Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2008 1:37 AM by Marv
Josh Vandermeer Level 1 (0 points)
I imported a bunch of MPEG movie files on to my macbook with Quicktime pro, but every time i try to play them quicktime says that they aren't movie files, if anyone could help me out that would be great, Thanks!

Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Colin Holgate Level 5 (4,320 points)
    Look at the Get Info window when in QuickTime Player. What video codec does it say is used?
  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 (52,210 points)
    Your files are MPEG-2 format and QuickTime doesn't play them without additional software: costs $20.
  • Marv Level 2 (200 points)

    On the strength of your advice to Josh I purchased ($39 in Australia) the QuickTime MPEG-2 plug-in because I have the exact same problem as him (see original his post).

    Alas QuickTime Pro still won't open it and the dialogue box 'This file is not a movie file' appears as it did before the plug-in. I put most things down to operator error so am I missing something here, mate? Am I doing something wrong?
    I am also unable to open any file info on the .mpg to determine it's exact codec (even Safari won't open this badboy)

    Any hints or further suggestions?

    Thanks in Anticipation.
  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 (52,210 points)
    There are two installers found on the disk image file you downloaded from Apple. Make sure you've installed the correct version for your machine.
    The component is installed in the HD/System/Library/QuickTime and should be "Universal" and version number 6.4.1
    Use to convert your file to QuickTime formats as QuickTime Pro can't extract audio from this muxed file format.
  • Marv Level 2 (200 points)
    Thanks very much for the swift reply,

    I've checked & followed your latest suggestions; it is the correct version installed (V.6.4.1 Universal in the Systems folder). After that I downloaded StreamClip and attempted to open the file but the app. complained in the following dialogue box; File Open Error - Can't find video or audio tracks.

    I should point out there are no audio tracks in this file so I'm unconcerned with sound at this point and that (and this may be more relevant) it was shot & captured on a HD-1080p system. Unfortunately I can't change that. I've just been asked to edit these motion picture files.

    I really don't know the codec (with any certainity) used by this file & I feel that would be a step in the right direction if I could confirm that. In your
    original reply to Josh you seemed certain it was MPEG-2. Do you still think that's the case here?

    Are there any other steps I can take here?

    I really appreciate your responses.

    Grateful Thanks,
  • Colin Holgate Level 5 (4,320 points)
    I was puzzled about QTKirk's certainty that the files would be MPEG-2. Can you say what the name of an example file is? If it's failing to open at all, and it's 1080p, it may be a .M2T file. You can open those with VLC:
  • Marv Level 2 (200 points)
    G'day Colin,

    Thanks for your input & I followed your suggestion. VLC did open the file alas the aspect ratio was different to the original giving the image a vertical stretched look about it. From memory it's 16:9 but I was just happy to get the thing open. Unfortunately even with the file open in VLC I can't seem to determine it's codec.

    But that is only half my problem solved. What I need to do to edit this file is to convert it to a format compatible with Final Cut Pro. Thats why I thought the MPEG-2 (the QuickTime plug-in QTKirk suggested) was looking hopeful because that would've remedied all my dramas.

    So the next question I should ask is, how do I determine the file format when it's open in VLC?
    In discovering the file format then the distorted aspect ratio problem existent in VLC will hopefully be correct when I then work out the correct plug-in to use.

    And how then can I convert the offending file into a FCP compatible format?

    Again many thanks,
  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 (52,210 points)
    My reply to the original poster was based on the fact they spelled out MPEG (.mpeg) in their question and I stand by my answer.
    Sounds like your file is also MPEG-2 (some proprietary file extension like .TOD) but is HD format. iMovie 7 can open most of these formats if the media (DVD or hard drive) comes directly from the connected camera but not when the file is moved to the computer.
    QuickTime Pro can't even open the file because it can't get past the "wrapper" (container). I would try a simple test with a duplicated copy of the source file. Manually change the file extension from whatever is current to .mpeg and try again. If this fails then delete the duplicate.
    Tell us more about the camera that made the file.
  • Colin Holgate Level 5 (4,320 points)
    Fair enough, and I was also mislead by Marv hijacking the thread! It read, in an anagram-ish kind of way, that you had advised Marv to get the MPEG-2 component, but it was Josh you were talking to, and I was talking to Marv...the wonders of threads!

    Meanwhile, VLC has an export wizard thing, if you can get the file open in VLC, try the export wizard to convert it to something more normal.
  • Marv Level 2 (200 points)
    I apologise for any confusion or stepping on anyones toes. I am sorry, Kirk. I figured continuing on with an existing thread rather than creating a new one was easier for everyone to follow.

    Back to point; the problem I have is the same as Josh's. That is, the file extension is .mpg and right at this minute, I don't know the camera systems technical specifics . What I do know is the hard drive recording system is a hybrid PC purpose designed & built. The footage is a laproscopic surgical procedure shot in an operating theatre through a very small scope that is inserted into the abdomen to record the procedure.

    What specific details about the camera do you need to know? (I'll be back at the hospital next week after Easter & can find out then).

    The VLC Export Wizard thing mentions when I opened it that it's capable but not well suited to converting files so I'll attempt a file conversion later on tonight. Unfortunately the sample file I have is 2 Gb (about an hours footage) which will take some time to convert. So next week when I return to the hospital I'll retrieve a smaller file to work on.

    Is determining the files codec not very important when attempting to work out how to convert a files format?

    I'll get back here with an undate.
    I very much appreciate your help.

  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 (52,210 points)
    Just pointing out some oddities
    The file extension shouldn't be .mpg as that usually implies MPEG-1 format which QuickTime can play but not edit.
    A 2 GB one hour HD file must be highly compressed. Standard DV tape cameras are 13 GB's per hour. Having no audio track may help keep the file size down.
    That it is a Windows based compression method may require a Windows based software solution.
    Most HD hard drive recorders and cameras use proprietary file extensions but they are all some type of MPEG-2 compression. A DVD media camera also uses MPEG-2 and the Apple MPEG-2 component can play them via QuickTime (no editing).
    I don't need to know anything about the camera. We need to know the compression format and maybe VLC can shed some clues.
  • Marv Level 2 (200 points)
    The compression format is MP4S. For some reason the Resolution is 720x576 but I'm sure it's recorded at 1080p. I'll check that tomorrow.

    When you mention (in the last post) that the QuickTime file won't facilitate editing does that also mean that importing the file into Final Cut Pro will also not allow it to be edited? (Providing FCP actually lets me Import the file which as things are at present, it will not allow )

    Many thanks,
  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 (52,210 points)
    Your file is a mess and maybe only a PC could fix it.
    Those dimensions imply a PAL SD playback is expected. I don't know what the MP4S video codec is but suspect some Microsoft variant of MPEG-4 standards. Since the source machine and software is Windows based you should try playback with one and Windows Media Player.
    Only Microsoft would try and put an MPEG-4 codec inside a 25 year old file container (.mpg).
  • Colin Holgate Level 5 (4,320 points)
    You might try installing Perian ( if you don't have it. Amongst it's supported files are MS-MPEG-4 v1 & v2, and MP4S is Microsoft MPEG-4. Once that's installed you'll hopefully be able open the files in QuickTime Player, and export them to other formats. If it really was 1080p at some point, what you have now is either going to be letterboxed 16:9 in 4:3, or anamorphic 16:9 squished into 4:3. You could export that to DV Stream, DVCPRO50, PAL, Progressive, and with some amount of luck take that into a 25p FCP document. It's pretty certain that what you have is SD.

    The editing possibilities are better if it is MPEG-4 than if it was MPEG-2. If you can open it by having Perian installed, you should be able to do initial editing in QuickTime Player.
Previous 1 2 Next