Wouldn’t import CPI files to iMovie? Looking for an easy way to work with AVCHD CPI files on Mac through iMovie? Read this post to learn a workaround to transcode CPI files to Apple InterMediate Codec for use in iMovie with optimum performance.
How can I edit CPI files in iMovie smoothly?
“Hi there, I recently bought a SONY HDR-CX100. The bad surprise is that after recording in HD I can not edit the files in my Mac through iMovie. The format shown is CPI, which iMovie’11 recognize the import but when I go to import an individual clip or clips, the iMovie pop up says that there is something wrong with the clips and that I should review the clips carefully. I have checked the clips and everything seems fine to me. Really annoying because I really need to get this footage down for further editing… My Mac is Intel based, and I am running on Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Please help me… I get really frustrated… Don’t know what to do anymore…Thanks for any help.”
File extension CPI is AVCHD Video Clip Information File. The .CPI contains metadata about the video it just tags it with information; the MTS is the actual video stream. The AVCHD directory contains a folder for clipinfo which contains one .cpi file for each .mts file in the stream folder. cpi (clip info) contains various contains metadata describing an AVCHD video stream, such as the frame rate, frames per second, and aspect ratio. The video and audio is stored in the mts/m2ts (Transport Stream) files.
CPI and MTS in AVCHD folder structure
As long as you leave them in the AVCHD structure, you can import them whether the SD card is in the camera, or if you plug the SD card into a reader.
You can also backup your footage to another hard drive from the SD card as long as you transfer the entire AVCHD folder structure; then later if you want to import it (if using iMovie) just transfer it all back over to the SD card so iMovie can recognize it (unlike the way it works in FCE or FCP which allows you to navigate to a folder location storing the AVCHD private folder and have it find the footage for you which is much more convenient).
The biggest problem becomes people who move out the individual files from the folder structure – once out of there (and they usually delete the folder structure) they end up with un-useable files that need to be transcoded prior to importing into iMovie. HD Video Converter for Mac can do that. Unlike Final Cut Pro and iMovie, the HD Video Converter for Mac reads single AVCHD .mts and .m2ts files and exports the AVCHD contents to playable and editable videos on Mac. The software features best intermediate codec for editing software and H.264 output presets for iOS devices.
How to convert CPI and MTS files to AIC MOV for iMovie editing?
Here’s what you need
HD Video Converter for Mac
Step 1: Open up HD Video Converter for Mac as a CPI Converter for iMovie. When its main interface comes up, click ‘Add File’ to load your source media.
Note that .CPI is AVCHD Video Clip Information File. The AVCHD directory contains a folder for clipinfo which contains one .cpi file for each .mts file in the stream folder. cpi (clip info) contains various contains metadata describing an AVCHD video stream, such as the frame rate, frames per second, and aspect ratio. The video and audio is stored in the mts/m2ts (Transport Stream) files. To convert CPI files, actually, you need to add mts/m2ts clips into this program for conversion.
Step 2: Select output format for your editing program
To convert AVCHD CPI files for iMovie, from ‘Profile’ list, choose ‘Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC)(*.mov)’ as output format under ‘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.
Step 3: Custom video and audio settings (optional)
If necessary, you can click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profiles Settings’ panel to modify video and audio settings like video encoder, resolution, video bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, audio encoder, sample rate, audio bit rate, and audio channels. 3D settings are also available.
Step 4: Begin CPI MTS to MOV Conversion on Mac
When ready, click ‘Convert’ to start format conversion. Once the conversion process is complete, you can click ‘Open Folder’ button to get the generated AIC MOV files for editing in iMovie with optimum performance.
If you don’t want to wait for the entire conversion process, you can tick off ‘Showdown computer when conversion completed’ and go away to do other things.
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