HEVC Issue in MacOS Photos

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by upandown, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. upandown macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2017
    rMBP clean installed with High Sierra.
    iPhone 7+ clean installed with iOS 11
    High Efficiency option selected (HEVC) on iPhone
    4k (30fps)

    When I transferred videos from my iPhone to the Photos App in MacOS and try to play the videos, theres an error saying unsupported format. What am I missing? I thought everything was compatible for the new format.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. arncalars macrumors member


    Oct 2, 2013
    I think you also need to enable automatic transfer in settings / photos.

    Mine works fine :)
  3. upandown thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2017
    Why auto transfer?

    They exist on my Mac. Just don't play.

    I transferred them via USB BTW.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 26, 2017 ---
    I see the automatic transfer option now. It was already selected. Maybe I need to try the original setting..
  4. btrach144 macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2015
    It should be set to keep original. That way, if you shot HEVC on your iPhone, it will retain the original format. This has worked for me.
  5. upandown thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2017
    Thanks, but I've zeroed in on whats not working. Trying to play 4k video in HEVC format is not supported in High Sierra on my rMBP. 1080p(60fps) works just fine.
  6. odoy, Oct 10, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017

    odoy macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2015
    Its a Apple thing. Live with it, spent 2k$ on a new Machine or put the Photos App in the trash.
    I have a late MBR which supports playback of HEVC below 4k in QuickTime fine, but Photos App wont import any HEVC File and show me your dialogue.
    Its this kind of Bug which needs 1 year before its fixed.
    I really don't know why I use Photos (or Apple Products). iPhoto was a disaster, but Photos is.. Im tired..

    Thats no solution! Automatic means encoding (HEVC=>AVC) and you lost quality.
    The better solution is to take your videos with AVC/h264 directly.
  7. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    You didn't say which Mac you have. However, even on my ancient High-Sierra-unsupported MacBook5,1 Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz with High Sierra, I can get iPhone 4K HEVC playback through QuickTime that is stuttery but usable enough to get the gist of what the video is about. But in Photos, I get that stupid message.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 9.47.10 PM.png

    This is bad form on Apple's part. No need for this, assuming it's not a bug. Also, even if they did have a good reason to throw up an error message, this particular error message is very confusing, because the format actually is fully supported even on old machines. In fact, Apple itself says it's fully supported:


    It's just that some machines are too slow to play it back smoothly. However, here is Apple's more recent support page on this:


    Working with this media
    Support for HEIF and HEVC is built into iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, letting you work with this media in a variety of apps, including Photos and QuickTime Player.

    On some older devices, support for HEVC is also affected by the resolution and frame rate (fps) of the video:

    • iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2 work with HEVC video that was captured at no greater than 1080p/240 fps.
    • iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini (Retina models) work with HEVC video that was captured at no greater than 1080p/60 fps or 720p/240 fps.
    • Mac models from mid 2015 or earlier work with HEVC video that was captured at no greater than 1080p/240 fps.
    If you're using iCloud Photo Library with iOS 10 or macOS Sierra, you might see [​IMG] in the upper-right corner of the photo or video, or you might see an alert message. To fully view, edit, or duplicate HEIF and HEVC media on your device, upgrade to iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra.
  8. odoy macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2015
    as I said, qt plays HEVC videos <4k fine and the load is about 15-30%. so its a bug not to import the same file to photos or its chicane to buy a mac
  9. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Photos imports the 4K HEVC files fine. It just won’t play them.
  10. odoy macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2015
    Ok im a little closer to Photos and his problem.
    I own a MBR late 2013 and every HEVC file works with QT. 4k@60 videos not so well.
    Photos accept every iPhone recorded HEVC file even if its struggles as hell. Even 1080p@60. The same file which runs perfect with QT.
    Now the problem. If i encode my old 1080p@60 AVC videos to HEVC, Photos doesn't accept them.
    Photos is fine with own encoded videos to HEVC:1080p@30 OR 60fps and 1400px max width AND it doesn't depends on the bitrate.
    I try to import my own encoded HEVC file with 1080p@60 on a new MBR´17 and guess what?
    Now I can buy a new Mac or wait until its fixed. i don't think apple will do this soon. more likely they have a dood explanation why is it so. for me, it makes no sense.

    I really don't need a new machine just cause apple make strange decisions. my MBR runs very well and I spent my money rather for a south-east asia trip, before I exchange a good machine.
    and the bug tracker is no option for me. its just waisting time. they have other priorities.
    its the same as the live photo iOS 7 bug, where the music stops when you take a picture. even if Live Photo was disabled.
    two bug report + 2 years later and with iOS9 the bug was fixed.

    thank you apple. AGAIN!

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9 September 26, 2017