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juneinny Level 1 Level 1
Native AVCHD file support is the first thing I expected for the new iMovie. Does iMovie 11 support native AVCHD (.mts) files? Or it has the same painful way of importing and converting AVCHD files to the other format like iMovie 09?

Is there any improvements for AVCHD file supports in iMovie 11?

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
Solved by Casho3 on Oct 23, 2010 3:12 PM Solved
Apple 07,You are wrong. iMovie coverts the AVCHD file (i.e. .mts) to an AIC file. Go and look at the folder for the relevant event if you wish to confirm this. What they are talking about here is native editing of AVCHD files, which iMovie doesn't do.There is also no way to import single .mts files that you have previously transferred from the camera to your computer unless you have used the Archive method which saves the whole file structure of the camera onto your computer. This is quite cumbersome as it doesn't allow you to organise the AVHCD files how you want to (eg by year or by event).
Reply by Karsten Schlüter on Oct 21, 2010 3:14 AM Helpful
juneinny wrote:.. sounds like FCE4 can import and edit .mts files without any conversion. Please correct me if I am wrong.wrong.FC/e4 handles AVCHD as iMovie - automatic conversion on import into AIC.and it does not use the same routines as iM, so for handling AVCHD-lite, you have to 'transplant' (copy/paste) a part of iM into FC/e ..btw: new Adobe Premiere Elements for Mac, I reviewed here handles ADVCHD without conversion too ..
Reply by shadow on Oct 23, 2010 5:43 PM Helpful
I got so excited when i saw the news about iMovie 11 but as you all pointed out it still does not support NATIVE AVCHD (.mts). Its beyond me that Apple who claims they make products to make things easy still dont support a basic feature, behh what a joke.Today i wanted to empty my camera's content (i own an Sony HDR CX520).I had to access the camera using finder to copy the mts files. My result for original files versus converted files just blow me away. Here is the resultOriginal MTS files size: 7,7GigiMovie Converted to Small Size (960x540): 26,66GigiMovie Keep Original Size: 90.33GigThis is just outrageous! Its not like the format or the cameras are new anymore. They have been on the market for a very long time now and considering the "new features" added to iMovie 11 are just laughable to me. It would be really awsome if we could simply import .mts files from any location into iMovie and play around with it. OR why not using the Quicktime and trim? that is also a very nice and easy way to quickly edit your movie.As it is now i have to save my .mts files (i dont want to loose them) on my backup HD and then use "Handbrake" to convert them to .mp4 and afterwards import them into iMovie for editing or just QT. Voltaic seems like a good option as well so i might give it a try later on.One more thing that bothers me about iMovie in general is that Apple takes away my freedom to decide where i want my projects saved. I bought a expensive Drobo FS to be able to use it for my movies but guess what i am not allowed to choose this location. I can understand that certain location (over the network) can be slow and make the editing slow but this should me my choice i think. I just hope Apple reads these forums once in a while (well if they did then we would not get iMovie 11 with the lousy so called features). Here's one hoping for iMovie 12.Message was edited by: shadowMessage was edited by: shadow

All replies

  • Isaac Bardin Level 2 Level 2
    I'm wondering this too. Can anyone help us?
  • F Shippey Level 7 Level 7
    The product isn't 'in our hands' yet - and we aren't supposed to speculate - but ...

    I saw nothing in the web broadcast or the iMovie '11 product description that suggests it supports AVCHD in other that the current way.

    We will have to wait until the product is in users hands (I ordered mine right after the broadcast) to see what the actual situation is.
  • Casho3 Level 1 Level 1
    I am fairly sure that this would have been announced as a feature if it were included.

    The lack of native AVCHD editing is why I do my video editing exclusively on a PC, where there are a range of very good options that allow this.

    That said, I would move back to iMovie in a heart beat for its greater ease of use if it had this feature.

    I guess we should keep our fingers crossed for iMovie 12.
  • boombass Level 1 Level 1
    I don't think it does. I picked up a copy this afternoon after the keynote (I like the way that Apple stores have them in stock right away - and at $49 it wasn't really a painful experiment) hoping this would be the case, but it does not appear to be so.

    After installing, I tried to import some loose .mts files, but they are greyed out. Some brief exploring turned up nothing to help.

    This is really too bad. It would be so nice to be able to save the individual .mts file on my hard drive, and access them when necessary. I'm fine with the intermediate encoding iMovie does before editing, but forcing me to use the silly file structure of my camera's hard drive, or an iMovie archive (basically the same thing) is frustrating.

    Allowing the import of naked .mts files would be a huge step forward.

    Assuming I'm not wrong about this, what is the best way to work around this? What is the best way to bring loose .mts files into iMovie? (And I hope I'm not hijacking the thread by asking this.)
  • juneinny Level 1 Level 1
    I have been using Mac since Mac OS 8.0. If I need to wait iMovie 12 to edit my native .MTS files, I need to make a sad decision to move to PC which supports AVCHD files beautifully.
  • Andrew Mchattie Level 1 Level 1
    What a tremendous disappointment. Support for different HD formats was all I wanted from iMovie 11. Unless I am mistaken (definitely a possibility), iMovie won't work smoothly with a whole host of modern HD camcorders. Surely that is more important that making trailers, for goodness sake.
  • boombass Level 1 Level 1
    Hi juneinny,

    What PC program in particular would you recommend?
  • Casho3 Level 1 Level 1
    Hi bombass,

    Here is is my 2 cents worth:

    I have recently been trialling the following:
    - Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum
    - Pinnacle Studio 14
    - Cyberlink PowerDirector 8
    - Premiere Elements 9

    I liked the ease of use of Pinnacle Studio the most. However, when I exported to H.264 with MPEG -2TS, I had a play back issue. When I viewed the footage on my computer and dragged the slider bar forward or backwards to fast forward or rewind the footage would remain pixelated for about 10 seconds before it corrected itself. No other programs caused this.

    So I would have to say my favorite is Cyberlink PowerDirector 8 - although I believe a new version will be released soon. Perhaps you could download the trial version.

    My next favorite was Premiere Elements 9. However, I found the interface a bit slow and clunky.

    Unfortunately, my computer had issues handling the demands of Sony Vegas because of the way it previews the video.
  • boombass Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks for the response, Casho3. I've used Pinnacle, but I'm not sure what version. It was kind of awkward to import the .mts files. That's all I want! The basic editing features of all of these programs are just fine for me. It's the method of getting the AVCHD files imported that bugs me. I'll give PowerDirector a try.

    Sorry to hijack the thread. I just really dislike the way iMovie imports the AVCHD video files. I have no problem with the fact that it can't natively edit AVCHD - using the Apple Intermediate codec is fine by me. But forcing me to keep around hard drive archives is really clunky. If I could simply import the .mts file, I could keep only the scenes which matter. Keeping the entire camcorder hard drive structure seems bizarre.

    That's the end of my rant. Sorry everyone!
  • Casho3 Level 1 Level 1
    In that case, you could use a third party import tool called VoltaicHD.

    They have a free trial.
  • boombass Level 1 Level 1
    I tried Voltaic once, and I had some trouble understanding the settings. Does it default to the same kind of conversion that iMovie does?

    I'll give it a try again. Thanks for the suggestion. Are there any other programs anyone would recommend for conversion?
  • Matt Clifton Level 7 Level 7
    Voltaic does default to Apple Intermediate, but has the ability to transcode to other codecs if preferred (eg ProRes). I find it fine for small clips (say, 5 mins or less), but it only uses 1 core at the moment so it's not as fast as a log/transfer in iMovie or FCP.

  • boombass Level 1 Level 1
    I just played around with the demo of Voltaic, and the video conversion looks good. But it uses the date of the conversion for the clip, and not the date that the clip was recorded. That's not great... or am I missing something?
  • boombass Level 1 Level 1
    Whoops, just figured it out myself. Not bad! Voltaic could be a nice workaround.
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