MP4 files won’t open in Final Cut because Final Cut Express and Pro are video editing programs. The MP4 file type is a final delivery format, meaning that the file is heavily compressed and not generally editable. However, you can convert an MP4 file to a Final Cut-compatible format using a conversion tool like Pavtube HD Converter, iDealshare VideoGo or iSkySoft Video Converter. Convert the MP4 file to Apple ProRes or another compatible format, then open the video in Final Cut to play and edit the clip.

iDealShare VideoGo

Step 1

Purchase, download and install the iDealShare VideoGo application, then launch the program (see Resources).

Step 2

Drag and drop the MP4 file into the main window. You can also click “Add Files,” then browse to and click on the MP4 file. Click “Open” to load the file into the converter.

Step 3

Click the “Profile” drop-down box, then click either the “ProRes - Apple ProRes Codec (.mov)” or the “DV - Digital Video Format (.dv)” option. Both are Final Cut-compatible file formats. DV format is a generic video format that can be imported into most video editing programs, including Final Cut. If you edit on a Mac, convert the file to the Apple ProRes format for higher quality output.

Step 4

Type or browse for a new destination if desired, in the Destination box.

Step 5

Click the “Effects” icon to add special effects to the converted file. Click “OK” to apply and save the effects.

Step 6

Click the “Convert” button to convert the file. The original source file remains unchanged, but a copy of the file is converted to a Final Cut-compatible format for editing.

Step 7

Open the converted file in Final Cut, then edit the clip as desired.

Pavtube HD Video Converter

Step 1

Purchase, download and install the Pavtube Converter application, then launch the program (see Resources).

Step 2

Drag the MP4 file into the main window.

Step 3

Click the “Format” drop-down box, then click either the “Apple ProRes 422 (.mov)” or the “Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) (.mov)” option. Use the first option for standard resolution, and choose the second option for high quality, high definition output.

Step 4

Type or browse to a new destination folder in the Output field, if desired.

Step 5

Click the “Convert” button to convert and save the file.

Step 6

Open the converted file in Final Cut, then edit the clip as desired.

iSky Soft Video Converter

Step 1

Download and install the free Video Converter program from iSkysoft (see Resources). Open the application on your computer.

Step 2

Click the “File” tab in the top navigation bar, then click “Load Media Files” to open a file selection dialog box. Browse to and click on the MP4 file, then click “Open.” You can also simply drag and drop the MP4 file into the main window.

Step 3

Click the “Editing” tab in the bottom navigation bar, then click the “Final Cut Pro” option.

Step 4

Click the “Convert” button. The converted copy is saved in the same directory as the source file.

Step 5

Open the converted file in Final Cut, then edit the clip as desired.