Is there a Mac application available to convert .mp4 files to AVCHD?
February 21, 2013 8:33 PM   Subscribe

Is there a Mac application available to convert .mp4 files to AVCHD format? I'm trying to load videos on a USB stick to play on my blu-ray player. It is a Panasonic DMP-BD65. I seem to be running into the problem discussed in this thread, but the conversion software listed does not appear to have a Mac version and I can't seem to Google up a mac converter to do the same thing. Is there any way for me to make this happen?
posted by Drinky Die to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here you go
posted by travis08 at 8:48 PM on February 21, 2013

just realized you want to got the other direction. I am not sure if it will do that.
posted by travis08 at 8:52 PM on February 21, 2013

MPEG streamclip will probably do this, but I haven't tested it.

(ffmpeg will probably do it too, but I'd start with MPEG streamclip...)
(...and this blog post has another alternative)
posted by pompomtom at 8:59 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

It looks like Final Cut Pro can get you there.
posted by travis08 at 9:09 PM on February 21, 2013

Response by poster: I might need more detailed instruction if any of them can deliver, cause I downloaded and can't figure a way to get a playable file. Thanks for trying to help regardless.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:35 PM on February 21, 2013

Look up an app called Media Converter.
posted by victory_laser at 12:37 AM on February 22, 2013

Looks like AVCHD is H.264 video and AC3 audio in an MPEG-TS container. I don't have a Bluray player, but I was able to construct an ffmpeg (v1.0.4) command that created such a file. And mplayer/VLC played it back. Your luck may vary.
ffmpeg -i my-input-file.mp4 -vcodec libx264 -acodec ac3 -f mpegts my-output-file.mts

posted by sbutler at 12:45 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Cool, sbutler has just saved me much typing (though, since the existing file is .mp4, simply remuxing the video may be a better option e.g. ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec copy -acodec ac3 …). However, there's a few other potential problems...
  • Many players will only play AVCHD files that conform to the specs for video size (e.g. 1920/1440 x 1080, 1280 x 720, etc) - you may have to adapt sbutler's ffmpeg command line to resize e.g. add -s 1280x720
  • The spec says sequentially numbered filenames (in old-school 8.3 DOS format), and many players require this - change my-output-file.mts to 0001.mts
  • Along with the 8.3 filenames, the disk has to be formatted as FAT16 (or, sometimes FAT32)
  • Many players also require at least some semblence of the correct directory structure - check the Wikipedia entry on AVCHD for an example. Although, some will work with the .mts file dumped in the root, or with the STREAM directory off the root, etc. Worth trying just the .mts file on the USB; if that doesn't work, re-create the whole directory structure and try again. If that works, you can then experiment with whether or not a simpler structure will work.
  • Some players will require the whole damned lot - correct directory structure, associated thumbnails/indexes/playlist files, etc. These are more trouble than they're worth; the file structures are not documented, although there are a few converters using reverse-engineered documentation that mostly work. If your player is one of these, the easist way is to either give up or buy something that will play almost any media file in any format.
Personally, having faffed around with this sort of shit over the years, I'd recommending spending the additional $90 or whatever on a new Blu-Ray or media player…
posted by Pinback at 1:20 AM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

From What I understand as discussed in this handbrake forum post

Its not so simple to create an avchd file for Blu-ray. You need to buy a program specifically for it because its not just a video file. its very sepcific
posted by majortom1981 at 3:34 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Marked as best answer for "get a new one" after messing around with the commands and not getting anywhere. I hate spending money rather than finding a technical solution but it just doesn't seem practical to do otherwise in this case. Thanks for trying!
posted by Drinky Die at 5:27 AM on February 22, 2013

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