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Alan McDonley

AVCHD "Disk" solve iMovie AVCHD import problem?

Question

Many folks, like myself, are moving from PC to Mac and finding that their library of AVCHD lite footage cannot be imported to iMovie. (iMovie will only import .MTS files from a camera, or camera archive - meaning copy of the camera disk file structure.)

 

The camera archive file structure that iMovie will import clips from matches the AVCHD spec "AVCHD disk" file structure.

 

Q1) Can I use Toast Titanium 10 with HD/BD plug-in (or Titanium Pro) to create a giant AVCHD disk image (on my hard drive, not a physical DVD), with all my .m2ts files as .MOV files in the STREAM folder, with correct Thumb and Index files in their proper folders?

 

Q2) Will the date information for the clips be the date the clip was filmed, or the date the AVCHD disk was created?

 

If so, I will be able to import all my old .m2ts footage and AVC videos to iMovie, and use the "Create new event by date" just as if I was importing these old clips from my camera.

 

Alan

Edited by Alan McDonley

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Many folks, like myself, are moving from PC to Mac and finding that their library of AVCHD lite footage cannot be imported to iMovie. (iMovie will only import .MTS files from a camera, or camera archive - meaning copy of the camera disk file structure.)

 

The camera archive file structure that iMovie will import clips from matches the AVCHD spec "AVCHD disk" file structure.

 

Q1) Can I use Toast Titanium 10 with HD/BD plug-in (or Titanium Pro) to create a giant AVCHD disk image (on my hard drive, not a physical DVD), with all my .m2ts files as .MOV files in the STREAM folder, with correct Thumb and Index files in their proper folders?

 

Q2) Will the date information for the clips be the date the clip was filmed, or the date the AVCHD disk was created?

 

If so, I will be able to import all my old .m2ts footage and AVC videos to iMovie, and use the "Create new event by date" just as if I was importing these old clips from my camera.

 

Alan

Welcome to mac! Do you have iLife'09? iMovie'09 works beautifully with Toast 10 pro and there is an option in the import window of camera import that allows you to make a camera archive in AVCHD form onto any hard drive you choose. Whenever you want, you can import from that archive exactly as if you were importing the original video from your mem-cam. You can then import that video in 1920x1080 or 960x540 into iMovie. I've just discovered that toast 10 converts the AVCHD codec video and, unlike iMov, allows you to import directly from the disc burned in toast as if importing from a mem-cam. Both toast and iMovie are saving lots of HD space with this archive all from the camera. I would be surprised if Final Cut Pro could not do the same. Also, I noticed that Toast 10 pro can burn multiple discs as needed for really large files by spanning from one disc to the next in one burn. Of course it also burns to 50GB BD-discs.

I also have the HD/BD plug-in and have been very pleased with Toast 10 so far.

 

Yes the date from either camera import or camera archive import will show the date the video was recorded. if not - iMov'09 allows you to change the date to the correct one. I am presently archiving my old films to discs @720x480di and iMovie uses the date of import on the older films - that's how I know the date can be changed per clip or per all clips together.

 

Grammys8

Edited by Grammys8

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Welcome to mac! Do you have iLife'09? iMovie'09 works beautifully with Toast 10 pro and there is an option in the import window of camera import that allows you to make a camera archive in AVCHD form onto any hard drive you choose.

Grammys8

 

 

Thanks for the welcome... Since my adventure began so recently, the concept of iLife'09 was originally foreign to me - my iMac came with iMovie'09, GarageBand, and iPhoto built in.

 

The option to make a camera archive when importing AVCHD from the camera to a Toast library may turn out useful, but my question is either:

 

Q1) Can I create a camera archive when all I have are some .m2ts files?

 

or the question can be:

 

Q1a) What is the best workflow to import "naked" 1280 x 720p AVCHD lite (frame doubled) .m2ts files to iMovie using Toast Pro?

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Thanks for the welcome... Since my adventure began so recently, the concept of iLife'09 was originally foreign to me - my iMac came with iMovie'09, GarageBand, and iPhoto built in.

 

The option to make a camera archive when importing AVCHD from the camera to a Toast library may turn out useful, but my question is either:

 

Q1) Can I create a camera archive when all I have are some .m2ts files?

 

or the question can be:

 

Q1a) What is the best workflow to import "naked" 1280 x 720p AVCHD lite (frame doubled) .m2ts files to iMovie using Toast Pro?

I have seen many questions concerning a problem with HD lite. This seems like a contradictory name for Hi Def recording.

 

Will you tell me if the device you are videoing with gives you ONLY this 1280x720 dimension choice? It sounds like this would give a very narrow rectangular view.

 

Did you buy the Apple Care warranty? it is worth its weight in gold! The best tech help system EVER - 24/7 help! for 3 years.

 

Also since you are new to the mac world, it might help you to know it is designed for people who think in pictures.

So, double click the icon not the file title.

 

Don't be afraid to explore ( control click = often exposes more hidden options).

 

The Apple support site offers video tutorials and you might be interested in a free site < the-archiving-grammy.com> and go to the page titled "About iMovie'09".

 

Also Apple sponsors a forum similar to this - < Apple.com/support > then go to iMovie'09 or iPhoto or any Apple application.

 

I am new to toast 10 pro. Toast was the first Disc burning application I ever used 14 years ago. So, I'll be learning (and exploring) too.

 

Grammy

 

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I have seen many questions concerning a problem with HD lite. This seems like a contradictory name for Hi Def recording.

 

High Definition format specifications are inter-corporate and international agreements. Officially High Definition includes the 1280x720 frame size, and up until last year the US was selling HDTVs with this max resolution and some broadcast networks were transmitting at this size. There is an AVCHD spec for files and disk images which only includes 50 or 60 progressive frames per second for 1280x720 depending on which side of the pond you live. Being progressive and 60 frames per second made this resolution display sports programming better than the 1080 interlaced frames format, (which has higher resolution, but temporally less fluidity).

 

Panasonic wanted to use the AVC encoding and the AVCHD spec for the camera archive, but their HD sensor only puts out a max of 30 progressive 1280 x 720 pixel frames per second. They either used or added a "doubled frames" flag, which says to the decoder "you can ignore every other frame in this stream". I have not been able to confirm if the doubled frames are actually encoded in the stream, or simply there virtually. Panasonic named this frame doubled format AVCHD-lite. It is high definition in that it is 1280 x 720 progressive, but "lite" in that it only contains 25 or 30 frames per second of recorded video in a 50 or 60 frames per second stream.

 

Will you tell me if the device you are videoing with gives you ONLY this 1280x720 dimension choice? It sounds like this would give a very narrow rectangular view.

 

The TZ7 / ZS3 camera has a maximum video resolution of 1280 x 720 stored either as Motion JPEG or in the AVCHD lite format. (This resolution is a 16:9 aspect ratio which all HiDef televisions display full screen.) Motion JPEG compresses each frame but does not take advantage of frame to frame similarity, so recording time is greatly reduced in comparison to AVCHD.

 

AVCHD is currently considered the best quality for size compression algorithm, but it is very, very processor intensive.

 

(1280 x720 is not the only resolution choice I have, strictly speaking, the camera also does VGA and QVGA sizes in MJPEG, but my interest is only the HiDef resolution and I use the AVCHD-lite format to save space.)

 

Did you buy the Apple Care warranty? it is worth its weight in gold! The best tech help system EVER - 24/7 help! for 3 years.

Yes, but I have so far only used the tech help to verify I had restored my system properly after wiping the disk out accidentally, and for the "yellow spotted 27" iMac display" issue. I also bought the "One to One" which I have not used yet.

 

Grammy, I'm hoping a long time Toast user will answer my question: (but almost certain Toast will solve this issue),

 

Q1) Can I create a camera archive when all I have are some .m2ts files?

 

or the question can be:

 

Q1a) What is the best workflow to import "naked" 1280 x 720p AVCHD lite (frame doubled) .m2ts files to iMovie using Toast Pro?

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Grammys8, The thread linked to below is specific to AVCHD Archive on Spanned discs.

http://forums.support.roxio.com/index.php?showtopic=62558

I short, spanned AVCHD discs from Toast 10 are not working for me.

Single AVCHD archived discs import to both iMovie 09 and Final Cut Pro 7.

Spanned AVCHD archived discs are not recognized.

Feel free to continue on that thread if you have tested or would like to test that feature.

 

Welcome to mac! Do you have iLife'09? iMovie'09 works beautifully with Toast 10 pro and there is an option in the import window of camera import that allows you to make a camera archive in AVCHD form onto any hard drive you choose. Whenever you want, you can import from that archive exactly as if you were importing the original video from your mem-cam. You can then import that video in 1920x1080 or 960x540 into iMovie. I've just discovered that toast 10 converts the AVCHD codec video and, unlike iMov, allows you to import directly from the disc burned in toast as if importing from a mem-cam. Both toast and iMovie are saving lots of HD space with this archive all from the camera. I would be surprised if Final Cut Pro could not do the same. Also, I noticed that Toast 10 pro can burn multiple discs as needed for really large files by spanning from one disc to the next in one burn. Of course it also burns to 50GB BD-discs.

I also have the HD/BD plug-in and have been very pleased with Toast 10 so far.

 

Yes the date from either camera import or camera archive import will show the date the video was recorded. if not - iMov'09 allows you to change the date to the correct one. I am presently archiving my old films to discs @720x480di and iMovie uses the date of import on the older films - that's how I know the date can be changed per clip or per all clips together.

 

Grammys8

Edited by cseeman

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Grammys8, The thread linked to below is specific to AVCHD Archive on Spanned discs.

...

Feel free to continue on that thread ...

 

Guys - please don't hijack this thread - I am still asking for the answer to this question:

 

Q1) Can I create a camera archive when all I have are some .m2ts files?

 

or the question can be:

 

Q1a) What is the best workflow to import "naked" 1280 x 720p AVCHD lite (frame doubled) .m2ts files to iMovie using Toast Pro?

 

I received my copy of T10TPro and successfully installed this weekend. Starting to RTFM...

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iMovie can not import .m2ts files directly. It needs the full file structure in the BDMV folder.

You'd have to convert the .m2ts to AIC (Apple Intermediate codec) although maybe there is re-wrap to .mov utility which doesn't do a re-encode.

 

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It looks like Toast does not understand AVCHD "Lite" format correctly. I was able to create an AVCHD "Disk" of my .m2ts files and import all the files to iMovie. The resulting imports claim to be 59.95 fps but the video runs at 2x realtime with the audio at normal rate.

 

Here is the process I used:

 

Open Toast

Select Blu-ray Video

Drag desired .m2ts files into Toast files window (or use Add and finder)

Under Options, click More

Disk: avchd_archiveX

Encoding:

Custom

Ave Bit Rate: 15.0 Mbps

Max Bit Rate: 17.0 Mbps

Motion: Best

OK

Next to space Remaining, select DVD

Then click Save As Disk Image

Wait till done…

 

Right Click the file avchd_archiveX.toast, select mount

 

open iMovie, File-> Import-> Camera Archive -> select the mounted avchd_archiveX in left panel of the open finder

(You should see "Camera Archive Detected")

Click Import, Import All, Wait…, Done

 

 

3.8GB in .m2ts format

3.83GB in .toast format

11.74GB in AIC format

 

 

I think the only process that will work is: "fool iMovie by filming a dummy clip a few seconds longer than desired import, then copy desired .m2ts file to the SD card, rename file to 00000.MTS, import "Camera Archive" to iMovie."

 

Looks like Toast AVCHD "Disk" will not solve .m2ts import issue for AVCHD "Lite" format of the Panasonic ZS3 / TZ7 camera.

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This method works - I am not sure if it is the most desireable way, but it works with no loss of quality.

 

To repackage m2ts into video that will import to iMovie:

ffmpeg -i myvideo.m2ts -acodec copy -vcodec copy myvideo.m4v

 

(imports directly, does not transcode to AIC!)

 

======= installing ffmpeg =======

(From http://rod.gs/Ml - modified )

 

MacOSX install:

 

open a terminal window

mkdir Software/

cd Software

mkdir ffmpeg

cd ffmpeg

curl -O http://tools.rodrigopolo.com/bin/mac/binkit-v1.3.tar.gz

tar xzf binkit-v1.3.tar.gz

cd binkit-v1.3/

./install.sh

cd ..

rm -rf ./binkit-v1.3

 

 

To test installation, type ffmpeg in any dir

 

=====

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I think the most of M2TS files are from BluRay ripped.

 

M2TS is different from AVCHD(.MTS).

 

M2TS and MTS are file extensions of the container, signifying the video and audio are multiplexed inside as a multiplexed transport stream. AVCHD is specification which covers the transport stream, the container, the compression algorithm used on the video inside the container, inside the stream, and the file structure of media which holds the container that holds the stream, that transports the audio and the video which is compressed with AVC.

 

So AVCHD (a specification) is not .MTS (a file extension); M2TS and MTS are indeed both file extensions. In the case for which I started this thread, the content of the file with .M2TS and the content of the file with the .MTS extension are bit for bit identical, .MTS inside the camera archive and .M2TS outside the camera.

 

The M2TS files, for which I started this thread, are archival raw footage from my Panasonic Lumix ZS3 for which I no longer have the the AVCHD specified camera archive, due to using the Panasonic import utility on a Windows PC for a year, and then moving those files to my new Mac computer. iMovie only likes to "eat" my archived footage from AVCHD specified camera archive file structures, which wrap the raw footage with a playlist, clip info files, thumbnail files, and an index file.

 

This thread has nothing to do with Blu-ray ripping. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch. Thank you for your intention to help. I'll calm down now.

 

Alan

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Changing you name doesn't mean that you can post sales picthes. One more try and perhpas all your posts will disappear. :angry2:

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