How to Import an AVCHD File into iMovie

To import an AVCHD file into the Mac’s iMovie video editing program you need to:

  1. Open iMovie;
  2. Create a new movie;
  3. Connect the camcorder with the AVCHD file inside or the hard disk or USB “pen” that contains it;
  4. Wait a few moments for iMovie to recognize the device, or select File and then Import from camera;
  5. Select the pieces of the video you want to import and then click on Import at the bottom right;
  6. Done! After a few minutes, the files will be imported and ready to use; you can see the progress from the crescent which shows the import status at the top right.

What is AVCHD?

The AVCHD video format (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) is an HD recording format, introduced in 2006 by Sony and Panasonic and later adopted by various other manufacturers. It is the standard with which many Handycam and tall model cameras currently record.

How to open an AVCHD file on Mac

It is an archive file that contains others as if it were a ZIP file. So on Mac, you will have to:

  • right click on the file;
  • select sss;
  • see the contents in the Finder: open the folder and inside one of them, you will find the video files.

Alternatively, you can use VideoLAN VLC media player or free programs like HandBrake that will allow you to convert the file to MP4. The single video files, taken as clips of fixed length, will have the .MTS extension.import an AVCHD file into iMovie

Video formats compatible with iMovie

Yes, AVCHD is perfectly compatible with iMovie. The video formats generally supported by iMovie are as follows:

  • Apple Animation Codec
  • Apple Intermediate Codec
  • Apple ProRes
  • AVCHD (AVCCAM, AVCHD Lite and NXCAM)
  • DV (DVCAM, DVCPRO and DVCPRO50)
  • H.264
  • HDV
  • HEVC
  • iFrame
  • Motion JPEG (OpenDML only)
  • MPEG-4 SP
  • Photo JPEG
  • XAVC-S

Here is a video guide on how to go about the process:

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