iMovie is a simple, easy-to-use video editing tool that comes with Apple operating system. Mac users can use iMovie to drag and drop clips to timeline, crop them, drag in titles and transitions, etc. Yep, just a few clicks, you can turn your digital movies from camera into your all-time favorite films. However, experienced iMovie user must have found that iMovie is not accessible as it claimed when trying to import MTS files to iMovie.
1. iMovie doesn’t accept raw .MTS files copied from STREAM folder in AVCHD>>BDMV.MTS files are just grayed out if you try to use the option of “import movies” to load digital MTS files to iMovie.
2. iMovie can’t recognize 1080 50p/60p MTS files. Take Panasonic TM700 as an example, it is a HD camcorder which records both 1080/60p and 1080/60i AVCHD. Connect TM700 to iMac, then, iMovie will detect the camera and allows us to start loading MTS files. When importing process is finished, we can find only 1080/60i MTS files in iMovie.
In conclusion, iMovie doesn’t support 1080 50/60p MTS files whether the original AVCHD folder are kept intact or not. MTS in a whole AVCHD folder but neither at 1080/50p nor 1080/60p can be accessible to iMovie for further editing.
The below paragraphs are mainly focusing on how to make iMovie recognize 1080 50p/60p AVCHD files or separated .mts files copied from AVCHD folder.
Solution one: Rewrap MTS to QuickTime MOV without Re-encoding
Purchase ClipWrap with $49 to rewrap .mts files to mov without changing video samples and the speed of conversion is nearly as fast as a file copy.
Solution Two: Convert/Transcode MTS to AIC (*.mov) for iMovie’s Further Editing
In addition to rewrapping, ClipWrap also supports transcode MTS files to Apple Intermediate Codec if you’are willing to pay $49.
However, if you can’t afford for a Apple Intermediate codec at $49, Aunsoft MTS Converter is a worthy-purchase with only $29 to not only transcode MTS to AIC but also Apple ProRes, DVCProHD, or Avid's DNxHD, Mpeg, H.264 codec, etc.
Here we did a test by importing rewrapped MOV to iMovie and loading MTS transcoded AIC to iMovie.
1. Using ClipWrap to rewrap a 28-second 1080/50p MTS file to a MOV file named as “rewrap.mov”
2. Using ClipWrap to transcode the 28-second 1080/50p MTS file to a “clipwrap-aic.mov”
3. Using Aunsoft MTS Converter to convert the 28-second 1080/50p MTS file to a “Aun-aic.mov”
Then, according to the option of “Import Movies” in iMovie, we separately import the three “rewrap.mov”, “clipwrap-aic.mov”, and “Aun-aic.mov” to iMovie. How long the importing process does lasts?
It takes three minutes to import “rewrap.mov” to iMovie, while only 5 seconds to import both “clipwrap-aic.mov”, and “Aun-aic.mov”. Since ClipWrap rewrapped MOV files doesn’t alter the original video’s samples, it seems that iMovie needs some time to optimize the rewrap.mov to match better.
Thus, the test turns out that both rewrapped MOV and converted AIC can achieve the goal of editing MTS in iMovie, but the converted AIC can be loaded to iMovie more quickly as AIC is iMovie best editing codec.
As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be more likely to recommend the solution of converting MTS to AIC for iMovie’s further editing instead of rewrapping MTS. And, as for which app to choose for converting MTS to AIC, ClipWrap with $49 or Aunsoft MTS Converter with $29?
ClipWrap is famous for its unique function to lossless rewrap existing HDV (mts) or AVCHD (mts) footage into QuickTime movies faster than realtime while Aunsoft MTS Converter is said to be professional at transcoding AVCHD/MTS/M2TS to AVI/MOV/WMV, etc. Well, it’s up to you to select the proper program for converting MTS footage to AIC for further editing in iMovie.