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Import Sony HDD into iMovie and Final Cut Express

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Q. I have a Sony HDD camcorder and I can connect it to my Macintosh with a USB cable but I cannot do anything with the MPEG files. How do I import them into iMovie or Final Cut Express?

A. Sony camcorders save their files in AVCHD format based. In order to import these into either iMovie or Final Cut Express the files need to be in DV or digital video format. So you will need to download a couple of things from the Internet – a free program called “MPEG StreamClip” and Apple’s “MPEG-2 Playback Component”, about $30 CDN. You can install MPEG StreamClip by dragging the app to the applications folder. The Apple component comes with an Installer.

Connect your Sony camcorder via USB and use the HDD. Your Sony camcorder should appear as a mounted drive on the Macintosh called “No Name”. Locate the folder that contains the movie clips and drag them into a folder on your. Launch MPEG StreamClip and choose “Open Files” from the File menu. Choose a single file or a batch and you should see and “play” the movie file in the preview window. To convert the files choose “Export to DV” from the File menu. You can safely save the files into the same folder because the file will be named with the “.dv” extension. You’ll now find that you can import these new DV files into iMovie or Final Cut Express.

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On April 6, 2009
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