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Converting m2ts files

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Callum Male
Converting m2ts files
on Jan 18, 2011 at 10:38:33 pm

Hello everybody, over Xmas I recorded some footage for a documentary I'm making on a friends camera. It was a Panasonic HD handheld which recorded onto an SD card. I exported the files and they are in m2ts format. I spent 12 hours yesterday exporting them to .avi files so I can edit on FCP, but when I imported the .avi files to FCP it wouldn't play.

Anyway my question is, what file format shall I convert these m2ts files to for best use in FCP? And what free software does this? I should add that I convert all the files on my PC, and do all my editing on my universities MACs.

Also, I downloaded Mpeg Streamclip and tried to convert the .avi files to QT, but when I did so the result was just a white screen and no sound that played???

Hope someone can help


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 18, 2011 at 11:25:01 pm

[Callum Male] "I spent 12 hours yesterday exporting them to .avi files so I can edit on FCP, but when I imported the .avi files to FCP it wouldn't play."

No mystery there! FCP works with QUICKTIME, not AVI.


[Callum Male] "I downloaded Mpeg Streamclip and tried to convert the .avi files to QT, but when I did so the result was just a white screen and no sound that played?"

I'll guess you haven't worked with FCP very much. When you converted these files, what codec did you use? Did you double-check your clips prior to conversion to ensure there was indeed audio on them?


[Callum Male] "what file format shall I convert these m2ts files to for best use in FCP?... I convert all the files on my PC, and do all my editing on my universities MACs. "

Well, FCP's go-to codec, ProRes 422, isn't available to you. And since you're on a PC, neither are those handy HD codecs, nor a whole bunch of other codecs. Why don't you try Motion JPEG A or Photo JPEG? You don't really have a lot of choice in the matter.....

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 2:29:46 pm

Did you try log and transfer?

If that doesn't work, you need clipwrap for Mac.


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Callum Male
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 5:24:20 pm

OK I'm pretty rubbish when it comes to this stuff so let me ask again. I need to change the file format on my laptop from m2ts to a FCP friendly file format so I can then pop it on my external HD and import them into FCP on my uni's macs. Which software will allow me to do this on my laptop, and to which video format shall I change it to?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 5:42:37 pm

Coming form PC it's hard as you need to write to ProRes or DVCPro HD .mov which you can't do from a PC. You can write to uncompressed, but that's going to be huge file times and system load.

Why not try the log and transfer method when back at the lab?


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Callum Male
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:12:18 pm

Log and transfer? Will this work with m2ts files? Sorry for my ignorance.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:20:21 pm

Perhaps. Are they avchd clips and do you have the original file structure?


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Callum Male
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:24:58 pm

They are hd clips, whats avc? I don't know if I have the original file structures but with each clip comes 3 files with it, a .pmpb, .tmb and .cont is this it?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:30:09 pm

Avchd is a codec.

Can you post a screen grab of the files?


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Callum Male
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:32:25 pm

Oh I guess they are AVCHD clips as I have some software I downloaded called 'AVCHD M2TS to MP4 DVD'. It gives me the option to convert to either .avi, .swf, .mpg, .flv and .mp4. Which should I convert to which will then work in FCP? If none do, then which should I convert to, to then convert again in Mpeg streamclip to QT?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:55:32 pm

We are starting to go in circles.

You can covert them to something like a photoJPEG mov, then you have to transcode those to ProRes or something on a mac that has fcp installed.

i am not sure of that file structure. It might not work in fcp.


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Callum Male
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:59:54 pm

Ok thanks for your help Jeremy, how do I go about doing that?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 7:16:57 pm

Can you open the files in mpeg stream clip?


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Callum Male
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 7:25:02 pm

When I tried it told me to uninstall QT and reinstall QT 1.8 alternative. I did so, but it still wouldn't play the file. It would load it, but there will be no sound or image.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Converting m2ts files
on Jan 19, 2011 at 9:29:06 pm

[Callum Male] "When I tried it told me to uninstall QT and reinstall QT 1.8 alternative. "

Whaaaat? The most recent version of QT for Windows 7.6.8. What's this QT 1.8 business? You've got something screwy going on here.

I suppose it's out of the question that this footage still exists on the original SD cards, so that you could bring both cards & camera to school to do a proper ingest into FCP as described here:
http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless-workflow_fcp-7/1

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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