Bring M2TS into iMovie '09?
February 28, 2010 4:46 PM   Subscribe

How can I get a M2TS video file into iMovie?

I have a MBP and iMovie '09. Someone just sent me a M2TS video file. It's a common enough high-definition video format, but not common enough for iMovie. I can get it to play in VLC, but if I want to do anything with it, I obviously need to convert it with some combination of codecs and magic.

Google searches for any type of file conversion advice leads directly into a recursive nest of SEO-cluttered affiliate links and sketchy sales sites. I'm willing to pay for a solution, if it's an actual, trusted, legitimate solution. But I'm hoping that, given the widespread use of M2TS and iMovie, that someone else has solved this problem recently!
posted by pzarquon to Technology (6 answers total)
What sort of video and audio are in it? You may do OK using something like ffmpeg to remux to .MOV or any other iMovie-supported container and then using that.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:51 PM on February 28, 2010

I would use "MPEG streamclip" from square 5 to open the transport file and and transcode it to something i-movie friendly.
posted by jade east at 6:20 PM on February 28, 2010

Best answer: VoltaicHD
posted by Mwongozi at 3:27 AM on March 1, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, Inspector.Gadget. That's of course a good question. I'm not even sure how to tell what's inside the file. Unfortunately, though I used to use FFMPEGX (a OSX gui build for FFMPEG), it no longer installs (last updated 2008!), and I have absolutely no idea how to compile the official FFMPEG.

MPEG streamclip looked promising, jade east, but I'm already at Snow Leopard and didn't keep the old MPEG-2 Playback Component.

Thanks, Mwongozi, for the VoltaicHD recommendation. It's already the first site I've seen for something like this that doesn't look like a scam. And I see it at least merits mention on Apple's website.
posted by pzarquon at 8:40 AM on March 1, 2010

VoltaicHD is just a frontend to FFMPEG. ProRes is better than other lossy formats as an intermediate, but it's generally better just to re-encode once. If the source is AVCHD, then it is H.264 video with either AC3 or (L)PCM audio. Using a command-line binary of ffmpeg (not the ffmpegX gui), you may be able to get away with.

ffmpeg -i somesource.m2ts -vcodec copy -acodec copy -o
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:41 PM on March 1, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, Inspector.Gadget, but after fumbling around the download of ffmpeg to try and do some command line magic, I just bought VoltaicHD and it did what I needed it to do with two clicks. I envy those for whom this stuff comes easily!
posted by pzarquon at 1:20 PM on March 1, 2010

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