Using JVC Everio GZ-MG .MOD with Mac iMovie

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Yesterday I posted under a different forum about complications converting Everio .MOD hard disk files into a format that can be used in iMovie, but today I found a pretty easy solution based on Quicktime MPEG-2 Player, DVDrop and iMovie.

BACKGROUND: JVC Everio camcorders use hard disk media to record video files which is great for navigating directly to the video you want to edit. The camera stores the video in a .MOD file in an MPEG-2 format. JVC provides software called Capty MPEG Edit EX for Evario, but it is not quality editing software and not worth the time to learn.

PROBLEM: iMovie can’t access the camera directly to import the video and Quicktime Pro doesn’t even understand the MPEG-2 format.

REQUIREMENTS:
a. dowload and install DVDrop. This converts the .MOD MPEG-2 formatted video into standard Digital Video (DV) for iMovie. (see www.dropdv.com)
b. Optional - dowload and install Quicktime MPEG-2 player so you can preview clips before you burn disk space and time converting them to DV and importing to iMovie. (see www.apple.com/quicktime/mpeg2)

WORKFLOW SOLUTION:
a. Create a folder on the desktop and download the entire SD-VIDEO folder the camera hard disk to your new work folder
b. open the new folder in Finder and using the search function find all the .MOI files. Then highlight all the .MOI files and drag them to the trash. These are files that contain junk the camera faluted on and not real video data.
c. Next use Quicktime to preview the imported clips to verify which ones you want to convert. Delete any files that you don’t want in your movie. NOTE: You may need to change the name of the file from .MOD to .mpeg. Also, you won’t have audio because of a long technical discussion dealing with the codec for MPEG-2 and demux’ing it etc.
d. Now highlight all the files the folder, which after deleting the .MOI’s and reviewing in Quicktime will only contain the desired files for the movie. Drag all these files in one group onto the DropDV icon and it will convert to DV and create a folder on the desktop.
e. Open the desktop folder and click on the “imovie project” folder. This will launch iMovie and all your desired clips will be there including the audio you couldn’t hear in Quicktime.

Hope this saves someone the sleep I lost staying up all night to figure it out,
Zac reply


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Just what I’m looking for, now if only I could find this DVDrop of which you speak. reply

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I have Googled DVDrop and come up empty. Can you give me a source for the software? I have been fighting with the JVC files for two days and I haven’t gotten anywhere. This sounds like the solution. reply

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Another option if you cant find DVDRop is to use MPEGStreamClip www.squared5.com (google it and you should find the current link no worries). It will let you loat in files using a batch and convert them all to DV, AVI, MPEG, QuickTime etc. For best results if you are going to feed them into iMovie use DV then load them in as per the parent post.

Hope this helps

RandomProcess reply

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I found the software, DropDV, and it worked fine. I brought the files to the desktop using a firewire Microdrive reader, then dragged the .MOD files in a block to DropDV. I ended up with Mpeg files in a Project folder with an iMovie link. The Mpegs could be dragged into FCE as clips without a fuss. They are a bit jittery, so I am not sure if there were some synch issues, but I will know more once I get into the editing (probably late next week). Thanks for the sage advice! reply

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My biggest problem is converting the fake 16:9 Aspect ratio produced on my new GZ-MG27U (This Cam actually stretches 4:3 to become 16:9 aspect instead of actually filming it at 16:9 unlike the higher end Everio models). I’ll experiment and see what works best (if at all).

Cost Notes:
DropDVD is a free trial (leaves a watermark on your video until you buy the full version $39.99)
MPEG_Stream 1.7 is completely free
Quicktime MPEG-2 is $19.99

If www.squared5.com is still down know there’s other places to find MPEG Streamclip 1.7. I got it from www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/24055 yesturday. reply

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Does anybody know what is the best camera to buy, after I return the JVC everio that iI just purchased, That will work with imovie and not haave to lose audio or go through any of this crap ???
If so please email derisoa@aol.com
It will be much appreciated... reply

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Since my original post in April I have been using my JVC almost every week.

The workflow I described back then included a lot more work than I bother with now. It’s funny how you want to mess around with all the bells and whistles when the toy is new, but when you just want to press through you find the efficient path.

To simplify, I recommend the following.

1. Get DropDV. It is a built for MAC application and preps into an iMovie project folder...couldn’t be easier.

2. Drag all the files from the Evario hard drive into a new folder.
3. Search *.MOI in the new folder and delete these files.
4. Drag all the remaining files onto the DropDV icon and presto, 10 minutes later you will have a new iMovie project that has all your video in it and ready to go.

I have not experienced any quality drop or jitter doing this and have been very satisfied with the results....and I’m pretty particular about quality. reply

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what ever happened to the idea of using mpeg streamclip? reply

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Great info...I am about to purchase a GZ-MG21 and have concerns about using it with Mac. I am not at all a “techy” but this info is helpfull.
Do you have any other helpfull info that you have learned using Everio with Mac.

Thanks. reply

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Yes, the DropDV sample did convert my .mod files but they were filmed in 16:9 and are now in 4:3. Any advice? reply

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JVC Everio
------------------Widescreen 16:9 editing--------------------


I received a response from DropDv support about the 4:3 aspect ratio and they said that DV files are in 4:3 regardless of how they were filmed. As I use the JVC MG27 with the widescreen display I want to be able to edit my work in widescreen not just export the finished product to widescreen.

This was my DropDv work flow:
-Upload clips to my computer in the newly created folder per JVC’s insructions
-Search for .mod files in the folder containing the clips
-Drag them to DropDV and all files are converted and put into a new folder with an iMovie link. All files are now DV files.
-Now, as I want to edit in widescreen I would export or share all the clips to quicktime and at this time change the size to 1920x1080 under the expert setting option. For more info on this open iMovie help and search “16:9 export”. Near the bottom is a supporting article explaining how to do this.
-Now I would Import the 16:9 quicktime movie into iMovie and begin edititing. This is a long slow process. All this for $39.95

This was not worth it. If I used 4:3 all this would be avoided but since I paid for 16:9, have a 16:9 TV, I would like to use it. The 16:9 is not distorted as mentioned in another postwhen it is viewed on 16:9. It is distorted when viewed as 4:3.



Mpeg Streamclip is the best choice for widescreen editing. It is free but you may need to purchase the quicktime mpeg 2 viewer for 19.99 from Apple.

Here is the widescreen workflow:
-Upload clips to my computer in the newly created folder per JVC’s insructions
-Search for .mod files in the folder containing the clips
-Open them through Mpeg Streamclip to convert them, fix the data breaks then export to DV 16:9.
-Open iMovie and import the DV 16:9 files, begin editing. Save movie however you wish.

Mpeg Streamclip offers many more options for how you want to convert your files, an impressive and easy to read manual, and it is free. Using widescreen changes alot. DvDrop is great for 4:3 but not for 16:9. Mpeg Streamclip is great for both, and it’s cheaper in the end.


I know this is wordy but I hope this helps. reply

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i am having trouble with this camera..i just want to burn an hour clip that i took to a DVD and it seems harder than it should. I try to use the program provided with the camera, Everio, but it says that there is not enough room in the work folder to burn it. Is this because I do not have enough hard drive space to burn or something else? Thanks for the help.. i will try to put some of what i have read here to use.. reply

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So after 6 hours of trying to change the MOD to anything that I can use on my PC - note PC not Mac - I ran across a software product named Zune Video Conversion. I downloaded the trial for free and converted the MOD to avi and mpegs within seconds. I just bought the full version so that I can complete the entire tape. All I can say is that JVC has lost my respect for creating something that has caused so many headaches. Get a clue guys!
Good luck reply

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Thank you, Zac! Your input has been invaluable! reply

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I have used the trial DropDV and am happy with the results thus far. I decided to buy the proper version for $40 US and after receiving my receipt number and registration number cannot download the product because the drop down register menu on the DropDV site does not work. I have e-mailed DropDV support but have yet to hear back - be warned! Has anyone else had this issue?

Cheers reply

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Drop DV now working - all ok. reply

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Thank you guys for your help. I also downloaded mpeg streamclip and then bought the update from apple for 19.99 and it works great now.

However, with my JVC everio, I cant seem to disconnect it safely from my Mac. I do what the manual says with throwing the icon in the trash, but when I unplug the USB it comes up with error and I lose all the data on the computer. Does anyone else experience this?

Does the data on the EVERIO’S hard drive always erase after uploading it to the mac?

thank you

jeff reply

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I figured it out....I have to throw the icon to the trash, then turn the camera off, then unplug the usb.

Not sure why they didnt write that in the manual..... reply

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I bought the JVC MG21 HDD. I first wanted to buy a sony, but that wasn’t compatible with Mac, so I choose JVC. Now I have te same problem as mostly described at this forum. I allmost regret buying this camera, because after 2 day’s of trying I feel my head is gonna explode and I haven’t edited one thing in iMovie. If I understand it right I have to buy the programm DropDV??? I am triying the demo now, following up the instructions from Zac. But at my computer is goes so very very slow. He’s busy for half an hour now and he isn’t even halfway. I can’t imaging that this will be workable if I have to convert all my .MOD-files this way. I have a few queastions at first (I’am afraid there will be a lot more to come....)
- The camera goes standard with USB. Do I need to have a firewire-cable and is that possible on the JVC MG21? Is it better?
- Do I really need to purchase an other programm to convert my .MOD-files to workable files for iMovie? reply

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