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iLife 09: AVCHD to Toast to iMovie 09 Workflow January 31, 2009

Posted by asimag in AVCHD, Video.
Tags: , ,

Update: July 2009

I have moved this Blog to new Address:

Please post comments on new Blog. I will disable further comments on this blog.

Thank you


iLife 09 is here and you will be ofcourse curious to compose your first movie in it. The problem is you have got a camera which produces AVCHD format.

One simple Solution is to attach your camera with notebook, start iMovie and import movie. But I have copied all my AVCHD to folders on my notebook as I don’t have time to empty my Memory card by capturing it through iMovie.

Toast to Rescue: IMP: In Toast 10 Preference (Audio & Video) set Chapter Markers to None, otherwise your converted movies will not be visible in iMovie 09.

Fireup your Toast (Toast 9 or 10) and select convert choose the AVCHD (.mts) file or just drag and drop that file into Toast. Start the conversion, choose following setting: In Device Choose H.264 Player In Quality Choose Custom

and change the setting according to screen above. Now Start Converting. The Advantage of using Toast is two folds. First the conversion is very fast and Second the file sizes are quite small.

iMovie 09:

Import your converted movie into IMovie 09 using Import Movie Command and then start composing your movie.

Export your Movie using Share command in iMovie 09 using Large Format. (It will be automatically set for you).



1. Mike - March 1, 2009

Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

Making Money $150 An Hour

2. """" - March 4, 2009

It works. Thank you!

3. Kris - March 14, 2009

It’s not working, but I only have the .MTS files, not the complete AVCHD directory. Could that be the reason?

4. asimag - March 14, 2009

No you don’t need to have complete avchd directory structure. If you can provide more detail about not working I may be able to suggest

5. Matt - April 10, 2009

I followed your method and it worked, but it felt like the HD quality of my project was lost. Is it my eyes that are deceiving me, or is there a loss of quality in the conversion?

6. asimag - April 10, 2009

You can fiddle with settings and increase data rate to get higher quality.

7. chuck Doss - April 10, 2009

I played with the data rate and it doesn’t matter the video is still softer then the mov version of the same video. Anyone else got any ideas

8. Jim - April 14, 2009

Thanks for this tip. Working nicely. Curious if you made any adjustments to the Audio or whether you just went with the defaulted values…Thanks.

9. ryca - April 27, 2009

Thankyou!!!! I’ve recently been shopping for a HD camera wondered how I would edit on my Mac. You’ve just answered so many questions for me… I was finally able to do this successfully with a test .MTS file from Canon HF100 (AVCHD) –> Toast Titanium –> iMovie 08. Process couldn’t have been any easier. Really appreciate your time posting this solution. Thanks again!

10. ronanc - May 9, 2009

Hi a question, if I do this, will I be able to share the movie from imovie to idvd, direclty downloading from the camera to imovie you cannot do that.

11. Tobias - May 12, 2009

I don’t find a trial version of toast. Don’t they offer that ? Furthermore would be good to know how fast the conversion is and what kind of settings you would suggest to keep the HD quality of my Canon HF 10.

12. MadMaz - June 20, 2009

wow it works! thanks for the tips – your site is great 🙂

13. Paul Carampatan - June 21, 2009

i did all the suggested settings.. i found that my audio is lagging slightly, but enough to be barely noticed. I really am hoping i could sync them 100 percent… any suggestions?

14. Aaron - July 10, 2009

I am having no problem converting the file from .mts to the .mp4 with the settings listed above exactly but I am unable to import the movie into imovie 09. The resulting mp4 file is greyed out and not an importable movie. Any suggestions?


15. asimag - July 11, 2009

Update: July 2009

I have moved this Blog to new Address:

Please post comments on new Blog. I will disable further comments on this blog.

Thank you


16. Lynn Kasel - September 6, 2009

Great tip! I noticed that the date and time of the original clip are lost. Other than that it works great.

17. LDM - December 2, 2009

Tried this with HD video, converting to 720p, but iMovie won’t import it. Don’t know what’s wrong.

18. niceemily - February 16, 2011

thanks for sharing, but i use the following way to import mts, mt2s, avchd, avi, mpg, mp4 to imovie

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