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how do i convert multiple avchd files into iMovie?

1803 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2013 8:46 PM by AppleMan1958 RSS
chadrettig Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 26, 2013 7:24 AM

Hello apple community.


I am a new to the apple family and I am trying to convert sony avchd video into imovie.  I have used handbrake and it worked well for 1 file at a time.  I have multiple files that I would like to convert.  Can you recommend a program or give direction so I can convert multiple files at once?

iMac, iOS 6.0.2, 3tb 16gb RAM
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,440 points)

    avoid manual conversions.

    use iMovies own import routines.

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,440 points)

    chadrettig wrote:

    … The files I have are ( .m2ts, .modd, .moff)  How to I convert using imovie import routines?  …


    you don't. the damage is already done.

    iMovie is meant for camcorders.

    so, to use its drop-dead-simple import, the USUAL way is

    as described here

    connect cam, hit Import, done.

    no care for formats, codecs, suffix ...


    what you have on your HDD are just fragments of such 'camera archives', orphanized files, as I like to call it.


    in such a case, you have to re-wrap.

    or convert - depending on your source.


    mts is a wrapper for h264, so a split-second rewrap process is all to be done.

    use the free tool

    to rewrap to mp4

    give Remux a try on your m2ts files - could work, could not work.


    .modd is a Sony-only meta-data container, containing no video and solo completely useless.

    .moff is a Sony-only index-picture archive - again: useless outside its proprietary Windows app.


    if Remux can not handle your video files, another free tool is Handbrake.

    consider: conversion is always a lossy process.

    and especially on highly compressed consumer formats.


    for future projects: import straight from cam/card

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,440 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 26, 2013 10:34 AM (in response to chadrettig)

    chadrettig wrote:

    … I tried Rewrap and will not let me load (unusual program)…

    fully compliant with HIG (=Apples Human Interface Guide ..


    remux howto.jpg


    set wrapper, set destination

    drag your stuff in - done.

    allows batch conversions ...


    dead simple ......


    for mts.

    your original post asked for AVCHD conversion.

    m2ts is not part of the AVCHD standards.


    but why should one convert 600tons of video ???

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,440 points)

    chadrettig wrote:

    … ..the files were grey and not able to import.

    any idea on what I am doing wrong?

    hard to tell ....

    iMovie, as mentioned, is for camcorders. but … ;


    no 50p/60p (in its actual vers11), no Dolby5.1, no additional 'tracks' =some transport-stream, such as .ts from receivers contain more than a videostream, conversions done with popular tool Handbreak contain per preset chapter-tracks, sub-title tracks etc etc etc .....



    …..  I figure I have all of my videos in one place.  Open to all suggestions on how I can store my videos..(iphoto or imovie, or somewhere io desktop?)

    what for?

    or, how is it actual?


    the CONCEPT in MacOS is: iTunes is the media-center. plus, in many apps you'll notice a 'Media Library' - which is no physical, 'real' single storarge space! but all apps do have access to some 'hidden' files. A Mac User doesn't care for files&folders - here, tagging, keywords, playlists does the Magic.


    when you Share a project from within iMovie to the Library - there is no folder 'Library' on your harddrive! the movie is within the Project file. other apps as Garageband (to score some music to a project) will find it there, it's all 'connected#. to get a project on AppleTV or your iPad, it has to be shared to iTunes ...


    think of the iApps basicly as DataBases …


    I tought many 'switchers' the new paradigms - imagine, you like to find Grandma smiling under the christmas tree ... in a world of folders, YOU have to remember "was that in 2002 or 2005?". in a well-tagged data-base, you just type those two keywords - done! the computer is much faster in finding things - and it simply doesn't matter, in what folder the media is, nor wether the folder is called 2003, family or mymovies ....


    back to topic:

    I wouldn't touch an existing data-base - even if its done manually with clever file-names and smart folder-scheme.- the question is: What do you want to do? Is it a library of movies, you like to watch on AppleTV? then you have to convert into an iTunes friendly format. Is it family recordings, you like to use for Projects? then, I would rewrap/convert the the stuff needed for THIS project ... otherwise you get lost.


    .... sorry - a bit complex. but 600Gigs is a lot ..........

  • Jimmieflore Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You can use something like mkvtools to batch convert avchd to iMovie friendly mov's. I use Deluxe.


    Drag files into Deluxe and it will convert the container from .avchd to .MOV without transcoding so the original video/audio source of the file is not effected. Its simply rewrapped into the mov containiner. You can now import the files into FCP or iMovie with no problems.


    Also when I do an import of any movie file in FCPX, I aways untick "Create optimised media" so that the movie file IS NOT converted to the apple prores format but instead it keeps the original media.

  • CMBP Calculating status...

    I think you sparked my curiosity.  I always wondered what "optimised" meant. I just automatically ticked the option and presumed that's what it meant.  Optimised. I didn't realise (silly me) that it converted it to another codec/format.  What are the disadvantages/advantages ?  I'm pretty new to this as you might have guessed.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2013 8:46 PM (in response to CMBP)

    See this post for why it is always a good idea to optimize. The only time I would not optimize is if I had some h.264 that is in small dimensions, like 640x480. For anything in HD, I would optimize.



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