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Does iMovie 11 support native AVCHD (.mts) files?

138143 Views 105 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2014 10:06 AM by Pieter_from_Ehv RSS
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2010 12:05 AM (in response to juneinny)
    juneinny wrote:
    Native AVCHD file support is the first thing I expected for the new iMovie. ...


    the funny thing with 'native' AVCHD-editing is:
    inside those .mts is a h264-encoded video, iM09 would handle WITHOUT conversion!
    test it with ALAN'S AMAZING AUTOMATOR SCRIPT, described on my site
    http://sites.google.com/site/karstenschluter/mts-to-mov

    so, meanwhile, it's a riddle for me, why that conversion into an intermediate is needed anyhow ..

    maybe, someone with a more profound knowledge than me can share some insight ..
    MacMini2.26/2GB, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iM09/FCE4/Lumix FZ38 … MTP=better invention than warm water!
  • Steve Mullen Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    It's not because iM09 can NOT edit H.264 because as you point out it does. Apple realizes that it takes a far more powerful Mac than most folks have to edit it.

    Hence, they convert AVCHD (H.264) to AIC. Who knows at some point they might force H.264 to be converted to AIC.
    Cheers, author; The Ins and Outs of iMovie 09: Maximum Quality HD and DV
  • Ade Fowler Level 2 Level 2 (370 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2010 2:02 AM (in response to juneinny)
    What does this mean in the system requirements?

    *System Requirements*

    Mac computer with an Intel processor.
    GarageBand Learn to Play requires a Mac with an Intel Core Duo processor or better.
    *AVCHD video from supported video cameras requires a Mac with an Intel Core Duo processor or better. Visit the iMovie ’11 Supported Cameras page for additional details.*
    1GB of RAM.
    Approximately 5GB of available disk space.
    DVD drive required for installation.
    Display with at least 1280 x 768 pixel resolution.
    Mac OS X v10.6.3 or later.
    17" MacBook Pro i7 | Mac Pro 6-core | 30" ACD, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Casho3 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I don't buy into the argument that it takes a far more powerful Mac than most folks have to edit AVCHD.

    On the PC side, there are a range of options that I have tried (eg Premiere Elements, PowerDirector 8, Pinnacle Studio 14 and even Window Live Movie Maker) that work flawlessly with my aging 3.00 GHz Core 2 Duo. At the very least, native editing of AVCHD should be an option in iMovie.

    For goodness sake, you can't even import standalone .mts files into iMovie without using a third party product like VoltiacHD, and you can't even play .mts files on a Mac without using the VLC player.

    The workflow of editing AVCHD in iMovie is just a complete mess. With my PC I can import and store single .mts files from my camcorder, organise these files in a logical file structure with thumbnails and edit and play them natively.

    Given the messy workflow that is required with AVCHD on the Mac it is hard to believe that most consumer cameras now record in AVCHD. It is time for Apple to play catchup.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2010 3:14 AM (in response to juneinny)
    juneinny wrote:
    .. sounds like FCE4 can import and edit .mts files without any conversion. Please correct me if I am wrong.


    wrong.
    FC/e4 handles AVCHD as iMovie - automatic conversion on import into AIC.

    and it does not use the same routines as iM, so for handling AVCHD-lite, you have to 'transplant' (copy/paste) a part of iM into FC/e ..

    btw: new Adobe Premiere Elements for Mac, I reviewed here http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=12329538 handles ADVCHD without conversion too ..
    MacMini2.26/2GB, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iM09/FCE4/Lumix FZ38 … MTP=better invention than warm water!
  • Isaac Bardin Calculating status...
    But will Final Cut Express import these files with less compression and, as a result, better quality than iMovie does?
    MacBook 2.13GHz (mid 2009), Seagate Freeagent Desk 500GB, Hitachi 320GB,, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPod Touch 8GB, iPod Nano 16GB (and other assorted gadgets)
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    Isaac Bardin wrote:
    But will Final Cut Express import these files with less compression and, as a result, better quality than iMovie does?


    best to my knowledge: NO!
    iM09 and FC/e4 create identical aic.movs ....

    FC/e handles interlaced sources different ...
    MacMini2.26/2GB, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iM09/FCE4/Lumix FZ38 … MTP=better invention than warm water!
  • Greg Earle Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2010 9:17 AM (in response to juneinny)
    Am I the only one who finds this discussion/situation hysterical?

    I have a Canon Vixia HF-11 camcorder that shoots true 1920x1080 HD in various modes at up to 24 Mbps data rates. It records in AVCHD with MTS files in a Blu-ray-esque file structure - in fact, I can take a 16 GB SDHC card directly out of the camera and plug it into a USB-SDHC adapter into my Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player and it plays just like as if it was a Blu-ray disc.

    But I'm a rank amateur video person so some of my clips need editing. I brought up iMovie 9 once and as soon as I saw that it couldn't edit the MTS files without losing resolution, I gave up.

    Now we have iMovie '11 and they spend all this time (and demo time) adding bells and whistles crap like Movie Trailers mode, but the thing still can't even do something as basic as directly support the vast majority of HD camcorders out there?!? SMH
    MacBook Pro 17 inch 2.16 GHz Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 2 GB RAM/320 GB disk
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2010 9:24 AM (in response to Greg Earle)
    Greg Earle wrote:
    ... but the thing still can't even do something as basic as directly support the vast majority of HD camcorders out there?!?


    iM supports AVCHD since its version 08 ..
    but to make the import-routines work, the data has to come direct from Camcorder, usb-connected.

    I'm using it here for quite a while.. works like charm, quality awesome, due to recording in 720p, which has on playback a better quality than 1080i ...
    MacMini2.26/2GB, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iM09/FCE4/Lumix FZ38 … MTP=better invention than warm water!
  • boombass Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2010 9:25 AM (in response to Greg Earle)
    Personally, I don't care about the loss of quality. Downsampling 1080i to 720p or 540p is fine for me. Maybe that's the same for most people in iMovie's target audience. But the arcane and ultimately narrow way of getting AVCHD video into iMovie is the biggest drawback for me.

    I believe you can keep the video at 1080 when importing it. iMovie just recommends against it.
    MacBook Unibody, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • E27 Calculating status...
    It could be because the "upgraded" higher cost fce and fcp have been using intermediates for mts also, but they do export at a better quality than aic medium, albeit at even more bloated file sizes. W7, AEP9, SVP can provide high qualities without stutter in smaller files and without workarounds to enhance quality. SVP mts to m2ts produces stunning "original" quality in a file size slightly enlarged but once viewed, you wonder why anything else, but mts playability is not widespread at this point. Granted, we just used im to re-rendered a 20 min 5 gb aic file and it turned out ok even with the generational losses. However, with AVCHD now widespread, it is about time to at least edit mts even if you have to output to aic mov. The question may be - is this possible and yet maintain speed and ease of use that im has going for it. This would make a lot of users very happy rather than movie trailers.....

    Like always, test yourself to prove or disprove whatever you see posted as there is from time to time bs that gets propagated.
    Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Isaac Bardin Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
    What video editing programs do you recommend that are on the "same level" as Final Cut Express?
    MacBook 2.13GHz (mid 2009), Seagate Freeagent Desk 500GB, Hitachi 320GB,, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPod Touch 8GB, iPod Nano 16GB (and other assorted gadgets)
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    Isaac Bardin wrote:
    What video editing programs do you recommend that are on the "same level" as Final Cut Express?


    FinalCut/Express ...

    tested lately new +Adobes Premiere Elements 9+ for Mac - too buggy for me. http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=12329538

    no hands-on Norrkross http://www.norrkross.com/software/movie/movie.php

    not-yet-born is Kdenlive http://www.kdenlive.org/ needs compilations for MacOS

    or FC/e4 .. ahh, we had that
    MacMini2.26/2GB, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iM09/FCE4/Lumix FZ38 … MTP=better invention than warm water!
  • vegany Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 22, 2010 9:39 AM (in response to boombass)
    This should be a complete and utter embarrassment for Apple. The shame, the shame... How is it that the consumer-focused company has let this debacle go on for over three years?

    I bought FCE4 just because I thought it would edit AVCHD directly, due to the *highly misleading* claims of "native" AVCHD support. I was more than a little ****** off to find that it converted it just like iMovie 9. No returns on opened software. Thanks, great, the only reason I bought it was misleading, if not an outright lie.

    I really can't believe that iMovie 11 does not support native editing, or at least cataloguing of AVCHD files, directly in iMovie. What a joke.

    Who cares about trailers when we can't even store our AVCHD files on the mac easily?

    I was also very excited when Premier Elements came out last month, but that was awful--constant crashing, slow as all ****, etc. If that is what native AVCHD editing does to my MBP, fine, convert for editing, but why no easy storage and backup of AVCHD files? The converted files take up way too much hard drive space.
    Mac OS X (10.5.2)
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