I’m baffled. I have a bunch of MOV files from my iPhone and I can’t import them into Final Cut Pro X on my Mac system. What’s the fix?
I’ve encountered this particular Final Cut Pro X glitch too and from researching it believe that there’s some issue with the compression codec used with this particular video footage on the iPhone. I mean, you’d think Apple would make sure that its pro level video editing tool would be able to work natively with video recorded on its own devices, and that if you were going to have any import problems, it would be from weird cameras, surveillance devices, downloaded footage from the Web, etc. Nope, not this time.
Fortunately, the tool to fix the problem is already on your Mac, though it’s a bit tedious to work with, especially if you have a bunch of videos to correct: QuickTime Player.
Yes, QuickTime Player can play all of the .MOV files from iPhones and iPads without an issue, and if you then export it with a different name, the resultant file has the same suffix (.MOV) but is in a format that works with Final Cut Pro X (1080p, H.264 or H.265, up to 1920 x 1080 resolution). I really don’t understand why, but… it works.
Let’s step through the process so you can see what I mean. Here’s our starting point, a few minutes of video shot with the new iPhone X:
Double click to open it up in QuickTime Player and it looks just fine:
But jump into Final Cut Pro X to import this particular video snippet and it’s greyed out and unavailable to choose:
See it, the fourth entry down? What’s frustrating is that there’s no information on why it’s not a file format that the video editor Final Cut Pro X can import, it’s just dead. Yeesh. Now what?
The solution, as I said earlier, is to go back to QuickTime Player and choose File > Export and the biggest video format it allows (depending on original footage):
Here I’m using File > Export As > 1080p. The process is simple, just make sure you give the new file a different name (if you overwrite the original, somehow the format doesn’t seem to end up compatible with FCPX from my tests. It’s also just a good habit to never destroy original footage anyway):
A progress bar lets you see how things proceed. In my experience on a modern MacBook Pro it’s just a matter of seconds:
And the resultant file? Well, you can see in Final Cut Pro X that it’s now ready to import:
It’s hard to get details on what’s going on, but certainly if QuickTime Player can read video footage it seems reasonable to expect that would also be something that the Apple program Final Cut Pro X would also be able to import it, but at least the fix is pretty straightforward and doesn’t involve non-Apple software downloads.
Got an explanation to share about what changes when an incompatible MOV file from an iPhone is exported in MOV format in QTP and then is FCPX compatible? Leave it in the comments! Thanks.
Oh my… It’s really worked! Thank you for the tips.
I can’t thank you enough for this tip! I have ben frustrated and wore out trying to figure out what the problem was! 🙂
Thank you SO much!! This is the only thing I got to work. A little extra time but so worth it to be able to edit… you are a life saver!!!
Hi Dave! I am having trouble importing into FCP files that were shot on a sony camera. The file is an MOV. When I followed your instructions, I was able to open with quicktime, change the name of the file as instructed and saved as your instructions. I upload into FCP program, but the files don’t have sound. The sound was there in quicktime and the original files.
I am so frustrated and freaking out!
That’s a curious one. Is this discussion of any value? https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/344/55027
MAN!! YOU ARE THE BEST! Thank you for sharing this. I was looking at this solution throughout the entire internet and there was no solution from anybody. Anyway, thanks again! Greetings from Peru 😉
Thanks for the tip!
incredible, the footage record from an apple device doesn’t work on apple software?! crazy things
Well, just ran across this today because i was having the same issue and needed a fix. Downloading quicktime was an issue for some reason.
So, I tried iMovie.
It opened up the file fine. Also, when i went to save it or export it . . . . under File, there’s a “Send Movie to Final Cut Pro” option in the drop down list.
Still working on the project but looks like iMovie is a good work around too!
I usually use iDealshare VideoGo to convert MOV to Apple ProRes for Final Cut Pro.
THANK YOU DAVE !!!
What if I can’t even open the file in QuickTime, what do you reccommend doing?
Could the file be corrupted or in a different format even though it says .MOV? VLC is a champ at opening weird video file formats if you want to give that a try, Patrick. Start at videolan.org
Hey Dave, I’m currently facing the same problem. iPhoneX shoots a H.265 file, which is not compatible on both Premiere Pro and Final Cut. I can’t open it on Quicktime either, it says file format not compatible, which is weird because one would expect synergy between apple products. I tried using VLC, and the video files play there, but how do I convert them into a format that’s editble on Final Cut?
Thank you so much Dave!
Thank you Dave.
I almost download some “Free” software to do this.
Works a treat.