Working with MP4 files in iMovie on OS X El Capitan v10.11

So you have updated to OS X El Capitan v10.11? Having issues working with some types of MP4 files in iMovie on El Capitan? If so, you may wish to read this post. It explains a workaround to make all MP4 files editable in El Capitan iMovie.

With the launch of Mac OS X El Capitan, Apple Inc. also released a minor update to iMovie for Mac that adds in support for Photos. With the new Photos integration in iMovie, it’s now possible for iMovie users to browse Moments, Collections, Favorites, and Albums that have been stored in Photos, using the Photos app to insert content into video projects.
issues working with some types of MP4 files in iMovie on El Capitan
However, some users have reported issues that can’t import certain types of MP4 files to iMovie for editing on OS X 10.11 El Capitan, such as some MP4 files from Sony and Hybrid camcorders. Why did this happen?

As a matter of fact, though MP4 format is officially listed in the compatible formats of iMovie, iMovie only supports MP4 formats with MPEG4/AAC or H.264/AAC data, not all kinds of MP4 formats. If your MP4 files contains incompatible codecs that iMovie cannot read, you will fail to load them. In that case, you will need to convert these MP4 files to an iMovie friendly format first, such as Apple’s InterMediate Codec encoded MOV format, which El Capitan iMovie will recognize and handle well. Read on to learn a quick guide on how to convert MP4 files to AIC for iMovie editing on El Capitan.

Software requirement
HD Video Converter for Mac
make all MP4 files editable in El Capitan iMovie

How to convert MP4 files to QuickTime MOV with AIC codec for editing in iMovie on EI Capitan?

To do this:
can’t import MP4 files to iMovie on OS X 10.11 El Capitan

Step 1: Run HD Video Converter for Mac as a professional MP4 to EI Capitan iMovie Converter. When its main interface comes up, click ‘Add File’ to load source video to it.

Step 2: Select output format for iMovie
For the purpose of converting mp4 files for use in iMovie on EI Capitan, from ‘Profile’ list, select ‘Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC)(*.mov)’ as output format under ‘iMovie and Final Cut Express’ column. This format is also suitable for use in the discontinued Final Cut Express.
convert MP4 files to AIC for iMovie editing on El Capitan
Important: If you’ve loaded a number of video clips to do batch conversion, please do remember ticking off ‘Apply to All’ option before you start.

Step 3: Adjust video and audio settings (Optional)
If necessary, you can click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profiles Settings’ panel to modify video and audio settings like video encoder, resolution, video bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, audio encoder, sample rate, audio bit rate, and audio channels. 3D settings are also available.

Step 4: Click ‘Convert’ to start MP4 to MOV conversion on EI Capitan

Step 5: Click ‘Open Folder’ to get generated QuickTime files for using in iMovie with optimum performance.

Tips: The conversion process may cost a little longer time. In this situation, you can tick off ‘Showdown computer when conversion completed’ and go away to do other things.

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