Importing AVCHD into imovie questions

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by axeldtf, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. axeldtf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    #1
    Is it normal for a 7 gig file to blow up into a 20+gig file when importing an avchd file to imovie? Also it took four hours to import. Now i have a 1 & 1/2 hour video in imovie to edit. Will that also take a long time to export to dvd?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    AVCHD is a highly compressed codec, which is not meant for editing.
    So iMovie converts it to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) which is suited for editing, but also takes up more HDD space as it is not as compressed as AVCHD.

    The length of the export to iDVD depends on the length of the finished movie and the speed of your Mac.
     
  3. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #3
    Depending on which version of iMovie you have, it's normal.

    I believe the newest version of iMovie (iMovie'09) has an "archive" feature where AVCHD footage gets imported into the Library, but not converted to AIC. This is much faster and consumes less HD space.

    When you want to edit, you can convert individual clips to AIC, leaving your other clips untouched.

    Earlier versions of iMovie don't have this feature.
     
  4. axeldtf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    #4
    ok that make sense, i have imovie 08. Is the a better piece of software to use? I need to cut some clips out and add some text for certain areas. Also i was told to at least trim it down to and hour and a half to fit nicely on a dvd-r.
     
  5. mbell75 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #5
    I use imovie 09 and if there is such a feature, I dont know about it. Everything I capture to imovie comes out as an AIC file and they are massive.
     
  6. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    I admit that I don't have iMovie'09, but from what I've read, this feature exists. Here's Apple's webpage on it.

    The item that I'm referring to is the "Camcorder Archive". Maybe my understanding of this feature is incorrect. I don't know.
     
  7. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #7
    Nope, you are right. There is an archive feature. It copies the AVCHD directory but doesn't transcode it to AIC.
     
  8. mbell75 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #8
    Ah ok. Just figured out where it is located. Its a tiny little button under the clips that says Archive. Bad news is that Macs cant read MTS files, so you cant watch them, they just sit there in a folder. Good news is that you can store them on a separate hard drive which is something I was looking to do anyways. This helps, thanks
     
  9. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #9
    Does VLC play these files? I won't be integrated with iMovie, but if it works, it better than nothing. Besides, everyone should have VLC on their Macs anyways ... it's a great application.
     
  10. axeldtf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    #10
    how difficult is it to burn to dvd after editing in imovie? also will it increase the file size like it did during importing?
     
  11. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #11
    Well, depends on what you mean by "burn to DVD".

    Using iDVD, it will burn it as a standard DVD-Video, using standard-definition MPEG-2 codec. This will allow you to fit 1 to 4 hours of video on a DVD. (Depending on encoding options and capacity of DVD.)

    If you mean you want to burn it as a high-definition disc; you will need software like Toast, which will re-encode it back to AVC in an HD DVD or Blu-ray compatible format to burn onto a DVD. This will make it take about the same space on the DVD as it took on the camcorder; which means half an hour to one hour of video on a recordable DVD. (depending on encoding options and DVD capacity, again.)


    It doesn't help if you already own an AVCHD camera, but Apple and Sanyo just came out with a new variant of AVC that is fixed at 1280p, but the AVC codec is tweaked so that iMovie can edit it natively. Whatever the file size is on the camera, that's the file size once you import into iMovie. They call this new format 'iFrame'.

    Finally, the "archive" option just makes a disk image of your camera's contents. It does *NOT* import it into iMovie at all. It's meant for when you don't want to take the time to import right away, but want to save the raw contents for import later. It's also good for making a backup of an important event, for example.
     
  12. thedoor1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #12
    iFrame is not 1280p HD.

    From MacWorld / Sanyo:

    "HD2000A and VPC-FH1A are also the first camcorders in the world to support iFrame, a new video format developed by Apple. The iFrame format captures video at a resolution of 960x540 at 30 frames per second. This format uses a 16:9 aspect ratio (just like all the HD and DVD standards), and works seamlessly with Mac and PC video-editing applications because it uses industry-standard codecs such as MP4, H.264, AAC and QuickTime."

    Sounds like an "enhanced definition" format that just happens to be 16:9.
     

Share This Page