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Simple Compression Assistance

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Andrew Martin
Simple Compression Assistance
on Jan 25, 2011 at 9:19:57 pm

I have a Sony Handicam which is a standard definition harddrive camera. It saves files into a .mpeg-2 format which I cant use when working with final cut.

I converted all the files to .mov using some downloaded video converter.. this resulted in the files now being able to be worked on but unfortunately i still run into problems with rendering and playback.

Ive been told that my best bet is to convert my project files that are .mpeg-2 into .dv ntsc or .aic files, Apparantly these are best to use when working with final cut.

I have also been told that I can use Apple Compressor to do this but have no idea how to do so. Any help would be much appreciated.


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Olin Padilla
Re: Simple Compression Assistance
on Jan 25, 2011 at 10:30:30 pm

Did your converting software allow you to choose a codec?

For FCP ideally you would convert/transcode to the DV codec as .mov files.

Apple compressor is a really easy program to learn. You should be able to find a simple tutorial around here somewhere. Once you are in compressor select a DV NTSC preset and you're done.

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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Simple Compression Assistance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 12:31:31 pm

Andrew -
MPEG-2 files from a DVD were never meant to be edited; MPEG2 is a distribution format.

Still, occasions come up, like yours, where it's the source material; FCS has real time playback/rendering optimized for broadcast video playback; HD and SD in codecs that are optimized for editing/output. Compressor actually can't fix this.

With MPEG-2 files like these, the most common way to handle them is to run them through MPEG Streamclip, an open source, free utility. You can then convert them to QuickTime files, DV/NTSC, audio Linear PCM 48k, 16bit stereo, and they'll natively play fine in FCP.

Good luck!


Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer
Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC
Avid & Color Videos
Compressor Essentials

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