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mattyj414
03-13-2015, 09:36 AM
Hi, I'm new to mac coming from windows (bought a used newer imac). I was using an awful program that cam with my Sony HD camcorder to import family videos (AVCHD) and burn dvd's to view the videos. I have all of the files saved and backed up on an external HD. Basically, I'm looking for a program that would allow me to import, minimally edit, organize, back-up and view the videos on my HDTV. It'd be great to somehow stream the movies or use a usb hard drive so I don't have to burn DVD's to view the videos. Will imovie allow me to all of these things or do I need another progam? I lost imovie when upgrading to Yosemite so I may have to buy it. Just wondering what people are using. I'm assuming burning DVD's are becoming a thing of the past. Thanks for any input.

joema
03-13-2015, 01:27 PM
Hi, I'm new to mac coming from windows..Sony HD camcorder to import family videos (AVCHD) and burn dvd's to view the videos. I have all of the files saved and backed up on an external HD....It'd be great to somehow stream the movies or use a usb hard drive so I don't have to burn DVD's to view the videos. Will imovie allow me to all of these things or do I need another progam?...I'm assuming burning DVD's are becoming a thing of the past. Thanks for any input.

I think iMovie should do what you want. Several points about AVCHD video:

(1) It uses a nested folder tree which are all supposed to stay together. Do not drill down into the AVCHD folder and copy out the .MTS files. Windows makes it easy to do this, but OS X tries to protect you by showing the AVCHD as a single file "package".

(2) OS X does not fully support AVCHD videos at the Finder level like Windows. If you double-click on the AVCHD package it will launch Quicktime which will show thumbnails and let you view the clips but it's sort of clunky.

(3) The best procedure is just import the AVCHD clips using iMovie, organize/edit them, then export (share) to a 1080p output file, probably H.264 which will have a .mp4 or .mov suffix. Those can be played on most devices or uploaded to Youtube.

(4) Optionally you can convert the AVCHD videos to .mov before importing them using ClipWrap (about $50): ClipWrap : Easy AVCHD and HDV Conversion for the Mac - divergent media (http://www.divergentmedia.com/clipwrap) or ReWrapAVCHD is free and supposedly does the same thing: RewrapAVCHD]RewrapAVCHD for Mac | MacUpdate (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/39800/rewrapavchd)

Yes optical media is rapidly dying out. Even worse, burning a DVD from 1080p high-def material throws away 5/6th of the resolution. Increasingly computers don't have optical drives and lots of people use a tablet or mobile device as their main consumption device, which obviously cannot play a disc.

Unfortunately there is no exact streaming replacement for DVD/Blu-Ray in terms of authoring, menus, presentation, ease of "living room"-style viewing, etc. However it's a moot point because they are dying out.

Probably the best and easiest step is export (share) to a H.264 video file and distribute that on either low-cost USB thumb drives or an unlisted Youtube or Vimeo page. Both Youtube and Vimeo have unlisted and private password-protected options.

For living room viewing if you get AppleTV (now $69) you can stream from your Apple device to that wirelessly using AirPlay. The streamed video can either come straight from the Apple device or it can hand off the video URL and AppleTV will stream it over its own network connection.

mattyj414
03-13-2015, 02:57 PM
Joema, thank you sir for the detailed response. You've listed some really nice options and probably saved me a few bucks!

I do understand the AVCHD container/file structure having read about it within the past few days. The way my AVCHD videos are saved/backed up from my camcorder are in a folder with 2 files, one .modd and one .mts2 per video clip. Would this still be ok to import? I don't recall messing around with the files separately and this is the way they were imported from my camcorder.

I like both ideas: importing vids to thumb drives and possibly streaming through Airdrop. I don't have Apple TV but I do have a wireless Sony BlueRay that does streaming and is currently connected to my WIFI. I'm not sure if I can connect somehow through the BlueRay player. Would you happen to know if importing imovies (home video clips) to a thumb drive and plugging it into the USB on my Blueray would work? That's be pretty cool. Sorry for more questions. I'm sure you'd rather be doing other things. Thanks again.

joema
03-13-2015, 03:46 PM
...The way my AVCHD videos are saved/backed up from my camcorder are in a folder with 2 files, one .modd and one .mts2 per video clip. Would this still be ok to import?

In Finder if you looked at the camcorder memory card, you'd normally see a single file named "AVCHD". Inside that are usually a bunch of subfolders. Inside one of the subfolders are usually a bunch of .MTS files. I don't know the specifics of your particular camcorder.

You can usually download them from the camera one of several ways:

(1) Plug in camcorder via USB, mount it as a drive and copy the AVCHD "bundle" off with Finder. Then you import clips from that from within iMovie.

(2) Plug in camcorder via USB and use Sony-specific import utility. What that utility does in terms of file disposition, I don't know. How those are imported into iMovie would depend on the file format.

(3) Plug in camcorder via USB and import directly using iMovie. I've never tried that since I use FCP X, but most editors allow that.

(4) Eject the camera SD card or memory stick, plug that into the Mac and copy the AVCHD bundle over, then import into iMovie.

For any of the above steps that result in the AVCHD bundle on your Mac you can optionally convert that to .mov or .mp4 files using ClipWrap or ReWrapAVCHD. Why would you do that? Because it allows easier browsing from Finder. The opposing technique is just import to iMovie from AVCHD, don't bother converting and don't browse from the Finder level.


...I don't recall messing around with the files separately and this is the way they were imported from my camcorder.

Import utilities normally don't do that, but maybe this one does. See this excellent instructional video for background: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpBjGUlBTHU


...Would you happen to know if importing imovies (home video clips) to a thumb drive and plugging it into the USB on my Blueray would work? That will often work but you'll have to check your Blu-Ray manual for what video file formats are compatible.

If your Blu-Ray player is internet connected and can browse a URL, you can upload the video to Youtube and point the player at that URL. The advantage is family & friends you give the unlisted URL to could also see it. However most Blu-Ray players and "Smart" TVs have truly awful internet browsing. That's one reason people get set-top boxes like AppleTV and Roku.

Whether you put the file on a USB stick or get stream it via AppleTV or your player, the quality will be vastly higher than burning a DVD.

Here's are two good video showing how to manage files and trim clips with iMovie:

8 ways to trim clips in iMovie: MacMost 8 Ways To Trim Video In iMovie (http://macmost.com/8-ways-to-trim-video-in-imovie.html)
Managing libraries and files in iMovie: MacMost Managing iMovie Libraries and Files (http://macmost.com/managing-imovie-libraries-and-files.html)

More iMovie instructional videos:

MacMost iMovie (http://macmost.com/tag/imovie)

mattyj414
03-13-2015, 04:15 PM
Joema, great stuff. Just what I needed. I think my plan will be to rewrap the.mts2 files saved on my hard drive just in case. Like you said, I'm remembering that AVCHD folder on my Sony HD camcorder but in "my documents" in windows, the folders that were imported had the actual date of recordings with a .mts2 and a .modd file. I'm like 75% sure on that. Anyway, from here on out I'll just use the camcorder to imovie to import. Once I get those other files squared away I should be good. The videos you shared will be most helpful. Thanks for your time.