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Old Mar 30, 2013, 09:24 PM   #1
jburrows500
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Conversion of AVI and MT2 files to Mac

I recently switched from PC to Mac after hearing a friend rave about how fast lightroom runs on macs. I agree.. huge step up over my windows machine. My problem is; I have 13 years of home video, most of which are AVI's and more recently, MT2's. Sony Vegas Pro 10 was my editor. It read both file types with no issues. I have tried the trial of FCP and it does not read MT@'s or AVI's.

Plan 1. I have been testing Wondershare Video Converter and it seems to do the job fairly well. It reads both AVI's and MT2's and converts them to MOV or MPG-4. I am concerned with degradation from the original file using this type of conversion program. Many many hours to do this.

Plan 2: I guess I could use bootcamp however I would have to buy a full version of windows 7 at this point, along with a disc reader since my mac mini lacks one. Kind of defeats the point of switching.

Plan 3: Return the Mac mini before 30 days and buy a new windows box.
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 09:26 PM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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You could try the following two methods involving free applications to get editable or playable video files from .MTS files.
As for the .avi files, you can use MPEG Streamclip to transcode them to an editing friendly format or just .mp4 files. If you need further info, just ask.

PS: Hope you have a better time switching than back in 2007.
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 09:54 PM   #3
jburrows500
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Great video! Sounds like there would be some value in converting my AVI's to MOV before editing as the loss would be minimal compared to mp4. I guess one factor that is not easy to quantify is what will my kids need to decode these files in 20 years when they are ready to watch them? What is popular today may be the betamax of tomorrow... 15 years of video that is unable to accessed doesn't sit so well..

----------

I noticed when I right click on a AVI file I can encode the file. Is this a recommended method or am I better off going with a avi to mov converter. I guess one advantage is that I can merge the 20 files of an event and make it as one..then import it into imove or final cut pro. Interestingly, coming from vegas I thought imovie would b a toy.. for what I do.. its seems great. Very intuitive.. does 95% of what I ever did in Vegas.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 03:15 AM   #4
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I'm the one who made the posted video (thanks, simsaladimbamba), and one of its main messages was supposed to be: The container (.mp4, .mov, .avi) doesn't really matter for video quality and doesn't matter for the encoding, it's just the wrap. But it can still cause problems if it won't import into your software.

Actually, because many people seem to have that problem, I programmed a small conversion tool that will change the container of the video but just copy the content without re-encoding it. This will come without loss in quality and be much, much faster than re-encoding everything (about the same time it would take to just copy the videos).

So, I would recommend to try and just run one file through the converter and make a .mov from it. If that imports into FCP (what version, by the way? FCPX?), this might save you a lot of time and quality (and money, I think Wondershare is not free?).

Hope that helps,

Floh
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 11:47 AM   #5
jburrows500
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Hi Floh.. I downloaded your program and tested it. Initially I thought it was working great, so much so I began deleting the avi files tyour program was replacing. As I toggled through a 25GB file I noticed that the hour long video stopped capturing video at about 5 minutes in. The audio lasted the entire hour but no video. I looked at another large file and same thing.. audio and no video. Thankfully I had not emptied the waste basket and I just restored the avi files. The smaller size avi convert over to MOV with no problems and the quality os good.. (I do have the AVI's backed up on another back up drive in worse case). Any thoughts on why the video is blank (grey screen) bu the audio is captured. I am finding the MOV and AVIi files sizes to be about the same with the MOV file coming out to slightly larger than the original AVI.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 11:53 AM   #6
floh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jburrows500 View Post
video stopped capturing video at about 5 minutes in. The audio lasted the entire hour but no video.
That is seriously weird. The tool is not even touching the video and audio streams, just wrapping them in a new container. That is also why the file size stays about the same and the quality is exactly as the original.

I am a little concerned about this and the problem never occured when I was converting things. Could you somehow send me one of the files that fail? (via a private message) Or maybe tell me what codecs they are using?

Sorry about this, it's the first time the program has caused those problems as far as I know.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 12:30 PM   #7
jburrows500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floh View Post
That is seriously weird. The tool is not even touching the video and audio streams, just wrapping them in a new container. That is also why the file size stays about the same and the quality is exactly as the original.

I am a little concerned about this and the problem never occured when I was converting things. Could you somehow send me one of the files that fail? (via a private message) Or maybe tell me what codecs they are using?

Sorry about this, it's the first time the program has caused those problems as far as I know.
Floh.. The issue has nothing to do with your converter. I downloaded VLC player and can scroll through the entire 25GB movie with no issues. When I try to scroll through the movie with Quicktime Player it stops playing video 5 minutes into the movie? I apologize for pointing to your converter as the source of the issue. I should have done a little more homework before posting. It works great! Thank you so much for the great product and support of your product..
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 01:09 PM   #8
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This is one of the best threads I've ever discovered. Thank you very much to all of you. I am in the process of transferring my old VHS, 8mm and DV tapes to hard disk using iMovie. I am using a variety of equipment ranging from a Panasonic NV-W1 Multi-norm VHS player, Panasonic PG-GS59S DV camcorder and a Sony GV-D200 8mm player with i.Link DV out. Ultimately the GV-D200 turned out to be the most useful equipment I have, because aside from being an 8mm player, it also acts as an analog to DV converter for all of the above sources. Most of my tapes go back to 30 years for the VHS and 28 years or so for the 8mm videos. iMovie captures the DV output of the GV-D200 as a DV stream. So, my main concern is to be able to preserve the original format and be able to split each 120 minute long tape into segments. I have been successful so far using QuickTime Pro, as it does the trimming and format conversion very conveniently. The video regarding the containers was very enlightening and I am glad to discover the Video Container Switcher, courtesy of floh, which gives me the ability to change the container without a loss. Again thank you very much to all of you, you made my day.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 07:11 PM   #9
jburrows500
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Well.. after converting two years worth of AVI's to MOV I find I can open every one using FLV. Problem is, not all import to either imovie or fcp X. Now downloading a trial of Adobe Premier Elements to see if that will open my new MOV. files. Havent even got to my mt2 files.. Man, I wish I knew what I was in store for before taking the plunge into the world of Mac from windows.. my old windows machine with Sony Vegas Pro could open anything.. mt2's, avi's, mpg's.. no so much with mac... kind of ridiculous when you think of all the cam corders out there that produce mt2's..
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 07:20 PM   #10
simsaladimbamba
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MTS files can be imported into FCP X directly from the card they are on, MOV files should be importing into FCP X too, but it depends on the codec used. I guess you have already watched the video by floh, the one about containers and codecs, thus you might now know, what codecs are.

Therefore please open one sample .avi file and one sample .mov file (the one you got from the .avi) in one of the below applications and post the reports here.
When done, you can use the "Report" (VideoSpec) and "Export" (Media Inspector) button to export a report,
attachable to your next post via the button.
In MediaInfo you have to go to the Menu Bar, select View > Text and copy the text via CMD+A > CMD+C and paste it via CMD+V into your next post.
PS: What application and settings did you use to get the .mov files from the .avi files? And what is "FLV"? VLC Player?

Video Compression
Why It Matters & How To Make The Most Of It
which includes the following sections:
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 10:37 AM   #11
jburrows500
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I think I am going from bad to worse.. Converted a 25Gb video from AVI and copied the 25Gb file ono my SSD OS drive just to see how fast FCP X was. Problem is I see the first 5 minutes in FCP but then the previews don't seem to load after that. Is the issue because the entire file is ONE clip.. I wonder if that is causing FCP to just overwork itself and not provide a preview of anything beyond the first 10 or minutes. I can not say I haven't thought about throwing in the towel and going back to windows and vegas.. change is difficult.. but is supposed to be this difficult?
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 10:41 AM   #12
simsaladimbamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jburrows500 View Post
I think I am going from bad to worse.. Converted a 25Gb video from AVI and copied the 25Gb file ono my SSD OS drive just to see how fast FCP X was. Problem is I see the first 5 minutes in FCP but then the previews don't seem to load after that. Is the issue because the entire file is ONE clip.. I wonder if that is causing FCP to just overwork itself and not provide a preview of anything beyond the first 10 or minutes. I can not say I haven't thought about throwing in the towel and going back to windows and vegas.. change is difficult.. but is supposed to be this difficult?
The file size says nothing much. I can work with 25 GB media files without problems, but if I have to use a 25 GB compressed file, it gets hard.

Therefore please take a look at post #10 and try to answer the questions until the Video Compression guide gets linked to (which are a valuable read to understand how editing applications like to work, even if Vegas Pro does support native editing of AVCHD material (which is still not the nonplus ultra)).

If we cannot get such information from you, we cannot help you, and as you post in this thread every now and then, you seem to still want some kind of help.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 02:17 PM   #13
jburrows500
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This is a file that I made from the original AVI using a re-wrap conversion program (see above thread). Quick time player will play only up to 12 minutes. When I import it into FCP X I will not see thumb views beyond the 11:48 mark. *** Oddly, when I select VLC as my viewer, I can scrub through the whole video but Quicktime can not get past the 12 minute mark.. Same goes for FCP X.. wont load beyond 12 minute mark.. Thank you for you help!! Love the mac with Lightroom.. works great.. just need it to edit my home videos..
----------------------------------General
Complete name : /Volumes/3 TB Segate Ext/2000 Video/2000 01 01/2000 01 01.mov
Format : MPEG-4
Format_Commercial_IfAny : DVCPRO
Format profile : QuickTime
Codec ID : qt
File size : 23.7 GiB
Duration : 1h 52mn
Overall bit rate : 30.3 Mbps
Writing application : Lavf54.29.104

Video
ID : 1
Format : DV
Format_Commercial_IfAny : DVCPRO
Codec ID : dvc
Duration : 1h 52mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 24.4 Mbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 4:3
Original display aspect ratio : 4:3
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:1:1
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 2.357
Stream size : 22.5 GiB (95%)
Language : English

Audio #1
ID : 2
Format : PCM
Format settings, Endianness : Little
Format settings, Sign : Signed
Codec ID : sowt
Duration : 1h 52mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 1 536 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 1.20 GiB (5%)
Language : English

Audio #2
ID : 1-0
Format : PCM
Muxing mode : DV
Muxing mode, more info : Muxed in Video #1
Duration : 1h 52mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 1 536 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 0.00 Byte (0%)
-------------------------------------------------------
Here is the original AVI before I converted it to the MOV wrapper. Original AVI scrubs fine in VLC player.

Complete name : /Volumes/Video 1999 to 2009 Back Up/2000 Video/2000 01 01/2000 01 01.avi
Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
Commercial name : DVCPRO
Format profile : OpenDML
File size : 23.7 GiB
Duration : 1h 52mn
Overall bit rate mode : Constant
Overall bit rate : 30.3 Mbps
Video
ID : 0
Format : DV
Commercial name : DVCPRO
Codec ID : dvsd
Codec ID/Hint : Sony
Duration : 1h 52mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 24.4 Mbps
Encoded bit rate : 28.8 Mbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 4:3
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:1:1
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Scan order : Bottom Field First
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 2.357
Stream size : 22.5 GiB (95%)
Audio
ID : 1
Format : PCM
Format settings, Endianness : Little
Format settings, Sign : Signed
Codec ID : 1
Duration : 1h 52mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 1 536 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 1.20 GiB (5%)
Interleave, duration : 968 ms (29.00 video frames)
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 03:04 PM   #14
floh
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Alright, I'm gonna give it one more short go...

In Apple's defense: .avi is a proprietary and very old Windows container. It is terrible and there is really no reason why it should ever be used. But FCPX not importing it sucks. You can actually write to Apple and complain. Include your camera model and say that you want to import the DV-NTSC footage in an .AVI container. I have seen another forum where a user had a similar problem and Apple fixed it in version 10.0.6 of FCPX. So make sure you have the newest version.

Alright, now from your post I can see (as I stated in the last paragraph) that the video file is a DV-NTSC stream within the .avi container. This container is actually mostly used when importing DV footage into Windows software. Apple usually uses .mov, and Linux .dv as containers. So the container conversion ".avi -> .mov" was actually not a bad start. But something seems to go wrong with the huge files.

Just out of interest, since this may cause some problems: On what type of filesystem are those videos? Is it an NTFS filesystem? Because coming from Windows, it could not have been a FAT filesystem given the size. And Mac doesn't natively read NTFS. Maybe you should copy the file to a MacOS Journaled filesystem first and then convert it to one?

Other than that, I am a little at my wits' end. The file info looks perfectly fine on the original and the converted file. And it should, since it plays back the first 12 minutes. Have you tried opening the original AVI files with Quicktime? If it doesn't want them, try to install Perian to get more extensive codec options in Quicktime (always a good idea). The project has been abandoned but the latest version should still work.

Maybe somebody else has seen this before? Anyone?
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 05:18 PM   #15
jburrows500
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First let me say I appreciate everyones help.. I am most appreciative of your time.. I am certain you could be devoting your efforts elsewhere..

1. I took the original 25Gb AVI file and again ran it through the converter which resides on a NFTS formatted external drive which I used for my windows machine. Again, the MOV file played using Quicktime however only up to the exact second as the first one. Using VLC player, I was able to see the whole 2 hour movie in its entirety.

2. I took the original AVI file and moved it onto my formatted Mac OS Journaled SSD drive and again ran it through the converter with output MOV. No difference. Stopped at exactly the same spot.

3. At this point I think I might have to spend $50 bucks and employ a video converter like Wondershare to convert the original AVI to MOV in order to move on.. This solution is very time consuming however short of throwing in the towel and buying a windows machine.. I don't know what else to do.. suggestions always welcome.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 05:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jburrows500 View Post
3. At this point I think I might have to spend $50 bucks and employ a video converter like Wondershare to convert the original AVI to MOV in order to move on.. This solution is very time consuming however short of throwing in the towel and buying a windows machine.. I don't know what else to do.. suggestions always welcome.
Nah, you definitely don't need to do that! Especially don't spend $50 on the Wondershare converter (before you do that, go and buy Apple's "Compressor" for the same amount)! We were just trying to save you encoding time and quality loss, so I was talking you into this whole container-switching-thing.

There are plenty of great options out there for conversion, and many are free. To convert the movies to a Quicktime container with again a DV codec inside or a ProRes (the Apple way...), you should go with MPEG Streamclip, and awesome tool!

If you want a good, batch-capable tool to convert the videos into smaller files with e.g. an H.264 codec, I can wholeheartedly recommend HandBrake, which is very easy to use and will produce great results.

Both these programs are free and great. But they will re-encode everything, which takes a long time and always loses some amount of quality.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 06:15 PM   #17
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Loaded AVI into handbrake. It only gave me two choices, neither of which was MOV. I selected mp4, waited 20 minutes for it to convert. Would not open with Quicktime. Here is the screen shot of the handbrake converting. Now going back and encoding using MPEG-4 (FFmpeg)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 6.46.58 PM.png
Views:	18
Size:	146.9 KB
ID:	405772  
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 06:23 PM   #18
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Try to go with MPEG Streamclip first, since it has output options that are less compressed...
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 06:52 PM   #19
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Have no idea what streamclip is doing but I dropped the 25GB 1 hour 54 minute clip into the center and this is the info I get back.. no luck with that one.. no idea how to dial in the settings..


Stream: 2000 01 01.avi
Path: ~/Movies/2000 01 01.avi

Duration: 0:54:48
Data Size: 602.17 MB
Bit Rate: 1.54 Mbps

Video Tracks:
DV/DVCPRO - NTSC, 720 480

Audio Tracks:
16-bit Little Endian stereo, 48 kHz, 1.54 Mbps

Stream Files:
2000 01 01.avi (602.17 MB)
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 07:05 PM   #20
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Ok.. I think I am am about at the limit of the time I am devoting to this experiment.. Should I just use bootcamp and go buy a full version of windows and call it a day? At least I can edit them in vegas and use the mac side for Lightroom.. not the point in going with a mac.. but looking at the solutions.. not much has worked.
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