Speedy importing of camcorder clips on a MacAir

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Tim R, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Tim R macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    I have been unable to find a thread on this subject, so here goes..

    I use a Canon HD camera for work and occasionally need to instantly playback clips on my Mac Air.

    The problem I have is that the import time is circa 50% of the video clip time, which means that for a 30 minute video clip, I have to wait 15 minutes for the download to complete before I can playback on the latest iMovie software.

    Two questions:
    1. is there some way I can shorten the time it takes to download the clips?
    if not,
    2. the camcorder does have a SDD card I can put into the laptop - it possible to identify clips and play them back directly from the card perhaps?

    i'd appreciate any guidance on this, with thanks.

    PS. MacAir is about 2 years old. Camcorder is a Canon Legria HF M41E
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    1. As the editing application you use, iMovie or some other (?), probably transcodes the highly compressed footage to an editable format, the "download" process depends on the CPU speed, and a Mac Air, which does not exist, thus a MacBook Air I guess, has not have the horsepower to import those clips fast enough.

    2. SSD is short for Solid State Drive and is the successor of the HDD, I guess you mean "SD(XC/HC)" card? If so, then you can use VLC Player to play back the AVCHD encoded .mts files, but it will be CPU intensive and you might experience some stuttering.
  3. Tim R thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    Many thanks simsaladimbamba - corrections noted!

    Have tried playing clips from the SD card via VLC - works OK, but not ideal as it doesn't seem to have the playback functionality of iMovie. Clips however were smooth.

    Is there no way iMovie can playback clips direct from the SD card? Perhaps some other software?

    Thanks again
  4. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    I don't know about Canon, but Panasonic provides a free piece of software that will play clips directly from the SD card. It's not a very intuitive piece of software, but it does its job.

    Have you contacted Canon? Maybe they have something similar.
  5. Tim R thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    Thanks Musique - unfortunately the Canon software is Windows only...
  6. Kevin Monahan macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    Premiere Pro plays back files natively off the card, or from media copied from the card. No need to transcode.
  7. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Final Cut Pro X can playback clips from my Canon HD camcorder before importing them, maybe OP should download the trial (although I don't think it will fare too well on a 2 year old MacBook Air)
  8. Tim R thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    Kevin, thanks but Premiere pro is a bit too expensive for me..

    Zwhaler - I'll try the trial and see, although I only have the 2GB memory Air..
  9. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    2 Gigs of RAM is the minimum, however if you are only doing basic editing it should run okay and also give you the option to watch clips from your camera in the Import window.
  10. Tim R thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    Final Cut

    Have downloaded the trial version of Final Cut Pro X - download speeds are much improved - v many thanks for the recommendation.

    I have a question on playing back clips on the software, but will start another thread

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