iCan't get *some* video into iTunes
October 1, 2007 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Having switched to a Mac (love it!) and bought an Apple TV, I have used the Elgato Turbo.264 to covert a few years of TV/video to the H.264 mp4 format. When I try to import it to iTunes to use with Apple TV, only about half the files will add to library. All of the files open with Quicktime, and there is no error message from iTunes, they just don't add!

Can't see any difference between the files (all .mp4, shortening the file names doesn't help), and nothing I can find will help with why only some files won't import. Waiting for Elgato to get back to me, but hoping some kind soul can save me from having 4 solid weeks of file conversions being wasted!

Oh, I also tried a few of the files in Lostify, which told me these were not valid mp4s. Can't understand this as they open in Quicktime and were treated exactly the same as the working files!

posted by csg77 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Make sure when you convert the video, the resolution is 320 pixels wide. The same thing happened to me using Handbrake. I made the resolution too high, and they wouldn't sync. The files play in QT but don't go onto the iPod.
posted by The Deej at 7:56 PM on October 1, 2007

Possibly related: according to this site, the H.264 files created by Handbrake are not playable by the iPod. Whether this offers a further clue, even though it's different software, I don't know, but there you are.
posted by The Deej at 7:58 PM on October 1, 2007

Thanks Deej - not trying to get them onto an iPod at this stage - just into iTunes so Apple TV can access them... This is getting frustrating!
posted by csg77 at 10:55 PM on October 1, 2007

There's a lot of talk about this on the Apple discussion forum. I can't remember the exact conclusion, but it's basically that iTunes doesn't accept the full range of formats QT can handle - only the iPod & AppleTV subset.

iPods and AppleTV only handle (different) subsets of the full H.264 spec, so some of your conversions are probably outside of those.

As for Handbrake, it's given me no problems converting stuff to either 640x480 or 320x240 for my iPod Nano (apart from its habit of crashing every time a device or disk is mounted or unmounted).
posted by Pinback at 12:50 AM on October 2, 2007

Oops, sorry about the iPod tangent. Thought it might be related. In other words, as Pinback says, if it doesn't work on the iPod, then it might not work on the Apple TV.

If you drag one of the problem files into the iTunes window, do you get a + sign? Or does the ghost icon just jump back to where you dragged it from?
posted by The Deej at 5:12 AM on October 2, 2007

No worries - if I add or drag the file, it just acts as I have done nothing at all. Very odd, given that half the files I have treated identically work...

I will try reconverting again using iSquint and see if it works...
posted by csg77 at 5:40 AM on October 2, 2007

Elgato are stuck too, they have asked me to upload an mp4 file to them to see if they can figure it out. Will update this post if they come up with an answer!
posted by csg77 at 1:16 PM on October 2, 2007

'... if I add or drag the file, it just acts as I have done nothing at all.'

Yup, that's the default iTunes 7 behaviour...

You are using the "AppleTV" preset in the Elgato software, right? Not one of the other presets or some custom profile?

Also, it appears various versions of the Elgato software for the T.264 have various bugs. This, for example, sounds very familiar. The reason the AppleTV baulks is that it uses iTunes to play video (so you can get all the DRM-yummy-goodness of the iTunes store). QT itself will play almost anything you throw at it.

(Hmmm... Did you have the video source playing before starting the encode? The static / initial mistracking / blank video before playback actually starts could have caused an incorrect framerate to be set for the encode. What does QT say under "Window -> Movie Inspector"?)
posted by Pinback at 1:40 AM on October 3, 2007


I finally worked out that there was a trailing space on some MP4s. Taking that out fixed the problem!
posted by csg77 at 12:02 AM on March 20, 2008

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