How to convert .MOV files to .MP4 in OS X

This tutorial will guide you through the process of converting .mov files to .mp4 files – using free, open source software for OS X.

  1. First things first, you’ll need to download a few files. Head over to the ffmpegX download page and download the ffmpegX application. Once the download has completed, open the .dmg file. Drag the ffmpegX file to your Applications folder.
  2. Open ffmpegX from your Applications list.
  3. Now you’ll need to download and install 3 additional components in order to convert your video files using ffmpegX –, mencoder and mplayer. All 3 files are linked to from the ffmpegX download page, but I have also provided all 3 of them in one .zip file that you can download here.

    Once you have downloaded all 3 files, create a folder (any name will do – I used ffmpeg) and place all 3 files in that folder. Click on the Locate… button next to mpeg2enc (as illustrated in the image below).

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  5. Navigate to the folder where you placed the 3 files, select the file, and click the Choose button.

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  7. Repeat the above 2 steps but this time locate and select the mencoder and mplayer files.

    Once all 3 files have been ‘added’ – enter your password in the space provided, and click the Install button.

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  9. Now you’ll be presented with the main ffmpegX screen.

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  11. Locate the .mov file you want to convert, and drag it to the Drop file here window in the Source format section.
  12. In the Target format section, you’ll see that AVI DivX is the default output format. Click the small arrow (as illustrated in the image below) to change the format of the resulting file.

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  14. Select .MP4 mpeg-4 from the list of options.
  15. Once everything looks similar to the image below – click the Encode button. This will begin the process of converting your .mov file to an .mp4 file.

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  17. Depending in the size of your input file (the .mov) – the encoding process can take anywhere from a couple of seconds to a few hours. Once the process has completed, click the small ‘magnifying glass’ icon to open the folder that contains your newly created .MP4 file.
  18. There it is! Double-click the .mp4 and confirm that it plays just fine in your Video Player of choice.

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  20. That’s it – you’re done!

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