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Old December 19th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #1
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Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

I have a potential job editing mp4 files. That is the only info I have as of yet about the files.
My equipment is still a little bit older - FCP HD on a G5..
I've not used Mp4s before - usually I am editing something I shot on mini-dv.
What do I need to know before responding to this particular client? I need to respond as soon as possible, preferably this morning.
I'm searching now for the answer, but due to time pressure, was hoping someone here could advise. I'm assuming I could just mpeg streamclip convert these to DV or similar? Are there any pitfalls I need to anticipate?
Thanks in advance.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 01:04 PM   #2
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

You can convert and edit, but if the mp4 is a high definition file, which many are, you won't be able to preserve resolution if you convert to DV. You could convert to ProRes, though maybe your system is too old for that ..? Or the other Apple intermediate codec, whose name escapes me [or not, the name is Apple Intermediate Codec or AIC], but was used by Final Cut Express for exactly the purpose you are pursuing -- editing demanding HD material on an underpowered system.

HTH
GB

Last edited by R Geoff Baker; December 20th, 2011 at 06:58 AM.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #3
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

Ok... the file info is
GoPro AVC encoder, 1280 960, 29.97 fps, 12.09 Mbps

Audio Tracks:
MPEG-4 Audio stereo, 48 kHz, 128 kbps

I'm not having a lot of luck here. Mpeg streamclip converts to DVC PRO HD but changes it to 16x9. I don't see a place to put in custom sizes while retaining HD. Still looking.

Last edited by Kell Smith; December 19th, 2011 at 07:28 PM.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

Bump. Anyone?
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Old December 20th, 2011, 05:36 AM   #5
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

So it is an HD file in 4:3 ratio -- oddball, but not unusable -- have you tried converting to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec)? This is exactly what AIC is intended for, and Streamclip will let you choose that size, that aspect ratio and that codec ...

GB

Last edited by R Geoff Baker; December 20th, 2011 at 06:48 AM.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 01:24 AM   #6
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

Thanks,
I didn't see the AIC codec. I'll look again.
It looks like exporting to DVC Pro might work.
Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been dealing with some technical and some hardware nightmares.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 06:49 AM   #7
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

DVC Pro is just DV -- same codec -- and so only standard definition. So it won't work.

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Old December 23rd, 2011, 08:25 AM   #8
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

DVCPRO 100 is HD. I have a G5 and Final Cut 6 and edit HD all the time. Lots of different ways to handle this. You can always re adjust the footage to proper aspect ration with the distort function if you don't like way it has been stretched in the conversion. I also have had success with Mp4 footage rendering on to a different seq settings like DVCPRO but it is very slow and hard to edit that way.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 08:37 AM   #9
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

Yes DVCPro 100 is an HD codec ... but it introduces the 'problem' of an odd PAR to the problems of working with a acquisition codec. I still maintain that the safe path is to use one of the two codecs designed for use as intermediate -- ProRes LT if your system can work with it, Apple Intermediate if your system is too slow for ProRes.

Cheers,
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Old January 25th, 2012, 12:10 AM   #10
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

THanks guys,
Just saw your posts. A little late

I ended up converting to DVCPro 50, with a frame size of 1280x960, and it worked out alright. I certainly am open to other options and suggestions for the future. The rendering time was an annoyance, but not too terribly awful, once my sequence settings matched the video.

A few questions for you:
I was using Mpeg Streamclip to convert, but I didn't see the AIC Codec. Am I missing something?
My version of FCP is too old for Pro Res.

When I look at my times on this most recent project, finished about a week ago, they were ridiculous. Three hours of editing which was charged for (a one-hour project but itwas simple and straighforward). BUT....6 hours at a minimum of conversion time, Probably about three hours of export, compress, burn time. And then of course if there's a tiny mistake, you to export/compress/burn, all over again. Then at least an hour reviewing the DVD in depth to make sure it works properly, everything looks good, etc. Any way I could reduce this time? And most people don't charge for this, really?
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Old January 25th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #11
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Re: Can I edit mp4 files with what I have?

I'm not 100% certain but I believe AIC came in with FCP 5.
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