Confused (or just thick?)

I’ve been moving files around using a portable drive, in particular to archive a whole bunch of iPhone & iPad video files from a number of different iPhones and iPads (different vintages and owners) to an older Mac running Sierra.
I’m confused in that some of these files are .mov and some are .MOV.
I’m even more confused in that some of these files were created sequentially on the same iPhone within minutes of each other and only the .mov files will play on the receiving Mac.
OK. scrub that. After a bit more delving to see if I could isolate any of the source devices, I’m finding that some .mov files will play and some won’t, and also, some .MOV files will play and some won’t.
Another confusion arises with a number of files being duplicated with the addition of a or MOV and neither will play. But then there are some like that where both will play, and the odd one or two where only one will play.
It could be my age.
The only thing I can relate all this to is that some of the files were delivered via Airdrop, some have been delivered through iMessage and others (not many) by eMail.
At the moment I’m just looking at the files the Finder while I work out how best to group/catalogue them.
I guess when it comes to creating the archive I will have to convert all the different formats into a common one. With that in mind (and a new Mac Mini in the offing), I would appreciate opinions as to the best options/software for doing that.

.mov/.MOV files in the Apple world are QuickTime files. But .mov is just a QuickTime container format. The actual videos are in some codec format. The most common codec these days is MPEG-4 (H.264), but long ago they’d be something like Sorenson Video. The latest codec might be HEVC (H.265).

Quicktime on Catalina dropped all the 32-bit codecs. But Sierra should be able to play most old codecs. There are some that required extra software, such as MPEG-2 (H.262).

Sierra won’t be able to play HEVC.

If you do a Get Info on the .mov file on the system that can play it, it should tell you what the codec is.

You can use the VLC third-party media player to play almost all formats.


Open the file in Handbrake. Open Activity window. You will see a log and it will tell you the codec and also if it is damaged.

Thanks guys.
I think I’ll wait until the Mini arrives and the batch convert everything to the same codec.
I would be interested to know why in the following screenshot, the two instances of sequential files (and there are more like this) have different suffixes.

Apple file systems are (by default) not case-sensitive, but they are case retentive. So a .mov and a .MOV (or for that matter, .mOv or .MoV) extensions are all equivalent. But the file system will present the case that was used when the file was saved.

I suspect that your files come from two (or more) different apps, some of which are using .mov and some are using .MOV.

If this bothers you, should be able to bulk rename them to all have the same extension.

Maybe not relevant, but for my own interest, how come the Modification Date is earlier than the Creation Date for those mov files?

Most likely the Creation date is the date the file was saved to the storage device it is currently on (say a flashdrive) while the Modification date is when it was LAST modified, most likely on an earlier storage device (say a Mac).

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I must admit that I hadn’t noticed the date/time issue until just after I posted those screenshots.
The situation was like this:-
The videos in the pics are all from the same iPhone. Over the space of a couple of weeks there was a lot of video being recorded. In order not to fill the phone, each evening the day’s shots were Airdropped to ‘Files’ on an iPad with a Toshiba HD attached, and then deleted from the phone.
The 2 screenshots are from that HD while connected to the Mac now I’m back at home.
In between creating the files on the iPhone and putting them onto the HD, nothing was done to them. No edits or adjustments.
With regard to David’s thought about 2 different apps causing the .mov/.MOV issue. Well 2 apps were used, the Camera app and Insta360 (using an Insta Flow gimbal). However the Insta360 files have a different naming convention - Flow_VID_20240524_125639_02_042.MOV
All have the .MOV and use the hvc codec as opposed to the h264 created by the Camera app.
Can’t think of any other things that might be relevant.