Using AVCHD video with iPhoto ‘11

iPhoto 9.3 will work with AVCHD video using these guidelines.

iPhoto will recognize many devices that shoot AVCHD video and import from them directly, similarly to importing a photo. Some devices don't appear in the regular import view of iPhoto. You can still use AVCHD video from these cameras by dragging and dropping or menu-driven imports. Importing the AVCHD video by dragging and dropping, or menu, can get different results depending on how it's done. Specifically: 

  • If you want just the AVCHD files, you have to know which folder to import.
  • You have to import all of the AVCHD files at once.
  • Do NOT drag and drop the individual AVCHD streams or their containing folder. 

Note: Some cameras need to take a photo or capture a non-AVCHD movie before the memory card will contain the DCIM folder and be recognized by iPhoto.

General notes on drag and drop and file path

  • To get every file on the card (all video format files and all still images), you can drag and drop the whole disk image icon.
  • To get only the AVCHD files, you can import PRIVATE, AVCHD, or BDMV.

Possible drag and drop issues:

  • If you drag and drop the DCIM folder (probably the most familiar to users), you exclude all AVCHD files from the import.
  • Certain folders fail completely. 

From the example above, there are four potential ways to import that fail with a warning dialog:

  • Importing individual MTS files will result in a warning similar to this one:

  • Importing the AVCHDTN, PANA_EXT, or STREAM folders will result in a warning similar to this:

Learn more

Examples of the variance in folder structures:

Individual camera brands and models store the AVCHD video differently.

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