AVCHD 50p/60p to iMovie: does iMovie work with 50p/60p AVCHD?

If you are working with iMovie’11, iMovie’08 or iMovie’09, you will find that the 1080p 50/60 AVCHD video will not be supported in iMovie. In that case, you will need to transcode 50p/60p AVCHD MTS files to Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC), which iMovie recognizes and handles well.

Is iMovie compatible with AVCHD files at 50p/60p?
“Hi, there, hoping for your help. I’m feeling really confused now. I was convinced that iMovie’11 was compatible with AVCHD footage, so I purchased a brand new Canon VIXIA HF R500 AVCHD camcorder last month. However, today when I attempted to edit these Canon AVCHD files shot at 60p in iMovie, I cannot seem to get iMovie to recognize them at all. Why this happen? Does anyone have any ideas on this?”

Yes, iMovie is compatible with some AVCHD camcorders, but there are exceptions as well. Some AVCHD camcorders allow you to shot either in 1080i 50/60 or 1080p50/60 mode, and the problem is that the 1080p 50/60 AVCHD video will not be supported in iMovie. If you want to edit 50p and 60p MTS file in iMovie, you will need to convert 50/60p AVCHD to Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC), iMovie’s native editing codec, which iMovie’11/8/9 reads and handles well. (Note: If you’re using Mavericks: iMovie 10 natively supports 50p and 60p import of MTS files now, no need for AVCHD 60p to iMovie AIC conversion.)

To do format conversion, third party converter is required. If your concerns are ease of use and optimal files for use in iMovie, you can give HD Video Converter for Mac a shot. You don’t need the original file structure to use HD Video Converter for Mac, just the .mts/.m2ts files. If you had kept them in the original file structure you can still use the whole folder as import in HD Video Converter for Mac.

Download a free trial of HD Video Converter for Mac
50p/60p avchd to imovie converter

How to process 50p/60p AVCHD to iMovie AIC Conversion using HD Video Converter for Mac?

Follow the steps below to go through the 50p/60p AVCHD to AIC conversion process:
1. Install and run HD Video Converter for Mac as a 50p/60p AVCHD to iMovie Converter. Once launched, its main interface appears as below:

2. Click on ‘Add File’ to load your AVCHD recordings to the program.

3. From the Format bar, choose ‘Apple InterMediateCodec (AIC) (*.mov) as output format from ‘iMovie and Final Cut Express’ column.

Important: If you’ve loaded a number of video clips to do batch conversion, please do remember ticking off ‘Apply to All’ option before you start.

Note that the AIC codec is also accepted by Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro (HD 4.5 through 5), but rarely used in Final Cut Pro as of Version 6 since it now uses the ProRes codecs instead of the Apple Intermediate Codec.

4. Click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profile Settings’ window to custom video and audio settings like resolution, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate, and audio channel. (for advanced users)

5. When ready, click ‘Convert’ to start transcoding 50p/60p AVCHD MTS footage to AIC – the best suited editing format for using within Apple iMovie Version 8, 9 or 11.

6. When the conversion process complete, click on ‘Open Folder’ button to get the generated AIC QuickTime files and open them in iMovie for further editing with optimal performance.

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