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I enjoy taking and reviving Live Photos in my iPhone. But I stumbled upon, when some familiar ones using non-apple devices wanted me to share those with them. How can I (batch) convert Live Photos into easily sharable formats, like (animated) GIFs?

NOTE: I came through How can I BATCH CONVERT Live iPhone images that have been imported to iPhoto as .m4v files to still .jpg images in MacBook OSX?, but converting into JPG kills the purpose of live photos.

Prefer a macOS native solution, not with external softwares if possible. Command line tools, although I doubt if there exists any, are more than welcome!

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    Not batch converting but on iPhone one can save Live Photos as videos and share and on macOS one can Edit Live Photo to Loop or Bounce (gif) and then share. Mar 18, 2022 at 10:43
  • Okay, then it turns out to be half-solved. Only the batch conversion! Imagine 100s of photos – I believe there must be some way, since I don't think I am the only one coming across this particular need! Mar 18, 2022 at 14:36
  • Batch converting with the shortcuts app in macOS Monterey as mentioned by gracjan leads to still GIF, not animated. So, the question is now, how to convert Live Photos effect to bounce or loop mode first so that it can be converted to animated GIFs. Mar 18, 2022 at 15:07
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    The shortcut should actually create animated GIFs. Anyway, using the search engine of your choice to search for "live photo to gif" lists a lot of answers. Even ignoring the applications/websites most of them want to sell, there seem to be some free or easily accessible options available.
    – nohillside
    Mar 18, 2022 at 15:26
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    There is no such file format as Live Photo. It's actually comprises HEIC (still photo, I previously mistakenly wrote that they are jpeg-s) and MOV (video files). So you can get all MOV files from Photos library in Picture folder. Alternatively head to iCloud Photos -> Albums -> Live Photos. Select appropriate (live) photos and download. There will be folder iCloud-Photos which consist two files for every Live Photo - HEIC and MOV. Sort by Kind, select MOV files and do whatever you want with them. Mar 18, 2022 at 15:32

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If you're using macOS Monterey, you can do it in with this shortcut. It asks you to choose what photos you want to share, converts them to GIFs and asks where to save the results.

A screenshot of the shortcut, using the "Make GIF from photo" action

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  • Thanks for your input. When I click the link, it automatically opens in the Shortcuts app, but stuck at loading Mar 18, 2022 at 14:58
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    @massisenergy I've adde a screenshot to the post so you can recreate it if you'd like. It loaded fine for me though.
    – Ezekiel
    Mar 18, 2022 at 15:56
  • Sorry, that was some momentary issue with my internet! Good demonstration, probably can use the knowledge for other tasks as well. Mar 18, 2022 at 16:51

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