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Thread: Video Format?

  1. #1

    Default Video Format?


    I am an amateur video editor and am currently using Final Cut Express 4.

    I am having issues in regards to the correct formats in which to edit my movies in.

    I have raw video files in M-PEG 2 that I was not able to import to FCE because it was an "Unknown File".

    I then converted them into Quicktime format. I was able to import and edit the videos in quicktime. However, it was extremely laggy. Each action took about 15 seconds to take effect.

    I then converted the videos to avi. There was no trouble with importing or lagging. It however gave me the "Codec could not be opened" message in the canvas window.

    So instead continuing to take shots in the dark, I was hoping somebody could help me out.

  2. #2


    Im not sure what codecs you have installed. I convert everything to ProRes 422, but I have a feeling that is not included with FCE4. For editing purposed you can convert to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec), do your editing then output in what ever format you want.

    You need to be in a codec that's designed for editing rather than playback. MPEG2 is a playback format, designed to be read sequentially from start to finish. Because it uses long GOP the computer can't just start playing at a random frame, it needs to backup to a previous keyframe then render ALL the frames prior to the one you want before finally being able to play your frame. This adds a LOT of overhead and is why most editing systems are jerky with that type of file.

    The benefit of MPEG2 is the size, but it's not ideal for editing. The benefit of AIC (and ProRes) is that it's ideal for editing, but the file will take a lot more space on your hard disk. However, as I said above, edit in AIC (if you don't have ProRes) then output to MPEG2, H.264, MP4 or what ever you need for distribution when it's all done.

  3. #3


    Ok i'll try it out.

    Cheers for the help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Hengelo (Holland)


    I would encode the mpeg2 in normal resolution PAL (or NTSC) quicktime format. Normally I use MPEG Streamclip for that kind of stuff.
    You can download it here, it's free.
    Squared 5 - MPEG Streamclip video converter for Mac and Windows

  5. #5


    I am having a similar problem now.

    I have video files in Mpeg Transport Stream format. I've tried using Mpeg Streamclip but it won't allow me to convert to any other format. It keeps stating the error message "Unrecognised file type".

    Does anybody know what this is about?

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