Just loaded many hours of my honeymoon video...and they don't work!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bluesTank, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. bluesTank macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2008
    Hey all,

    I just switched over from PC and bought one of the new macbooks. I was really excited because I was going to surprise my wife and make a neat DVD with edited videos from our honeymoon.

    So I load them all up on here, and they are in .avi format, and to my surprise, iMovie doesn't load them! So now I cannot do what I wanted...I thought I could do anything with this thing.

    Does anyone know how I can get them to load on iMovie? If I have to convert them, is there a way to do it in bulk, since there are just so many files and many gigs of movie. Also, if they are converted, is there any way to retain the quality of the originals? I have never done movie editing or anything more complicated then just watching them.

  2. SundayMacUser macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2008
    I'm sorry to hear you're having problems. Macs don't 'like' .avi files. The easiest way to convert them is to get a QuickTime pro licence. This will allow you convert from avi into mov easily. I believe there also some freeware apications available that do the same job, so it might be worth a search around if you want to save yourself $15.

    Hope that helps!
  3. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Handbrake? http://handbrake.fr/

    Perian? http://perian.org/

    Also *.avi files don't really mean much since the avi is just a container, the codec decoding the video is what really matters.
  4. Geek 2.0 macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2007
    some great software is called MPEG Streamclip
    it is free video conversion software.


    it's also PC and Mac
  5. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Download Perian and Quicktime will be able to playback the videos. Editing is going to be a bit of a bugger as we don't know what format the video is. avi is just a container, the video inside could be any format.

    There are a number of video conversion apps out there that will convert the avi file into something standard. VisualHub was the best but it's not longer made, though I hear someone has picked up the project under a new name.
  6. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    Another vote for Mpeg Streamclip. You can convert basically anything to anything. If you open your .avi in here and then export to DV format you can import it into iMovie and do whatever slicing/dicing you want.
  7. mkelly macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2007
    I've experienced the exact same issue, and you should know that it definitely can be done, but you may have to do a little legwork. Sorry for the long post, but the instructions here should work, so please give it a read.

    First, keep in mind that this isn't a "Mac thing". It's the result of not having a true standard for electronic video. There are many formats in which you can store video. As others have said, .AVI isn't a format. Think of it as the gift wrap on a present - the real stuff is on the inside, and your video could have been encoded in any number of formats. Apple can't ship the codecs ("translators") for all of these potential formats, so that's where the legwork I mentioned earlier comes in.

    First thing's first. Since you're a new Mac owner, let's get your computer setup to *play back* a number of common video file formats. It's easy to do, and it's free.

    You'll want to download two programs:

    1. Perian, from http://www.perian.org - this is a plugin for Quicktime that enables it to play back a number of formats, including the popular DivX format.

    Download the file, open the disk image on your desktop, and double-click the "Perian.prefPane" icon to install it. When you're down, you can trash the disk image.

    2. Next you'll want to download WMV Components for Quicktime, from here: http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm - these give Quicktime the ability to play Windows Media files.

    (Think back to your days in Windows - you had to download Quicktime for your Windows computer. Now you're doing the reverse here - downloading Windows codecs for your Mac)

    You are now in good shape to play back most Windows file formats. Even better, since iMovie uses Quicktime to import video, these plugins may give iMovie the ability to read your video files. Try it - open iMovie and drag one of your video clips into the window. I just tested it with one of my .AVIs and it worked perfectly. (the import process might take a bit of time)

    If that *doesn't* work, then your camera is storing video in a more esoteric format. If that's the case, you might be able to convert it using one of the following:

    Quicktime Pro (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/pro/) - costs $ though.

    VisualHub (http://www.techspansion.com/) - Excellent program, was commercial, but now has been made open source. They're still sorting things out though, so you probably won't be able to download this right away.

    Let me know how it goes. I used to work for a Mac retailer, and sold a lot of Macs to former Windows users. There were always a few bumps in the road as they got used to their new platform, but in the end they all loved it. You can really do some powerful things with your Mac.
  8. bluesTank thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2008
    Thanks mkelly, i tried that and it didn't work. While I can watch the videos in quicktime perfectly, I cannot open them in iMovie to edit them.

    I tried the MPEG streamclip program that a few people recommended and it actually worked EXCEPT that the audio was NOT converted. Basically I am left with a perfect conversion with no sound. All I did was import my video file, then clicked export to quicktime video. It took a few seconds to convert and then it just had no audio. If anyone knows how to fix that it would be amazing. Also I would tell you all what format is in my "gift box" but I don't know how to do that either.

    Thanks everyone
  9. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    I would recommend exporting to dv or mpeg4 from MPEG streamclip, those seem to work better than as a .mov.
  10. bluesTank thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2008
    Nope that didn't work either

    Something is fishy because the video in MPEG streamclip when I first import it (before converting it) doesn't have sound then.

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