Converting MOV Files To Edit With Windows

posted in Encoding

Hey there!
I have a kodak digital camera and it saves my video as MOV files. I want to use Windows Movie Maker to edit my video.

Whenever I try to open my video with Movie Maker it says the video is 00:05 long and plays a blank screen and no audio. When i try to open my video in Windows Media Player I get an initial message that says: “the selected file has an extension (.MOV) that is not recognized by Windows Media Player, but the Player may still be able to play it. Because the extension is unknown by the Player, you should be sure that the file comes from a trustworthy source. Do you want the Player to try to play this content?" And then I click yes. After I click yes it plays the audio and image of the file. I am also able to play my file with QuickTime Player

I downloaded RAD Video Tools. But when I tried to use the “convert a file” option I would get two back-to-back error messages. The first saying “Error opening:Mondays.Ink” and the second saying “error opening the audio input file”

I would appreciate any input on what I should do so that I can edit my video. File Converting options or suggestions for a different video editing tool would be great!

Thanks! reply

It’d help tremendously if you mentioned which version of Windows you’re using and which Kodak camera you have! (They both make a huge difference).

Note these steps work for almost all digital cameras recording in MOV format (they nearly all use the same few codecs).

Here’s a quick workaround without too much explanation. It’s a little bit of work the first time, but once you get the settings adjusted, it’s just three or four clicks to get your video converted into an AVI and get the AVI into Movie Maker.

You’ll need to get MP4CAM2AVI
Unzip and run Mp4Cam2AVI.exe. Browse to the folder where you stored the video(s) you want to import into Movie Maker. When you select the file, it’ll mention what group of codecs (audio and video) it uses. Make a note of that. Under action, pick “Batch convert (Many -> Many AVI)". Under audio format, pick “Source audio (no recompression)". Then click start. It should create a file with the exact same name as your MOV, but with file extension AVI in the same folder as the MOV.
Then try importing the AVI into Movie Maker.

If it doesn’t work, you have two choices.
1. Lazy choice: go to settings, program mode, and pick expert. Under video format, pick one of the Xvid. Under audio format, pick one of the MP3 or PCM.
Then download Xvid (see link below), install it, and you’re done with it.
The caveat with the lazy choice is Xvid and MP3 are lossy codecs. So even if you pick the highest quality settings, you’ll always have some loss of quality.
2. No loss of quality choice: remember the audio codec and video codec of the file? (I wish you’d have told me the camera model, I’d know right away which codec it is; Kodak experimented with LOTS of codecs for their digital cameras over the year).
Also things may already work if you already have the codecs (usually through a codec pack).
a) If the video codec is some variant of MJPEG, you shouldn’t have any problem (I’d be very surprised if you did).
b) If it says MPEG-4-ASP, you’ll need an MPEG-4 decoder. Xvid is the simplest to download and install and will work. (You shouldn’t need one in Windows 7 though because Windows 7 can decode MPEG-4 ASP). You can also get ffdshow-tryouts (see below).
c) If the video codec is H263, you’ll need ffdshow-tryouts. (It could be part of a codec pack like CCCP if you have it, so check in your start menu.) Install it. If you don’t need it to decode anything else, during setup, at the box where it lets you pick what to decode, uncheck everything. When you’re done installing, go to your start menu, look for ffdshow -> video decoder configuration. select codecs on the left. on the right, find the line H.263(+). Click on the box to the right of it (should say disabled) and you’ll get a drop-down menu. Set it to libavcodec. Click apply. Open Movie Maker. Go to tools, options, compatibility. Check the box for all ffdshow filters listed. Do not forget this step! If you do, Movie Maker won’t be able to use ffdshow to decode your files. Now the file should be openable in Movie Maker.
[now if you wanted to make ffdshow-tryouts (instead of Xvid) decode MPEG-4 ASP, on the line DivX 4/5/6, set it to either Xvid or libavcodec.]
d) If the video codec is MPEG-4 AVC (aka H.264), in ffdshow, set the line H.264/AVC to ffmpeg-mt or libavcodec. If the video is H.264, the audio will probably be AAC. In that case, you’ll need to go to your start menu, pick ffdshow, audio decoder configuration. Under codecs, find the line AAC, set it to libfaad2.

Other advanced stuff most people don’t care about:
Over the years, I’ve found workarounds for directly importing MOV files into Movie Maker, but it’s such a pain I don’t recommend it to unseasoned users. See this post I wrote about 10 months ago.
Two warnings if you do try that: I have not tested registering the gabest splitter on a Windows 7 nor Vista machine yet; much less on a 64-bit machine. The results are unknown to me (could mess up things; I really wouldn’t know). Second is enable the video codec that your output video is (in that particular post it was H.264, but yours may be something else; see above). reply


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