Long story short(ish): I was holding my iPhone flat and slightly portrait aligned when I hit the video record button, then I lifted it up an moved it landscape as it was recording. For what ever reasons the iPhone decided that it was ‘upside-down’ relative to its starting position and recorded the video that way. I didn’t notice because, of course, the picture looked right-side up, only the small graphics on the recording screen were upside-down. And, also of course, I can’t just hold the camera upside-down to play it because the phone detects that and flips the picture back upside-down again thinking that’s right side up. Locking it in portrait mode obviously doesn’t help either (it will still flip the now smaller portrait image upside-down whenever you turn the phone around).
Strange thing is when I copy the file to my Windows 7 PC it plays right-side up in VLC (or anything other than QuickTime). I’ve tried converting the file to a different iPhone format (.MP4 or a slightly modified .mov) but iTunes won’t copy it back to the phone, always saying it’s no longer a playable file for an iPhone.
I assume it’s simply a case of the original video file’s ‘orientation bit’ metadata telling QuickTime to play it (essentially) upside-down (although I don’t know why VLC knows to play it correctly). Is there a way to modify just this bit on a PC, so that iTunes will just copy it back onto the phone and play it correctly? Or is there an iPhone app that will flip videos over?