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Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #57

Converting .M2T to .MOV By Stephen Schleicher

When using a device like CitiDisk HDV FireWire drive to capture HDV footage, youíll end up with .M2T files, which Final Cut Pro wonít open.  In order to use these clips, they need to be converted.  One application that does an exceptional job is MPEG Streamclip, and best of all, itís free.

Iíve been using the CitiDisk HDV FireWire drive weekly since it arrived at the Digital Media Net Central Division.  It is great not having to digitize hours of tape.  Unfortunately, when shooting HDV, I end up with .M2T files that I need to convert.  I did some research and found MPEG Streamclip by Squared 5 that does a great job in converting the files to something Final Cut Pro can use.

With the application open, it is a simple matter of dragging and dropping the .M2T file into the view window.

While most will want to convert the entire clip, MPEG Streamclip does allow the user to set In and Out points in the clip.  This is actually something that is handier than one might think, because it allows the editor to only convert the stuff that is actually needed.  Surprisingly though, In and Out controls are not part of the main interface.

With In/Out point sets, you are then able to select the format you want to convert.

Depending on what format you select, you are given the option of modifying the compression scheme to match your sequence.

Finally, it is a simple matter of clicking the Make Movie button and sitting back to wait.

How long will the conversion take?  It really depends on the conversion scheme, length of the clip, and so on.  In this example, a 6 minute clip took approximately 15 minutes to convert.  So it actually takes a bit longer to convert than it would had you captured directly from tape, but in some cases you may not have a choice in how the footage arrives at your facility.

Overall, Iím impressed with what MPEG Streamclip has to offer, and for those who need to convert .M2T to .MOV this free application does an excellent job.

You can download MPEG Streamclip from

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (, where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Apple‚??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadn‚??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at [email protected]

Related Keywords:MPEG, conversion, hdv, final cut pro, application, free

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