

    I store my photos and videos in folders by year and quarter (e.g., a parent folder 2013, with subfolders 2013 Q1, 2013 Q2, etc.).  The majority of the hidden files were in the quarterly subfolders.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,487 points)

    Whatever made them invisible to the Finder probably made them unusable to iPhoto as well.`

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