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iPhone 3G S:How to Rotate Videos for Playback on Your Notebook

By  |  18 Comments

The iPhone 3G S is the the first iPhone to record videos and it’s easy to save them onto your computer.  But sometimes videos will playback sideways, which is caused by rotating your iPhone 3G S after hitting record. In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to correct these sideways videos on your notebook.

One of the first videos I shot on my iPhone 3GS was of my mother’s dog eating a bone. It looked great on my iPhone 3GS, but it appeared sideways when I tried to play it back on my MacBook Pro. I needed to change the orientation before I could send the video to my parents.

You can easily rotate the iPhone 3GS’s videos using Quicktime Player. You will need to upgrade to the pro version to unlock the editing features described below and in the video. Quicktime Pro is a $29.99 upgrade for both Mac and PC users. You can also use iMovie 09 (Mac Users) or just about any PC video editing suite that supports .MOV video files if you want to avoid upgrading to Quicktime Pro.

1) Open the movie you’d like to rotate in Quicktime Player (Mac-double click), (PC- right click -> Open With -> Quicktime Player

2) If you haven’t already upgraded to Quicktime Pro, click on “File” from the top menu bar, select any item with the “Pro” logo. A window will pop up with instructions on how to buy the upgrade.

3) Once you activate Quicktime Pro, point your mouse at the “Windows” menu at the top of Quicktime Player and select “Show Movie Properties.”

4) At the top of the Movie Properties window, there will be a list with three items. Select “Video Track.”

5) Once you select “Video Track,” four tabs will show up beneath this list. Select “Visual Settings,” which is the third item from the lest.

6) Under “Visual Settings” you will see a lot of information about the video. Ignore it and look at the last item that’s titled “Flip/Rotate.” There are four buttons. The left most button will flip your video horizontally, the second will flip your video vertically, the third will rotate your video 90-degrees clockwise and the last will rotate your video 90-degrees counter-clockwise. To fix my video, I just clicked the forth button once.

7) Once your video is rotated the way you want, remember to save your movie by selecting “File” from the menu at the top of your screen, then selecting “Save” or “Save As.”

Mac users can also use iMovie 09 to rotate their movies if they want to avoid buying Quicktime Pro. Here’s how to rotate iPhone 3GS videos in iMovie 09. While this is free, there are more steps invlolved and you’ll have to go through the iMovie 09 import/export process, which can take a substantial amount of time for long video clips.

1) Import your iPhone 3GS video into a project: File-> Import -> Movies.

2) Create a new project: File-> New Project. The iPhone records in 4:3 aspect ratio, so be sure to select this aspect ratio for your new project.

3) Drag your clip from the clip viewer into your new project.

4) Click on the “Crop” button, which is located just below the video player.

5) Click on one of the curved arrows. The one pointing to the right rotates your videos 90-degrees clockwise.

6) Once you’ve rotated your video, you’ll be able to share and export your videos.

There a variety of other video applications that have rotate functions, but the methods listed above are the easiest and most affordable. To avoid this problem in the future, be sure to orientate your iPhone 3G S the way you want the video to show up on your computer BEFORE you hit record. Once you press record the video will be stuck in that position.

18 Comments

  1. Brian

    September 19, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Thank You!!! I’ve been looking for a fix for this. Now I can go back and rotate several of my videos so you don’t have to hold your head sideways to view :)

  2. Brian

    September 19, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Thank You!!! I’ve been looking for a fix for this. Now I can go back and rotate several of my videos so you don’t have to hold your head sideways to view :)

  3. Lissie

    October 19, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Hi, just to let you know, the link to the Quick Time Pro above shows a price of $29.99, not .99, and I couldn’t find anything on the web page about the upgrade being .99. Am I missing something? Thanks so much! I had no idea my videos needed to be shot in portrait!

  4. Lissie

    October 18, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Hi, just to let you know, the link to the Quick Time Pro above shows a price of $29.99, not .99, and I couldn’t find anything on the web page about the upgrade being .99. Am I missing something? Thanks so much! I had no idea my videos needed to be shot in portrait!

  5. Rob

    November 15, 2009 at 10:08 am

    There are tons of free programs that’ll let you rotate a video — try Google’s Picasa 3, for instance, which has buttons in the bottom toolbar when viewing a video to rotate clockwise/counterclockwise.

  6. Rob

    November 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    There are tons of free programs that’ll let you rotate a video — try Google’s Picasa 3, for instance, which has buttons in the bottom toolbar when viewing a video to rotate clockwise/counterclockwise.

  7. Leo Rivers

    December 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you! There is a secret control deck in QT I never suspected! Now I can put my iPnone film on my web page. THANKS

  8. Richard

    December 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I upgraded to Pro 7 and it shows that version 7.6.4 is installed and when I go to the Windows file View Movie Properties will still not open. it is the only choice under windows which will not open. Any suggestions???

  9. Richard

    December 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I upgraded to Pro 7 and it shows that version 7.6.4 is installed and when I go to the Windows file View Movie Properties will still not open. it is the only choice under windows which will not open. Any suggestions???

  10. 5G

    May 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks alot for an advice! I did it w/QT pro and it really helped me out :)

  11. Guest

    June 6, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    These instructions for using QuickTime Pro work great to rotate the video, as long as you watch the file it saves in the QuickTime player. However, the orientation remains unchanged when viewed in Windows Media Player. What's the solution?

  12. Timili1985

    July 27, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Some friends of mine told me that they tried to play flip videos on iPhone but failed to import flip video iPhone. Why, they are wondering, since Flip video camcorders take videos in MP4 format and so does an iPhone. The simple reason is that the MP4 videos taken by flip video camcorders have different parameters from those taken by an iPhone, iPhone 3G or iPhone 3G S. http://www.flip-converter.com/articles/flip-to-

  13. Balistx

    October 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Always trying to make a buck off of a problem they are not willing to fix.

  14. Allegra

    January 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Thank you so much! You’re a lifesaver!

  15. Looloohoo

    January 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you so much for your help! This worked for me using iMovie and iPhone 4. It didn’t take very long.

  16. faddah

    January 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    this has saved me _so_ much time & frustration. great post! thank you.

  17. Debbie Nigro

    June 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Xavier…You just saved me. Bravo!!!! FINALLY was able to ROTATE the video that somehow rotated itself when I shot a video of the 82 Year Old Babe I met on The Boardwalk in Belmar, N.J doing a ‘split’ for me. If you get a chance check it out at StillABabe.com. Thanks again, Debbie Nigro /Founder

  18. Screw Apple

    October 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Screw Apple! I love my iPhone, but I am sorry… *Something as simple as just rotating a video 90 degrees so you can watch and send it normally SHOULD be a standard FREE option!… But it’s NOT!.. Apple has great products and I love my iPhone’s but this is the #1 issue that just makes my blood boil mad as hell!.. *We should not have to pay $29 for the shitty Quick-time Pro just to simply rotate and re-save a silly .MOV file!.. We pay them enough for their cool over priced devices already, we shouldn’t have to pay even more to make them WORK!… My next smart phone will be a DROID, simply because of this ONE ridiculous missing feature!

    Screw YOU Apple!!!…

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