11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2012 8:25 AM by the_wine_snob

    Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac


      I am trying to utilize camcorder video recoreded by a Sony HD camera with built-in HD downloaded to a Mac.  I am assuming my friend used IMovie.  The camera files have been transfered to an external HD formated FAT32 so I can open with my PC using Elements 7.0.  When I try to import the clips, Elements tells me that this type of file is not supported or the proper codec is not installed


      Is it possible to download the proper codec and if so, from where?  I am running a Dell with 8g internal and 1g on the fideo card.  the processer is a P7 so I should have enough horsepower.

        • 1. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          If you output a DV codec MOV from iMovie or Final Cut, it will load into a Premiere Elements DV project (assuming you have the latest version of Quicktime). These files have a .dv or a .mov suffix. They are standard DV video.


          I do not know of a hi-def format that iMovie outputs that Premiere Elements can read.


          (I'd also recommend you convert that FAT32 drive to an NTFS drive. FAT32 drives have a file size limit that often chokes video work.)

          • 2. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
            tjbailey2328 Level 1

            Thanks for your response.  I have downloaded the latest Quic

            ktime 64 bt version but am not able to paly the .mov

            files, all I get is audio.  Not sure where to go from here

            • 3. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

              MOVs are only a package. They can contain any of hundreds of codecs.


              Without knowing what codec settings were used to output this MOV, I can't help you. Sorry.


              Are you saying you can't play the file with the Apple Quicktime Player?

              • 4. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
                tjbailey2328 Level 1

                That is correct. I downloaded the latest 64 bit version for Windows 7 and when I try to play one of the .mov files, all I get is audio.

                • 6. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                  John's post is very helpful. Every video file has a codec.


                  If your Quicktime Player can't play a Quicktime file, you've got problems beyond which we can solve on this forum. Sorry I can't help.

                  • 7. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
                    tjbailey2328 Level 1

                    Evidentally my friend's video that was downloaded on a Mac must have been saved in some format not readable on a PC.  At this point, I am going to try to transfer the .mov files back to my camera on a Mac and then download from the camera to my PC.  the other option is to see if IMovie on the Mac offers any other save options that I can read on my PC.

                    • 8. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
                      Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                      I have never heard of a Quicktime file that can't be played on a PC if you're playing it on a Quicktime Player. But I suppose it's possible.


                      As I said, if your friend will export a .dv Quicktime file, you'll not only be able to play it on your computer, but you'll be able to edit it in PremiereElements.


                      In iMovie, tell you to select Share/Export Using Quicktime. On the Save Exported File screen, he should click Options and on the next screen select Settings.


                      From the drop-down menu, he should select DV/DVPRO-NTSC or PAL DV (depending on which TV format you're using). Click OK.


                      Back at the Movie Settings screen, select Size and on, on the Size options screen, select NTSC 720x480 (or PAL 720x576). Click OK.


                      This will produce a .dv file (although it still may have the .mov suffix) which will load right into Premiere Elements.

                      • 9. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Unfortunately, there are several Mac-only MOV CODEC's, and if one of those was used, then the only option is to Open those files on a Mac, with the proper CODEC, and Save to a CODEC, that IS available for the PC. This happens often with FCP, but could well happen with FCE, or other Mac-only NLE program. The secret is the CODEC.


                        For SD material, I receive a ton of 3D animations from Mac-only artists, and specify the MOV Animation CODEC. These have always worked perfectly on my PC.


                        Good luck,



                        • 10. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
                          David__B Adobe Employee

                          Couple other considerations, possible things to try


                          On the Mac side I have used a free utility called MediaInfo to get info about a particular file, specifically what codec the file is encoded in.



                          I would want to first ensure you can play the file back with both audio and video properly in QuickTime player on the Mac before transferring the file to the PC. You also might be able to get the info about the video codec from QuickTime player itself Window > Show Movie Inspector.


                          If you have the paid version of QuickTime, QuickTime Pro on the Mac, a solution might be to use that convert the .mov files into a format/codec that is more Windows/PRE 7 compatible.


                          In QT Pro, File > Save As, Select one of the HD options that matches the HD dimensions of your source clip. Note: There is always the chance of some video quality degredation when doing any kind of transcoding.


                          In PRE7 you'll want to choose a project preset that matches the source clip if possible, probably one of the AVCHD HD ones.


                          In relation to Steve's comment about formatting your external drive in NTFS, the Mac OS most likely won't be able to read it natively in something other than FAT32 but like he mentions there are inherent file size limitations with FAT32 (4GB max file size).


                          Hope some of this helps, good luck!



                          • 11. Re: Proper Codec for.mov files from a Mac
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Several Mac-only NLE (Non Linear Editor) programs will default to Mac-only CODEC's. Those editing programs also use intermediate files, as FCP, etc., cannot edit the files natively, so when they are either Captured, or Imported, they are converted to a CODEC, that FCP, etc., can handle. On the output, there will be several CODEC's available, and some should definitely be avoided, if the files will go to a PC, as those CODEC's are not available in a PC version.


                            As Steve points out if your friend outputs to a DV MOV, that should Import and edit just fine on your PC. If one of those Mac-only intermediate CODEC's is used, there is nothing that you can do with them on a PC. Those CODEC's are usually known as AIC (Apple Intermediate CODEC). There are also several output options, that will be Mac-only. When working X-platform, those should always be avoided, as they will never work on a PC.


                            I get a lot of 3D animation, that is created on a Mac, and my artists provide me with MOV files with the Animation CODEC (or Photo-JPEG), and the files work perfectly on my PC's, though they ARE large.


                            It is the same, when going from PC to Mac. You do not want to output to WMV, or AVI, but instead one of the MPEG, or MOV formats.


                            For more info on CODEC's, see this FAQ Entry: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/546811?tstart=0


                            Good luck,