mts to mov

A very frequent question on many boards is "How do I import .mts-files?". The answer is, you don't, iM09 does ... 
A mpeg-transport-stream/mts is usually some file on a recorder. And for us hobby-movie-makers, it is usually part of an AVCHD-file-structure.



Many users believe, all those others files are not needed - indeed, the bare VIDEO is h264-encoded inside the .mts (=just renaming the suffix mts>>mov doesn't do the trick). But to allow iM09 doing its import-routines (as automatic splitting into Events etc.), all those other stuff is important.

DCIM and MISC are of no use for Video (=DCIM contains the stills, my Lumix does aside video). But e.g. CLIPINFO contains .. ehm, clip infos .. erasing the PLAYLIST also makes it iM09 impossible to read the files.. and without the other files, you see inside the BDMV folder, iM09 will ignore all files. 

Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to 'trick' iM .. on some Window-centric boards, they recommend any .CPI file to 're-enact' the file structure.. tried that, been there, no go. :(
There ARE Windows-Tools which re-create CPI-files from .mts, but that alone doesn't allow iM09 to import, e.g. the INDEX.BDM is also needed.. and so on, and so on.. 

HINT: COPY THE WHOLE FILE-STRUCTURE OF YOUR DEVICE AS BACKUP!
(or, use iM09's built-in Archive feature) 


Soooo.. we have to convert. Here're a few options: 

Kigo Video Converter (free) 


Kigo offers a 'free' version of its app... it looks a lil' unfamiliar, I assume, 'cause Kigo comes from the Windows world. 

Little to say: drag the .mts into it, set (lower left) the correct settings, esp. resolution and bitrate! for my 720p videos, I'm using 6000 (kbs) .. 



Toast (free, if you have it allready … )


Many Mac-Users purchase a copy of this fantastic 'burn'-app. But Toast is more, it offers in vers 9/10 a 'Converter'-tab. 

Same procedure: drag mts-files into it, click on the settings, and after a while, you get a compatible mov file.. 





Handbrake (free, and in some areas and under some circumstances illegal ... )


ok, first about 'illegal': in its beginning, Handbrake was meant as a DVD-Ripper .. and most people rip commercial DVD, aka 'DRM'/copy protection. Early versions were able to 'ignore' such.

the now-available versions do NOT 'crack' any copy-protections, and is more meant as a universal converter tool. So, you ARE allowed to download this app and use it as a converter. Older versions are 'rippers' .. check your local lawyer, if it's allowed. And the actual version can 'rip' too! ...  I will not tell here how.

Again: insert .mts, choose 'normal' as Preset .. done. the resulting h264.mov can be imported into iM09. I noticed while testing it, it sometimes 'ignores' my files ('no video' .. such).. be a little emphatic to teach it, what you want to do ..



CLIPWRAP (50$, but faaaassst)


Why a 50$-app recommending, when above is a list of others, free ones? Simple reason: ALL apps mentioned above trans-code. What does that mean?

As I mentioned at the very beginning, a .mts contains already a h264-encoded/iM-compatible 'video' - but in the wrong 'wrapper'.

The tools mentioned so far 'transcode', in means of re-encode .. from h264 to h264.. this is a lossy process (will you notice? I dare to say no). But it is a time-consuming procedure, you all did notice that, when 'Exporting with QT' out of iMovie.

CLIPWRAP has a different concept: due to clever engineering, it just wraps off the .mts-package and puts the 'naked' h264 into a standard-conform .mov-wrapper - this process is ultra-fast! The free trial allows 1 minute to convert - this happens, while you click the mouse .. awesome!

Best for your bucks, in case you have to convert tons of mts. .. www.clipwrap.com , 50$

('aside' re-packaging mts, it offers lots of other useful features, read the website)



the totally free and awesome solution: ALAN'S AUTOMATOR script ReWrap2M2V


If you're familiar with the TERMINAL, command-lines, Unix, Linux, whatever, you've heard of the ffmpeg project (not to be confused with FfmpegX which is a commercial GUI for an old version of ffmpeg!).

Problem for users like me: con-fu-sing!! But Andy at AD helps Mac-heads like me with a surprising and easy solution - it is a 3-step process:


• Perian teaches Quicktime new tricks and is the widely recommended 'swiss Army Knife' for codecs. 
• ClipGrab is a free tool to grab video, which we abuse here as an easy installation of the ffmpeg-package, which is 'inside' ClipGrab...- tricky, Andy! Install into your Apps-Folder!!
• Andy's Script now will do the magic: drag any mts-file onto the lil' bot, and instantly you'll find in the same folder a file 12345.mts.m4v - which is the h264! no conversion-losses.

original thread and Andy's advice here: http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=11444619

Hint: I would re-name that file!! two . /dots inside a file-name is no good idea with iApps ... 
next step for Andy: mov instead of m4v .. ;)



REMUX, free and simple


 Looks like, programmers like the 'challange' to create an app which re-wraps the containers. here's the latest: remux, based again on the ffmpeg-library, simple, fast, reliable and EASIER in installation than Alan's Script: remux comes as a single, solid app. free, download HERE (click).


(thanks to '1o8' for recommending it)




AVCCAM Restorer


… and 'professionals' obviously do have the same probs as me hobbyists: mts but no AVCHD structure around it. Here's Panasonics help to solve the problem - the restorer. It does what it says, it creates artificially a new 'housing' around the mts, so you get a fully functioning 'SDcard' back again. 
Never tried myself, I assume, some meta-data will get lost.  Link directs to a disclaimer-site first ... HERE (click)








If I find any other Converters, I'll let you know .. :)