Why iMovie can’t Import MP4 Videos in Mac OS X El Capitan?

With the launch of Mac OS X El Capitan, Apple Inc. also released a minor update to iMovie for Mac that adds in support for Photos. With the new Photos integration in iMovie, it’s now possible for iMovie users to browse Moments, Collections, Favorites, and Albums that have been stored in Photos, using the Photos app to insert content into video projects.

However, some people just can’t import MP4 files to iMovie 10 in OS X 10.11 El Capitan, though MP4 is officially listed in the compatible formats of iMovie. Users have problems of importing MP4 videos recorded from GoPro (HD), Sony (e.g. Sony Cyber-shot W730, Sony PMW-EX3), Hybrid camcorders and etc. or importing MP4 that is ripped from DVD by Handbreak to iMovie 10 in El Capitan.

This article explains why iMovie cannot add MP4 files in OS X 10.11 El Capitan and introduces an easy guide on how to convert to import MP4 to iMovie in El Capitan. This article also applies to import MOV, MXF, MTS, M2TS, WebM, AVI, WMV, etc. to iMovie in OS X El Capitan.

Why iMovie can’t Import MP4 in OS X El Capitan?

iMovie only supports importing MP4 formats with MPEG4/AAC or H.264/AAC data, not all kinds of MP4 formats. Some MP4 files from like Sony, Hybrid camcorders and other devices are encoded in the video coded that cannot be accepted by iMovie. Some MP4 files contains different codecs included in audio and subtitle that the essential codecs in iMovie cannot read. In order to smoothly import MP4 to iMovie in El Capitan, it is recommended to convert such kind of MP4 files to iMovie fully compatible MP4 format.

Ste-by-Step Guide on How to Convert to Import MP4 to iMovie in El Capitan

Prepare: Download MP4 to iMovie Converter for El Capitan. Install and launch it.

Free Download MP4 to iMovie Converter for El Capitan

Step 1: Add MP4 files

Press “Add Video” button to import MP4 files to the program. Or you can also drag your MP4 files directly to the main interface of the program.

import MP4 to iMovie in El Capitan

Step 2: Set iMovie 10 supported MP4 format

Click the drop-down button on the right side of the “Profile” button to select iMovie 10 supported video format like “MP4 MPEG-4 Video(*.mp4)” from the “General Video” category.

Set iMovie 10 supported MP4 format

Step 3: Convert MP4 to iMovie supported video

Click “Convert” button to begin MP4 to iMovie conversion.

Step 4: Import MP4 to iMovie in El Capitan

Launch iMovie, and choose File > Import > Movies…. Then navigate to the folder where your converted video file is located and select (highlight) the converted MP4 file. Create a new event and click “Import” button.

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