Getting iTunes 6+ & Front Row to accept non-native video formats

One of the issues I’ve had for awhile now is the inability for iTunes/Front Row to recognize and play non-native video formats (specifically .AVI).

Until now. To play non-native video formats in iTunes or Front Row here’s a little tip/trick for you.

Open the AVI file with QuickTime Player, go to the File menu and choose Save As…, and then pick “Reference movie” as destination format. QuickTime Player will generate a small MOV file that acts as an alias to the original AVI movie – and this reference file can be added to iTunes. iTunes will let you add metadata to the reference MOV file, and will play the original AVI if instructed to do so. Note that if you remove the original AVI file, iTunes will obviously not be able to play it, even if the title still appears in its database. Also, reference movies are still somewhat big for what they are worth (around 1 to 3 MB each).