Tuesday, January 29, 2019

How to Add Videos in Unsupported Formats to iTunes

If you’re an avid iTunes user you probably really like the fact that all the media that you purchase from the iTunes Store is added automatically to its Library. That makes it easy to browse through the content that is available and find what you need.

However if you download videos from other sources or record them yourself – they won’t appear in iTunes automatically and will need to be added. That is where you may run into difficulties if your video is encoded in an unsupported format.

“What Formats Does iTunes Support?” 


Unfortunately iTunes has fairly strict restrictions on the formats that it supports and that it will allow you to add to the Library. The requirements are that the video must use a MOV, MP4 or M4V container, MPEG-4 or H.264 video codec, and AAC audio codec.

Anything that does not meet those requirements will not be able to be added to iTunes. In most cases either an error will appear that tells you the format is unsupported, or it simply won’t appear in the Library even after you try to add it.

Convert to a Supported Format


The only real solution to the problem is to convert your video to a format that iTunes does support – i.e. one of the options listed above.

The good news is that is a lot easier than you might think, and there are many video converter software and online platforms that can convert the videos – especially to MP4 with H.264 as it is the most popular format right now. For example you could use Movavi Video Converter for Mac (www.movavi.com/videoconvertermac/) to convert practically any format to MP4 with H.264.

It should be noted that you can use any other formats if you prefer, but MP4 with H.264 is the most versatile format that iTunes supports.

Import the Video to iTunes


After the video has been converted into a format that iTunes support, you can try to add it to the iTunes Library.

That just takes a few simple steps: 

  1. Launch iTunes. 
  2. Open the ‘File’ menu. 
  3. Click on the ‘Add to Library’ option. 
  4. Select the video and click ‘Open’.
If you want the video to automatically be stored in the default iTunes media folder after it has been added, you should check the ‘Copy files to the iTunes media folder when adding to library’ option. It is located in the iTunes Preferences, under the ‘Advanced’ tab.

Once you have imported the video, you can check that it is listed in the Movies section. If it is then you’ve been successful, but if it is not then there may be an issue with the format still.

Assuming everything checks out however, you can customize the metadata of the video so that it has all the details that you want.

Final Words


Aside from converting videos to an iTunes-friendly format, there is simply no other way to add unsupported video formats to iTunes. In fact your options are pretty slim if you don’t want to convert the video, and you may have to use a different media player instead.

On the bright side it really isn’t that difficult to convert videos into iTunes-friendly formats – even if the original video is in a fairly obscure format.

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