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Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie iOS devices
I searched everywhere for a method to get HD video onto my iPhone 4 for use in building videos using iMovie on the phone. I like to have a library of trailers and intros I use in my presentations available on the iPhone if I am building a video while away from my computer. I couldn't find a method anywhere for doing this task -- importing movies via iTunes won't let you import HD video and the content you import is not available in your global iPhone Photo/Video library.

  • iPhone (jailbroken)
  • iFiles (software for acessing files on your iPhone)
  • Suitable HD video for importing
First of all you will need to have your iPhone jailbroken -- I won't go into details here but that info is readily available on the net. Once you have your phone jailbroken you will need some software to access the files on your iPhone in order to transfer the video into your iPhone. There are several option for moving the files to your phone -- Phone Disk, iPhone Explorer, and others. These options offer simple GUI drag and drop transfers. You may choose the GUI option or you could also use the other piece of software we require for this hint - iFiles - to transfer your video to your iPhone via a web browser.

The critical software here you must have is iFiles. This is the only software I have found that can add the necessary metadata and files necessary to get your video listed on your iPhone in the Camera Roll where you can access it from other apps on your phone. You will need to install iFiles using Cydia or your chosen method of installing apps on a jailbroken iPhone.

I have not done exhaustive testing on what videos are accepted - but in my testing I have found your video must have the following specs:
  • Format: H.264 (MPEG-4)
  • Dimensions: 1280x720
  • Container Format: MOV
  • Codec ID: mp42
  • Format Profile: Main@L3.1 (very important)
  • File Extensions: .mov (very important)
You can create this type video from most video software -- but you may get mixed results if not using one of the more common Apple apps like QuickTime, iMovie, Final Cut, Final Cut Express, or iPhoto. You can generate the video using other software but you need to know how to manipulate the Codec ID manually using something like the command line editor MP4Box. Stick with one of Apple choices and you should be fine.

When creating the video -- you always want to export using the 'Custom' QuickTime dialog in order to access the functions you need. Make sure to export the video as H.264 (MPEG-4) at 1280x720, and very important you access the 'Video Options' dialog and make sure the profile is set to MAIN.

Once you have the software installed and your video created you are ready to import HD video to your iPhone.

First, launch your chosen method of file transfer (iPhone Explorer, Phone Disk, iFiles) and mount your iPhone ready for transfer. Where you place the file on your iPhone is not critical as it's a temp location and you can delete the file after importing. For ease of use I might recommend creating a new folder on your iPhone using the transfer software in the location near DCIM/100APPLE, which is where your other images and videos are stored. Transfer the video to your desired place on the iPhone. Remember the location where you imported to.

Once your video has been transferred, launch iFiles on your iPhone and navigate to the location in the filesystem where you imported your video. If your video does not show up on your iPhone you probably did not follow the specs above. Once you locate your video in iFiles, click the blue arrow to the right of your video (if you click in the wrong place the video will just start playing), to access the file attributes. Once you have the File Attributes open for your video, scroll to the very bottom and you should see a button labeled 'Add To Camera Roll.' Click that button and you will get a confirmation (if your video is within specs) or a failure notice that your video has been added to the Camera Roll.

Your video is now listed in the main Camera Roll and available systemwide on your iPhone. Use it in iMovie, watch it with the video player, just do whatever you normally would do with the video.

Notes -- this hint was developed using an iPhone 4. Your mileage may vary if using a 3G or 3GS iPhone... let us know how it works if you try it on one of those phones.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. Jailbreak your phone at your own risk; as noted the methods available to do so are published on the web. I personally don't do it.]
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie
Authored by: Loren on Aug 09, '10 09:03:31AM

Um, can't you simply put the video into an iPhoto album and then sync that album onto your iPhone? No jailbreak necessary.

I have edited plenty of video that was in other albums on my iPhone than the camera roll.

Or am I missing something deeper here?

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Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie
Authored by: hazkid on Aug 09, '10 12:01:18PM

Unfortunately, iPhoto won't sync videos back at all. It's a major shortcoming that really should be fixed.

Naren Hazareesingh

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Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie
Authored by: Loren on Aug 09, '10 05:44:39PM

I sync tons if videos back to my iPhone from iPhoto. It's not a bug. It's a setting.

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Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie
Authored by: pbirke on Aug 09, '10 11:40:49AM

I would prefer to not read hints that involve jailbreaking. There are plenty of sites for that. This site should remain pure. My two cents.

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Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie
Authored by: crarko on Aug 09, '10 05:18:01PM

Perhaps I will add a JB: in the future to the header of hints that make use of jailbreaking.

It is a fact of life, like it or not, and some of the hints published involving the Mac are not without some risk, either.

Craig A.

[ Reply to This | # ]
re: add "JB" to posts.
Authored by: mclbruce on Aug 10, '10 11:32:05AM

Other options:

1) Add "jalibroken" to the title, as in, "Add HD Video to jailbroken iPhone..."
2) Make sure "jailbroken" or "jailbreak" appears in the text before the "read more" link.

It was definitely disappointing for me to click the link and see "requires jailbroken phone" in the first sentence after the link.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie
Authored by: Helge33 on Aug 12, '10 01:36:10AM

I would prefer to keep iPhone hints to a minimum or even discard them. There are plenty of iphone sites out there and after all this site was always about OSX (without an "i" ;-)

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Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie
Authored by: Loren on Aug 09, '10 05:48:56PM

If you want the site pure, perhaps you should request no iPhone tips.

It is macosxhints, isn't it?

Personally I like any tip that people find useful.

I would have been fine with jailbreak hints last week, but now, even more so. It's legal, after all, haven't you heard?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Add HD Video To iPhone and Use in iMovie
Authored by: germ on Aug 10, '10 01:10:14PM
I would prefer to read more hints that require jailbreaking.

[ Reply to This | # ]