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How to Convert MPEG-2 files for Editing in Final Cut Pro X

 Summary: This article outlines how to import MPEG-2 files into Final Cut Pro (X) for smooth editing. Keep reading for a brief how-to.

What if MPEG-2 won't work in Final Cut Pro X?



Q1: I have a camera that exports video from my camera to mpeg 2 on the computer. Does Final Cut pro support MPEG 2? Does the quality look good?

Q2: I am trying to import MPEG-2 files into Final Cut Pro X. I have the raw files from a Sony Handycam HDR-SR5. These files were recorded as MPEG-2 files and copied from the camera hard drives (entire folders were copied containing the MPEG-2 files) to a local hard drive on my computer. Final Cut Pro X does not recognize the files and will not import them.

Have you ever encountered such dilemma? If you got some MPEG-2 files from digital camera or somewhere else, you may wanna open it with Final Cut Pro on your Mac to create some fantastic shows to share with your friends or family. But then an error appears: file import failure, audio going out of sync, or video but no audio when brought into the timeline. If you are looking for the best way to work with MPEG-2 files in Final Cut Pro(X), get the tricks bellow.

The basic reason why FCP can’t ingest MPEG-2 videos well is that MPEG-2 video compression is only ideal for recording and playback. If you want to edit MPEG-2 in Final Cut Pro X, then you need to transcode them to another video format.

As we all know, the most compatible video format for FCP editing is Apple ProRes MOV. So you need to find a third party program to convert mepg-2 to ProRes first before loading to FCP. Here Brorsoft Video Converter for Mac is highly recommended to help you achieve your goal.

With this powerful video converter program, you can effortlessly transcode MPEG-2 to FCP friendly movie format ProRes (Note: it applies to all versions including FCP X, FCP 6, FCP 7, etc) keeping the original quality. Besides Final Cut, this software can also export AIC for iMovie/FCE, DNxHD for Avid Media Composer and more NLE systems. Below is the detailed guide on converting MPEG-2 clips to Final Cut Pro X friendly videos for smoothly playback and editing.

How-To: Convert MPEG-2 to ProRes for Final Cut Pro (X)

Step 1: Load the original mpeg-2 videos

Set up the Converter on Mac and run it. Click “Add” button on the main interface to load your MPEG-2 video clips. If necessary, you can click the button "Merge into one" to combine several videos into one file.



Step 2: Select output format

Click then “Format” to select output format. Choose “Final Cut Pro> Apple PreRes 422" as the output format.



Tip: Before conversion, you can click the “Settings” icon to customize the video/audio settings: Video Codec, aspect ratio, bit rate, frame rate, Audio codec, sample rate, audio channels for Final Cut Pro.

Step 3: Start the MPEG-2 to FCP Conversion

Click the Convert button on the main interface to start encoding MPEG-2 to ProRes 422 for Final Cut Pro X. Once the process is at 100%, you can click “Open” button on the main interface to find the ProRes MOV videos which can be directly imported to Final Cut Pro X as well FCP 6/7 by clicking File-Import-Files.



Additional tips:

1. If you are FCP X users, before you try to do the conversion, don’t forget to make sure that you have installed the Apple ProRes Codec manually since the FCP X asks users to install it by themselves.

2. If you want to edit MPEG-2 in iMovie 08/09/'11 or FCE 4, you just need to choose the "iMovie and Final Cut Express -> Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC) (*.mov)" in the second step.

3. If you perfer batch movie conversion, the professional iMedia Converter for Mac is the best choice for you.

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