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Miniel

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2021
3
0
Hi everyone. I’m having some issues with transferring my mini DV tapes onto my MacBook pro 2017 osX Big Sur. I have all the connections i.e 4p to 9p firewire, FireWire to thunderbolt adapter, thunderbolt to USB-C. I have a Sony DCR-TVR18E camcorder.

My Mac isn’t recognising that the camcorders plugged in and not coming up anywhere for me to convert the cassettes.

I was wondering if anyone had any solutions/answers to why this could be happening? I’ve seen videos on YouTube in the last year in which people have been able to convert their cassettes onto their MacBooks and I’ve followed everything they’ve done.

Thanks all!
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,164
203
NH
Are you opening iMovie or FCP first, before connecting the camera? When was the MBP last restarted?
 

coolguy4747

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2010
150
100
To clarify, are you using a Thunderbolt 2-to-Thunderbolt 3 adapter or a Thunderbolt 2-to-USB C adapter? If it's just USB C and not Thunderbolt, I'm not sure it will work. Also, as noted above, if my memory of miniDV importing is accurate, the device won't show up as a storage device or anything, you'll have to initiate the process through iMovie etc.
 

Miniel

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2021
3
0
To clarify, are you using a Thunderbolt 2-to-Thunderbolt 3 adapter or a Thunderbolt 2-to-USB C adapter? If it's just USB C and not Thunderbolt, I'm not sure it will work. Also, as noted above, if my memory of miniDV importing is accurate, the device won't show up as a storage device or anything, you'll have to initiate the process through iMovie etc.
I’ve attached a photo of what I’m currently using. I’ve tried to use IMovie also but when I click import the camera doesn’t show up where it’s supposed to or at all.
 

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Miniel

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2021
3
0
Are you opening iMovie or FCP first, before connecting the camera? When was the MBP last restarted?
Yes I’ve been opening them first before connecting the camera, I’ve attempted it with both IMovie and FCP. I restarted my MacBook just after I first tried connecting the camera and it didn’t come up, during this I updated the system to osX Big Sur as I thought that having an old osX could also be the issue.
 

coolguy4747

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2010
150
100
I’ve attached a photo of what I’m currently using. I’ve tried to use IMovie also but when I click import the camera doesn’t show up where it’s supposed to or at all.
Hm, I would think that should work. Have you used this camera to transfer miniDV to a computer in the past?

The manual shows some settings that you might have to set in order for it to work (p. 174) - try double checking that?

It looks like your camcorder is a PAL camcorder - are you in a PAL region? Is your iMovie project set to PAL? I'm not sure how much that matters tbh, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to make sure all your gear is on the same page.

Interestingly, Sony doesn't seem to list that model as specifically compatible with Big Sur (or Mojave, those are the only two versions I saw), so it is possible that it just isn't supported, but I'm really not sure why that would be.
 

bradl

macrumors 603
Jun 16, 2008
5,392
16,492
Sort of offtopic question, but not really.

How big are the cassettes? As in, recording time? and also, how much disk space are you thinking your transfer will take?

I'm asking, because as soon as new Macs come out, I'm jumping from a MBA to a MBP, and will be starting a similar project, in converting a couple of T-120 and T-160 tapes in SLP format to the MBP. The T-120s at SLP are 6 hours, while the T-160s are 8 hours. And seeing that you're roughly in the same boat as I am, I'm wondering how much space you're allocating for the transfer.

BL.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
6,681
3,536
New Jersey Pine Barrens
That is something completely different than the topic of this thread. You have analog tapes from a VCR, this thread is about DV (digital video) tapes which can be directly captured from the firewire interface on a camcorder. In your case, you would need some kind of capture device to connect to a VCR and convert the analog tapes to digital.

An hour of DV takes about 13gb of storage, but in your case it will depend on the capture device and codec that you use to convert the analog tapes. However, be aware that your kind of tapes are really low quality and are going to look pretty bad after converting to digital.
 

bradl

macrumors 603
Jun 16, 2008
5,392
16,492
That is something completely different than the topic of this thread. You have analog tapes from a VCR, this thread is about DV (digital video) tapes which can be directly captured from the firewire interface on a camcorder. In your case, you would need some kind of capture device to connect to a VCR and convert the analog tapes to digital.

An hour of DV takes about 13gb of storage, but in your case it will depend on the capture device and codec that you use to convert the analog tapes. However, be aware that your kind of tapes are really low quality and are going to look pretty bad after converting to digital.

Thanks, and I get that. It's more of the sentimental value of it, since I put a good 5 years into making those tapes, and wanted to know a ballpark figure of how much space the OP would be using for their conversion to gauge how much I might need for mine.

Carry on.

BL.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
6,681
3,536
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Assuming that you already have a working VCR, you will need to buy a capture device to get the video into your computer. You should use the best quality output available from the VCR. The regular composite outputs (one yellow RCA jack for video) will be *really* horrible quality. Component video, with separate red/green/blue RCA jacks are the highest quality. If that isn't available, S-video (special connector) is also much better than composite.

Anyway, whatever capture device you purchase will have different codecs/quality levels for storing the video. They should all use considerably less disk space than the 13gb/hour of the DV format, my guess would be 1 to 2 gb/hour (similar to what you get on a DVD).

Have you considered sending the tapes to a company that specializes in doing this kind of thing? Have not used any myself, but they could make it a lot easier and send you DVD's or flash drives of the digitized tapes.
 

dandeco

macrumors 6502a
Dec 5, 2008
874
597
Brockton, MA
Here is a simple guide for the types of videotape sizes. MiniDV is the smallest and uses the digital codec...
1628795350468.png


If you're going to import DV footage on such a MacBook, I've done this on my M1 MacBook Air, and I recommend that you have the laptop plugged into a power source when capturing from a DV source (on the M1 MacBook Air, this is an absolute must). In addition to iMovie and Final Cut Pro, the built-in QuickTime Player on Mac OS can also capture from DV sources. Just be sure to start playback on the DV device BEFORE opening the preview/capture window in QuickTime, iMovie or FCP, to ensure that sound goes through. A little clumsy, but it does work.
 
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iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
920
667
Hi everyone. I’m having some issues with transferring my mini DV tapes onto my MacBook pro 2017 osX Big Sur. I have all the connections i.e 4p to 9p firewire, FireWire to thunderbolt adapter, thunderbolt to USB-C. I have a Sony DCR-TVR18E camcorder.

My Mac isn’t recognising that the camcorders plugged in and not coming up anywhere for me to convert the cassettes.

I was wondering if anyone had any solutions/answers to why this could be happening? I’ve seen videos on YouTube in the last year in which people have been able to convert their cassettes onto their MacBooks and I’ve followed everything they’ve done.

Thanks all!
Did you set your miniDV camcorder to VTR or Play/Edit mode before import?

 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
920
667
Sort of offtopic question, but not really.

How big are the cassettes? As in, recording time? and also, how much disk space are you thinking your transfer will take?

I'm asking, because as soon as new Macs come out, I'm jumping from a MBA to a MBP, and will be starting a similar project, in converting a couple of T-120 and T-160 tapes in SLP format to the MBP. The T-120s at SLP are 6 hours, while the T-160s are 8 hours. And seeing that you're roughly in the same boat as I am, I'm wondering how much space you're allocating for the transfer.

BL.
I've actually done this often in the past during the lockdown of 2020, both with miniDV and a VHS VCR (I have both setup with my Mac Pro) and restoring old footages. With an 5,1 Mac Pro, it's easy as it still has a Firewire port for miniDV and as for VHS, which is what you wanted to convert, I got a Diamond One Touch MacOS USB dongle which has S-video and all the 3 RCA plugs for VHS capture. The file size isn't that big at all. A 1Tb drive can fill a lot of those video because they are usually compressed a lot more than when you're capturing miniDV content. The end results aren't that great and so when Topaz had a beta program going for their Video Enhance AI software (really impressive), I took advantage of the beta program and converted all the old VHS and miniDV videos using the Video Enhance AI to 1080p with amazing results! I never converted them to 4K, but you can if you have a BEEFY PC with a fast video card like RTX 2080Ti or RTX-3080. Expect to convert a 1hr VHS video in 3 - 5 days time with a weak GTX-1650 which I have at the time during the Beta. The RTX-2080Ti will get it off in just 1 day

The problem with those older footages is that they are at very low resolutions (240p-360p), plus they are only interlaced. So they will look horrible on the Mac's Retina screen unless you enhance it with Video Enhance AI to 1080p or 4K or any services that offer that kind of enhancements.
 
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rajs

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2004
83
39
... some issues with transferring my mini DV tapes onto my MacBook pro 2017 osX Big Sur. I have all the connections i.e 4p to 9p firewire, FireWire to thunderbolt adapter, thunderbolt to USB-C. I have a Sony DCR-TVR18E camcorder ...
UPDATE: June 14 2022 -- The link below for updated steps that work now:

ORIGINAL POST BELOW (Old content - stopped working at some point).
I'd recommend you capture the full RAW tape using FFmpeg-DL (deck link) via firewire.

Personally I think it's the best way to do this if you have a Firewire connection on your camcorder.

Reason: You'll be able to do a maximum quality transfer via firewire over to your Mac.

After that you can edit / transcode as you wish using the tool(s) that you prefer

1. Install Home-brew
  • Go to your terminal app and install Home Brew ( Directions at: https://brew.sh )
2. Install a couple tools that will allow your camcorder to be connected to and communicated with. From your terminal app issue the following 4 commands.
  • brew tap amiaopensource/amiaos
  • brew tap mediaarea/homebrew-mediaarea
  • brew install ffmpegdecklink dvrescue mediainfo
  • brew link --force ffmpegdecklink

3. Now run the command below to see what name your Camcorder is listed as or is even recognized:
  • ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i ""
You should see some output with the name DCR-TVR18E or something similar. Note down (copy) the EXACT spelling that is shown in above command's output. If your Camcorder is listed that means your Mac and Camcorder are communicating just fine via your firewire connection. NOTE my wire connection was as follows between my camcorder and Mac:​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
USB-C / Thunderbolt port on a 2020 MacMini M1 (in my case)​
If the above command in step 3 shows your camcorder is indeed communicating with the Mac - awesome. You are ready to now capture the entire tape over to a .DV file onto your MacBook. It'll be BIG (~ 20 GB / hr of taped video). If you've go the space no worries -- as you'll later on be able to transcode the .DV file over to another format that you prefer etc. etc. etc. But for now you want to at least capture as losslessly as possible so you can do edits, color correction, etc.. with the best quality material possible)​
4. Make sure the camcorder is ON and the switch is set to PLAY / VTR mode (not record mode). Insert your first tape, rewind it fully and then issue this command in terminal app - please replace "DCR-TVR18E" with the actual name you saw in step 3 command's output:
  • ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -capture_raw_data true -i "DCR-TVR18E" -c copy -map 0 -f rawvideo tape_1_capture_video.dv
In the above command:​
  • -i "DCR-TVR18E" selects the input device
  • -c copy tells the ffmpeg-dl program to NOT re-encode the file into some lossy format but instead keep it full quality
  • -map 0 parameter tells ffmpeg-dl to save all streams of data (video and audio) as is
  • -f rawhide tells ffmpeg-dl program that the video stream is raw data
  • tape_1_capture_video.dv is the file name it will be saved as
NOTE: Above could also be done via a UI driven process but personally I found it too much -- try running from terminal app the following command - vrecord and an UI will come up on which the 2nd tab - DV would be relevant. (should have been installed as part of the dvrescue package in step 2)​

5. Issue the command in step 4 above and hit the PLAY button on your camcorder. ffmpeg-dl will start to capture the entire raw data stream and save it to the tape_1_capture_video.dv file. This will take a long time (as long as the tape is in minutes. So a 60 min tape will take 60 mins, etc.. as it is playing the tape in real time)

6. Rinse and repeat steps 4 and 5 with appropriate output file name - i.e. tape_2_capture_video.dv, etc.. for each of your tapes.

Now you've captured all your tapes over to your Mac you can decide how you want to split the segments, edit, stabilize, color correct, etc. etc. and what format you want to save your corrected video clips as.

You can use Final Cut Pro Express or iMovie or Davinci Resolve, or a multitude of other applications.

Or you can even look at just using:
ffmpeg / ffplay - https://ffmpeg.org
MPV - https://mpv.io
ShotCut - https://www.shotcut.org
Lossless Cut - https://mifi.github.io/lossless-cut/
Shutter Encoder - https://www.shutterencoder.com/en/

Personally I found the following useful for my quick workflow:
1. Do above to capture all tapes into DV format on Mac

2. View a tape and note down in a spreadsheet the start and end time for every segment I want to split out into a new file. Also note down any notes on the people in the video, a small description and if I want to do something regarding how bright or saturated the video is.

NOTE: You can also adjust many other parameters besides those and can actually evening pass Adobe Photoshop Curves values or a photoshop ACV file. For example extract a video frame as a PNG image file to use in photoshop where you can make adjustments via curves. i.e. to exact an image at 16 seconds into the video file:​
ffmpeg -ss 0:00:16 -I tape_1_video.dv -frames:v 1 tape_1_video_at_16_second_mark_output.png​
  • Open in Photoshop the pic from above - output.png and adjust the CURVES and save the curves adjustment to a curves preference file - that ends in ACV
  • Pass the acv curves file to adjust entire video segment to that
  • curves= setting for ffmpeg to use in the -filter: parameter. i.e. curves=psfile=tape_1_video_at_16_second_mark_curves_file_from_Photoshop.acv
Another way to do curves adjustments is directly by specifying the adjustments individually in ffmpeg filter command like above but not referencing a file but instead the individual curve adjustments. Shotcut App or Shutter Encoder App above may make it easier to view and see the various curve adjustments values for ffmpeg.​

3. Used MPV Player to view the original DV file with a script to fire it up to jump directly to the start of each video segment with some commands mapped into the keyboard so I could increase/decrease the GAMMA setting and the Saturation settings to see how it would look - note down in my spreadsheet the gamma and saturation setting I liked for that segment (I can document how I did this if someone wants)

4. Ran a script that issued ffmpeg command to create H264 MP4 encoded video segment files. The ffmpeg command for each segment was something similar to below:

ffmpeg -loglevel error -stats \
-ss 0:49:24 -to 0:51:14 \
-i tape_1_capture_video.dv \
-map 0:0 \
-filter:v eq=saturation=1.1:gamma=1.6,bwdif,scale=w=-2:h=720 \
-c:v h264_videotoolbox -b:v 5000k \
-color_primaries:v bt709 -color_trc:v bt709 -colorspace:v bt709 \
-aspect 4:3 \
-map 0:1 -c:a:0 aac_at -aac_at_mode:a:0 cvbr -ar:a:0 48000 \
-sn \
-movflags disable_chpl \
-movflags +faststart \
-metadata title='Title of the Video Segment' \
-metadata description='A verbose desription of the video segment - i.e. the people and what was happening etc.' \
REENCODED_CORRECTED_SEGMENT_OUTPUTFILENAME.mp4

In the above command:
-ss gives the start to end time of the video segment I want to extract and re-encode into H264
-i the input file name of the original DV file
-map 0:0 - video stream from DV file
- filter line - bumping saturation to 1.1 and brightening via changing the gamma to 1.6. bwdif is to de-interlace the video and upscale to 720p res
-c:v is directing ffmpeg to use the (not that great but it is faster while using more space) video toolbox h264 encoder and the hardware capabilities of the m1 chipsets instructions to speed up the process
-b:v 5000 is for a higher bit rate for improving the quality of the lossy encode (prob too high but I am fine with it). Make it a smaller number and you'll get a smaller file and might not be as good quality -- you can experiment.
-aspect command to ensure it maintains original ratio (might not be needed but I kept it in)
-map 0:1 and associated parameters are to re-encode the DV files audio data stream to AAC at 48K
REENCODED_CORRECTED_SEGMENT_OUTPUTFILENAME.mp4 - The filename to save the re-encode to

Good luck
 
Last edited:

ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
618
28
Just outside Boston, MA.
I'd recommend you capture the full RAW tape using FFmpeg-DL (deck link) via firewire.

Personally I think it's the best way to do this if you have a Firewire connection on your camcorder.

Reason: You'll be able to do a maximum quality transfer via firewire over to your Mac.

After that you can edit / transcode as you wish using the tool(s) that you prefer

1. Install Home-brew
  • Go to your terminal app and install Home Brew ( Directions at: https://brew.sh )
2. Install a couple tools that will allow your camcorder to be connected to and communicated with. From your terminal app issue the following 4 commands.
  • brew tap amiaopensource/amiaos
  • brew tap mediaarea/homebrew-mediaarea
  • brew install ffmpegdecklink dvrescue mediainfo
  • brew link --force ffmpegdecklink

3. Now run the command below to see what name your Camcorder is listed as or is even recognized:
  • ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i ""
You should see some output with the name DCR-TVR18E or something similar. Note down (copy) the EXACT spelling that is shown in above command's output. If your Camcorder is listed that means your Mac and Camcorder are communicating just fine via your firewire connection. NOTE my wire connection was as follows between my camcorder and Mac:​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
|​
USB-C / Thunderbolt port on a 2020 MacMini M1 (in my case)​
If the above command in step 3 shows your camcorder is indeed communicating with the Mac - awesome. You are ready to now capture the entire tape over to a .DV file onto your MacBook. It'll be BIG (~ 20 GB / hr of taped video). If you've go the space no worries -- as you'll later on be able to transcode the .DV file over to another format that you prefer etc. etc. etc. But for now you want to at least capture as losslessly as possible so you can do edits, color correction, etc.. with the best quality material possible)​
4. Make sure the camcorder is ON and the switch is set to PLAY / VTR mode (not record mode). Insert your first tape, rewind it fully and then issue this command in terminal app - please replace "DCR-TVR18E" with the actual name you saw in step 3 command's output:
  • ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -capture_raw_data true -i "DCR-TVR18E" -c copy -map 0 -f rawvideo tape_1_capture_video.dv
In the above command:​
  • -i "DCR-TVR18E" selects the input device
  • -c copy tells the ffmpeg-dl program to NOT re-encode the file into some lossless format but instead keep it fully quality
  • -map 0 parameter tells ffmpeg-dl to save all streams of data (video and audio) as is
  • -f rawhide tells ffmpeg-dl program that the video stream is raw data
  • tape_1_capture_video.dv is the file name it will be saved as
NOTE: Above could also be done via a UI driven process but personally I found it too much -- try running from terminal app the following command - vrecord and an UI will come up on which the 2nd tab - DV would be relevant. (should have been installed as part of the dvrescue package in step 2)​

5. Issue the command in step 4 above and hit the PLAY button on your camcorder. ffmpeg-dl will start to capture the entire raw data stream and save it to the tape_1_capture_video.dv file. This will take a long time (as long as the tape is in minutes. So a 60 min tape will take 60 mins, etc.. as it is playing the tape in real time)

6. Rinse and repeat steps 4 and 5 with appropriate output file name - i.e. tape_2_capture_video.dv, etc.. for each of your tapes.

Now you've captured all your tapes over to your Mac you can decide how you want to split the segments, edit, stabilize, color correct, etc. etc. and what format you want to save your corrected video clips as.

You can use Final Cut Pro Express or iMovie or Davinci Resolve, or a multitude of other applications.

Or you can even look at just using:
ffmpeg / ffplay - https://ffmpeg.org
MPV - https://mpv.io
ShotCut - https://www.shotcut.org
Lossless Cut - https://mifi.github.io/lossless-cut/
Shutter Encoder - https://www.shutterencoder.com/en/

Personally I found the following useful for my quick workflow:
1. Do above to capture all tapes into DV format on Mac

2. View a tape and note down in a spreadsheet the start and end time for every segment I want to split out into a new file. Also note down any notes on the people in the video, a small description and if I want to do something regarding how bright or saturated the video is.

NOTE: You can also adjust many other parameters besides those and can actually evening pass Adobe Photoshop Curves values or a photoshop ACV file. For example extract a video frame as a PNG image file to use in photoshop where you can make adjustments via curves. i.e. to exact an image at 16 seconds into the video file:​
ffmpeg -ss 0:00:16 -I tape_1_video.dv -frames:v 1 tape_1_video_at_16_second_mark_output.png​
  • Open in Photoshop the pic from above - output.png and adjust the CURVES and save the curves adjustment to a curves preference file - that ends in ACV
  • Pass the acv curves file to adjust entire video segment to that
  • curves= setting for ffmpeg to use in the -filter: parameter. i.e. curves=psfile=tape_1_video_at_16_second_mark_curves_file_from_Photoshop.acv
Another way to do curves adjustments is directly by specifying the adjustments individually in ffmpeg filter command like above but not referencing a file but instead the individual curve adjustments. Shotcut App or Shutter Encoder App above may make it easier to view and see the various curve adjustments values for ffmpeg.​

3. Used MPV Player to view the original DV file with a script to fire it up to jump directly to the start of each video segment with some commands mapped into the keyboard so I could increase/decrease the GAMMA setting and the Saturation settings to see how it would look - note down in my spreadsheet the gamma and saturation setting I liked for that segment (I can document how I did this if someone wants)

4. Ran a script that issued ffmpeg command to create H264 MP4 encoded video segment files. The ffmpeg command for each segment was something similar to below:

ffmpeg -loglevel error -stats \
-ss 0:49:24 -to 0:51:14 \
-i tape_1_capture_video.dv \
-map 0:0 \
-filter:v eq=saturation=1.1:gamma=1.6,bwdif,scale=w=-2:h=720 \
-c:v h264_videotoolbox -b:v 5000k \
-color_primaries:v bt709 -color_trc:v bt709 -colorspace:v bt709 \
-aspect 4:3 \
-map 0:1 -c:a:0 aac_at -aac_at_mode:a:0 cvbr -ar:a:0 48000 \
-sn \
-movflags disable_chpl \
-movflags +faststart \
-metadata title='Title of the Video Segment' \
-metadata description='A verbose desription of the video segment - i.e. the people and what was happening etc.' \
REENCODED_CORRECTED_SEGMENT_OUTPUTFILENAME.mp4

In the above command:
-ss gives the start to end time of the video segment I want to extract and re-encode into H264
-i the input file name of the original DV file
-map 0:0 - video stream from DV file
- filter line - bumping saturation to 1.1 and brightening via changing the gamma to 1.6. bwdif is to de-interlace the video and upscale to 720p res
-c:v is directing ffmpeg to use the (not that great but it is faster while using more space) video toolbox h264 encoder and the hardware capabilities of the m1 chipsets instructions to speed up the process
-b:v 5000 is for a higher bit rate for improving the quality of the lossy encode (prob too high but I am fine with it). Make it a smaller number and you'll get a smaller file and might not be as good quality -- you can experiment.
-aspect command to ensure it maintains original ratio (might not be needed but I kept it in)
-map 0:1 and associated parameters are to re-encode the DV files audio data stream to AAC at 48K
REENCODED_CORRECTED_SEGMENT_OUTPUTFILENAME.mp4 - The filename to save the re-encode to

Good luck

This tutorial looked really promising to me but when I run ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i "" with my camera connected in either off or in VTR mode I get this:

shiggitay@VocaloidHaven-Mobile ~ % ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i ""
ffmpeg version 5.0 Copyright (c) 2000-2022 the FFmpeg developers
built with Apple clang version 13.1.6 (clang-1316.0.21.2)
configuration: --prefix=/opt/homebrew/Cellar/ffmpegdecklink/5.0 --disable-shared --enable-version3 --cc=clang --host-cflags= --host-ldflags= --enable-gpl --enable-libfreetype --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-libsnappy --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxvid --enable-libfontconfig --disable-libjack --disable-indev=jack --enable-neon --enable-nonfree --enable-decklink --extra-cflags=-I/opt/homebrew/include --extra-ldflags=-L/opt/homebrew/include
libavutil 57. 17.100 / 57. 17.100
libavcodec 59. 18.100 / 59. 18.100
libavformat 59. 16.100 / 59. 16.100
libavdevice 59. 4.100 / 59. 4.100
libavfilter 8. 24.100 / 8. 24.100
libswscale 6. 4.100 / 6. 4.100
libswresample 4. 3.100 / 4. 3.100
libpostproc 56. 3.100 / 56. 3.100
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x1536057e0] AVFoundation video devices:
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x1536057e0] [0] FaceTime HD Camera
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x1536057e0] [1] Capture screen 0
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x1536057e0] AVFoundation audio devices:
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x1536057e0] [0] MacBook Pro Microphone
: Input/output error

It's not seen by iMovie or FCPX at all before I installed the stuff from Homebrew and after the same. Why am I getting an I/O error? I'm trying this on a 2021 M1 Pro 14" MacBook Pro. I also have an M1 Mac mini I can try it on but I don't have high hopes of it working. My array of TB/FW cables are similar/the same to what you're using and it's still not working for me... I suspect it might be the camcorder that's being strange, but I don't wanna buy a new one unless I know for sure that's the came. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

rajs

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2004
83
39
@ShiggyMiyamoto - Based on what limited info you shared directly above I can't tell what the issue is at all. Could you maybe give a little more info ...

- What exact camera model is it MFG and Model (from the above command you ran -- only thing ffmpeg-dl is see is FaceTime HD Camera and some other device called Capture screen 0
- If iMovie and FCPx aren't / haven't ever been able to see the camera -- good chance nor will ffmpeg-dl
- Are you sure the cabling is correct between the MacBook Pro and the camera ? Some details on the cable(s). Similar won't do the trick necessarily -- please give full details.

Again -- much much easier to help if you give all the details.
 

ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
618
28
Just outside Boston, MA.
@ShiggyMiyamoto - Based on what limited info you shared directly above I can't tell what the issue is at all. Could you maybe give a little more info ...

- What exact camera model is it MFG and Model (from the above command you ran -- only thing ffmpeg-dl is see is FaceTime HD Camera and some other device called Capture screen 0
- If iMovie and FCPx aren't / haven't ever been able to see the camera -- good chance nor will ffmpeg-dl
- Are you sure the cabling is correct between the MacBook Pro and the camera ? Some details on the cable(s). Similar won't do the trick necessarily -- please give full details.

Again -- much much easier to help if you give all the details.

Thanks for the prompt response... I'm occupied at the moment but I'll reply back with as much more info as I can.
 
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ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
618
28
Just outside Boston, MA.
@ShiggyMiyamoto - Based on what limited info you shared directly above I can't tell what the issue is at all. Could you maybe give a little more info ...

- What exact camera model is it MFG and Model (from the above command you ran -- only thing ffmpeg-dl is see is FaceTime HD Camera and some other device called Capture screen 0
- If iMovie and FCPx aren't / haven't ever been able to see the camera -- good chance nor will ffmpeg-dl
- Are you sure the cabling is correct between the MacBook Pro and the camera ? Some details on the cable(s). Similar won't do the trick necessarily -- please give full details.

Again -- much much easier to help if you give all the details.

Okay so here's my camera model: ZR70MC from Canon. As for cabling I have a FireWire 800 DV cable going from the camera to a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, and that goes into a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C adapter into my M1 Pro MacBook Pro 14". I've not tried it on my M1 Mac mini yet. I hope that helps you figure stuff out.

EDIT I think I might have found my problem:

2022-03-18 02:03:50.850 ffmpeg-dl[92287:686459] Error loading /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin: dlopen(/Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin, 0x0109): tried: '/Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin' (mach-o file, but is an incompatible architecture (have 'x86_64', need 'arm64e'))
 
Last edited:

rajs

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2004
83
39
Ok. Can you check the following before running the command (ffmpeg-dl) again on the ZR70MC (I am making some guesses as I don't own a Canon but instead a Sony)
  1. a tape (not memory card) with video recordings on it that you want to transfer over to your Mac via the IEEE1394 connector on the Camcorder.
  2. The tape is fully rewound so it is ready for PLAYBACK
  3. Configured the camera so the Analog-Digital Converter is turned ON (remote control: AV->DV Button OR via the MENU -- VCR SETUP --> AV-->DV OUT --> ON)
  4. FW Cable plugged into the Camcorder --> Thunderbolt 2 Adaptor --> Thunderbolt 3/USB-C Adaptor --> MacBook or Mac mini USB-C Port
  5. Camcorder toggle switch set to PLAY/VCR and the TAPE / CARD switch to TAPE
  6. Camcorder is hooked to AC Power Source brick (not battery)
  7. run the following command and hopefully one of the devices listed is the Camcorder:
ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i ""

(the command above is just listing out all devices it detects as AVFoundation devices (Video and Audio) that are active and available for it to POSSIBLY read a stream(s) from. The input/output error at the end of the above command is fine as you haven't told it to do anything else at this juncture. Should the Canon be listed as one of the AVFoundation Video devices that you are in business and can go back to original steps and proceed).
 
Last edited:

ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
618
28
Just outside Boston, MA.
Ok. Can you check the following before running the command (ffmpeg-dl) again on the ZR70MC (I am making some guesses as I don't own a Canon but instead a Sony)
  1. a tape (not memory card) with video recordings on it that you want to transfer over to your Mac via the IEEE1394 connector on the Camcorder.
  2. The tape is fully rewound so it is ready for PLAYBACK
  3. Configured the camera so the Analog-Digital Converter is turned ON (remote control: AV->DV Button OR via the MENU -- VCR SETUP --> AV-->DV OUT --> ON)
  4. FW Cable plugged into the Camcorder --> Thunderbolt 2 Adaptor --> Thunderbolt 3/USB-C Adaptor --> MacBook or Mac mini USB-C Port
  5. Camcorder toggle switch set to PLAY/VCR and the TAPE / CARD switch to TAPE
  6. Camcorder is hooked to AC Power Source brick (not battery)
  7. run the following command and hopefully one of the devices listed is the Camcorder:
ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i ""

All checks out besides the AV>DV option being set. I set that and it still isn't recognized my by either of my M1 Macs. The camcorder is on AC power only. There is no battery in it. Running the ffmpeg-dl command shows this on my M1 Mac mini:

shiggitay@VocaloidHaven-Mini ~ % ffmpeg-dl -f avfoundation -list_devices true -i ""
ffmpeg version 5.0 Copyright (c) 2000-2022 the FFmpeg developers
built with Apple clang version 13.1.6 (clang-1316.0.21.2)
configuration: --prefix=/opt/homebrew/Cellar/ffmpegdecklink/5.0 --disable-shared --enable-version3 --cc=clang --host-cflags= --host-ldflags= --enable-gpl --enable-libfreetype --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-libsnappy --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxvid --enable-libfontconfig --disable-libjack --disable-indev=jack --enable-neon --enable-nonfree --enable-decklink --extra-cflags=-I/opt/homebrew/include --extra-ldflags=-L/opt/homebrew/include
libavutil 57. 17.100 / 57. 17.100
libavcodec 59. 18.100 / 59. 18.100
libavformat 59. 16.100 / 59. 16.100
libavdevice 59. 4.100 / 59. 4.100
libavfilter 8. 24.100 / 8. 24.100
libswscale 6. 4.100 / 6. 4.100
libswresample 4. 3.100 / 4. 3.100
libpostproc 56. 3.100 / 56. 3.100
2022-03-18 02:41:28.519 ffmpeg-dl[96482:717874] Error loading /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin: dlopen(/Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin, 0x0109): tried: '/Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin' (mach-o file, but is an incompatible architecture (have 'x86_64', need 'arm64e'))
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] AVFoundation video devices:
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [0] HD Pro Webcam C920
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [1] OBS Virtual Camera
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [2] FHD Capture
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [3] Capture screen 0
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [4] Capture screen 1
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] AVFoundation audio devices:
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [0] Brave
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [1] FHD Capture
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [2] BlackHole 16ch
[AVFoundation indev @ 0x128e04e40] [3] HD Pro Webcam C920
: Input/output error

I've boldened what I think is the culprit here. The VCam-plugin.plugin file isn't working because it's trying to work under Rosetta but it's failing... I'd need an Apple Silicon version of that plugin but I can't seem to find one. Thank you for your help thus far.
 

bradl

macrumors 603
Jun 16, 2008
5,392
16,492
Okay so here's my camera model: ZR70MC from Canon. As for cabling I have a FireWire 800 DV cable going from the camera to a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, and that goes into a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C adapter into my M1 Pro MacBook Pro 14". I've not tried it on my M1 Mac mini yet. I hope that helps you figure stuff out.

EDIT I think I might have found my problem:

2022-03-18 02:03:50.850 ffmpeg-dl[92287:686459] Error loading /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin: dlopen(/Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin, 0x0109): tried: '/Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/vcam-plugin.plugin/Contents/MacOS/vcam-plugin' (mach-o file, but is an incompatible architecture (have 'x86_64', need 'arm64e'))

Your problem is in the bold.

What Mac are you running this on? The plugin appears to be compiled for one certain architecture, while you have the other. From how this reads, your architecture (CPU, running environment) is x86_64 (read: Intel), while the plugin needs arm64e (possibly Silicon), or the other way around, where the plugin is x86_64, and you are running it on Silicon.

If the latter, then one would think that Rosetta 2 should be able to handle that, if the compatibility flags were set when the plugin was compiled. But I think it is the former at this point. Either way, binary incompatibility is the problem here, due to the architecture of Mac it is currently being used on, or the architecture the plugin was compiled on.

BL.
 

rajs

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2004
83
39
When I did the above I was using a ffmpeg and ffmpeg-dl build from 4.x. I am going to grab my camera from the basement storage and plug it back in to my MacBook Pro 14 and I'm going to see what exact modules are most likely needed (is it using vcam-plugin or not). Also I am currently on ffmpeg 5.0 also so I want to see exactly what my output is on running the command when camcorder is plugged in. Be back in around 8 hours
 
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ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
618
28
Just outside Boston, MA.
Your problem is in the bold.

What Mac are you running this on? The plugin appears to be compiled for one certain architecture, while you have the other. From how this reads, your architecture (CPU, running environment) is x86_64 (read: Intel), while the plugin needs arm64e (possibly Silicon), or the other way around, where the plugin is x86_64, and you are running it on Silicon.

If the latter, then one would think that Rosetta 2 should be able to handle that, if the compatibility flags were set when the plugin was compiled. But I think it is the former at this point. Either way, binary incompatibility is the problem here, due to the architecture of Mac it is currently being used on, or the architecture the plugin was compiled on.

BL.

I've mentioned a few times that I'm trying to get this working on M1 Macs (I have an M1 Pro MacBook Pro 14" as well as an M1 Mac mini). And yeah I thought as much that the VCam-plugin.plugin file isn't compiled for my architecture...
 

rajs

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2004
83
39
Your problem is in the bold.

What Mac are you running this on? The plugin appears to be compiled for one certain architecture, while you have the other. From how this reads, your architecture (CPU, running environment) is x86_64 (read: Intel), while the plugin needs arm64e (possibly Silicon), or the other way around, where the plugin is x86_64, and you are running it on Silicon.

If the latter, then one would think that Rosetta 2 should be able to handle that, if the compatibility flags were set when the plugin was compiled. But I think it is the former at this point. Either way, binary incompatibility is the problem here, due to the architecture of Mac it is currently being used on, or the architecture the plugin was compiled on.

BL.

Above is probably correct -- and that's what I'll be able to confirm tmrw once I plug my camcorder back in. I've got everything compiled for Apple Silicon

EDIT -- if everything works on 5.0 tmrw when I grab the camera -- I'll detail out my steps on compiling / installing ffmpeg 5 for Apple Silicon with the patches etc.
 
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ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
618
28
Just outside Boston, MA.
When I did the above I was using a ffmpeg and ffmpeg-dl build from 4.x. I am going to grab my camera from the basement storage and plug it back in to my MacBook Pro 14 and I'm going to see what exact modules are most likely needed (is it using vcam-plugin or not). Also I am currently on ffmpeg 5.0 also so I want to see exactly what my output is on running the command when camcorder is plugged in. Be back in around 8 hours

Thank you again. I'll be around.
 
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