AVCHD troubles + iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Winter Charm, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Winter Charm macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

    Jul 31, 2008
    Um... yeah, as the title says, i'm having problems. I have a week to compile 19 gigs of AVCHD video into however many DVD's is possible. I am using my mac mini to do this, and behold, iMovie (doesn't) "support" AVCHD. :mad:

    What the hell do i do? i'm sorry if this sounds like a rant, but i am freaked out and stressed out :(

    Can i use Handbrake to convert all 19 gigs of AVCHD (.mts files) into .mov and then use them in iMovie? Is there an easier way to do this (that gets around having to do massive amounts of conversion)?

    Any help would be appreciated... :confused:

    And, no i dont need Final Cut. I'm not doing any real editing, but i'm just getting some clips into sequence, adding a few effects, using iDvd to add menus and burning ... :)
  2. Bkxmnr macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    I've had no trouble importing AVCHD video in iMovie and burning them to DVD. Importing into iMovie and then exporting to iDVD will take a really long time though, but it should do it.
  3. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    iMovie 8/9 does support AVCHD. Will transcode to AIC. iMovie 6 does not support AVCHD.
  4. hatetea58 macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    it seems that your imvoie is not the newest version. And handbrake can help u convert these files to mp4 that imovie can accept. But i will have to wait for a long long time.
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Admittedly this isn't as simple as it should be, as I am quickly discovering now that I own an AVCHD camera.

    iMovie '08 (which is what I have) will ONLY import AVCHD video from the original memory card (or a disk image of the memory card). You insert the card or connect the camera, iMovie detects it, and offers to import the video clips for you and converts them to AIC format.

    If you copied the individual video files (.mts extension) off the memory card, then there is no way to alert iMovie of their presence. Apparently it wants the full directory structure and other files (metadata files? I don't know) in order to work.

    I don't know if iMovie '09 solves this issue or makes it any easier.

    iMovie HD, despite the "HD" in the name, does NOT understand AVCHD. However, I believe that if it's already converted to AIC, iMovie HD can handle it (but I have not tried).

    You might also want to look into buying Toast Titanium 10, apparently it has some useful features for importing, converting, and burning AVCHD clips.
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Don't use Handbrake. You'll end up converting to mp4, which you will then have to transcode to an editable codec when you want to edit your footage. It just adds a step of lossy compression and unnecessary time.

    Use iMovie '09 and when you import the clips it will transcode them to AIC.
  7. hatetea58 macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    It seems terrible with handbrake. And could tell me which codecs imovie accept?
  8. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    iMovie HD ('06) accepts the DV codec. It will transcode some other codecs into DV, but you want to avoid lossy-to-lossy transcodings when possible.

    iMovie '08 and '09 accept DV as well as AVCHD, which it will transcode to Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC).

    So, if you are importing from a source other than your miniDV tape or your camcorder's AVCHD mts stream, then use something like MPEG Streamclip to get your video into the proper editable codec. Don't use delivery codecs like h.264 for editing.
  9. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    And AIC and several varieties of mp4.
  10. hatetea58 macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    I got it. That' why some right format cant be imported into imovie. And i think mpeg-4 is a nice codec to choose for imovie.

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