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Thread: Unable to convert .Mov files to use on a PC

  1. #1

    Default Unable to convert .Mov files to use on a PC

    I do not own a Mac. In fact, I've found my unfamiliarity with them to make operating one less intuitive than I had expected just because of how used to using a PC I am. But I am here today because I am lost.

    My friend has a Mac and uploaded some digital video from a camera to his Mac. He then put the files on my PC-formatted external hard drive (he did mention having to download some specific software to do so). Once I got the hard drive, excited to finally be able to get to work on these videos to edit on my PC, I was disappointed to find they had no video, only audio, no matter what file type I converted them to. After scouring the internet and experts for solutions, I finally discovered what I thought to be the problem: icod, which apparently makes it so the files could only be altered or used properly on Macs (this is what I've been told).

    I convinced another friend to loan me his Mac, thinking I could just convert the files on a Mac to a PC-friendly format like .avi or .mpeg-4, but alas, neither Handbrake nor MPEG-4 Stream was able to convert the files at all. They do play perfectly, however. What do I need to do? I'm very sad and frustrated.

    Thanks for any and all help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Zoetermeer, The Netherlands


    Do you want to PLAY them, or do you want to CONVERT them? Those are two different things. If you install Quicktime Player on your PC (which comes standard on a Mac), and you tell your Windows machine to play .mov files with QuickTime from now on (else Windows will not know what to do with it), than you will be able to play the .mov files.
    If you want to convert them to some other file format, you could try MpegStreamclip. It's free and work OK for me. By the way: you can upgrade de free Quicktime to Quicktime Pro. The export facilities will increase. Greetings from Holland, excuses for the mistakes in my English.

  3. #3


    I eventually solved the issue and wanted to come back and let people know in case they have the same issue. To summarize the problem, I had moved .mov files from a Mac to a PC via and NFTS external hard drive, but the files had no video and only audio on the PC's various media players (QT and VLC included) and could not be converted into another file type without the same problem.

    The issue is the icod codec. When the files were originally uploaded, they were done so with this. This codec makes the video quality and ease of editing significantly better than the HD2 or HD4 (cannot remember which) codec used for HD video. It also makes the files roughly 3x the size of their original. If your files are weirdly huge, this is the issue. icod codec files cannot be altered on a PC, so you'll need a Mac to convert them to a format PC's can handle. If you're like me and using an NFTS drive, you'll also need a program to let the Mac write onto the hard drive. I used the free trial version of Tuxera and it worked great.

    Secondly, on your Mac, you need a program to convert the files. I tried Handbrake and MPEG StreamClip and neither worked. However, iMovie DOES! Just pop the files into iMovie and resave them in another format (I chose .avi). The resulting files were significantly smaller than my original and usable on my PC, indicating to me that the icod codec was gone. Now I can edit them on my PC!

    Hope this helps in the future.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Warsop, Nottinghamshire.
    Blog Entries


    Surely Super C would do the conversion for you? I had an issue with H264 .MOV files recently, and Super C converted in a whizz. And it's free too, which makes life even sweeter.

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