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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old April 9th, 2009, 06:26 PM   #1
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What is the best way to archive AVCHD in RAW format on my Mac

My mom just got a S10 and I will be doing the editing. I want to archive all RAW footage. Using OS X 10.5/Mac Pro what is the best way/way I can automate archiving so file structure is preserved etc?

This would be the next killer app from Apple. Aperture for AVCHD storage. My idea is to make virtual tapes/projects names to know how long I've been doing this for :D
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Old April 9th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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Could you not use iPhoto 09' as it can do almost all that and accepts video? I don't know about AVCHD, but I use it for .MP4
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Old April 10th, 2009, 12:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley Ouellette View Post
Could you not use iPhoto 09' as it can do almost all that and accepts video? I don't know about AVCHD, but I use it for .MP4
AVCHD requires a special file/folder structure.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 06:56 AM   #4
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There's an app called videopierHD that can handle avchd-file collections without the special folder-structure:
VideoPier - The mising link between your MPEG2 / HDV / AVCHD camcorder and your mac

I've tested the try-out, but it wasn't what i looked for. Probably it's an option for you.
I started to make disk-images from my recorded cards to archiv them.
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Old April 12th, 2009, 03:51 PM   #5
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Use Toast 9 or 10. It can copy AVCHD onto regular DVD (without transcoding). It will span larger files as well onto several discs as needed.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 09:40 AM   #6
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Disk Utility

Or you use the above app to make a .img copy of the disk image and archive that. Then back up the archive. Hard drives are getting so cheap this is more cost effective than using Canon's DVD backup burner, though that works fine too. And it will be a LOT cheaper than backup to Blu-Ray whenever Apple gets around to supporting it natively. At least until the blank media becomes more reasonable.

I'm hoping that the next version of FCP will have a more elegant solution for AVCHD since it's becoming ubiquitous. Right now the one thing you DON'T want to do is back up the transcoded files in FCP as they are massively larger than the original AVCHD ones.

The future of long term back up is murky here as we move away from tape.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #7
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Hello,

I have had a similar issue with my Sony camcorder. Both viewing or editing the footage require translating the files to something the Mac can understand.

So far I have failed to find an application to allow you to watch AVCHD on the Mac without losing image quality, and the same goes for editing. I have recently decided to do my editing on a PC using Sony Vegas. The MAC, to date only handles the footage after it has been changed to another format (.MOV).

You can connect the camera to the Mac and import the footage to iMovie or FCE. This will translate the footage to .MOV quicktime format.
You can then edit the footage, save the file and watch it back.
However, in my case, the very act of translating to .MOV resulted in quality degradation to the point I did not want to use it.

There are various app's that claim to translate AVCHD with no loss, Voltiac, MPEG Streamclip etc. You can try these, perhaps your experience will be better than mine.

Until Apple provide the ability to edit and play AVCHD you are going to have to change the format first, try the iMovie 08 or 09 first and see if the results are good enough for you.

As far as archiving the footage, use Toast 10. This will allow you to archive off the footage.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 04:09 PM   #8
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Have you tried using Final Cut Express on your Mac? It seems to be working OK for this person (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1007535-post22.html) and it looks as though the quality as a final DVD is as good as the original AVCHD files.

While I'm at it, I was wondering if for archiving purposes the following might not be one way to go:

- record movies on 8GB SDHC cards
- capture the movies with FCE
- then copy the raw AVCHD content as it is on each 8GB SDHC cards directly onto DVD-R DL (would fit perfectly I imagine).

I'm new to AVCHD (thinking of getting the HF11) and I'm trying to sort out my workflow before I make the jump.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #9
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Transferring to DVD-R single or DL works fine. Canon sells a burner for this purpose, and the finished DVD's read like disk images when you pop them into your Mac. The burner automatically breaks up the files so they span as many disks as needed, It's just tediously slow. Also, I don't know how archival the DVD's are. They only record to DVD-R, not +R of which the DL's are more expensive and harder to find. Odd choice by Canon.

Like I mentioned, the Blu-Ray disks, especially the DL are, right now, pretty spendy, though they will come down just like DVD's did.

A Drobo back up system might be an alternative for hard disk archiving. The new version is both quiet and fast. Reviews were mixed though I'm told they've improved enormously. Right now, the cheapest solution is a large hard drive which you store along with a copy of it on another drive.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:02 PM   #10
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Archive

I am not sure this is an option as I have not tried it myself but Imovie 09 has an Archive option for your AVCHD files if you want to give that a try.
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