Mts conversion

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mortenjensen, May 5, 2012.

  1. mortenjensen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #1
    Hi all
    I have been working a bit on mts-conversions in order to use the files in iMovie.
    Now, if you use Handbrake, the .mpegfiles are the same size as the mts-files. If you convert in iMovie, they are 10 times the size. I really don't see much difference.

    What can justify the extra size?

    Also: unfortunately, you have to convert files in handbrake clip by clip.

    Does anyone know of a free converter that would convert entire folders with mts-files into .mov?

    Morten
     
  2. kev6677 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #2
    Goodluck apple hates MTS files.... they will never play or work right on your MAC..Off couse the fans will tell you otherwise but ask how much extra you will spend in hardware and software any thing less produces low quality conversions...
     
  3. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #3
    Ok, Kev, I'll bite. If you follow the workflow, you can easily use your .mts files in iMovie without any extra software. Just copy the whole content of your card to the computer, then import the clips into iMovie.

    10 times the file size? Be glad! Contrary to what Kev says, you don't need extra hardware to edit your footage after it is transcoded (internally by iMovie) to AIC. AIC is less demanding on your hardware than the highly compressed .mts files that would have to be decompressed and recompressed on the fly while editing "natively". Thus, you need a lot of horsepowers even for simple tasks.

    Apple doesn't hate .mts. They just discern between a transport codec (mts, AVCHD, h.264, etc.) and an editing codec (AIC, ProRes). .mts is an inter-frame codec, just suitable for minimalist editing. Even a frame accurate cut can be messed up. AIC (and ProRes) are intra-frame codecs. These are fully suitable for editing. You can cut, color correct, and composite the crap out of them without losing quality.

    Contrary to folkloristic belief, there are no dummies working in Apple's software engineering department.
     
  4. mortenjensen thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #4
    Hi, this last answer is really helpful!

    Now, I am only looking for a good workflow with the .mov-files. Right now, .mov is killing my HD really fast!

    Here is what I am doing at the moment:
    - I do a full manual backup of the camera's HD-drive (the .mts-files).
    - I import the files using iMovie, which produces two sets of files: (a) iMovie-events = the raw .mov-footage + (b) iMovie-projects, which sometimes become huge (sometimes not, for some reason).
    - the export in the highest quality possible - iMovie uses H.264.

    Which of theese files should I keep for stoorage?
    Should I delete all the .mov-footage - and if I do so, will I then also have to delete the iMovie-projects since they (maybe???) just are containers dependent on the raw footage in iMovie-events?

    Well - I guess I am just looking for a good workflow here, so I you have any other advice, I am willing to learn!

    Morten
     
  5. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #5
    The best would be to create Camera Backups from your card files. In that way, you can throw away the Intermediates (.mov).
    If you have some money left, get yourself a bunch of external 2TB drives (7200 RPM, FireWire 800). They are going down in price again.

    Buying hard drives is the bane of a tapeless workflow ;)
     
  6. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #6
    Personally, I would at least keep the backup from the camera's hard drive and the (reduced) iMovie project folders. If possible, try to keep the transcoded files in the event-folder.

    The Event-Folders contain the transcoded footage (in AIC, like cgbier said) which is important for editing. But if you are basically done with your editing and just want a backup, the original files will suffice and not take up that much space. But be aware that if you want to ever open that project again, it is possible, but you might have to bring some time to do the re-import from the original files.

    Definitely keep the project folders, since they contain all the information about your edit. If they get really big, it's because iMovie was rendering scenes in the background. If you apply any effects or compositions to your clips, iMovie calculates what they look like and saves that for smoother playback. You will see that every project in the iMovie-projects folder will have a subfolder that is called "Render Files". This is where things get very big. You can delete everything in that folder without breaking anything before backup. It will just be rendered again if you re-open the project.

    If you have any money left, I would recommend you get an external drive for all your editing. They are comparably cheap and you don't run into space problems as quickly. You also get the benefit of editing being a lot faster from an additional drive. Be sure not to make it the slow USB, but FW800 should be enough.

    My workflow is:
    - Backup original footage to external drive 1
    - Import original footage (to external editing drive 2)
    - Edit and render finished movie
    - Backup project-folder without render files (to external drive 1)
    - Backup event-folder (to external drive 1)
    - after a while, I move the Event- and Project-folders with all transcoded material to a very big but slow USB drive (3) I have lying around. If that ever gets filled up, I'm gonna start deleting the projects I'll probably never touch again and just keep the final movies.

    Generally, backing up movie edits will demand a lot of space. To save some, you can skip the render files first and the transcoded files if it's still too much.
     
  7. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

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    Jan 4, 2008
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    Below Sealevel
    #7
    Hi,

    Be warned: copy the whole file structure (the complete tree including the .mts files, not only the .mts files). There is meta data in the structure and other files.
     
  8. floh macrumors 6502

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    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #9
    Booyah! I hadn't seen that thread yet, but it is awesome! Covers almost any question one could come up with for editing codecs and conversion from .MTS files. And while the answer you posted with screenshots and everything is not perfect if you still have the whole folder structure (you will lose lots of metadata, rather import the original file structure into your editing program), it is awesome and for free if you are left with the .MTS stream files only.

    Thank you for putting in that much effort and also answering all questions further down the thread! I'm gonna refer to that in future posts, too.
     
  9. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

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    #10
  10. kev6677 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #11
    Fan-tastic nonsense

    LOL.. Imovie for AVCHD/MTS you people never learn ..you can believe the FANS-TASTIC nonsense if you want about Imovie but I DEAR you to play back your video after u render it on a HD TELEVISION not a computer monitor and tell me if the quality looks anything like your original photage.... goodluck..LMAO..
     
  11. floh macrumors 6502

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    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #12
    Oh look! How cute! A troll who can't even spell... :)

    For the record: I'm not a fanboy. I don't use iMovie. I still think of all freely available software, it's the best NLE. Yes, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer will give you better results. But they do cost a considerable amount of money.

    Did iMovie just crash your hard drive or what's with all the hate?
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    Premiere Elements might be a good middle ground and it's only $99.

    Don't mind kev6677. He has a long and storied career here of spreading misinformation and half-baked opinions.


    Lethal
     
  13. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #14
    You are right, Lethal, I should be more productive in my replies.

    So: The lack in quality from iMovie has one major reason, and that is the export function. If you export in H.264, the results will not be as perfect as you might have hoped for. It's fine for youtube and memory videos, but if you are keen on a very good image, I would recommend you to export in a less lossy format (like ProRes) and spent $50 on Apple's Compressor, which does a great job at converting your final edit.

    If you progress in editing and find that iMovie is not enough for you, you can definitely take a look at Premiere Elements, which is very affordable as stated. You can also take a peek at the more expensive Final Cut Pro X, which is still getting a lot of hate. But the hate is coming from people who were used to the previous version and were missing some major features in the new one, and who basically had to completely change their workflow. That is understandable to not go well with people who depend on the software for their income. But for someone upgrading from iMovie, the switch will be easy and very satisfying.

    But I'm getting away from the original subject: MTS files... is that one considered solved or do you still have questions?
     
  14. kev6677 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #15
    As I said before Apple hates AVCHD/MTS you will pull your hair out before it ever works as good as it does on a windows machine all the format / container/ it is not meant to be edited is trash... we edit it all the time on PC machines with no transcoding converting or any other issues.....AVCHD in.. edit.. render..AVCHD OUT it is really that simply on a PC machine...Don't believe the Apple Fans-tastic hype
     
  15. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #16
    Okay, I'll try one last time: Are you trying to help? Or are you trying to bash?

    The guy is asking in a Mac forum how to work with MTS files and you are throwing nothing his way but "Apple hates AVCHD, buy a PC"?

    I hope you know that codec usage has nothing to do with the hardware you are editing on, only with the program. If you want to compare Windows Movie Maker to iMovie, go ahead. If not, please tell the poor guy what you are editing with.

    I use Final Cut Pro X. It supports native editing in H.264, directly imported from AVCHD, no transcoding. Still, I usually don't edit in H.264. And believe me, I don't do the transcoding and spending lots of disk space because I'm a fan boy. Saying that would be calling me stupid.

    Wow. If you really output AVCHD (no program that I know of supports that), you will not be able to play the file with anything but VLC. You will not be able to upload it to youtube or burn it on any kind of disc. AVCHD is a stream format, not a codec.

    Judging from the manner and wording in which everyone else on one side and then you on the other side are writing in this thread, I find it very funny that you refer to us as "Fans" of some sort... really makes me giggle... :)

    No hard feelings, just try to stay helpful instead of hateful in your posts. This forum is supposed to answer questions, not exchange opinions...
     
  16. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #17
    It is clear, that kev6677 does not seem to have a clue about video editing, especially with spouting nonsense like "Macs suck at HD video editing" and similar toned posts.
    Of course, consumers don't understand the plethora of codecs and what they actually mean and what they do and that some are more CPU intensive than others, but we (not consumers) use Macs at work to edit 1080p footage made with an Alexa and had no problem doing so on a Mac Pro from 2008.
    If you are serious about editing, transcoding is the way to go, unless you have the horse power and can mind the additional render times and lags during playback.

    AVCHD is a consumer orientated standard (coming from XDCam), which creeped into prosumer and "professional" camcorders, like the way VHS won over Betamax. The cheaper format "won", albeit not the better one.

    Anyway, is there really sense discussing this?

    PS: I am currently on set for a film we shoot on 16 mm on an SR3, which is much more fun for me than all those codec issues I had over the last years. I hope once the 16 mm film developed and scanned, it never sees any kind of MPEG-4 compression, though BluRay might probably be one of its targets.

    Anyone know a good message board for actual film shooting discussions?
     
  17. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #18
    Kev, native AVCHD is, indeed, transcoded during editing. It just happens on the fly (Sony calls it Smart Render). That's the reason why you need that many horsepower for editing that stuff.
     
  18. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #19
    Stenvin, if you follow the rules, you don't need any of those converters from Cnet et al. Most of them are of limited use ("crap" in plain English) anyways.
     

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