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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats Apps
While iTunes 6 might not be the best option as a video media player, you might still want it as a video cataloguing tool for all your movies as long as you can open them with QuickTime Player. You can add many types of files simply by dragging them to iTunes' icon or Library (MOV, MP4, DV, etc.). But if you want to add other file types, such as AVI movies (considering you have appropriate codecs installed), you'll have to resort to a trick and have QuickTime Pro with you (and no, it has nothing to do with reencoding).

Open the AVI file with QuickTime Player, go to the File menu and choose Save As..., and then pick "Reference movie" as destination format. QuickTime Player will generate a small MOV file that acts as an alias to the original AVI movie -- and this reference file can be added to iTunes. iTunes will let you add metadata to the reference MOV file, and will play the original AVI if instructed to do so. Note that if you remove the original AVI file, iTunes will obviously not be able to play it, even if the title still appears in its database. Also, reference movies are still somewhat big for what they are worth (around 1 to 3 MB each).

Let me add a side-hint for those that have set iTunes Preferences (Advanced category) to copy files added to the Library instead of using the original file. Since original AVI movies will still stay in their place, while original MOV movies will indeed get copied, and you probably do not want to have huge files duplicated or your movie library split in two, you might want to leave all your movies (be them AVI, MOV or whatever) organized by hand in a place of your choice (~/Movies?), and press Option while dragging MOV files to the Library, which temporarily overrides that option in the Advanced Preferences.

By working this way, you will be adding the movies to the iTunes database without making a duplicate of the MOV file, nor moving it to the iTunes Music folder. Be aware, though, that adding metadata to original's hardwires that metadata into those original files (i.e. modifies them). Not that it should be a bad thing, but just so you know.
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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats | 29 comments | Create New Account
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A method with smaller files
Authored by: wacko42 on Oct 17, '05 08:25:33AM

I started using this method, then found another that uses smaller files.

I open the avi in Quicktime (Pro natch), then export as a Quicktime media link file. iTunes doesn't seem to recognize the resulting file until I change the extension on the resulting file from qtl to mov. I can then drag it it into the Library and use it exactly the same as a reference file. My files so far are only about 4kb (or less). There may be a hidden "gotcha" though that I've not come across.



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A method with smaller files
Authored by: dogboy on Oct 17, '05 10:16:37AM

Yes! I was resigned to coding all my AVI clips into h264 or something, but I tried the second method here and it works! Also supports playcounts, which is the most important thing for me. Lovely. I'm working on an Automator/Applescript solution and I'll post it here if I can get it to work.



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: jiclark on Oct 17, '05 12:26:28PM

Related but tangential question:

I've been downloading .avi files for some time now, but QT7 won't play them; I get a dialog saying something about missing components. I go to the QT website, but there's nothing obvious there to download to make .avi files playable. Any help here as what I need to install to get them to play?

I've been happily using VLC, but it seems like it might be nice if QT wasn't thrown off by these files. Plus, then I could use this hint to it's fullest!

Many TIA,
John-o



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: Makosuke on Oct 17, '05 12:48:24PM

You need to install the DivX codec (divx.com--I'd get the beta of v6 if you're using QT 7, as v5 has some cosmetic issues with QT7), and probably the 3ivX codec as well--the latter isn't required, but with those two you can play just about anything.



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: jiclark on Oct 18, '05 10:26:09AM

Hey, thanks for the reply, but the Divx site is less than helpful. I finally found the OS X free version, 5.2.1, but the 6 beta that you mention is nowhere to be found (at least by me). Can you help me out one more time with this?



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: hibou on Oct 19, '05 11:50:07AM

get it from http://download.divx.com/labs/DivXFusionBeta3.dmg



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Also add the AC3 codec just in case
Authored by: elmimmo on Oct 18, '05 12:05:50AM

Just for the sake of completeness, besides, as suggested, the DivX codec from divx.com, note that some avi movies contain audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 (codenamed AC3 or AC52), which Mac OS X does not come with an appropriate codec either.

In order to be able to hear the track of those movies you will also need the AC3 QuickTime component from http://www.insaneness.com/



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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: dean_muc on Oct 17, '05 03:05:22PM
I have written a quick'n'dirty Applescript Droplet to makes things a little easier. Just drag your movie files on the Droplet - that's all.

The Droplet accepts mov, mpg, mpeg, mp4, avi, wmv, swf files, converts them to QuickTime media links and then adds the files to iTunes.

Movie2iTunes.zip (about 23 KB)

On the first run you're asked to pick a folder for the "QuickTime media links" - I have made a new folder in my Movie folder, but you can choose any other folder, too

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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: dogboy on Oct 18, '05 03:02:40AM

Thanks! My efforts were coming to nothing. This works great for me.



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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: webertk421 on Oct 18, '05 11:21:16AM

I'm prompted to find "GrowlHelperApp.app" when I run this droplet. Do you know what this is, why I need it or where to get it?



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New Applescript Droplet without Growl
Authored by: dean_muc on Oct 18, '05 11:34:33AM
As some people have reported problems with the Growl Helper App, I have made a version of the Droplet without Growl.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Movie2iTunes_wo_Growl.zip (about 23 kb)

Andree

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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: sjk on Oct 18, '05 01:30:53PM

Thanks, Andree. How hard would it be to write an Automator version?



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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: thiefhunter on Oct 18, '05 11:04:30PM

I can't get this to work for me, with or without growl. Trying to bring in a couple of .wmv files, which were actually created on a pc (not mine!). Then again, I can't drag _any_ movies into the iTunes window, not even .mov files. Ideas?



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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: dean_muc on Oct 18, '05 11:55:59PM
> a couple of .wmv files
To playback WMV files with QuickTime you'll need WMV Player - the demo version plays the first half of a WMV file only.

Are you using the latest version of QT and iTunes?

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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: thiefhunter on Oct 19, '05 11:21:19PM

--Are you using the latest version of QT and iTunes?--

Yes, both. QT 7.0.3 and iTunes 6.



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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: PlxoGuy on Nov 05, '05 12:57:48AM

I have the same lack of success with WMV files and wondered if you found a way to add them to iTunes. After solving the mystery of the avi movies, wmv is my only remaining non-iTunes entertainment folder.



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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: matfitz on Oct 21, '05 06:07:51AM

I tried both versions w or w/o growl, but when I drag a movie over the droplet, nothing happens, as if the droplet wasn't recognizing that there was something over it. What am I doing wrong? Running Tiger, Itunes 6, Qt 7 pro.

and btw, when I first starte movie2itunes, it never asked me where I wanted to put the links....


cheers, this looks awesome



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Little Applescript Droplet
Authored by: Casemon on Sep 06, '08 11:32:30AM

Using the latest version with latest Leopard and latest ITunes gives a funny error if I choose a Media folder on a different drive than the Leopard drive. Strange, as in either case, it seems it creates the stub video files and places them in the Media folder correctly, but then doesn't add them to ITunes (though the applet reports that it did).

Seems like a cool applet. Any chance for update to this?



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Make iTunes Talk to iPhoto
Authored by: Señor Epiphyte on Oct 17, '05 10:12:30PM

What do you do when iPhoto has been volunteering to communicate with your digi-cam and it now possesses all of your .avi files? It doesn't seem to want to give them up easily.

I can't really believe that I have to open the entrails of iPhoto to root out all the .avi files and then drop the interesting ones to an AppleScript just to then watch them on my new iPod Movie via alia.

This part all seems very un-Applesque.



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Make iTunes Talk to iPhoto
Authored by: lavar78 on Oct 17, '05 10:38:09PM
What do you do when iPhoto has been volunteering to communicate with your digi-cam and it now possesses all of your .avi files? It doesn't seem to want to give them up easily. I can't really believe that I have to open the entrails of iPhoto to root out all the .avi files and then drop the interesting ones to an AppleScript just to then watch them on my new iPod Movie via alia. This part all seems very un-Applesque.
Find them in iPhoto and drag them where you want. There's a Movies smart playlist by default.

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Make iTunes Talk to iPhoto
Authored by: Señor Epiphyte on Oct 18, '05 12:39:10AM

Sure enough. I was able to drag an AVI from iPhoto to the desktop space, but it still seems a bit incomplete for Apple to not provide some built-in communication between these applications (a la iPhoto to iMovie). It's not very iLife-ish.

I am a big, huge fanatic of the iPhoto library holding all sorts of non-JPG stuff from GIF to TIFF, MOV to AVI, even PSD. It's all there... I like it!



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Make iTunes Talk to iPhoto
Authored by: sjk on Oct 18, '05 02:57:44PM

I've been using Image Capture to import AVI files (to the Movies folder, to organize later) and deleting them from the camera before importing the remaining images into iPhoto.

Hopefully iTunes and iPhoto can eventually share overlapping content since both now support video. Is there a good solution to the underlying issue of these apps having separate libraries? iPhoto can access audio tracks of some videos from the iTunes library (for slideshows) but not the video tracks. And iMovie can access both iTunes and iPhoto libraries. Might iTunes and iPhoto libraries eventually merge into a single "media content" library that those and other apps can more easily share?



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Make iTunes Talk to iPhoto
Authored by: davidhammersley on Jan 16, '07 02:47:00PM

The way you say volunteering, i guess you don't want iPhoto to automatically communicate with your digital cam???

To stop iPhoto "volunteering" you need to change the settings in Image Capture which you will find in the appications folder.



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: barefootguru on Oct 16, '06 06:46:31PM

Saving a movie as self-contained also works (requires QT Pro), and means there's no extra file cluttering up the folder.



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: colinbm on Jan 25, '07 04:02:33AM

Here's a droplet do do the above (save as self contained movie):

on open theFileList
	repeat with theFile in theFileList
		tell application "QuickTime Player"
			open theFile
			save self contained movie 1 in (theFile as string) & ".mov"
			close movie 1
		end tell
	end repeat
end open

I'm sure the bit to add the file to iTunes can be easily added if wanted. This one just saves in the same place as the original and appends ".mov" to the filename.



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: theolog on Jul 15, '08 08:52:44AM
I've noticed that movies added with Movie2iTunes 1.2 do not show up on the iPhone remote. Anyone found a workaround?

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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: horhey23 on Sep 22, '08 12:37:51AM

Seems neither a reference movie nor a QuickTime Movie Link file will "share" with another iTunes library.

In other words, they will play fine on your local machine, but if you share playlists with another Mac on your network these files will not show up, unfortunately. I have tried mounting all the drives where the original movie files reside on my MacPro, still nothing shows up in the MacBook iTunes shared list from the MacPro. Full video files that are .mov or mp4 show up, just not any reference movies or qtml movie files.

This other hint claims that the qtml method -- provided the source file drives are mounted on the local machine -- will stream the videos. I have not found this to be true. I hope someone can prove me wrong as I would love for this to work.

Also, be forewarned that the qtml files will not reference the original files if you move the original movie files. However, the "reference movie" option will.



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: horhey23 on Sep 22, '08 01:00:02AM

My bad, the other hint was not referring to a qtl Media Link file, but rather re-saving the movie with a .mov container.



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Make iTunes 6 accept non-native video formats
Authored by: Hagar on Dec 27, '08 11:09:52AM
Have a look at VideoDrive: this tool supports all these methods to put videos in iTunes.

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