macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2012
Hello, I have a question I hope someone can help out with. I'm running Snow Leopard (10.6.8), and iPhoto 9.2.3.

Currently my iPhoto library is 310 GB, and my boyfriend recommended I re-encode my hundreds of AVI and MOV files to H.264 to save space. We calculated about 140 GB in potential savings.

The biggest concern before creating a batch operation to re-encode and replace all of the files is that the filenames would change from AVI or MOV to MP4. This would probably break the database.

Any ideas or advice on how to go about this?


macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2011
Baltimore, Maryland
I don't think there's a quick solution for you. Yes, the database is finicky.

You could probably go into the iPhoto library file (right-click), copy the files you want to convert to somewhere else, convert the files, open iPhoto app, delete the movies, then re-add the new versions.

If you haven't already, you should test one movie to see if you're satisfied with the way it looks after conversion. Then, test the replacement method.
Nov 28, 2010
And before you do that, check what codecs and settings the original files use.
In order to find that out, you can use the following three applications to analyse a sample video file (one .avi and one .mov).
When done, you can use the "Report" (VideoSpec) and "Export" (Media Inspector) button to export a report,
attachable to your next post via the
In MediaInfo you have to go to the Menu Bar, select View > Text and copy the text via CMD+A > CMD+C and paste it via CMD+V into your next post.

Maybe the original files are already using a highly compressive codec for which further compression would be detrimental.
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