How do I ingest H.265/HEVC video to Apple iMovie?

Like most major NLEs, Apple iMovie doesn’t have native support for H.265/HEVC video files. To be able to ingest H.265/HEVC video to iMovie for further editing, you will need to transcode H.265/HEVC video to a Mac friendly format first, such as Apple’s InterMediate Codec encoded MOV format, which iMovie will recognize and handle well.
hevc to imovie

How can I work with HEVC 4K video in iMovie?
“Hi, there, when is Apple going to implement full support for HEVC/H.265 into iMovie? I’m shooting with a new Samsung NX1 4K camera which records video files using HEVC (H.265) compression with MP4 wrapper. I’m trying to edit the H.265 4K files in iMovie, but can’t get iMovie to ‘read’ them? Is there a workaround to get iMovie to recognize HEVC 4K video? Does anyone know a solution? Please advice. Thanks in advance.”

H.265, also known as High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), is the successor to the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression standard and offers twice the compression while still maintaining the same high quality. It’s a pity Apple hasn’t added full support for H.265/HEVC into iMovie. If you insist on editing H.265/HEVC files in iMovie, you will need to transcode them to an intermediate format that is fully compatible with Apple iMovie before start, such as Apple’s InterMediate Codec (AIC). This requires third party software like H.265/HEVC Converter for Mac. The content below will guide you through the process of converting H.265/HEVC files to AIC .MOV for iMovie editing with optimum performance using this Mac converter app.

H.265/HEVC Converter for Mac
imovie and h.265 workflow

[Guide] How to transcode H.265/HEVC files to AIC .mov for editing in iMovie?

The steps:
Step 1: Open up H.265/HEVC Converter for Mac. When its main interface comes up, click ‘Import’ to load your source media.
convert hevc to aic for imovie

Step 2: Select output format for your editing program
To convert H.265/HEVC video for iMovie, from ‘Profile’ list, choose ‘Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC)(*.mov)’ as output format under ‘iMovie and Final Cut Express’ column.

Step 3: If necessary, click ‘Settings’ button to custom video and audio settings like resolution, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate, audio channel, etc.

Step 4: Begin H.265/HEVC clips to AIC MOV Conversion on Mac
When ready, click ‘Start’ to begin format conversion. Once the conversion process is complete, you can click ‘Open Folder’ button to get the generated AIC MOV files for editing in iMovie with optimum performance.

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