How-To Geek

How to Convert Videos on a Mac with No Additional Software

If you have any video s on your Mac that are particularly large in file size, then putting them on your iPad or iPhone can easily devour tons of space. You can convert videos on your Mac, however, using no additional software.

If you’ve been around computers for any length of time, then you’re likely familiar with Apple’s QuickTime software. QuickTime has existed since the early 90s and still exists as OS X’s default video playing software.

QuickTime can play quite a few file formats, but it can’t play everything. For example, it can’t play the increasingly popular MKV format, which is why many people have turned to VLC as an alternative. But for the file formats it does play, it can also convert them to the perfect size for your iPhone and iPad.

How to Convert Videos with QuickTime’s “Export” Function

To begin, you open the file you wish to convert in QuickTime.

Next, click on the “File” menu and then mouse down to the “Export” menu. From the Export menu, you will see six options: you can save your video in 480p, 720p, and 1080p, just save the audio track, or save the video to iTunes, which can then be cast to any Airplay compatible device like an Apple TV.

However, if you have an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, you can choose the “iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, & Apple TV…” option to convert it to the perfect size for those devices. That’s what we’re going to do today.

On the next screen, you will see three options, of which (at least in this example) only two are available. We want to choose the second option “iPad, iPhone 4 & Apple TV”.

Once you’ve selected your size option, click the “Save” button in the bottom-right corner. You will also want to choose where to save your new video.

Click the “Save” button again and the export will begin, you can keep track of its progress in the “Export Progress” window. If you want to stop the process at any time, click the round “X” button to the right of the progress indicator.

If you want to convert more than one video, you can queue them up and they’ll be converted as each preceding one is completed. That way you can set the whole process aside and do other things while your videos are being converted in the background.

If Quicktime can’t open the file you want to convert, you can also try using Handbrake, which is free and will open virtually any file you can throw at it.

If you’re interested, you can also learn more about many of the cool tricks QuickTime can do.

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Born and brainwashed as an Ohio State Buckeye, Matt Klein fancies himself a modern-day jack-of-all-trades; favorite conversation starters include operating systems, Android, BBQ, quantum physics, and roller skating.

  • Published 01/29/16

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