iMovie 08: How can I import AVCHD files??

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
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Having had a Sony Sr1 the past 9 months I rushed out and got ilife 08 so that I can use my video camera. Unfortunately I have not found a way to import old .m2ts video files that i have moved off the camera. I'm puzzled why imove 08 will not import the files from a hard drive but will import them from the camera.

Thoughts?
 

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
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where they in the .m2ts format? I don't recall iMovie searching for video files.
 

YoYoMa

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2006
386
6
My files are mts, not m2ts. I just grabbed them from my SR1 hard drive I beleive.

When I opened iMovie the dialog box opened and the camcorder listed is my 250GB hard drive. Try pushing the camcorder button on the left center of the interface and see what happens.
 

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
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My files are mts, not m2ts. I just grabbed them from my SR1 hard drive I beleive.

When I opened iMovie the dialog box opened and the camcorder listed is my 250GB hard drive. Try pushing the camcorder button on the left center of the interface and see what happens.
So the mts files are the same as the m2ts (except for the extension)? I'll give that a try. Did you import on the highest setting or the lower quality. Specs wise the SR1 is closer to the high quality (i believe its 1080x1440).
 

YoYoMa

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2006
386
6
I did 1920x1080. I doubt I'll stick with that though as the size difference is very large and the pic quality isn't.
 

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
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I've tried renaming my .m2ts files to .mts, tried fireware & usb, even tried moving my existing movie files onto my cameras hardrive. Nothing seems to work to get imovie to import these avchd files. I guess I'm off to load Winxp in bootcamp and use the sony software to move the movies back onto the harddrive and see if that works.
 

johny5

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2007
742
0
UK
I'm puzzled why imove 08 will not import the files from a hard drive but will import them from the camera.

Thoughts?
I too have this problem. I have a JVC everio (the 4gb CF version) and ages ago I copied off the files which I think were .MOD at the time over to my pc HDD. Since then I have loaded them up into PC applications and to do that I had to rename them to .MPG or .MP2 files.

Now the new imovie 08 supports DVD type files, which import from the camera absolutely great as I understand this cam records to the native DVD format and thus is hard to edit the file from the camera although 08 does this with ease!

Anyway I am stuck with these old files which I only renamed. I have tried renaming the extension to import them into 08 but it refuses to let you select the file. I think maybe the next step would be to copy a few files back to the cam and try importing them that way? Although I know I have deleted the other tiny files that the camera creates (I can only presume these were some kind of index files?).
 

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
110
0
I too have this problem. I have a JVC everio (the 4gb CF version) and ages ago I copied off the files which I think were .MOD at the time over to my pc HDD. Since then I have loaded them up into PC applications and to do that I had to rename them to .MPG or .MP2 files.

Now the new imovie 08 supports DVD type files, which import from the camera absolutely great as I understand this cam records to the native DVD format and thus is hard to edit the file from the camera although 08 does this with ease!

Anyway I am stuck with these old files which I only renamed. I have tried renaming the extension to import them into 08 but it refuses to let you select the file. I think maybe the next step would be to copy a few files back to the cam and try importing them that way? Although I know I have deleted the other tiny files that the camera creates (I can only presume these were some kind of index files?).
I poked around and it seems that the CLIPINF folder and .BDM files are necessary for imovie 08 to import the files. Moving the avchd files back onto the camera (with Sony at least) is not a quick process and requires the software to build an index of sorts which I guess is important to decoding AVCHD files.
 

johny5

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2007
742
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UK
Same answer for me, I copied the .MOD files back to the JVC and 08 would only entertain them if they had similar named files with the .MOI extension. IT appears that the .MOI files are like index files which also tell the program the actual length of the movie file. I found this out after copying the index files from other .MOD files.

One thing that I dont understand though is that I have the full compliment of files for other events on the HDD, but imovie 08 refuses to import these. I can copy them back to the camera and import them that way, but why cant I import them directly from the other HDD!? :(
 

oorosh

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2006
4
0
iLife and Perian problems

It seems that if Perian is installed iMovie cant import AVCHD video from the camcorder...

ILife is also unable to import MTS files. It can only import AVCHD video directly from the camcorder and only on an intel mac.
 

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
110
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I wonder what is contained in the index files that iMovie needs to decode the video
 

madfuku

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2007
5
0
Fukuoka, Japan
I wonder what is contained in the index files that iMovie needs to decode the video
The only thing that it seems to get from the index is the duration of the clip. As a test I renamed index files from other .m2ts files and paired them up using the same file name between the index file and the .m2ts. They all imported correctly except for being cut off prematurely based on the time within the index file.

So if the index says file 00000.m2ts is 2 minutes long but you put a file that is 10 minutes long it will stop the import at 2 minutes and leave the remaining video in the file unconverted. The import for the first 2 minutes is complete and contain no errors so it is using it as a guide.

I don't know what happens when you take a index file that exceeds the length of the m2ts file. I will check that out later.

But, that is it. It looks at the root of the mounted device for the same file structure to find your index and m2ts files, all other files are ignored from what I gather.

I have about 30 hours of video in AVCHD using my Panasonic SD1, its gunna me fun converting that. If I where going to guess it needs the index to build the preview of the clips and then the preview within imovie 08. I am refering to the part that has thumbnails of your video.
 

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
110
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The only thing that it seems to get from the index is the duration of the clip. As a test I renamed index files from other .m2ts files and paired them up using the same file name between the index file and the .m2ts. They all imported correctly except for being cut off prematurely based on the time within the index file.

So if the index says file 00000.m2ts is 2 minutes long but you put a file that is 10 minutes long it will stop the import at 2 minutes and leave the remaining video in the file unconverted. The import for the first 2 minutes is complete and contain no errors so it is using it as a guide.

I don't know what happens when you take a index file that exceeds the length of the m2ts file. I will check that out later.

But, that is it. It looks at the root of the mounted device for the same file structure to find your index and m2ts files, all other files are ignored from what I gather.

I have about 30 hours of video in AVCHD using my Panasonic SD1, its gunna me fun converting that. If I where going to guess it needs the index to build the preview of the clips and then the preview within imovie 08. I am refering to the part that has thumbnails of your video.
What is the structure of the AVCHD folder on your panasonic? I'm curious as to if it is the same as my Sony. Are your index files text or hex?
 

jreodica

macrumors newbie
Aug 13, 2007
1
0
imovie 08 - avchd thru a Sony SR1

I can't get iMovie to import from my Sony SR1 HDD hi def cam. It uses AVCHD.

I'm trying to get it into a Mac Mini Intel Solo 1.5GHz 1GB machine via USB2.

Does anyone else with an Intel Solo machine have this problem? I'm thinking i might need an Intel Duo to use AVCHD!!!! Sh@#%?
 

sirdir

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2006
210
329
Workaround

Hi!

Just found a good workaround for me:
If I copy the whole sctructure that I originaly copied from the camera to an image file (dmg) and mount it, it get's automatically imported by imovie!
No need for external firewire hd or usb stick or whatsoever!

Regards

Patrick
 

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
110
0
If you have .mts or .m2ts AVCHD files on your computer then the solution is to use the software that came with the camcorder to put them back on the camcorder and them import them into iMovie. If you are willing to roll up your sleaves a bit, you can make a disk image of the AVCHD folder from the camcorder and put your files in the disk image.

To do this you need to format your camcorder, take a long video (as long as your longest clip you want to import) and then a number of quick videos so that the total number of videos on the camcorder is equal or greater to the number you want to import.

After you make the disk image, place your movie files in the AVCHD->BDMV->STREAM folder with the numbering 00000.MTS, 00001.MTS, etc. Use the short clips made on the camcorder for the difference so that the structure and number of clips looks identical to how it was before you did anything.

Then go into the CLIPINF folder and make the coresponding XXXXX.CPI files copies of the 00000.CPI files.

Next fire up a hexeditor and go into the 00000.MPL file in the PLAYLIST folder. Copy everything between P00000M2TS and aund.P00001M2TS and paste that data between each subsequent PXXXXXM2TS and aund.PXXXXX+1M2TS entry. Note that you are copying data, if anything movies then you added data and this will not work--make a backup just in case! This should set all clip lengths to that first recording you did on the camcorder. When you open up iMovie the disk image will be recognized as a camcorder and will let you import. Note that it will show the clip lengths to be the max length you set, they will import correctly! If you have a clip that is longer than the max clip length you set then it will not import the entire clip.

Note that I've only tried this with my Sony HDR SR1 so I have no idea if other cameras have the same file structure. If any clips have errors or dropped frames iMovie will probably only import to that point. I haven't figured out how to fix AVCHD files that are corrupted.2
 

Camotanker

macrumors newbie
Aug 24, 2007
13
0
Hi!

Just found a good workaround for me:
If I copy the whole sctructure that I originaly copied from the camera to an image file (dmg) and mount it, it get's automatically imported by imovie!
No need for external firewire hd or usb stick or whatsoever!

Regards

Patrick
Patrick,
Could you please explain this process? Thanks.
 

Camotanker

macrumors newbie
Aug 24, 2007
13
0
i badly need to be able to use my archived ACVHD from a hard drive. does anyone know how i can do this please??? thank you.
 

edwardtoledo

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2007
1
0
hdr-sr7 importing issues

can anyone help me trying to import avchd files to imovie08? imovie will not import from the camera the hd files but will find non hd files.
 

lom8104

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2005
110
0
It seems that you have to duplicate the structure on the camera, see my above post on how to do that with existing AVCHD files on your computer.
 

Camotanker

macrumors newbie
Aug 24, 2007
13
0
It seems that you have to duplicate the structure on the camera, see my above post on how to do that with existing AVCHD files on your computer.
i don't have the camera to do that with. its co owned and that is way beyond my experience level.

i did moun them in a .dmg file however that workaround did not work on mine.
 

johny5

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2007
742
0
UK
So if the index says file 00000.m2ts is 2 minutes long but you put a file that is 10 minutes long it will stop the import at 2 minutes and leave the remaining video in the file unconverted. The import for the first 2 minutes is complete and contain no errors so it is using it as a guide.
Just to confirm, I imported all my old video files by first recording a long clip and then using that index file for all my other clips. Make sure the clip is longer thats all.
For instance if you want to import a 10min clip then use a 20min (or even longer so you can reuse this index file over and over again) index file and rename it to match up the filename of the movie.
When you import it, it will stop at 10mins even tho the index file is 20mins.
 

Camotanker

macrumors newbie
Aug 24, 2007
13
0
dumb question. what is the index file, what does it look like, and where can i find it? thanks.