Workaround for using camcorder movies in iMovie for iOS

iMovie for iOS has had a glitch where it will not import movies from camcorders and other video devices. Here is a workaround.

Apple's release of iMovie for iOS was greatly welcomed and it has been a popular download for numerous iPad users; however, people have noticed that the program does have some limitations, one of them being movies not working if they were directly imported from camcorders and other video devices.

Recently Apple posted a short but to-the-point knowledge base article that acknowledges this limitation:

iMovie for iOS is designed to work with video recorded with iPad 2, iPhone 4, and iPod touch (4th generation). To ensure optimal performance, the app filters out certain non-Apple video clips from the Video browser. These incompatible clips cannot be added to your iMovie project.

While Apple does not specifically support movie formats from third-party devices, you can still get them on your system, which only takes a few steps (originally from RazorianFly):

  1. Import the movies to your Mac.
  2. Use Handbrake or a similar video conversion tool to convert the images into iOS-compatible formats (H.264).
  3. Import the clips into iTunes and copy them to your iOS device.

After this is done, the movies should now work with iMovie for iOS. There is a YouTube video available that covers how to do this:

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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.


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