Problem & Solution
Problem: In your finder an MP3 or picture file will be grayed out.
Solution: If your using the latest version of iLife you should be able
to select the appropriate type (either Photos or Video) then drag the
file the clip viewer.
If your using version 2 of iMovie or would like to import directly.
Lennart was kind enough to write a few Apple Scripts to help you out
OSX and OS9.
does Apple say about adding a song to a video?
I like to read the MP3 file into QuickTime Pro trim and edit
in that program then when it is just the way I like it . I export the
file to an .AIFF file. iMovie will import these files also.
APPLE has written up about permissions and
JPEG/TIFF Files Will Not Import
Set Type/Creator to JPEG/ogle. The REAL issue
here is to understand the history the Mac file system. Originally, the
name of a Mac file was never used as an indication of what type of file
it was. (And still isn't!) There was no such thing as a file extension
(.JPG, .MP3, etc) because users just named files ANYTHING they wanted.
Therefore, the Mac OS needed some way to distinguish between the different
kinds of files. In order to do this, the Mac OS kept track of 2 pieces
of information about each file...a Creator and a Type.
It was not as common for Mac users to share files with non-Mac users,
so it didn't cause much of a problem. Of course, when a non-Mac file
is copied to a Mac system, the OS needs a way to determine what type
of file it is. In order to be a good citizen and play with non-Mac
systems, something needs to map a 3 digit extension to a certain
type of file when it is copied to the Mac. That is where things get
tricky. Lots of different programs will attempt to do this. The Mac
OS itself will assign a file type if it copies files off of floppy
disks. FTP clients will assign a file type when it downloads a file
from a server. Browsers will also do this when they download files.
And to make it even worse, these assignments can be changed in the
configuration of each application. So as you can see, there is great
opportunity for files with the same extension to get different file
type assignments depending on how they got there and how each user's
system is configured.
Most applications look at this file type data to decide what kind
of file each is...not the file name or extension. Therefore, when
someone says they have no problem with files of type .yyy or type
.zzz, it really doesn't mean much. What is important is what type
of file the application that is trying to use it thinks it is.
This is where these other tools such as ResEdit, ChangeCreator,
or FileXaminor come
in. They let you force a file to have a certain creator and a certain
You can also use a small AppleScript from Lennart's
So, in iMovie, if your .JPG or .MP3 or whatever files are grayed
out when trying to import them, then it means they currently are
assigned a file type that is not recognized by iMovie. Forget about
the name or the extension. You need to use one of those tools to
force them to have a creator and type that iMovie will recognize.
Thanks to FunWithMacX for the extended answer.