The personal website of Chris Coyier

iTunes Not Accepting .mp4 Movie (Solution)

Have you ever had an .mp4 movie file that iTunes just won’t accept? It’s a friggin Quicktime formatted movie, Quicktime can play it, iTunes can play Quicktime movies, but for some reason, when you drag the .mp4 movie onto iTunes it just won’t do it’s thing and add it to your library.

This .mp4 file might come from a torrent, a conversion from another format, or an extraction from a DVD with a program like HandBrake or RipIt.

The problem as I have pieced it together is that the file is missing meta information (ID tags?) that iTunes requires. Think of the column names within the iTunes movie area: Movie (artwork & name), Name, Time, Artist, Genre, etc. If some of that is missing (I don’t know which specific ones make it fail) the iTunes won’t take it.

The solution is to alter the file to have that missing information. I found a (“discontinued”) Mac App that will do the trick. It’s call iDentify 2 and it seems to be under pretty active development. You drag the movie file into it and it does some fancy internet lookups and find the information it needs. Then you process the files (fairly quick) and it gives you a new fixed up .mp4 file. This one, iTunes will accept.