How to Convert Videos from Samsung Galaxy for iMovie

By August 30, 2012Tech

As you know, I have a new phone from Verizon and a new Mac from all my hard work and begging. I love them both, but they don’t play nice. Who plays nice with Mountain Lions anyway?

So, my Samsung Galaxy S III takes great video and I love how big the screen is to watch them on. I also love the light that comes on and shines on your subject. This is great in the evenings. Problem…I can only watch them on the darn phone and I can’t do a darn thing with them in iMovie.

Samsung to iMovie Conversion

Tonight I found a solution. Honestly, I tried some free ones and they did not work and then I found Wondershare’s Video Converter.

Basically I saved my phone’s videos onto a USB drive, plugged it into my mac and dragged my files in to the Video Converter. I finally got to see my movies on my mac! I also got to do some basic editing like rotating and cropping. There were a lot more editing options I plan to play with.  Double yay!

Wondershare Edit ScreenOnce you import your videos in their strange MP4 format that you think will work but is just not iMovie enough, then you choose what to convert the movie to.  You don’t need to be a tech genius, there is a great drop down menu with pictures and words that you can understand instead of file format names.  It turns out iMovie needs to have MP4s with a MPEG 4.  Whatevs.  This works.  And it was easy!

Just select the little iPhone photo and a drop down menu will appear.  Check out the menu and click on iMovie or a bunch of other choices!

Wondershare Conversion ChoicesOnce I select it saves it to my file list and I will see the iMovie icon.

Wondershare File ConversionWhen you are ready, just click the little rotating arrows in the bottom right hand corner and your conversion will begin! Not seeing your movies greyed out will make you squeal!  I found them in my videos folder when I clicked on Wondershare.  Finally, something on this machine that was easy to find!

I will be back with an editing video of Sophia talking about her first day of kindergarten filmed on my Samsung Galaxy S III, but here is the rough cut that iMovie would not even touch an hour ago!

So, I have not purchased it yet (note the watermark on the video) but I am going to unless someone can show me something just as good and easy that is free!  Right now it is selling for $39.00 and supports a ton of formats.  I think it sounds like a good deal for how stinkin’ easy it was to use!

Let me know if you have a better way and if not, you should totally check out the Wondershare Video Converter.  It saved me major headaches tonight and now I know I can make these awesome videos from my Samsung Galaxy S III into movies that you can watch without having my phone!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Verizon Wireless Ambassador Badge


Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Alan says:

    The other way to do it is to use the free official Android file transfer tool ( to copy the mp4 file to your Mac, and then drag and drop it from Finder into iPhoto. You can then fire up iMovie and look under iPhoto videos and it will be there.

  • Randall Kowalik says:

    Hi Brittany! I work at Kansas State University in the Department of Communications–my title is “news media producer,” though I’ve mostly done video the past seven or eight years, after a career in radio that lasted a little more than a decade. I still dabble in audio production from time to time, and I can write print news when I need to.

    I wanted to tell you about a great FREE video converter that is used by a fair number of “professionals” and “pro-sumers” out there: MPEG Streamclip. This thing has been around for years–it’s available for both Windows and Mac operating systems. I often find myself using Streamclip, rather than the high-dollar Compressor software that was bundled with my Final Cut Production Suite. Granted, the user interface is a little busy, maybe a little daunting, as there are a lot of toggles, dropdown menus, options etc. But for converting files, there’s none better. And it’s 100% FREE. No pop-up ads, embedded ads, nothing at all like that.

    For some reason, I can’t leave a direct link to the MPEG Streamclip site, so I’ll have to kind of spell it out for you. it’s…


    You can Google it, too.

    The big challenge with all this is the codec: Most inexpensive video cameras and phones use the H.264 video codec. This is more of a “delivery” codec, rather than a “production” codec. My Final Cut Pro editing software won’t even recognize a video that’s been processed with H.264, even if it’s a Quicktime file–it refuses to work with it. If you can, I would suggest converting to Apple ProRes 422, if iMovie will recognize it. ProRes is a good, robust codec that works well with video, graphics, everything. After you’ve exported your final movie (ALWAYS export to a stand-alone Quicktime, IMHO), you can go back into Streamclip and make your YouTube upload or whatever else you want.

    I included my email above if you have any questions–good luck!

  • emily says:

    Do you know if there is a way to play an iMovie or iDvd on a Samsung Galaxy S3?


  • Alisa says:

    Thanks, you helped a ton! BTW … have you tried RealPlayer? Every year I go through the same nightmare, trying to put together a Christmas video for the company. We have PC’s at work, the partner I work with runs PC at home, but I’m all Mac. Plus, we put together photos and videos submitted by all employees so we’ve got a smattering of, well … everything, total nightmare! Nothing likes to play nice. After wasting a lot of prime shopping hours and spending sleepless nights trying to make this thing work over the last couple of years, I’ve downloaded just about every converter known to man and I’m still having problems. You’d think I’d figured it out by now. I have Wondershare on my PC, but it’s not as consistent as I’ve found RealPlayer to be (maybe a PC thing?). I just went from iPhone to Verizon Galaxy myself (not sure if I did the right thing yet) but that’s how I came to your blog, to see how to get my video uploaded into iMovie because nothing was working. I just tried this and it worked, it may work for you: If your phone takes an sd or MicroSD card, throw it in your Mac, open it from your desktop (don’t wait for it to load into iPhoto, it won’t) and then just drag and drop the mp4 files into your movies folder and iMovie. It says mp4, but upon closer inspection, it says “Type: MPEG-4” You may not need a converter after all?! Wow, must be a catch, that was too easy!

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