I have an avi file that takes 350mb; I go into iMovie and i create a new project, then i create a new event and then i click on import video, i go to the right directory, to the avi file and click on import. The import window disappear and appear a loading bar that says something like "Optimizing the video..." and in 1 second it disappear (... i don't see the bar load). Nothing else happens, but the video is not imported. Why?

More informations

I tried to uncheck the optimization option but another loading bar appear saying "Loading video", when the bar is completed another bar appear and disappear immediately. It doesn't change anything: my video cannot be imported.

Some more try

Downloading Perian and Divx codec doesn't solve the problem.

  • What is the AVI’s format? AVI extension is used but maybe the format is something that iMovie is unable to load. Also, what version of iMovie do you have? Nov 26, 2010 at 1:15
  • On the information it says "Avi video format". And the iMovie is the version is the one in the iLife 2010.
    – Shoe
    Nov 26, 2010 at 13:40
  • You might want to try converting the AVI into something else. Can you play the movie with QuickTime? If so, you can try to use a conversion utility or try Quicktime 7 (included in Snowleopard but as an optional component not installed by default). QuicktimeX doesn’t have a “custom” export (sadly). Nov 26, 2010 at 18:14

3 Answers 3


Just to echo what another user said in a comment, if installing Perian and DivX didn't work you might try converting the video. Just download Handbrake and convert your video to H.264, then try importing that into iMovie.

  • 1
    That worked well. But it's not what i was looking for so... choosing this one just because it actually solve the problem until you get tired waiting 10 minutes for a video to be converted.
    – Shoe
    Dec 13, 2010 at 20:50

I think your problem has something to do with not having the right Codecs (the bit of software that translates one type of video to another type). @Martin is right - if you can convert your video yourself you'll solve your problem, but it would be even better if you can teach iMovie to convert it for you.

Try installing both Perian and DivX (I'm too new to post two hyperlinks, just Google DivX Mac - it's the top link) and then restart your computer - this will install extra codecs to allow you to covert between the different types of video.

  • Ok, i'll try. But why doesnt an error appear?
    – Shoe
    Nov 30, 2010 at 12:51
  • I'm not sure- codecs have always been funny things on macs; they're meant to be transparent but sometimes they're too transparent.
    – glenstorey
    Dec 1, 2010 at 9:25
  • Installed both Perian and Divx for Mac, but still not able to import movies.
    – Shoe
    Dec 13, 2010 at 17:50
  • Rats. What version of iMovie are you using?
    – glenstorey
    Dec 13, 2010 at 20:14

Using the VLC player, use the Media Information or Codec Information commands in the Tools menu. This will tell you the original codec.

Chances are that the codec is not one of the ones in Quicktime, or Perian. I am guessing iMovie opens the file, goes through the codec list, can't find it, and fails.

If the movie plays on a Windows machine, iTunes for Windows might convert it if you select it in the iTunes library, and choose 'Create iPad or AppleTV Version' from iTune's Advanced menu.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .