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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old July 14th, 2011, 02:01 PM   #1
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AVCHD Thumbnails On A Mac?

Does anyone have a way to view thumbnails of your clips on a Mac, without importing them into your NLE? This drives me nuts when I have a bunch of clips and simply want to sort through them, before importing. On my PC I can easily see what the clips are by viewing the thumbnail images.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #2
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Re: AVCHD Thumbnails On A Mac?

This is easy to do in iMovie, without actually importing the clips into iMovie. Hook up your AVCHD camcorder to the Mac via USB (or could also take out the memory card and connect via a flash memory reader to USB).

In iMovie, (I am using iMovie '11, version 9.0.2), there will be an icon of a camcorder. Click on it, and a window will appear showing the AVCHD clips on your camcorder. At this point you can do several things. You can import all of them, import selected ones (when you import, you actually transcode, and select the quality level and where the transcoded clips will reside on your hard disk), and you can Archive All (this makes an identical copy with the same file structure of what is on your camcorder, without transcoding - a great way to back up your files, and it is always available later for transcoding if that is what you want.)

Instead of importing (transcoding) or archiving, you can simply click on a thumbnail clip to choose it, and then in the top of the window hit the play button to view that clip. Also note that each thumbnail clip has superimposed over it the duration of the clip.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 04:04 PM   #3
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Re: AVCHD Thumbnails On A Mac?

Thanks David!

I'll give it a try.

Will do the archiving, since I edit in Premiere.

Seems like Apple could add an update for OSX that would display thumbnails though. I purchased my first Mac late last year and must say, all in all, I regret it.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 05:42 PM   #4
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Re: AVCHD Thumbnails On A Mac?

You can also rewrap your .MTS files to .MOV (with ClipWrap) or .m4v (with Remux), which is fast (copy speed, stays in AVCHD). You then have pretty awesome preview options straight from the Finder:
* thumbnails of everything. Try all the different view options to see what works best for you (in the icon view you can even mouse-over and have the video play within the icon itself)
* press space to watch the video, including as full-screen, or with an 'index sheet' view if the Finder options weren't enough for you.
* select all and press space, and it will loop through all the files
* or double-click to watch in QuickTime Player

FCPx will work with the files as either .MOV or .M4V directly (still AVCHD). iMovie '11 will with directly with AVCHD as well, if you drag straight into the Events folder rather than importing the file (which will transcode to AIC). We don't need the MTS files, so we just transcode to .MOV at the same time as copying the files off the SD card.

caveats:
* ClipWrap changes the date/time, but ReMux does not
* The current version of ClipWrap has a bug that doesn't handle 1080p60 video from my Sony CX700v, but they've already fixed it (in alpha testing)
* .MOV files give us a little more flexibility downstream, but making .M4V files with ReMux (which is free) may be fine for you.

-Terence
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Old July 24th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #5
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Re: AVCHD Thumbnails On A Mac?

HD Quicklook from Sheworx does the job. AVCHD Previewer for Mac, AVCHD Quick Look plug in | ShedWorx
Also, Cosmo is a good importer/ file manager.
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