Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rotating iPhone or Droid video that always shows sideways (aka landscape) in Windows

We have a few iPhone 4s floating around in our environment, and I have one too. The video is nice, but whenever you try to view it on the computer it shows up in landscape, regardless of how you held the phone while taking the video. I did some research and this seems to be "normal", at least on Windows computers. If you're a Mac user, please leave a comment if this affects you as well. There are two ways to fix this, one that will allow you to open and another that actually converts the video, but neither of the methods are that great in my opinion. Regardless, at least there's a workaround. I just ran into this with someone who has one of the Droids too, and this worked for them as well.

If you only want to be able to view them on your computer

Open the video in Quicktime. I'm going to assume you have iTunes installed since you have an iPhone, and with that you also get Quicktime. I'll also assume that Quicktime is not your default video player or else you wouldn't have needed to look up this article.

You can right-click your video file, then go to Open With... This should give you some options, one of which may be Quicktime. If it is, select it and your video should open in the proper orientation.

If Quicktime isn't an option, select Browse or Choose Default Program (will depend on which version of Windows you're using). There you should be able to find Quicktime and select it to open your video file.

If you want to change Quicktime to always open your iPhone videos, go to Open With..., then click on "Choose default program" or "Select program". From there select Quicktime Player, then make sure the check box is checked that says "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file". That will make Quicktime your default program for .mov files.

If you want the video viewable correctly from any computer

For this you will need to rotate the video. Windows Live Movie Maker can do this for you, but it will also require you convert the video to a .wmv format in order to save the rotated video. You can get it for free direct from Microsoft (http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-maker?os=other), or it's part of the Windows Live Essential package that you can download through Microsoft Update.

To rotate the video, open Windows Live Movie Maker and click on "Add videos and photos"

Browse to your video file, select it, then click Open

Now you'll see buttons on the top for rotating 90 degrees in either direction. Use those buttons to rotate your video to the orientation of your liking.

Go to File->Save Movie->High Definition (1080p). Name the new video file and choose where to save it, then click Save.

Movie Maker will go through the conversion process to save your moving in the new format with the proper orientation

Once the conversion is complete, you'll get a message letting you know. Then you can play your new .wmv formatted movie and the orientation will be that which you set a few steps ago.


Nathan said...

I have Moto Droid X and downloaded X2X free video Flip and Rotate 2.0 and it has worked perfectly. Allows you to rotate whatever way you need to.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for. Perfect explanation and my problem is solved!

Anonymous said...

This was so helpful, Thank you so much!! Exactly what I needed!

Michael B said...

Beside your knowledge I admire your willingness to help people and your ability to explain and show(at the same time) the process in such a simple way.
My problem is solved, thank you and God bless you!!!

webado said...

Thanks, this helped demystify this silly problem. I had a few videos on my iPhone which seemed to be forever doomed to be played sideways. Now I got them straightened out and I'm a happy camper :)

Incidentally I have lost the use of Quicktime some time ago (must be a dll conflict which I cannot find) and uninstalling and reinstalling QT is useless. I now use VLC to play MOV and mp4 files and Coyote Soft to convert to avi or other formats. Windows Movie Maker with the effect "rotate 270" applied to each clip (image and video) from the iPhone put it all straight. YAY! Thanks again :)

MoSeS said...

One problem with using windows movie maker to rotate an iPhone video. The only two aspect ratios you can choose from are 4:3 and 16:9
If you rotate the video upright in movie maker and save it, then it will actually have the back bars on the sides permanently as part of the video, so when viewing it back on something like an iPhone it will be shrunk down because of the black bars embedded into the video. The best (and sort of weird) workaround is to convert the .mov to .wmv first without any rotation. once the video is converted then go to the Windows Live Photo Gallery (not Movie Maker) and right click the video, on the pop-up menu you will now have the option to ratate the video, and this method won't add black bars to the side of the video.

Anonymous said...

MoSeS, thank you very much! That solved the black bar problem!

Anonymous said...

In trying to rotate a video taken on my IPhone which I have already downloaded to my Mac in IPhoto. I am following your instructions and at the point that I copied the video to my desktop to open it with QuickTime and it is open. Now you say to download MovieMaker and that link says it is not available for Mac. I am stuck.

rslygh said...

This post is specific to Windows PC users as I didn't expect this issue to exists on Mac machines. However, you should be able to use iMovie or similar software on the Mac to rotate the video. Movie Maker is Windows attempt at providing its users a version of iMovie.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! You solved my problem. Other forums just seemed to give up on the problem and resigned themselves to having to shoot the movies in landscape. But you offered a real fix!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much - you solved my issue precisely. How annoying but makes sense since it's really about an incompatibility b/w Apple and Microsoft!

Anonymous said...

You can also "flip" the vids in PhotoShop if you've got CS6. Just open in PS (it opens the right orientation), render to MP4. Done. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi I am going to try your solution if it works, How do I import the video to animoto?

rslygh said...

Sorry, I don't know. I've never used animoto. I'd guess they have a button for importing videos, so after you convert it look for that.

Danny McColgan said...

Hey a Little late on finding this awesome answer for many IPhone users. The dreaded update to 8.02? is killing our old IPhone 4S we love. I encountered this rotating video problem to many times with new and old home made specials. Now that I downloaded Windows Movie Maker I can have lots of fun editing my own videos. Thank you so much for putting this information out there. Thank You!!