Converting movies from my Canon camera to iTunes via iMovie

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Poff, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Poff macrumors 65816

    Poff

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #1
    I just thought I'd post how I convert my Canon camera .avi-files to play inside iTunes, without paying for Quicktime Pro. This might not be the best way to do it, and if anyone has better ways to do this, or suggestions for an apple-script to automate the process, feel free to post. :)

    Programs used are: iMovie 3 and iTunes 7, on a G4 700MHz iMac.

    My camera outputs Apple OpenDML JPEG .avi-files, with a lousy resolution of 320x240 - 15fps.

    First I need to convert this file to a file that iTunes understands. At the same time I do not want to degrade the quality.

    What I do is make a project in iMovie, add one clip, and then export it using the following options:
    Export - to quicktime - expert settings (ok)
    If I choose "export to iPod" it'll make a 640x480px video, which is unneccessarily big, and a bit choppy when fullscreened via iTunes. (remember, 700MHz G4)
    Instead I have to choose "Quicktime-movie", and click the "settings"-button.
    Quality should be set to "best", 15 frames, and size is 320x240. I deselect "prepare for internet streaming".
    My goal until now has been to make a file that iTunes will accept, with the least amount of degradation.

    I now import the exported movie to iTunes and select "convert for iPod". iTunes now outputs a 320x240px file, since my movie is that small. This works much better with my system, and requires less disk space.


    I guess if I actually paid for quicktime, life would be much easier. (or if Apple made iTunes support the .avi-files my camera outputs. I mean, why not? Quicktime supports them.) I also fear that my resolution is upsampled when imported to iMovie, and then downsampled again - leading to some degradation of quality.

    Any comments on this would be welcome. Even flame me and call me stupid if you want to. :)

    :D :cool:
     
  2. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #2
    There is certainly a fair amount of degradation happening there because you are converting the video into DV (for iMovie) and then into QuickTime. iTunes can play any QuickTime-supported file, and I'll bet it could play your camera's native format if you put the audio & video tracks inside some wrapper format that was more agreeable to it. I would try futzing around with ffmpegX.
     
  3. Poff thread starter macrumors 65816

    Poff

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #3

    Hmm.. I'm not sure I understand what you mean. So, do you think I could take the .avi-file, keep the "Apple OpenDML JPEG" content unaltered, and make a .mov-file of it? And then iTunes would play it?

    ..I'm finding it really strange that iTunes won't accept the .avi file, when both Quicktime and iMovie accepts it natively.
     
  4. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #4
    I too have noticed that iTunes is not able to play some files that QuickTime can. I'm not sure why that is. I think you should try doing what you just said. I think an app like ffmpegX can change the container format (e.g. avi -> mov) but leave the video alone. Or maybe you could use it to demux (extract/split) the audio/video tracks from that avi file, and then merge them back together in another format. I'm not sure if any of this would work but I would try playing around.
     

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