Final Cut video format question

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rassoodock, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. rassoodock macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2007
    I just bought a copy of Final Cut Express 3.5 on eBay to run on my G5. I have a person converting some old VHS tapes to DVDs for me. As a favor, he is willing to export a copy of the material in a format that is ready for me to edit into clips for YouTube. He says that avi files are the best, but from what I have read, Final Cut does not like avi. He's not a Mac person (SHAME!), but says he can export just about any format and just needs to know what I want. The problem is, I don't know!

    My question is this: what file format can be imported directly into Final Cut Express and what, if any, compression should he use to create the file (unless I can custom compress in Final Cut).

    I might be able to figure this out eventually, but he's working on my tapes now and I won't actually have Final Cut Express in my hands for a week or so. Plus - I'm a TOTAL newbie to Final Cut and video editing.

    Any help most appreciated!

  2. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
  3. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    .avi like .mov is just a CONTAINER for video.

    it is not a codec like mp4, mpg2 or dv.
    Basically its how you tell the computer to take the video and output it. Thats the compress part of codec. Some codecs compress alot, saving file size, but sacrificing quality.

    To play a video, you need the decompressor part of the codec, otherwise you wont see a thing.

    Same thing applies to the sound of the video, it to uses another codec, for audio.

    An avi will work just fine, its what they compress it with thats at issue.

    Divx requires a divx plugin for instance.

    Ask them what they are exporting, .avi is not an answer, to what codec. Most likely, quicktime will play it, but ask to be sure.

    You can still download .mov files that wont play on a mac without the proper codec installed.

    Since you are new to video editing, do some reading on the bazillion DV sites on the web. Plenty of things to keep you occupied while you wait for FCE.

    Also, someone should move this thread to Digital Video instead of Apps.
  4. rassoodock thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2007
    Final Cut question (revised)

    Thanks for the info. Based on your reply to my post, I guess my question should have been: what codec/compressor should my friend use that is native and/or comes with Final Cut Express. I'd really like to just open the video file, edit it up and post to YouTube.

    Thanks again for your help - most appreciated.


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