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Convert video formats in QuickTime on your Mac

How to transform clips into a more shareable format in seconds

You may own lots of different devices that are capable of recording video, and these gadgets may well record video in a range of file formats, such as .MP4, .AVI or Apple’s own .MOV.

However, different file formats can raise sharing issues. Due to the varying codecs used to record your clips, file sizes may be too large to send, or the format may not be suitable for streaming over the web (or via Apple TV).

Fortunately, Apple’s QuickTime app is geared up to read a range of file formats and lets you export them to formats suitable for a range of destinations, from iTunes to YouTube. Here we’ll take a 4K GoPro .MP4 clip and convert it to a more manageable HD .MOV format file to share via email. SS QuickTime step1

1 Open file in QuickTime
Here we’ve chosen a GoPro sourced .MP4 file. At 4K resolution it’s too large to view at
full size, so we’ve used the View menu to fit it in our display.

SS QuickTime step2

2 Summon Inspector
To find out more about the file press Cmd+I. Here we can see that the file’s format is GoPro AVC and its resolution is a whopping 3840 x 2160. The file size is 42.8MB.

SS QuickTime step3

3 Convert to HD
The 4K movie is too large in both resolution and file size. To create a lighter HD resolution file, choose File>Export>1080p. QuickTime will convert the movie to a more shareable size.

SS QuickTime step4

 4 Examine converted file
Our converted .MOV file has a smaller HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, so will play without the need for scaling. It has an email-friendly size of 7.8MB thanks to the H.264 codec.