Best Way to Work with H.265 codec in iMovie

You can’t directly import H.265 files into iMovie for editing. To do that, you may have to transcode H.265 to iMovie more editing-friendly codec. Here is the simple how-to.


HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, sometimes called H.265) is not new video compression format or people, and is the successor of H.264. It could offers 50-75% more compression efficiency compared to H.264 video, while retaining the same visual quality. However, currently Apple has no plan to add support for H.265 codec. And that’s why many people’s attempts at importing H.265 videos to iMovie fail during processing. Fortunately, there is an easy way to fix the issue. You can get a H.265 encoder to convert H.265 to iMovie editing-friendly codec and then transfer the converted files to iMovie for further editing.

If you decide to decode H.265 to iMovie, a very handy HEVC decoder that you can use to quickly and reliably is necessary. If you want a more packaged toolkit with a friendly GUI, then take a look at EaseFab Video Converter for Mac, which is designed to handle the H.265 format like a boss. The great thing about this tool is that it combines encoding, decoding, and converting into one piece of software, which may save you some valuable time based on your goals such as converting HEVC to iMovie. Plus, an iMovie preset is included for easy access.

In general, it provides hundreds of output format presets, such as AIC for iMovie, Apple ProRes for FCP, DNxHD for Avid, MPEG-2 for Adobe Premiere, etc. Besides H.265, this ideal converter is also available to deal with other video formats including MTS, MXF, MOV, XAVC, MKV, AVI .etc. Now, download the tool and start the H.265 to iMovie conversion.

Guide: How to convert H.265 footage for editing in iMovie smoothly

b]Step 1. Import H.265 videos

Install the H.265 to iMovie Converter and run it. Drag the H.265 files to the software. Or you can also click “Add” button on the top of the main interface to import video to the program. (Note: batch conversion is supported, so you can load more than one file to save time.)


Step 2. Choose the optimized preset for iMovie

Select “iMovie” as the output format in the “Editing Software” format list. The program has already optimized the video settings for iMovie. The output videos will keep the original quality of H.265 video files. The setting also works for iMovie ’08, iMovie ’09, iMovie ’11, and iMovie HD etc. Moreover, the Mac program has some simple edit functions like cropping, splitting, adding effects etc.


Tips: Adjust video, audio settings

Click the “Settings” button and customize proper video/audio parameters including Video size, bitrate and fame rate and mroe. Usually 1920*1080 video size and 30fps video frame rate are recommended for iMovie editing.

Step 3. Start H.265 to iMovie conversion

Now click the “Convert” button, and then leave the H.265 to iMovie Mac Video Converter to do the rest automatically for you. The converter works on MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac powered by macOS Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard.

Step 4. Import the converted H.265 video to iMovie

Finally, launch iMovie. In iMovie, go to the File menu, choose Import > Movies, and then navigate to the folder that your output H.265 files are saved. Select the files and click “Import”.

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