How to import avi to iMovie

AVI file format introduced by Microsoft is widely used by video cameras/camcorders for its ability to keep the file size down and keep the video quality up. Since it is introduced by Microsoft, there’s bound to be some issues if you are a mac guy/girl who tried to work with AVI in iMovie.

For instance, AVI played just fine in QuickTime but the import to iMovie button is grayed out. Import an AVI file to iMovie directly always end up stuck in the copying process. Even an AVI video is successfully imported to iMovie, it is either without sound or video, or with jarring images.

So, how to import AVI to iMovie and achieve the perfect result?

The solution, changing the file extension from AVI to mp4 or MOV is a bit insultingly simple, but it does work occasionally.

If simply changing the file extension is no use, then actual video transcoding process is in need. As you may already know that AVI is actually a file container type that contains video and audio data which are compressed with different codecs or methods, some of them are not recognized or supported by iMovie. The solution is to use a video converter which is packed with as many kinds of codecs as possible to convert the AVI files to iMovie supported file type.

How to convert AVI to iMovie supported file format.

  1. Download the video converter for mac, the physique behind video converters is to equip the software with a comprehensive codec pack, it decodes the AVI video and encode the file into something new.
    Download for Windows       Download-for-MacDownload For Mac
  2. The software does offer an optimized setting for converting to iMovie compatible format, set the output video format as iMovie, the software will sort out all the video resolutions, video codec, audio bitrate and other techy stuffs.
  3. Convert, video conversion is relatively resource consuming, this process may take some time to finish. After the conversion is done, you can directly import the converted AVI movie to iMovie for editing.

Frequently asked questions

AVI file format?

Video container or wrapper format created by Microsoft; store video data that may compressed in various way. Typically uses less compression than similar compressing method such as mpeg, h.264, results in big file size and better video quality. IMovie does offer support for AVI file format but it happens that AVI may contains video data encoded in a way that iMovie can’t recognize, in which case the AVI file needs to be converted to iMovie supported file type.

What’s the file format supported by iMovie?

With the program being constantly updated, more and more file formats are added to the support list, for iMovie 11, supported file formats including DV, DV Widescreen, HDV 1080i, HDV 720p (25 and 30 fps), MPEG 4 Simple Profile, iSight.

What is the best format for editing in iMovie?

It depends, for the highest quality DV is the clear winner because it’s uncompressed or compressed with a lossless format, but it’s quite large, when being imported into iMovie the project file could easily go up to dozens of GB, also there’s iSight, which is able to maintain the video quality in a relatively original status without taking too much space, ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

Which file format does iMovie for iPad support?

iMovie for iOS was made to edit the video shot on iPhone, iPad air, there’s no official support list, it was made to edit iOS videos.

This allows iMovie for iPad to be stable, or should make it as stable as possible.

The file sharing panel is just for importing imovieOS project. IMovie for iPad air edits video that can be seen in the photo app. If you can see the imported video in the photo app, it is likely that you can open it in the iMovie app, but beware that using non-iOS sourced video can make iMovie very buggy and flakey.

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