.WMV -> what for Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by btownguy, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. btownguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #1
    I ran into my first kink in my switch to a Mac. I have digital copies of about a dozen video camera tapes in .wmv format (about 2Gb/hour). What should I convert these to for the Mac and what is the best method to ensure the least amount of degredation? Or should I just re-import them (it's only a dozen) with the camera and the tapes? What format is widely used between Mac & PC?
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    I'd convert them into .avi. As to how to do that, it depends on how much you are willing to spend.
     
  3. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    Playing them with FlipForMac is not an option?

    MPEG is an open standard that is used all over the place. I believe that the Windows version of iTunes can convert .WMV files to either MPEG or h.264.
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    The answer I think depends on whether WMV is the native format your camera produces (since you said tapes, I'm assuming not), or what you compressed them to after importing.

    If it's the native format, transcoding to another format is just going to decrease quality, so download the free Flip4Mac WMV plugin for Quicktime and just use that to play them.

    If you did import in another format (say, DV) and then compressed the videos into a WMV, I'd personally recommend re-importing them and compressing them into h264 MOV or MP4 files using Quicktime Pro or Handbrake or something similar. That'll get you either better quality or smaller filesizes at the same quality (h264 is a more efficient codec than what your WMVs likely use), and h264 is very widely supported.
     
  5. eckoman11 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #5
    First of all, you should install Perian. It is a free plugin which allows you to play pretty much every format ever in Quicktime, and I've found it to work much better than Flip4Mac. Also, a few days ago, I discovered that you can actually use Handbreak as a pretty fast converter, and it works with WMV, so you should just use that.
     
  6. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #6
    +1 for both handbrake and Perian. Perian is an awesome plugin and I use handbrake for all my transcodes that need to be high quality. The ones I don't care about i use iSquint because it is about 10 times faster. Converting a whole movie to mp4 format in less than a half hour. Obviously some quality loss but you cant beat the speed.
     
  7. jackerin macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    How can it work "better" when they handle completely different formats? Flip4Mac is designed to handle Windows Media, which Perian does not do, afaik. Yes, Perian handles a greater number of files and formats than Flip4Mac, if that is your only criteria for "works better"...
     
  8. OutSpoken macrumors 6502a

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    UK
  9. OutSpoken macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2009
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    UK
    #9
    I have perian installed and im sure its opened wmv files for me...
     
  10. eckoman11 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #10
    No need to over react here. I've just had quite a number of frequent problems with Flip4Mac and Perian hasn't given me any trouble. As for the WMV thing. It's odd, because I can open WMVs in Quicktime fine and I don't have Flip4Mac installed.
     
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #12
    http://perian.org/#explore

    That's from the Perian website, so I expect it's accurate. I use and love Perian, but (like VLC, which I also use and love), though it does support the WMV container and some relatively simple Microsoft codecs used in it, it does NOT support all of the codecs that Flip4Mac does.

    So depending on how the video was encoded you may well be able to play a WMV file with just Perian, but I've never had any issue from having both installed, and Flip4Mac will support a wider range of files. Heck, I actually paid for Flip4Mac before MS started paying the company to give it away for free (because it's so much better than their old Mac player it was a joke), and it's never given me issues.
     

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