Add AVI MKV or other file formats into iTunes


The simplest way to add basically any file format into iTunes is to make sure you have the developer tools installed (it comes with your Mac OS X cd) and just go to the directory of your movie/audio files and do this (in this example I’ve gone into the directory where I have a ton of MKV files):

SetFile -t “MooV” -c “TVOD” *.mkv   

Then Mac OS X will identify the files as Quicktime movies. Other than that, nothing has changed, it’s still MKV files, we still need Perian installed to play the files/be able to use the codecs. Oh and if you like me have 720p MKV rips, importing the files into iTunes will take a really, really long time.  Of course these files wont work on your iPod, but thats not the point here, the point is to have a tidy nice iTunes on, say your Mac Mini which acts as a HTPC, and being able to have a nice, clean Front Row experience with Movie artwork, info and so on. 

Update Jan 26/09: Be sure to check out these comments below, Videodrive seems to be a good piece of software to help you out and also check out Marcus tip about using Quicktime to “save as mov” in order to get iTunes to like the mkv better.

Update Apr 25/08: Adding artwork and stuff seems to crash my iTunes. Gargh! Even though it’s slow as hell to add the mkvs and I cant really view the movies with coverflow or add artwork..its still my best bet as of today.

10 thoughts on “Add AVI MKV or other file formats into iTunes”

  1. interesting, i’m going to have to try that. although i use plex these days since the performance of that software on my mac mini is incredible.

  2. Worked like a charm, although importing ~4.7GB mkv file does indeed take ~15 minutes and freezes iTunes like there’s no tomorrow.

  3. I vouch for VideoDrive as well – great for adding lots of vids to iTunes. However in the meantime, if you just want to do a few .mkv’s, without freezing iTunes – you should open the .mkv in Quicktime, then save as -this will change the movie container (without re-encoding) to a .mov, which iTunes will handle with much more grace, you can also add artwork to .mov. You see, apparently mkvs have to be buffered entirely before you can start playing them, whereas movs can be started immediately.

  4. I vouch for the above Marcus’ comment. Though you will need Quicktime 7 if you are in Snow Leopard. Quicktime X won’t open mkvs..

  5. Saving as reference movie seems quite useful. It only needs one slow loading of the mkv when opening it in QuickTime before saving. Using the SetFile or VideoDrive to import mkv:s makes Front Row a bit too slow to enjoy. Smaller avi:s are not a problem, but on a 27″ iMac the quality is not “much to hang in the Christmas tree” ;)

  6. I use iDealshare VideoGo to convert AVI, MKV, WMV and etc to iTunes supported format.
    Just google search Step by Step Guide on How to Convert AVI to iTunes with iDealshare VideoGo, you will find a detailed solution.

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