Exporting from iMovie to iPod and Apple TV formats

Q: I run a video podcast for posting videos of my kids for friends and family in distant places. Since I bought an iMac in January I’ve been using iMovie to create the videos, creating an iPod-compatible version for posting on the podcast. The problem is that when I select the Share, iPod setting in iMovie, it exports the file as a 320×240 video. I know iPods can support much better resolution, and 320×240 looks very bad on a computer screen. Is there a way to change this setting so that I don’t lose file quality OR the convenience of the exporting directly to an iPod-ready format?

– Jason

A: Unfortunately, this setting in iMovie is pre-configured and there’s no way to change it. However, you can use the QuickTime export setting, and then select the “Movie to iPod” preset from QuickTime, which is pre-configured to produce a 640×480 iPod-ready video file.

To do this, simply choose QuickTime from the Share menu, and you will be presented with the export to QuickTime dialog box:

Exporting from iMovie to iPod and Apple TV formats

Select “Expert Settings” from the “Compress Movie for:” option, and then simply click the “Share” button. A QuickTime dialog box will then come up, asking you to choose your export settings and provide a name for the resulting file.


Exporting from iMovie to iPod and Apple TV formats

Simply choose “Movie to iPod” from the export settings and click “Save” and QuickTime will create an iPod-ready converted file for you.

Alternatively, you can also choose “Movie to Apple TV” if you wanted to create a higher-resolution video suitable for viewing on an Apple TV, although the result will not be usable for viewing on any current model of iPod. 

The only disadvantage to this approach is that iMovie will not automatically import the resulting file into your iTunes library for you, but this can be easily accomplished in the same way that you would import any other content into your iTunes library: simply find the resulting file and drag-and-drop it to the iTunes window or dock icon.

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