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I think I might be missing something but it seems like Quicktime is happy playing my .avi movies but iTunes isn't. So I have to go through the rigmarole of converting .avi to .mp4 with iTunes before viewing in iTunes or on my iPod Touch. This of course means I end up with two versions of the same file (three if I need to view on iPod). Is there some solution to the issue? I'm going to have to buy yet another portable hard drive before the month is out ...

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is perian installed on your mac? It only supports QuickTime but not iTunes. –  user6124 May 28 '11 at 11:27
Also the the codec support on your iPod is very limited, so it really cannot do anything beside what Apple wants it to (ie. Apple's own stuff - h264 and mpeg4). –  XQYZ May 28 '11 at 13:35
you can download software like Miro or Vuze (they are used mainly for torrenting) however they play wide varieties of file types and can honestly play almost anything they come across. However as far as the Ipod goes XQYZ is right apple doesn't tend to like anything that isn't apple :p –  luca590 May 28 '11 at 17:07
Anything that's working in Quicktime player (including the Perian codecs) should be working in iTunes too, as iTunes is just using Quicktime for playback. So not sure what's going on there. For your iPod (or any other iOS device), you're always going to have to convert though, I'm afraid. –  scottishwildcat May 29 '11 at 11:20
Do you mean iTunes itself (on your Mac) doesn't play it, or merely that it has to be converted before you can send it to the iPod? The first would be truly strange, the second is normal. iTunes itself can do the conversion. And, yes, there will be two versions of it (on the Mac) afterward. –  GEdgar May 29 '11 at 13:29
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1 Answer

As per this MacRumors forum post:

There are three ways to get .avi files to load into the iTunes library, these are packaging it in a supported format (QT-Pro workaround), adding extra entries to the CFBundleDocumentTypes (may cause problems when updating iTunes) or adding the movie-type meta-data to the file. Adding the movie-type meta-data to the file is the quickest, easiest and safest of all of these options (IMHO).

He then outlines a method to add the movie-type metadata.

in Terminal (requires Dev Tools)

$ SetFile -t "MooV" /path/to/movie.avi

Then run this Applescript:

tell application "Finder"
   set file type of file this_file to "MooV"
end tell

The original post I linked above has a full Applescript droplet or Folder Action that could do this automatically.

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