Summary: To get iMovie 11 work with AVI files beautifully, the easy workaround is to transcode AVI to Apple InterMediate Codec .mov, which ensures the best results when using in iMovie. Here is how-to.
There’s a problem that has troubled me for days: I have an avi file that I can not get into iMovie. I like do some editing with my source videos including MTS, MXF camera/camcorder recordings, or some other common files like AVI, MP4, etc and then upload to YouTube, Viemo to share. While, when I try importing AVI to iMovie 11 on my iMac, the AVI videos can’t be played an edited smoothly in the program.
Searched widely and I got some tech support for loading AVI files into iMovie 11 correctly. iMovie is famous for its powerful editing features. Unfortunately, AVI is not supported by iMovie. To get AVI files and iMovie 11 to play nicely, the easy workaround is to transcode AVI to Apple InterMediate Codec, which ensures maximum editing quality and efficiency when working with iMovie 11. Along with some help from professional AVI to AIC Converter, it can be done. To help those who wanna edit .avi files in iMovie, here I share with you a simple guide on how to convert AVI to AIC MOV format for iMovie 11.
First of all, download the app – Brorsoft Video Converter for Mac
Overall, the program is a professional yet all-in-one video conversion tool. With it, you can easily rewrap all AVI files to Apple InterMediate Codec .mov for using in iMovie 8/9/11. It also provides simple video editing functions for you. Besides, the Mac video converter can convert HD videos from HD camcorders or DVs (like JVC, Panasonic, Sony and Cannon) for editing in Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Final Cut Express, iMovie, Avid MC, Adobe Premiere Pro etc. Just download it and follow the tutorial below to get the work done.
Guide: Transcoding AVI to AIC .mov for iMovie 11
Step 1: Launch the Mac video converter program; click "Add" button from main menu to browse your computer hard drive and select the AVI files you want to convert. Or you can easily drag-and-drop files into this application for converting. You can also load video files formatted in .mkv, .wmv, .flv, .vob, etc.
Tip: You can check the “Merge into one” box to merge several avi video files together for easier editing.
Step 2: Click the format bar, and move mouse cursor to iMovie/FCE --> Apple InterMediate Codec(AIC) (*.mov) as the output format.
Step 3: Click "Convert" button to start encoding AVI files to AIC MOV for iMovie 11 under Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
Some more helpful features of the AVI to iMovie Converter for Mac:
1. Settings- click to set video resolution(1920×1080/1440×1080/1280×720/720×480), bitrate（from 1Mbps to 20Mbps）, frame rate (24p/30p)
2. Editor (next to "Add" icon)- click to set deinterlace, trim, crop, watermark, add subtitles, etc.
Once the AVI to mov conversion is done, you can transfer your AVI files into iMovie 11 for editing smoothly on Mac with ease.
1. If you meet any importing & editing problems with kinds of popular video edit programs like FCP, FCE, iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, etc, you can link to Video Editors Tips and Tricks Colum to get the solution.
2. If you are a Panasonic, Canon or Sony user, you can get the Full HD video camera tips to fast solve the MOV, AVCHD .mts/m2ts, MXF importing and editing issues.
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Source:Why can't i install codes for AVI on my mac iMovie 11