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Author Topic: Converting AVI footage to Mac iMovie format?
Darrell Adams
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Hi all. First post in this forum. I used one of those little Hero Cams to record a recent race (great little camera!) and then got it onto my macbook pro. iMovie doesn't read the AVI format, and I find no way to convert it to a Mac format that I can edit. Ideas?

thanks,
Darrell Adams

--------------------
"The older I get, the faster I went!"

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I use a program called Media Cleaner Pro, v5 - I think AutoDesk may have bought them out. Review the link below, this may work for you. I have no financial interest in this product.

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id=5562025&siteID=123112

Viet-Tam Luu
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"Format" is a bit of an oversimplification. AVI is a format for the wrapper, think of cardboard carton vs. plastic jug. But to a large degree it's independent of the data format (codec) inside the wrapper, think of milk vs. orange juice.

To complicate matters further there are separate codecs for video and audio data. Typical examples of video codecs would be MJPEG, MPEG1, MPEG2, H.264 ("MPEG4"), DV, etc. Typical audio codecs would be Dolby Digital (various forms thereof), DTS, MP3, etc. Players support a variety of wrappers and codecs, and some players support additional codecs via drivers or plugins.

I use a Mac but am not really familiar with iMovie. It's probably a safe bet that it supports the QuickTime (MOV) wrapper.

It's possible change the wrapper while copying the data over verbatim, a process popularly referred to as "transcoding". There are a number of tools, some of them free, to do this. The first that comes to mind is "mencoder" which is a free open-sourced command-line utility typically bundled with the "mplayer" application, but (speaking from experience) its usage syntax is, to say the least, arcane. There are programs that have more user-friendly front ends built on top of mencoder, e.g. MediaCoder, though the latter has not been ported to the Mac, to the best of my knowledge (so break out your copy of VMware or Parallels).

As for whether or not iMovie will support the codec for the video and audio data within your movies, that's another matter altogether, but unless your camera is using some weird obscure format, your odds are reasonably good.

I'm usually faced with the opposite problem: my camera outputs QuickTime (MOV) files (H.264 video, MPEG4 audio) and I have to transcode to AVI to use my video editing tools.

Hope that helped more than it confused. [Smile]

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Viet-Tam Luu (a.k.a. "Tam")
SFR-SCCA #14 ITS
Director, SCCA San Francisco Region

Steven Holloway Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Tam,
What are you using to transcode .mov to .avi?
I have the same problem, I even ordered a different camera that records in .avi because I can't do anything with the .mov.
S

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Darrell Adams
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This is all good to know. The file plays in Quicktime, but can't be edited (fades, cuts, etc). iMovie won't allow a drag or an import. I have an old copy of Final Cut Express that I'll try to find and load....I think I bought it after OSX came out. That might work. If not, I'm going to the transcoders you recommended, Tam.

Steve....I love Slinkys! They can also be used as a percussion-type instrument....hand to hand in rhythm to the band!

best,
d.a.

--------------------
"The older I get, the faster I went!"

Darrell Adams
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Region: San Francisco
Car #: SSM #16
Year : 1991
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GOOD NEWS! I am able to import the AVI into Final Cut Express! I'll let you know how edit/export goes as I progress.

thanks!
d.a.

--------------------
"The older I get, the faster I went!"

DionJ Verified Driver
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I've been using an alive media video converter that can switch between many formats...not sure about Mac. (no financial interest)

Dion

Viet-Tam Luu
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quote:
Originally posted by Steven Holloway:
Tam,
What are you using to transcode .mov to .avi?
I have the same problem, I even ordered a different camera that records in .avi because I can't do anything with the .mov.
S

I've had some luck with MediaCoder: http://www.mediacoderhq.com/index.htm

I say "some" because it doesn't seem to transcode the MOV files from my Aiptek camera correctly. Works just fine for compressing to other formats, but a straight video & audio data copy to AVI format results in a file that's 4x bigger and doesn't play. Tried using mencoder as well, and that didn't work either--the resulting AVI file has dropped frames so the video is jerky.

--------------------
Viet-Tam Luu (a.k.a. "Tam")
SFR-SCCA #14 ITS
Director, SCCA San Francisco Region

   

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