3 Replies Latest reply: Sep 12, 2008 11:46 PM by Allen Huffman
hlritter Level 1 (0 points)
I'm evaluating a Sony HDR-TG1 HD Memory Stick camcorder. It seems to produce fairly good video, especially for its size, but I've discovered that the included software for uploading and viewing the AVCHD files doesn't support Mac OS. When I upload the contents of the memory stick to my MacBook, I am unable to open the video file with anything I have on the machine. From a quick run through the topics I have gotten the impression that there is a simple way of getting a Mac to read (or convert) AVCHD files, but I haven't been able to find out what it is. Can anyone enlighten me?


MacBook 2GHz/2GB; MacPro 3GHz/2GB/1.25TB, Mac OS X (10.5.4), Legacy: Lisa; 1MB Fat Mac; ][CX; Quadra; G3 Black, G4 Ti PBs; Dual G4 tower
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,405 points)
    To upload AVCHD, you will need iMovie 08 or a current version of FInal Cut or Final Cut Express.

    For iMovie 08, you must connect the camera and use the iMovie 08 import screen. You do not have to do anything special to bring up the import screen. iMovie will detect that a camera is attached and bring up the screen automatically, but iMovie must be running. iMovie 08 will look in all attached devices (cameras, memory sticks, external drives) to see if there are certain files and folders in the root directory. If there are, the device is recognized as a camera.

    If you wish to drag your files from the memory stick to the Mac and import from there, the solution is to create a disk image (using Disk Utility) and drag the entire contents (even empty folders) to the disk image. Now you have a device with the right stuff in the root directory, and when the disk image is mounted, it will be recognized as a camera.

    The AVCHD files are highly compressed GOP. iMovie will convert the AVCHD into Apple Intermediate Codec for editing.
  • hlritter Level 1 (0 points)
    Exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

    Now if I can only figure out why this works fine on my MacBook, while on my MacPro it seems to work, but does not leave a readable file in iMovie....

  • Allen Huffman Level 1 (65 points)
    What kind of disk image are you creating, before you drag the data to it? I've been just making a disk image from a folder, and pointing it to the memory stick volume itself. That will make images of whatever size the data is (not always 4GB like the stick is) but that may be 'cause I have compression turned on -- perhaps I'm really imaging the whole 4GB and compression is letting is compress the unused sectors?

    How does disk utility work in this case?