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Old Jul 15, 2008, 07:46 AM   #1
Chris14
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How to make iTunes accept other video formats

As many of you may or may not have realized, iTunes has an annoying habit of not letting one import any video files not in "iTunes friendly" formats. This confounded me as iTunes presumably used Quicktime for playing... so if Quicktime+Perian/Flip4Mac can play them, why can't iTunes? Sick and tired of having to convert AVIs and other downloaded video types for the sake of having them in iTunes, I sought out a way of fooling iTunes via tweaking the File Type / Creator settings on files so that iTunes would accept them.

Start out by choosing the app/utility of your choice. I use FileBuddy (search here for it) but any number of utilities are capable of doing the job.

I then open up File Buddy, drag the video file/s into the main window and then click "Get Info". In the resulting window, near the bottom right is a pull-down menu labelled "Type". Whatever it is currently set to (in my AVI case, it was "VfW"), change it to "MooV" and click "Save" (or "Change All" if you are dealing with multiple files). Voila! Drag the old files into iTunes and there you go!


Hopefully this has enlightened some of you as it did me!
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 10:42 AM   #2
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Thanks for the info. Maybe you can make one of those Mac Guide tings on this site. It would be helpful.
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 04:22 PM   #3
Chris14
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I just created a little script so it can be done by people without the need for another application...

Download: http://www.mediafire.com/?2wb2zjmdxxy

Open it up and navigate to your movie file/s and you're away!
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Last edited by Chris14; Jul 15, 2008 at 04:59 PM.
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 07:08 PM   #4
cazlar
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Nice thinking, but there are better ways, IMO, as that might confuse other apps as to what file types they really are.

1. You can use movie2itunes to make "reference movies" that just point to your avi etc. These are pretty small, and IIRC the latest version even has some smarts about TV series and will put them in TV shows without the need to re-tag them.

2. ---This doesn't seem to work, ignore!--- More advanced, but the best overall solution is to dig into the iTunes info.plist file (show package contents) and add whatever filetypes you want. So if you have Perian, iTunes can play avi for example, you just need to tell it that it can . So open up the .plist (not sure if you need dev tools to do that or if it is still plain text), and add the appropriate extension by duplicating one of the existing entries. Simple to do if you know what you are doing, maybe too difficult for some though if they don't. If you stuff up, you might prevent iTunes launching, so backup the file (or whole app) just in case. Once edited, you need to move the app to a different folder and back (this forces the OS to re-read the info.plist and note the change). Then you should be able to drag avi files to the iTunes dock icon etc, and it is just as supported as mp4/m4v then. You may need to repeat this if you upgrade iTunes. It's been a few versions since I did this hack as I've got movies2itunes automated enough to not bother.

Last edited by cazlar; Jul 16, 2008 at 02:41 AM.
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 07:55 PM   #5
mariotheotaku
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will the videos work in the ipod?
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 08:44 PM   #6
cazlar
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No, to all three methods. For iPod/iPhone you will actually need to convert them at this stage. These tips are to be able to use the videos in iTunes easily, after you've extended its capabilities by adding other codecs like Perian/Flip4mac/etc.
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 11:43 PM   #7
Chris14
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Interesting point there... would it then potentially be possible to make your iPod/iPhone able to play AVI files with a third party codec? Something to look in to perhaps!
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 01:54 AM   #8
cazlar
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Hmm, I thought I'd try hacking the plist like in my above post. This does enable you to drag the avi onto the dock icon, but iTunes doesn't actually do anything with it. I'm sure it used to work... Maybe iTunes has been changed enough so this no longer does, as it checks somewhere else? I'll keep playing and see if I can get it working.

Still can't get it to work for the moment, so I tried your script. Works great, though I had to install the "change file type and creator" action before it worked. You could also probably tweak it a bit to modify whatever you drop on it rather than asking what to change in the dialog box by using "get selected finder items" rather than "ask for finder items". But otherwise great work (at least it works unlike my tip ).

Last edited by cazlar; Jul 16, 2008 at 03:01 AM.
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 03:28 AM   #9
Chris14
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Ah, so cazlar, you had to install the action yourself before it worked correctly?
I assumed it would work whether or not this was present... apparently not? I will look into it myself too and try to find a way so that it is entirely self-contained and self-sufficient.
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 03:44 AM   #10
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nice hint! is there a way to do this without FileBuddy? i also tried adding a file extension in iTunes' Info.plist file but it didnt work.
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 06:56 AM   #11
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Alrighty... thanks to cazlar pointing out my folly by using a pre-made automator action, I have re-written it from scratch via applescript. Download the below file and unzip, then open it and navigate to the movie file. Should work fine for all if I have done it correctly... please let me know if it does not.
And again, although iTunes will recognize and play the AVIs (or any other format once processed AFAIK), they will NOT play on your iPod/iPhone sorry!

iTunes-Friendly AVIs 2.0
http://www.mediafire.com/?ye3il41nhr1

Enjoy,
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 05:07 AM   #12
Skengman
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I know this is 2 years old, but thought people might be interested to know that lifehacker is using MR as a source now
Lifehacker - How to play any media file in iTunes
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 06:44 AM   #13
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thanks for digging this up, that's helped no end.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 09:33 AM   #14
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Thanks man!
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Old Oct 3, 2010, 07:11 PM   #15
roblawton
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So AirPlay takes whatever's playing in iTunes and streams to the Apple TV 2.0... I wonder if the Apple TV actually processes anything...

Can anyone check if this works? Mine's arriving tomorrow
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Old Oct 6, 2010, 07:24 PM   #16
Zafeer
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Mediafire link down

@Chris14 I tried to download the script that you made, and the mediafire link is no longer active. Would you mind reuploading it, or someone that has it, can you please create a mirror with it?

Thanks
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 12:50 AM   #17
anirudh0802
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heeelp mirror?

Does anyone have a mirror for the applescript?
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Old Nov 3, 2010, 06:57 PM   #18
matthewlupulio
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link no longer works

anyone have another copy?
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Old Jan 27, 2011, 06:04 PM   #19
oakie
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anyone have another copy of the script they'd be willing to share? the original download link is no longer working.
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 02:35 PM   #20
maw4bc
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id also like the script, anyone out there have it?!
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 06:39 AM   #21
hagar
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If you want to add AVI files to iTunes without changing them in any way, you can also use VideoDrive (www.aroona.net) and choose import setting 9. That will simply add any video file "directly" to iTunes. No fuss.

However, the app clearly states that while this works, it's not recommended because iTunes was not build to deal with this scenario. I have tried it with AVI files, and it works fine. No issues yet.
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 01:03 PM   #22
harlock59
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Hello,

is it possible to use this trick on itunes for windows ? can i just rename the file extension from .avi to .mov and voilą ??
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 02:35 PM   #23
DonCanley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maw4bc View Post
id also like the script, anyone out there have it?!
Sorry to sound redundant here, but did anyone have any luck with finding a copy of the script Chris14 created to trick iTunes into importing AVI.s, etc.?

Plz & Thank you.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 09:32 PM   #24
tim123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlock59 View Post
Hello,

is it possible to use this trick on itunes for windows ? can i just rename the file extension from .avi to .mov and voilą ??
I don't think rename the file's extension will work. Because you need to re-encode the video with the encoder which is supported by iTunes.
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 03:04 AM   #25
Jonathanson51
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You can use 3rd party Apps like OPlayer and copy/transfer your AVI using File Sharing in iTune (connect using USB cable)
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