After stage 2, you will have a folder of m4v files.
Have you tried MPEG Streamclip to convert these files?? I think if you have a fast Mac, you can import these m4v files straight into iMovie and if you don't ask for 'Optimization', I thought that it doesn't convert, but does require a lot of processing power to edit.
MPEG Streamclip can take the M4V files and convert them into pretty much anything. I use it to take my 1080p50 files and turn them into 720p25 or 720p50 AIC files. Whilst I accept that there is a tiny loss of quality, it is almost imperceptible and can be used by iMovie as high quality movie. iMovie 11 will also import them at the full 50 fps frme rate
I can convert the MTS 1080p 60p to M4V using Toast but it will also convert quality to H264/720p.
Is it worth for me to record in 60p or should i just record in the Hg auto mode and get it over with?
I still can not get i movie to convert to 50p/60p
The recordings will look good on the big screen (projector) but i just dont see the value any more.
I am really bewildered: is not iMovie converting every incoming film to "intermediate" codec? I got the Pana 909 and use iframe codec, because it runs perfect with i movie and once I want to tranfer it to a DVD that's the maximum quality I can get form first imovie and second DVDs?
Don't you need FCP to get higher quality out of the video editing software?
This answer would be very helpful, because I am really confused and thought this is the contribute to a "not professional" software?
I get the feeling if you use higher quality codec and edit it in imovie I loose all the quality gain and should stick to iframe codec? Please advice, because I 'm going to a trip to the Amazonas and need to make a film for 30 passengers and do not want to use a lot of work for bad quality?
Thanks for clearing these things!
The iFrame codec captures more actual data on the device the AVCHD and it compresses the video less (meaning less info is tossed away). The proof of this is the data rate of each format for your camera. On my Panasonic HM-TA1 the data rate for iFrame is 2x that of the the largest frame size (1920x1080). That's because the larger frames are h.264 compressed MP4 format. And there is more data being estimated by the codec than iFrame which just records everything, rather than toss out stuff and try to estimate it. I think you're better off sticking with iFrame and knowing it's capture more data, compressing it less and it will all just import into iMovie no transcoding needed when you get back from the Amazonas. Good Luck.
I've been following this thread for a few months now, trying all the suggestions here, and I'm still not happy with either the video or audio quality of my videos. I'm not actually using a Panasonic camera, but the issues are all the exact same ones discussed here for my Cannon HF-S10. It records in AVCHD and when I import directly from the camera into iMovie the videos are fine.
The issues are when trying to convert a raw AVCHD .mts file into iMovie. I've used the rewraptom4v script and even modified it to try various audio codecs. I love the script because it doesn't actually "convert" the video, just rewraps it so its fast.
However, when there is ANY camera motion whatsoever, I get horizontal lines all around the person or object. Periodically frames will get garbled as well, like a TV losing its signal for a second. Without using rewrap2m4v, I get no sound at all, but with using it I'm able to change the codec to one that iMovie supports. The sound is still pretty bad, though. It's all super frustrating as part of the allure of Mac was for great video and photo editing capabilities and this is my WEDDING VIDEO I'm trying to edit!
At any rate, I'm still looking for suggestions, but I also wanted to point out that there is a new converter on the Mac App Store called Smart Converter that seems to do just as good of a job as the rewrap2mv4 script but is a nice Mac Cocoa app and no fiddling with anything is required. It provided the same video and audio quality as the script "out of box". Admittedly that quality is poor, but it seems to be doing just as good of a job as in messing around with the script. The Mac App Store link is: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-converter/id447513724?mt=12. They have a paid version too, but the free one works fine.
Alan and/or other videophiles:
I'm a video newbie testing the Rewrap2M4V Automater workflow to reformat my Panasonic HDC-TM700 (.MTS) video files (1080/60p/28Mbps variable bit rate) using the following software:
Lion OS X v10.7.2
However, after rewrapping the files into the .m4v format, QuickTime Movie Inspector reports that the files have a bit rate between about 19Mbps and 24Mbps -- not the 28+Mbps bit rate that I expected this workflow to generate. Is this correct?
I assume the lower rate reported is not the equivalent of the "visually lossless" Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) codec, but that it is the equivalent of the "minimal visible loss" files produced with the ProRes 422 (SQ) codec?
Are these files actually being transcoded by ClipGrab and is the codec used user selectable? If the files merely are being rewrapped, why is the bit rate lower than the Panasonic 1080/60p recording format?
How can I be sure that the rewrapped files for Mac editing contain all the data available?
I plan to use the new final Cut Pro X.
Thanks a bundle for the script and the general discussions on this topic. I was planning to get the Pana sd90, but was getting worried that this 1080p would not be working easily. Because of the good feedback on the script, I order the cam and started looking for the sw, but by some strange coincidence found something else instead : "Media Converter": http://media-converter.sourceforge.net/index.html. Its free and open source, and it works as a charm. It also uses the ffmpeg like Alan's script and comes bundled with a copy of it. As far as I understand, this is a simple to use, simple to install, one-stop solution for the 1080p-to-iMovie hassle.
My workflow in a nutshell - assuming the initial install and configuration with the output-directory and presets is done as needed:
- start the media-converter, and select the preset I downloaded called: "Re-Wrap AVCHD for quicktime - uncompressed audio"
- insert the memory card in my iMac and wait a bit for the memory-card icon to show on my desktop
- drag this icon on top of the Media-Converter; it goes on to scan all directories on the memory card and converts all files it found according to the "rewrap"-preset settings - which you can readily tune to your liking - I am still trying to find out the best audio options. It reads straight from the card, and writes to my previously configured directory (in my case also on the desktop).
- open iMovie'11, and select file->import->movies; select my previously configured output directory and select the rewrapped movies. iMovie imports all (copies in my case) and thereafter, I let iMovie handle the files, and clean up the output directory and memory card as needed.
Happy with the camera, and its picture quality btw. The hassle with iMovie is not a hassle at all - just a slight different import procedure.
I think the media-converter will remain handy for all kinds of other video and audio conversions.
thanks and good luck!
Tks for the outstanding summary, Guy. A couple of quick questions:
"The M4V files are high quality 1080 progressive video at the full 50 or 60 frames per second. You will need a fairly high spec Mac to play these at good quality, slower Macs will stutter."
Q: I am using FCP 6 and Quicktime 7.6.6 (which I assume already comes with the ProRes Decoder installed) on a and I'm working on an MBP 17" with 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3 memory and a 1TB HD (5400 rpm). I'm trying to determine what the culprit is on why after I go through the workflow you have described QT is unable to play back my video clips after I have converted them to ProRes 422 using MPEG Stream Clip. Is my MAC not high enough spec? Is it my 5400 rpm hardrive? Could it be that I don't have the ProRes Decoder as part of my Quicktime (is there an easy way to check if my QT 7.6.6. has the decoder installed)?
Q: Is there a noticeable difference between using ProRes 422 and Apple Intermediate Codec? My computer seems to handle AIC without a problem, but I wonder how much video quality I'm giving up?
Q: Tom Wolsky made the point that if you are editing in FCP, then Alan's workaround may not be the most efficient way to handle my videos since I need to utlimately turn the MTS files to ProRes 422 (if I can ever get those clips to play without skipping/stuttering) or AIC. So is it a better option for me to drop the $50 in ClipWrap2 to automatically convert the MTS files to the right codec for editing in FCP 6.
GENERAL QUESTION: Has anyone use ClipWrap2 (not to be confused with clipgrab)? Will it convert MTS files directly to AIC or ProRes 422 codecs? How quickly does it do this?
Thank you in advance!
I have the Panasonic TM700. I used the free trial of ClipWrap 2 to rewrap (without converting to AIC) some short 1080p60 clips, but when I imported these into iMovie, even though I did NOT check "Optimize" when importing, it went ahead and converted to AIC on import, and took a very long time doing so. Any idea why iMovie won't let me just import the rewrapped files without transcoding them to AIC?
So you are saying that ALL video iMovie imports gets converted to AIC? Then what is the "Optimize" option for? I was under the impression I could edit H264 video in iMovie if I had a powerful enough computer. I have been reading Steve Mullen's eBook "Ins and Outs of iMovie" and he says not to "optimize" the video unless you have to because of sluggishness. The rewrapped file is 100 MB but the transcoded file is over 600 MB.
Alan Somers: I recall at the beginning of this discussion folks having issues with no audio. My problem since updating to Lion (I think) is that after I convert the MTS file to m4v file, when I play back using QT, the sound is coming out of only one speaker. I tried to reinstall clipgrab and perian and nothing seems to work. Any ideas?