iMovie for iPad: Users Having Trouble Importing Video

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It seems that many users who purchased iMovie for the iPad are having trouble importing video created on anything other than an iPad 2.

For instance, someone importing a .mov from iTunes to the iPad will notice that they cannot open the video in iMovie. It only works on video that was filmed directly with the tablet, at least that seems to be the case so far.

Various users have posted on Apple forums having that same issue.

Apple discussion’s user The Matt Guy said:

Using iPad2, I purchased the iMovie app, and when I take my home movies in .mov form and import them from iTunes to the iPad, iMovies does not see any videos. Surely this app will work with existing home videos and not just videos shot wight the iPad. If the was the case I never would have bought the app in the first place, I wanted to be able to edit my family vacation videos shot with a local hd cam directly on my iPad.

Anyone know if I am doing something wrong?


And it seems that others posting on the thread agree. User blueridgeiPad calls it “disappointing.”

Basically, if the camera roll application doesn’t read the video file, iMovie will not, either.

One user mentioned a solution, saying “it’s not perfect” adding that “if you’re ‘Team Pure’ it won’t work.” We’re guessing he’s talking about a jailbreak.

Video Taken on iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS is Easily Imported

Here are some methods for getting video into iMovie:

1. Camera Roll.

You can place your videos into camera roll. Here’s how: Download iPhone explorer (link), an application for your computer that allows you to view the files in your iDevice, and drop the .mov into the DCIM folder (Path: Root>User>Media>DCIM)

Important: Only videos created by iPhone 4 and 3Gs will show in camera roll and then in iMovie.

2. Sync Photos with Video Included Option

When you sync your iDevice, make sure that you have the Sync Photos with Videos included option on. This will ensure that video synced from your iPhone is imported to iTunes, then you can sync onto your iPad by connecting it and setting the iPad to sync movies by checking off “Include Videos.”

Keep in mind that only these formats will sync (from

“Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format”

So if you have a video camera that does not support the above formats, or you have existing videos that are not in that format, you will not be able to get those videos into iMovie on your iPad.

To bypass that issue, you need to convert those videos into right format. Here’s a simple way to do it:

Convert video into .mov by opening it in your Mac’s Quicktime App and choosing “Save As…” HD 720p .mov. This video will not sync to your iPad. Trying to do so will give you an error message saying “… was not synced because it will not play on this iPad.” So here’s what you do: Download iPhone explorer (link), an application for your computer that allows you to view the files in your iDevice, and drop the .mov into the DCIM folder (Path: Root>User>Media>DCIM)

This method will work only with iPhone 4, 3GS and files specifically converted to a format supported by your iPad 2.

3. Simply use the camera connection kit.

Of course this won’t work if your video isn’t in the proper format. However, we found (and read) that using the kit allows video to be transferred directly into the iPad from your iPhone.

We have also found that files cannot have characters like semicolons (;) or other such characters in the file name or iMovie will not see them. It’s an ongoing trial and error process for us as well, but we will be posting as we figure out more.

In a nutshell, if are trying to get videos from your favorite recorder that does not store videos in the proper format (such as the ones shown above) you will have to use method 2. For videos created by iDevice, any of the above methods will work.

[Via Apple Discussions]

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