Macbook Struggles with Adobe PE. Options?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by JazzyJ, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. JazzyJ, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011

    JazzyJ macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2007
    Hi all,

    I've got a:

    White Macbook 2.0GHZ (NVidia GeForce 9400m VRAM 256MB)
    4 GB Ram
    OSX 10.6.4
    Internal 7200rpm 300GB Drive
    External 7200rpm 100GB Firewire Drive

    I want to start doing HD video editing and have had my first attempt with some AVCHD clips which I dragged on to my hard drive (from a DVD) as .MTS files.

    iMovie HD6 couldn't open or import .MTS
    iMovie 9.0.2 couldn't open or import .MTS (If I had the original camera apparently I could have imported)
    FCE couldn't open or import .MTS
    Adobe PE - opened .MTS easily!

    First problem was when I used a simple 'page turn' transition in Adobe PE and the Macbook Choked. All attempts since, with various Video formats all make the Macbook Choke when using effects or transitions.

    Thus it seems that Adobe PE is too CPU hungry for my Macbook.

    So what I ended up doing was using Elgato Turbo.264 to recode the .MTS files to MPEG-4 (1280x720, H.264, AAC, AC3). The .MTS files were of a football match. So I opened the Elgato recoded files in Quicktime X and trimmed out the clips that I wanted so that they were smaller (so that I didn't have to wait hours for the import).

    Then I imported these to iMovie HD6 and made the movie there.

    The Macbook could handle it although the sound seemed to get a bit out of synch towards the end.

    Anyway, here's the questions:

    1) What is the best format to record with for my set up? AVCHD is pointless but maybe 720p is ok? (Is DV tape better than using Smart Cards on my system?) I've yet to buy a camera, I've been borrowing one.

    2) I hate that iMovie 9 and FCE take hours to import and convert files and give ENORMOUS files at the end - like 40GB or something. Totally ridiculous. Also I've read forums where people say that the quality in iMovie 9.0.2 is worse than iMovie HD6?

    3) What video editing program will run properly on my system and open files natively so there's no need to wait and no need for Massive files?

    4) Is it possible to buy a Video Recorder that will record in a format that iMovie or FCE will open NATIVELY? I don't want to wait 2-6 hours to convert a file to a 60GB AIC (Apple Intermediate codec) file that iMovie can read?

    5) Are there any files can iMovie and FCE read NATIVELY, no recode, just open in an instance like APE?

    6) Is it just a case of Video Editing needs a system that has far greater CPU and Graphics capabilities than my macbook or I need hours of time to wait and a drive of several TB's for it to work on my Macbook?

    Any advice would be great. The situation seems ridiculous.....
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    (H)DV allows for a more fluid editing, as it is not a CPU eating as AVCHD. To get .mts into FCE, you copy the whole card to your desktop, then use use the log and transfer function that'll transcode your footage to AIC. It does the same with HDV during the capture process on the fly.

    The files you have on the card are highly compressed. AIC is less compressed, hence the huge file size of about 60GB/hr, but easier to edit.

    You have the problem in PE because you edit the compressed stuff. Always a bad idea. To work with AVCHD natively, I wouldn't use anything below a very fast 4 core i7.

    I still prefer the tape workflow for various reasons, but I seem to be about the only one.
  3. JazzyJ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2007
    Thanks for the reply.

    It seems then that in order to edit HD the options are either:

    1) Use the Fastest computer available meaning no waiting, native editing and small file sizes.

    2) Use an average computer meaning waiting, transcoding before editing and massive file sizes.

    So it's 'buy a massive hard drive' or 'buy an 8 core Mac pro'!

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