How to play divx and xvid videos in iTunes and Front Row

This tutorial will show you how to add xvid and divx movies to iTunes, which in turn allows you to play them in Front Row.

  1. The first thing you’ll need to do is enable QuickTime to play divx and xvid videos. To do this, just download and install Perian. Perian installs itself as a System Preference pane. Though the installation is pretty straight forward, there’s a video tutorial that walks you through the process if you need some help.
  2. Once Perian is installed, open up a divx or xvid movie with QuickTime Player 7. QuickTime Player 7 is not the same thing as QuickTime X, which was introduced in Snow Leopard. To make sure you’re using the correct QuickTime, right-click (or ctrl-click for single-mouse button folks) the video and select Open With. From the sub-menu, select QuickTime Player 7. If it’s not listed, click the Other… link, navigate to QuickTime Player 7, and select it.

    Note: if you’re using Leopard (10.5) or earlier, QuickTime Player 7 can be found in your Applications list. If you’re using Snow Leopard (10.6), QuickTime Player 7 can be found inside the Utilities sub-folder of your Applications folder.

  3. Once the video opens, select File and then Save As….
  4. Make sure that Save as a reference movie is selected, and then click the Save button.
  5. This will create a small .mov file in the same folder as your xvid or divx video.

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  7. Now launch iTunes. Select File and then Add to Library…
  8. Navigate to the .mov file you just created with QuickTime Player 7. Select it and click the Choose button.

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  10. Now select the Movies link in your iTunes library. You should see the movie you just added in that list. Note: if it’s not there, repeat the previous two steps, and make sure to select the .mov file – you may have accidentally selected the .avi (divx or xvid) file – which cannot be imported into iTunes.

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  12. Double-click your newly imported movie to watch it in iTunes (if you want).

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  14. That movie will now be listed when you launch Front Row – and can be watched from within Front Row. Important: if you delete the .mov or the original .avi (divx or xvid) file, it will no longer be watchable in iTunes or Front Row.

  • colarmac

    nice guide, it’s really useful for me.

  • gilles

    intersting tip but to save as it seems that version PRO of quicktime is required. isn’t it ?

  • Sliver

    Yes, Pro version of quicktime is needed. so no real solution…

  • Hey, Works great however when I name the video in itunes it shows up a untitled in Front Row…I’m using it to add tv shows and the episode name is fine however the series name doesn’t work. I’ve gone into itunes and into the info for the file and added all the proper info. Any ideas?


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  • Jimbo

    @gilles, @Silver
    You don’t need Pro to save a reference movie.
    Use Quicktime X (native in Snow Leopard) and use the Save to Web option. This will do the reference for you. Took me fricking ages of Google-ing to find that SoB


  • Tazman

    Can AirPlay stream this video content to AppleTV gen 2?

  • Vincent

    Dear Ross,

    This method is working perfectly ! Thanks a lots !

    One question, with the app remote for itunes I cannot find all my divx library via the apps on iphone / ipod / ipad.

    Any idea?

  • Vincent – huh that’s very odd. It’s just the divx and xvid videos that don’t show up?? I’m not at home but I will test this out when I am (next week..).

  • mgmd

    Thanks for the great tips! This worked exactly as you suggested, except that I couldn’t “save as’ – I had to “export” instead. Thanks a million!