This my first post to this forum. I am currently PC user who now seriously considers to switch to Mac. My only big concern is related to this topic many of you has provided professional insights and I have learned, so thank you for that. My challenge is this: I have about 2000 clips of AVCHD video totally about 200GB on my hard drives. If I would buy Mac
1) what would be the easiest way to convert these files at once so that iMovie would recognize them?
2) which Mac I would need at minimum to provide reasonable fast editing?
3) any estimates how long time it would take to convert my video storage for iMovie with proposed Mac?
4) any estimates how much this 200GB AVCHD requires memory after conversion?
I'm new to Mac and been trying to fiure this out too, and after a lot of searching have found the best solution. The only trouble you have with iMovie is that there is always some slight (very minimal) loss in quality as transcodes everything to Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC). I've just started using the free 30 day Trial of Final Cut Pro X (FCP) in which you can use/edit/produce true HD.
There are 2 ways you can convert your AVCHD footage for both iMovie and FCP. The quickest and easiest is using clipwrap. It rewraps your .mts/.m2ts files to .mov for use with either program. Alternatively you can use this method as outlined on this thread. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1308610
I found that I get arguably better picture using this second method when using FCP, but no difference when using iMovie due to the transcoding to AIC. However, I've found I can only use the second method when using AVCHD recorded in progressive, as when you convert interlaced video you get fragmentation. Macs don't seem to like interlaced full stop, but you can work with it if you've converted using clipwrap. One other drawback with the second method is that the file sizes are HUGE, like 10x the size of the original .mts file. Clipwrap doesn't alter file size a great deal at all. The only drawback with clipwrap is that it's not free
You don't need the original file structure to use clipwrap, just the .mts/.m2ts files. If you had kept them in the original file structure you wouldn't need to convert them as you can directly import video into Final Cut and iMovie if it's in the original structure. In future this is the way I will do it to save having to go through the conversion process.
I'm really confused here.
I was convinced that iMovie '11 was compatible with AVCHD camcorders, so I just bought a brand new 2012 Panasonic AVCHD camcorder. However, looking at the What Is iMovie page on Apple's website, there's no mention of AVCHD:
When iMovie '08 was introduced in 2007 it was demonstrated and promoted with a Panasonic HDC-SD5 AVCHD camcorder. So what's going on?
You can see that iMoive is compatible with some AVCHD camcorders.
The problem is with these camcorders you can shot in 1080i 50/60 or 1080p50/60 mode, the 1080p 50/60 AVCHD video will not be supported in iMovie.
Sorry, the final cut express is same to iMovie. They all don't support 50p and 60p AVCHD videos.
And if you have transferred the 1080i, 1080 30p/24p AVCHD files from camera or card, iMovie and FCE won't support them.
Luckily, you can use a covnert tool to transcode AVCHD to iMovie/FCE native format AIC.
And does iMovie then transcode (convert) the video into .mov files using the Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC)? You can check via looking at the imported files in Finder. Anyway, MPEG Streamclip is a good transcoding program.
I figured out how to convert from progressive to interlaced using this guide and since I don't have final cut or adobe I had to figure out how to do it using JES which is free software. Yes it's 720p, it was shot with a Sony DCR VX2000 miniDV camera and the files that were created when the footage was imported were DV files.
iMovie can supports native AVCHD format, but it does not support AVCHD 60p video.
To be able to edit your HD video in iMovie, we suggest you set your camcorder to record in AVCHD 60i or AVCHD 24i or MP4.
If you’ve already recorded videos in 60p, you can transfer the video directly to the hard drive of your Mac, and use a too to convert AVCHD 60p video to AIC for directly importing to iMovie.
quite by chance I imported my videos into iphoto from a card
then quite by chance i moved a clip on to my desktop
then i did what amounts to a right click which brought up things like open with trash and so on BUT at the bottom of the list I noticed encode video files so ipressed it and up popped a menu asking me things like what resolutoion and so on then i happened to notice apple pro res so i clicked it and ended up with something i could drag and drop into imovie
now i may be a million miles off the mark because i've only had my mac a week or two but after my considerable annoyance that apple could be so cavalier in its attitude to compatible files ( like not believing that mt2s exists) i was amazed to discover that ... although it's a tediously long process ... I could at least use the video from my £1100 sony camera on my £2600 new imac
i was furious before i discovered this fix but maybe i've got it all wrong and somethings not going to work properly ?????????
I'd be happy to hear an experts view of what i've inadvertently discovered
iMovie '11 and earlier will transcode AVCHD into AIC, greatly increasing file size, reducing video quality and wasting a lot of time in the process. Though the new iMovie 11 can handle native AVCHD without transcoding, but the AVCHD clip play back from the timeline though may very choppy. You must have a fast GPU in order to effectively edit AVCHD or it will be annoying. So I think a solution to batch transcode AVCHD clips to AIC wihtout quality loss and size enlargement at fast conversion speed is a best option for iMovie 11.
Having read through these posts I'm trying to come to a consensus over which is the better option for an iMovie user that wants quality video:
a) shoot in AVCHD 50p/60p, convert to AIC and then edit or
b) shoot in MP4 and edit
Which option do you think'll produce the optimum result....? Both routes seem to have pros and cons...
I'd love an answer to that question! I've been trying to figure out this video format jungle all day. We want to install a simple video recording system for children's programs and I didn't realize so many choices existed when buying a camera and editing it on a mac using the latest iMovie (which is not iMovie 11 at this point) This is supposed to be simple. We want good quality and ease of use when importing and editing. For the average person, there is way too much technical jargon to have to wade through.
If you're using Mavericks, just use iMovie 10 (aka iMovie '13) instead of iMovie '11, '09 or '08.
- natively reads MTS files (no need to rewrap/remux) now
- natively handles 50p / 60p input
- no longer suffers from the single-field processing limitation when using 50i / 60i Interlaced input, resulting in better quality output
- exports to MP4 format which can be played on many devices (e.g. TV) without conversion