Right Side Up: Rotating iPhone Videos
October 7, 2015 1 Comment
You shot a video on your iPhone, and now it plays back sideways. Of course you really, really want to turn it around so that it plays the right way. Mind you, if you do that in a video editing program, the video will be re-encoded — that is, compressed all over again, which takes time and causes noticeable loss of quality. But there is a way to do it without re-encoding the whole thing.
The program FFMPEG can do this relatively easily. Note that I say relatively, because it’s a wee bit technical. For starters, you’ll need to know how to type commands on the command line, and how to copy or move files to convenient locations. Because I don’t at the moment have the time or energy to go in-depth with a detailed tutorial, I shall assume that you either know enough about this to use it yourself, or that you know someone who does who can help you with it.
Note: I’ve tested this with video from my iPhone 5S, and I am assuming that it will most likely work with all or most iPhones, and possibly all or most other smartphones or cameras.
Once you have FFMPEG downloaded and unpacked, the magic spell goes as thus:
ffmpeg -i input.mov -c copy -metadata:s:v:0 rotate=0 output.mov
And that’s all it takes. This simply copies the video content from the original file to a new one, but with the rotation flag set to zero. No re-encoding is done, and unless your video file is quite big, it’s almost instantaneous. Make sure you make the names for the input and output files different, or there may be trouble, and remember to check the copy properly before you delete the original, just in case.