Convert Video on a Mac

If you have been asked to create a video as part of your course work, you can use a digital camera, a smartphone, a webcam connected to your computer, or other devices to record the video. However, your instructor may not be able to view the video files produced by such devices. The following tutorial describes how to use iMovie to convert a video file (of almost any type) to an MPEG-4 video file, which most computers can play.

We recommend iMovie in the following tutorial because it typically comes pre-installed on all Mac computers.

Convert Video with iMovie

  1. Open iMovie.
  2. In the File menu, hover over “Import”, and then select Movies… from the sub-menu.
    iMovie Import
  3. Find and select your video file and click Import. Once the video file is imported, you will see thumbnails of the video in the Event window (at the bottom of iMovie).
    iMovie Event Window
  4. Hold down the Command key Mac Command key, and click on the thumbnails in the Event window. This selects the entire video.
  5. Drag the video into the Project window (in the top left of iMovie).
    iMovie Project Window
  6. In the Share menu, select Export using QuickTime….
    iMovie Share Menu
  7. In the Save exported file as… window, change the values to the following:
    • Save As: your choice of filename (in the image below, we have used “studentsupport.mp4” as the filename)
    • Where: “Desktop”
    • Export: “Movie to MPEG–4”
    • Use: “Broadband – Medium”
    iMovie Save exported file as window
  8. Click Save.
  9. Once the movie has been exported (this may take several minutes), double-click the movie file icon on the desktop to play the entire new file, to be sure that you can see and hear the full video.
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Submit Your Video

After you have converted and compressed your video, you can then submit it to your instructor.

  • Submit to a Moodle assignment dropbox
    The most common way to submit your file is to an assignment in CourseSpaces or Moodle. Please see the Assignments page in the Moodle Startup Kit for instructions.

  • Burn Video to DVD
    If you are required to submit your video on a DVD through physical mail,
    1. Place a blank DVD in your DVD drive.
    2. A window will open, offering the option to “Open Finder”. Click OK.
      Insert DVD dialgue box
    3. Locate the “Untitled DVD” icon Untitled DVD icon on your desktop and double-click it to open a Finder window.
      Untitled DVD Finder Window
    4. Locate your video file in the Finder or on your desktop, along with any other file you wish to burn to the DVD. Drag and drop, or copy and paste them into the DVD Finder window.
    5. Click Burn.
      Burn DVD on a Mac
    6. Provide a name for the DVD and click Burn.
    7. If you wish to burn more files to the disk, repeat steps 1, 2 and 4 until all of your files are on the DVD.
    8. When you have finished burning your files onto the DVD, eject the DVD.
    9. Mail the DVD to your instructor.



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