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Access AVCHD .mts files
Authored by: jolipoli on Aug 18, '12 07:01:45PM

Bottom line: use QuickTime to quickly view these files, leave them alone if you will be importing them into iMovie/ FCP.


More detail: If you use Finder's "Show Contents" of the "Private" file (which is acting as a folder, apparently a folder with attributes ::grin::), it gets you to another file (which is also a folder) that is called "AVCHD". That is the same folder that looks like a file that you will get from the internal flash drive of the video camera (or at least the Canons I use- internal flash drive delivers an AVCHD, SD card has that AVCHD file in the Private file). If you double-click on either "Private" or "AVCHD" in Mountain Lion, you will get an "open" dialog in QuickTime Player (10.2) which allows you to select any clip from push-to-record to push-to-stop. If there is only one continous clip in the AVCHD folder, it will open that one video in the player.

One thing you can now do with QuickTime is to export the videos directly, and you can choose several different options for your new movie files. I suggest only doing this if the plan is quickly convert to share a video. If you want to import into FCP or iMovie, you'll want to leave the AVCHD "file" intact- to import these into FCP X, it is best to have each AVCHD in its own folder (I name it for the event and or the time of the event) and you select that folder, not the AVCHD file in it to import it.

If you've read any FCP or iMovie forums, you'll know you do not want to remove these .mts files from their nests in these folders. The forums are full of people begging to find a way to get them back into the structure of the AVCHD folders so that they can import them into their projects easily and coherently. There are workarounds, but Apple's software does not expect you to have removed the .mts files, it expects to find the structure as the camera contains it after the shoot is completed.

Thanks for pointing out this new function, but it takes the reader in the wrong direction based on my experience. Just because you can drag the .mts files out does not mean you want to or should.



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