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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Final Cut Express Help

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Member Since: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 6
jLeemify is on a distinguished road

jLeemify is offline
I recently tried to edit .mp4 files in FCE but it would not allow me too. I then found a way to convert them to .mov files and was able to edit them. The problem is that when I convert the .mp4 files in MPEG Streamclip, the file size goes from say... 300 mb to 4-5 gb. I have limited space on my mac and I was just wondering if there is a smaller file size that I would be able to work with that has the same quality as .mov's. Is there a way to work with my mp4's? The codecs on the mp4 I use are H.264, AAC. PLEASE HELP!
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Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 2,109
Nethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of light
Mac Specs: Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10

Nethfel is offline
Unfortunately, you won't be happy with the answer.

H.264 is not an edit friendly codec.

If the source files are HD, you'll want files transcoded to AIC. If it's standard def footage, you can transcode to DV. Both codec will require significantly more space then the highly compressed distribution codec you're coming from.

My best suggestion is:

Get an external drive (depending on your Mac, a firewire drive is choice 1, if you have just a Macbook with no firewire, then use a USB drive), - initialize the drive to HFS+, and set in FCE to use that drive as your scratch drives. Drives are cheap now and you can easily get a drive and external chassis for <$100 (depending on chassis and drive size)

You really shouldn't be using your OS drive as your scratch/media drive for editing - there are tons of threads on this topic, but it can cause problems editing, it can cause problems for the OS, it will seriously increase wear on your system drive providing a greater chance of failure on your boot drive, etc.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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