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I came across this very problem when I was doing some short films for work. The manager had bought a JVC GZ-MG130 Hard drive based camcorder and had recorded some short bits that needed editing. After first searching, I found out that iMovie couldn’t directly interface with the camera like it does on a Firewire one, because its JVC and they use a USB interface.

So some searching came up with this method.

1, Record your video as normal. Plug the camera into the AC adaptor, and the USB plug. Connect this to your Mac.
2. A new drive will appear. Open it. Copy the contents of the SD_Video folder onto your mac.
3. Delete anything that isn’t a .mod file as these are irrelevant.
4. Rename all the .mod to .mpeg and change the extension when prompted.
5. Download ffMpegX and the necessary binaries
6. Open up ffMpegX and open the first .mpeg file. Convert this to a .MOV, .DV, .AVi file or whatever format you need. Final Cut is best with DV (although uses a lot of bytes).
7. Repeat as necessary for all your .MPEG files.

Thats it! You can now import into iMovie (which will in turn convert into .dv files which means you can then trash the .mpeg and .mov files) and do as you wish. This is also true for importing into Final Cut Pro/Express, or pretty much any other editing program.
You could always use iSquint to convert to Apple TV or iPod compatible files and add straight to iTunes, or anything else you wish.

This is of course a work around that shouldn’t exist. Camera makers seem to leave out Firewire and use so called proprietary formats (just a different extension) to keep people using their software or pay for their goods.
If possible, get a Firewire compatible camcorder, generally one with a MiniDV tape.

UPDATE: This post has got an awful lot of traffic recently (seems to be my top post) so I hope its helping lots of you. If it is, please let me know in the comments. If you have come across any issues let me know too.
The one thing I will contribute, is that the conversion with ffmpegx seems to be a bit funny with widescreen videos. If anyone has found the right settings, please let me know.

UPDATE 2: I’ve just got done listening to MacBreak Weekly and was fed a little bit of info I never thought to try. Instead of going into MPEG, then FFMPEGX, try renaming the file to .MOV and import into iMovie or Final Cut. I no longer have any .MOD files to try so give this a try and leave a comment on the results!


  1. Good advice!

    • Thank you for the tips…the update2 does not work, I am trying the original method.
      Many Thanks!

        • Daniel Belini
        • Posted September 14, 2010 at 12:54 am
        • Permalink

        Same here Sam.
        Neither Quicktime X or Final Cut Pro recognized the MOD renamed to MOV.

    • Holy crap! Thanx a whole lot. This beats pissing around with Windows movie maker to convert those bastard MOD to WMV then import and use crap conversion utilities on the Mac then import into iMovie. Too bad my damn Mac’s HDD shit the bed three days ago. Ah well, I am getting a new one before XMAS. Again thanx for the info. I have been fighting with these MOD files with my JVC Everio GZ-MS120AU for almost a year now. I like the idea of a dual memory card camcorder, but it was annoying that I had to do all that crap previously mentioned just to convert my videos.

  2. Extremely helpful, I just have one problem.
    For some reason I do not seem to get any sound or music from the files.
    I use a JVC GZ-MG142Ecamera and the quality on both Image and sound is surprisingly good for what it is. But it seems like the sound disappears in the encoding process.


  3. Charles, have you tried converting to different formats? (avi, mp)
    Also, open the file with VLC ( and see how it plays. It could just be a missing codec.

  4. Wish I had read this yesterday!!

  5. Just bought a JVC full HD 7 camcorder and a new Imac loaded
    Want to use final cut express wont load the files in from hard drive on cam. Called JVC they said TOD files not compatable with FCExpress, could load them into IMovie only at 480 res.

    what’s the use of buying hd cam if you can’t load the video ..uses fire wire or usb

    called to return large restock fee want to keep camera

    can I convert these tod files how about AVIs

  6. You could try the same thing. Rename to .avi and open them in quicktime or VLC (

    I’d be interested to know if that works

  7. Thanks for the info – However, it didn’t work for me.

    I did exactly what you said:
    ffmpegX installed successfully. I browsed to my file (after renaming it from .MOD to .MPEG), and then selected .DV (also tried several other formats) as my target format. I then clicked on ‘Encode’. A ring sound came but no file was created.

    In the ‘Source format’ panel of ffmpegX, I noticed that the format is ‘Unrecognized’. Also, when I click ‘Encode’ and a pop-up with an execution status appears, and then a ring sound comes, the ‘i’ (for information) text lists the following: Incorrect frame rate. I am not sure, however, if that is the source of the problem.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated.

  8. Sarzan
    Try opening it in VLC after you’ve renamed it, before converting. That should verify that it can be read as a MPEG file. If it doesn’t play, then go to the Window menu and select Info (or command+I). Go to the Advanced Information, and click the arrow next to Stream 0. This is the video stream and it should tell you what the codec being used on that video is. If its not a variation on mpgv then it you might need to change it from MPEG to something else, depending on the result. A little google-fu should help determine what file extention you need for that codec. Then send it through ffmpegX again.
    If it still fails, have a look on the Console for some error messages that might help. (Applications>Utilities>Console)

  9. Thanks Dom
    It actually worked after all, but this is what I had to do:

    I renamed it to a .mpg as opposed to .mpeg (I don’t know if thats one of the reasons). I then exited ffmpegX and ran it again, but this time, I dragged the renamed file into the input panel. I selected the DV output and it took a few seconds to execute. I was then able to load it in iMovie… although I noticed that the resolution is not what I had expected.
    Thanks again for the site and the feedback,

  10. I also have a JVC camera and am trying to import the files into Adobe Premier..

    if you only change the file extension the sound doesn’t stay with the file..

    is there a way to convert the file so that it keeps the sound??

  11. Mike
    I had no issues with the sound here. Does the file play the sound once you’ve changed it to MPEG? If so, then maybe the conversion in ffmpegX isn’t going well. Check your settings for audio.
    Thanks for checking out the blog

  12. im struggling geting jvc hardrive film on imac g5. when i open up the downloaded folder i can drag and open all clips ending in .mod but not .moi unfortunately 3/4 of wedding video seems to end in .moi . i would realy love some help please…..

  13. Chris
    Have a look at the file size of the .moi files (Command + I for Get Info). If they’re video files they should be in the tens or hundreds of Megabytes.
    I thought the .moi were just meta data used by the camera and as such were no more than about 10KB.

  14. Well just came back of holidays (where i bought a JVC 130) and was looking forward to using imovie. Obviously no luck but read your post and works fine (thanks very much :) ) i don’t even need to rename the .mod files to .mpeg i just drop them in!! Oh and renaming the file to .mov and importing them into imovie does not work!

  15. The best way to do this is just go to Apple downloads and get MPEG2 WORKS 4 it is shareware and cost 25.00 to buy .You can play your videos instantly without converting ,your videos will have sound and you can convert to any format and even send to QT. I had already used all these other work arounds ,but this one makes them all irrelevant .Try it you’ll like it.

  16. If you have Toast 7 it does the conversions for you and a whole lot more.
    Check it out. It saves a lot of drama and can give you the option to burn to DVD to preview.

  17. Hi al!

    I really thanks for this info, i just want to know, how can i encoding more files booth with ffmegX , i have about 500 mod fie in one folder, i can make only one step one?


    cmd+a doesnt work there… :(

  18. @medgya, not sure about bulk converting, but you can add more to the queue while one conversion is going. Drag and drop into ffmpegx.

    Alternatively, you could look into the command line method, or try setting up an automator action!

  19. I just renamed it AVI and imported into Premiere in HD1080 it seemed to have worked although I have not been through the pipeline yet.

  20. Giles!

    yes, but if u do that, then in Final Cut you lost audio, i dont know why..

    dom! thanks for suggest, just i never try automator, you know… im looking around another program what can to convert, maybe u have an idea?


  21. @medgya look here
    It covers how to convert files from MythTV to iPhone format, but it has details for a applescript for converting. That should help work out command line conversion in Automator.
    I was gonna try it myself but hit a wall when it came to converting.

  22. For Mac users, iMovie 08 supports the JVC HDD camcorders (and many others). For my camcorder (GZ-MG155), I have to follow this procedure:

    – Power up the camcorder
    – Open the camcorder’s display
    – Plug the USB cable into camcorder and Mac
    – The camcorder displays a menu
    – Choose “PLAYBACK ON PC”
    – iPhoto may automatically open. Close it if you don’t have any photos to import
    – Open iMovie 08 (if not already open)
    – The Import screen should automatically open
    – Either press “Import All”, or switch to Manual mode and check/uncheck the clips you want, then press “Import Checked”
    – The import proceeds very quickly, but the thumbnail generation takes a while, as usual

    That’s it. Internally I found that iMovie converted the clips to .MOV files (you can view them in the “iMovie Events” folder). Now the only problem I have is that iMovie adjusts the timestamps of the clips back 5 hours. I believe this is because the camcorder doesn’t have a time zone setting, so it’s timestamps are probably in GMT (I am EST, which is 5 hours behind GMT). I haven’t found an answer to this problem yet. If anyone knows the answer, please fill me in!

    • Hi, yes, I also found this to be a much easier procedure. (Although rather than plug anything in I simply popped the SD card into my MBP’s card slot and imported directly)

      It saves a lot of hassle and converts the files into a convenient format!

    • Hi Jay!
      I have the same problem with iMovie and timeshtamps. Before import, I just set a time zone on my Mac for а necessary result.

  23. ON A PC by dropthe files into Powerdirector and picking up the converted files in the export folder. The TOD conversion takes place without having to do anything. The 4 bytes per frame get taken out and a .mpg is made automatically.

    Just check the preferences and see which folders hold the files. You will see that on a PC the conversion is extremely fast and you dont need to do anything.

    Importing by 1394 is time consuming.

  24. There is actually a much easier way.
    1. Buy a 4-pin to 6-pin firewire cable from the Apple Store
    2. Record a video
    3. Plug the DC adapter then firewire cable into the Everio dock
    4. Place your camera in and turn it on
    5. Make sure it’s on play mode.
    6. Create a new iMovie file with a changed video format to DV Widescreen
    7. When you are in the import stage with iMovie move the cursor on your JVC
    to the clip you wish to import.
    8. Click the “import” button on iMovie and you’re finished

  25. That doesnt help when you have a JVC hard drive based with no Firewire output (which are more often found on tape based video cameras, rather than hard drive based). This is because Firewire is needed to maintain the high-speed data transfer from tape to computer, to generate the files, whereas hard drive based already have the files so USB can be used because transfer speed isn’t an factor.

  26. Thanks for the posting. Very useful!

  27. MPEG Streamclip converts .mod files without trouble in a variety of formats, including .mov and .dv, which are compatible with FCP, iMovie and FCE. Best of all, it’s a free download, and is a simple and quick app to use. Open the file, then File>convert. Done!

  28. Greg, what format are you converting to? Streamclip gives me a message that I need MPEG-2 Playback Component for 20 bucks. I’m hesitant to do this, not knowing if it will work or not.

    Matt’s solution of playing back through Firewire sounds good but doesn’t work with my new Everio GZ-MG155. Then again, I bought a hard drive video camera so I wouldn’t have to playback through anything. This is like the old tape machines.

    I should be able to plug it in and copy my files from camera to computer.

    I sent an e-mail to JVC. I will be interesting to see what they have to say. I probably should have brought the DVD burner that comes with some of the retail packages. Then I’d just burn the DVD and transfer the files from there. Apparently, JVC has never heard of video editing software. All the instruction book talks about is copying to a DVD or VHS.

    Any other suggestions would be great or I’m returning the thing.

  29. Im trying the fast way, Matt’s option using firewire and it doesnt work either for me. I guess I’ll have to the first option TBC.

  30. DropDV did not work. Creates the folder but does not have any files inside. EMPTY folders are created on my desktop iMac

  31. Hi,

    I use dropdv, its easy and quick, all you do is select all the files you want to convert .mod, drag them onto the application and drop. They will then convert to .dv. I would recommend you play with the settings at via the menus at the top of the screen under the preferences menu you can select where you want the DV files, what folders to create and limit the size of the dv files. Note – you have to buy it without the proper reg code it leaves text in your vid.

  32. Tried the DropDV method. Worked perfectly. The .mod files are significantly more compressed than the .dv files – the 595MB .mod file was converted into two .dv files comprising approximately 7.5GB. Audio file worked fine.

    Once converted to .dv, which took about 10 minutes, I imported the .dv files into iMovie08. Everything worked fine.

  33. I agree with Tom, I purchased an HDD camera to eliminate real time downloads. My GZ-MG155 has both USB and Firewire. After all my research, it seems that everything requires the MPEG2 Playback component. There are plenty of options out there, Streamclip, ffmpeg-x, DVdrop, MPEG2 Works and more, but without the MPG2 Playback Component, it looks like you are out of luck. So, it looks to me that no matter what you have to pay at least 25 bucks to solve this problem. And if you choose shareware over freeware you can add another 20 bucks.

    The install instructions on ffMpgX are a bit scary to me. Its not just a simple install. I shy away from any of these Unix solutions which mess with your system instead of just installing an application.

    I’ll probably try StreamClip first since it is free.

  34. Jay,

    The same thing worked for me, but I can’t see any of the thumbnails or view the movies, and it leaves me with an empty folder in imovie ’08 (the folder on my Mac has the files but when I view them, I get sound but no video). Have you had this happen?

  35. Hey,
    Everything works just like you said. However, converting high def .MOV files to 720×480 resolution DV files takes a long time. I have a iMac with a 2.16 Core2Duo Processor + 2Gigs of Ram and it still takes a while. To put it into perspective, 9 min of video, converted to the above resolution with 2 pass encoding took over half and hour. I have to convert at least 30 min.

    I’m importing to FinalCutExpress and all I have to say is I hope it works the first time cause I got a bunch of clips to convert in a short time frame.

  36. thx a lot or the tip, but god spell on jvc and the .mod

  37. toast worked quickly and smoothly…especially since i already had the software.

  38. Every time i try to convert i get a pop-up window asking me where “” is any clue to what this is or what i should do?

  39. Jevan, sounds like ffmpegx might not be correctly installed. It loads a seperate window which shows progress and I guess thats whats not working. Try downloading and reinstalling ffmpegx

  40. forget the gui, if you lose sound through the gui – use this command from the shell – it converts JVC movies perfectly (requires ffmpegx) ..

    /Applications/ -i /Users/adam/Desktop/JVC-Aug-200708-LasVegas/20070803-las-vegas-strip-daytime.TOD -y -threads 2 -map 0.0:0.0 -f avi -vcodec xvid -b 14048 -aspect 16:9 -s 720×576 -r pal -g 240 -me epzs -qmin 2 -qmax 15 -deinterlace -acodec mp3 -ab 128 -ar 48000 -ac 2 -map 0.1:0.1 -benchmark /Users/adam/Desktop/JVC-Aug-200708-LasVegas/vegas1.avi

  41. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! I have been working on this project for at least 10 hours. I’ve tried SO many programs and converters, and nothing I could do would allow me to upload my footage to iMovie.

    I had to use ffmpegx, and although it takes a while, it’s considerable quicker than the provided JVC software.

    Also, I tried simply changing the .MOD files to .MOV (and .mpg, .avi, .mpeg, and everything else I could think of), and while VLC would play the clips fine, QuickTime would not–nor would iMovie upload the clips.

    So renaming my .MOV files as .mpeg, then converting the .mpegs with ffmpegx was the best solution. Thanks again!!

  42. No need to rename files. visual hub converts directly from .mod to any format you want. Possibly others also but Vis. Hub is what I’m using.

  43. Hi

    I have been reading the above discussions and some are helpful. Previously I’ve used DV Drop with an old sony camera, now I have a JVC GZ-HD3 and records to hard-drive.

    the sony i had recorded as mpeg, but this JVC records as .TOD and .MOI!?!

    i tried ffmpegX and i couldn’t install the binaries in Library/App Support/ffmegX
    cause the ffmegX file wasn’t there, so i created it and still i could save the binaries, so i download and put the reallib file in the Library/App Support/ffmegX path.

    I’m now lost, do i still try and install the binaries (but to where)?

    Then i hope it is easier to convert to .dv so i can put it into FCPro

  44. Jason
    From what I remember, you need to download the binary files (mpeg2enc, mencoder and mplayer) from the links ffmpegx gives you, to your Downloads folder, then just click the Locate button and navigate to that folder, and select each one. Then if you click on Install it should copy them to the necessary directory and you should be good to go.
    If you don’t get that window, select Install Binaries from the application menu.
    You shouldn’t need to copy them to any directory yourself

  45. Hi Dom

    Thanks for that, I have the meancoder and mplayer files working though the mpeg2enc URL just gives me a page of mumbo jumbo.

    then after i’ve installed the binaries, what soucre do i choose when i’ve selected my file, chosen tthe desired format and clicked encode?

  46. Jason,
    Copy the URL from ffmpegx, open up Safari and go to Window, Downloads. Not do Command+V to paste and the file should start to download.
    The problem is Safari tries to read the file itself so you get the ascii interpretation of the file, rather than it downloading.

  47. Here’s how to do it if you’ve got the latest version of iMovie. Plug in your JVC camcorder and select playback on PC. Then Open iMovie and WAIT! on my macbook pro it takes 3-4 minutes and then the usual import clip window pops up!

  48. Hi guys,
    Had the same problem with the camera, until I bought myself a nice 24 inch iMac, with iMovie installed on board.
    Files from the camera were imported by iMovie (version 7.1.4), no problem at all for me after a long time of searching.
    Till last tuesday when the camera has been stolen, I had not imported all files yet, but I have the files on my desktop copied.
    But now: iMovie does not recognise the files when you want to open these from the Finder.
    So: why can it import the files when you import it from the camera and why doesn’t it work from the finder.
    Is there any way in which we can ‘fool’ iMovie, creating a disk image, leaving iMovie to think he has found a camera hard disk?
    That might be a better way than using all those conversion programs.
    Let me know…

  49. cheers for this post its been real help

  50. This was no help to me at all. The FFMPEGX Application does not want to install the Mplayer or the Mencoder. There’s no MOD files on my JVC GZ-HD3… and I shot a bunch of stuff. How do I remedy this problem? ACK.


    1. I import them to a PC with the software that came with my JVC camera.

    2. I open the movie with the software.

    3. I then produce the movie and an .AVI

    4. Then i put it on my mac and bring it up in IMOVIE.

    It has worked wonderfully.

  52. MPEG Streamclip works great for me. i’ve been trying to use my Everio 30GB clips for Final Cut Studio 2, and now it works fine. it just takes time to export. it cannot do multiple file batches, but it can merge all of these files into one massive mpeg,dv, avi, etc. and it’s completely free. didn’t have to download anything else. cheers.

  53. Hey dude



    If i could repay you in anyway, i would :D:D

  54. No Problem T.
    Wanna help out? You could leave your comment on the new blog too!


  55. used your site last week for a sony to my mac, and now i’m going down memory lane and have a jvc GR AXM100, which doesn’t want to cooperate with letting me transfer to my mac.

  56. This is EXACTLY what I needed! Originally, I tried simply renaming the files from .MOD to .MOV and opening them in Final Cut Pro, but the program still wouldn’t open them. Then I Googled and found your site and it answered all my questions! Thank you!

  57. very helpful. saved me heaps of time. many thanx

  58. The problem I have is I don;t want to re-install quicktime with mpeg 2 as I have professional.

  59. Why do you need to reinstall Quicktime?

  60. I don’t know if anyone’s said this or not but instead of converting my .mpeg files with ffMpegX I was just able to import them into IMovie without any problems.

  61. Thanks a million, you’re a lifesaver!!

  62. ok, this is what i tried,
    I also downloaded ffmpegX, converted my material (i did not rename them) to .dv and it worked in so far, that the image is all screwy. When there’s no movement, the image looks fine, but when there is movement, lines start to appear:S
    then i tried to use the firewire way, but the image was very bad, worse then on the camera itself, so that doesn’t help either.
    Also tried to do it directly in imovie, but when i’m done edeting in fcp (send it) and want to export it, i got sound issues!

    It’s driving me nuts, i have a big project in 2 weeks and i need to solve it before hand.

    I’m using a JVC HDD Everio GZ-MG435BE

  63. iMovie ’08 (iMovie 7.1.4) on my new iMac successfully imported the .mod files from my JVC Everio G-series 3CCD camera.

    Note this was directly from the camera.

    I found this page after trying unsuccessfully to import the .mod files from an external HD. I guess I’ll have to try and copy those files back onto the camera and then import them from there.

    –> But, yes, the solution I found was to import the files directly from the camera. Hope to save others hours of anguish!

  64. is the a automator action avaiable as i have 50 GB to go through

  65. As others have pointed out, the best and quickest way to get this video on your Mac is to leave the files on the camera and open iMovie, selecting File->Import from Camera.

    If you have already moved the files off of the camera and onto your harddrive, I’ve found an easy remedy. If you try and manually move the files back into the SD_VIDEO/PRG###/ folder (or whatever your camera uses) you will notice that they don’t appear in your camera’s Table of Contents of videos. The solution is to hook up your camera via USB and delete the file that lists the current videos — in my case it was SD_VIDEO/PRG001/PRG001.PGI. Yours may be different, but the idea is the same. Delete that file and eject the camera — it should say on the camera’s LCD screen that it’s repairing the listing and will find your files and create the necessary data to accompany them.

  66. If you are willing to spend some money on an easy and fast solution, VideoPier worked wonders for me. Find out more on They offer a free trial version for you to check out first.

  67. Thank you so much really helped

  68. hello, thanks for the post it really just wondering how can i make my home videos into one movie be’coz everytime i send it to idvd videos become menus so if i have 20 home videos i will have 20 using imovie but it is so hard to deal with and the result is not that good in terms of resolution..and it is taking so long. any help will be highly appreciated. thanks again!

  69. Very helpful, Thanks So Much

    • macvideoconverter
    • Posted February 9, 2009 at 2:32 am
    • Permalink
    • Reply
  70. iLife 9 has taken care of this. Upgrade and the problem is solved. Finally!

  71. Mpeg streamclip will screw up your hd footage and down convert it into a cruddy format. .TOD and .MOD is another word for mpeg 2 in which imovie 06 can easily import. Here’s how to get your HD foortage from a jvc everio to final cut.
    1. Protect all your files on your jvc camera that you want
    2. Plug your camera into your mac and turn on the camera and choose back up
    3. Open up the drive and go to sd video and then go to your prg folders and find the protected files and put them in a clutter so you will know which ones.
    4. Eject the drive and unplug the camera, go to your videos, then menu, then cancel all.
    5. Plug it back in, go to your prg folders and drag your clutters to your desktop
    6. Make a new imovie project and call it clips for fce or something
    7. Drag all your clips to imovie and let it import.
    8. Name your clips here.
    9. Then open FCE and go to your movie or make one and go to file open and open up the imovie project. (If it won’t let you, make sure it is showing all files)
    10. Save it to the desktop or scratch disk or something
    11. A new tab will open, make a clutter of the clips you want and select the clutter, now copy it, go to your movie tab, and press paste and there you go.
    feedback please lol

  72. I couldn’t get imovie 08 to recognise the MOD files either directly from the camera or once they were on the desktop of my 10.4 mackbook pro. the camera is a panasonic sdr-s26.
    on a PC (XP), sony vegas 5 (!) imported the files & let me cut them instantly. the files are mpeg with multiplexed audio, so renaming them to mov, mpg or anything like that may persuade final cut pro to open the video, but it won’t de-interleave the audio for you.
    I have now elected to batch process the files through mpeg streamclip (trial version, so free..) which will spit them out as apple/FCP-friendly DV files. it’s taking about “real time” to do this, so I’d suggest running it as a batch overnight. the files are also about 6 times bigger than the original MOD files.
    jeez…. I might go back to editing in vegas!

  73. damn. can you edit my post? I am, of course, still running imovie 06.
    anyway- I have discovered a quicker & more space-efficient way to get these files into FCP, which is to use mpeg streamclip (as mentioned before) but instead of transcoding the files (which is space/time-consuming), I choose the “demux to m2v & AIFF” option. much much quicker, & the result is that the video is extracted from the mpeg stream without alteration (so the file size is slightly smaller than the original MOD file) & a separate AIFF file is produced for the audio. when you select the m2v to import into FCP, import the AIFF with it. then dragging the m2v onto your sequence automatically puts the right AIFF onto the audio tracks.
    hope this helps someone!

  74. does anyone have an idea how can i view a *.av file that was captured using Final Cut Pro 6.2.2 using a PC? my mac broke down and i need to transcribe the files. quick time is only reading the audio.

  75. I have a Question.
    By rename the file’s extention,Doesn’t that mess up the file?

    Like I heard alot of people said that it will mess up the file and it’s probably the stupidest thing that one could do.

    I’m just worried….Thanks

  76. Drew, Not at all. It just tells the OS its a different file type and to open it with a different application. You can change it back with no issues at all

  77. I have found that using Aimersoft Total Media Converter (Costs like $20 bucks…) and then converting them to Quicktime .MOV files and importing them into the new iMovie 09 works great for me. The conversion is pretty quick, and imovie imports no problems.

    In Aimersoft Total Media Converter, you have to choose the option (under file types when opening) to open ALL files, and then choose your .MOD files off your camera or hard drive, then change the settings of the .MOV template in Total Media Convert to Quicktime Movie. You may want to adjust the parameters, but this has been the easiest process for me.

    Good Luck!

  78. Dom,

    Thanks for this site. I’m shocked & amazed to learn that this is so complicated, but I can see I’m not alone.

    Following your original method at the top of this page, I encounter the following problem(s):

    1) ffmpegx sometimes doesn’t even recognize the file that I attempt to open (I’ve already converted it to mpeg, as you suggest).

    2) When it does, and when I press “encode” it asks where “” is. What is this? I have no idea…

    Perhaps there is an easier way now to do this? This is all profoundly disappointing, when I think how easy it should be…

    Also, I want to use iMovieHD 6.0.3. is this hopelessly outdated?

  79. I’m using Handbrake to convert mine and all seems to be fine so far

  80. Looks like your post is still helping people, even after a couple of years. Thank you. I was afraid I would not be able to edit the movies from my video camera when I bought my new Mac. Just got done editing my first one.

  81. my everio hd300au all I had to do was go through the menu in the camera and find “back up” and everything worked.

  82. Thank you! ;)

  83. What about this guide?
    just worked fine for me!

    Step 1: Download, install and run Pavtube MOD Converter for Mac

    Step 2: Add .mod files, select output format, and set destination folder

    Press “Add” button to input your MOD files to this program, and then click the drop-down list of “Format” to select the output video format, like MP4, 3GP, AVI, FLV, MOV, etc. You can also use the default exported folder or set it by yourself through clicking “Browse” button. Meanwhile, you are also allowed to adjust audio and video parameters like bit rate, frame rate, sample rate, etc. by clicking “Settings” button.

    Step 3: Start converting

    Click “Convert” button at the right bottom of the main interface to start converting.

  84. Using Final Cut Pro, my steps are as followed, take only a matter of seconds. You’ll only need MPEG Streamclip.

    1. Load the .TOD into MPEG Streamclip.
    2. Go to File > Conver to MPEG…

    No when you import the video into Final Cut Pro, you may notice there is no sound. Read on…

    3. With the same .TOD in MPEG Streamclip. Go to File > Export Audio… (Use AIFF for most accurate sync.)

    Now, step 3 might not be 100% perfect, especially for longer videoes. But with minor adjustments, or maybe another software for extracting the audio, I find this not a problem at all when looking at time spend “converting” or compared to qualitylosses when converting to DV.

  85. Just trying to solve this problem as well. None of the suggestions helped, but then I stumbled across an option in iMovie ’09 to import these archives directly.

    Just go to File->Import->Camera Archive…

    Locate the folder containing the SD_VIDEO folder and it should say, “Camera Archive detected – click Import to proceed”

  86. Renaming to MOV does not work on MOD in Final Cut Pro 5.

  87. The first solution using ffmpegx worked fine for me, but not the second one of just renaming the files. I got the video but no audio.

    I’m using a Panasonic sdr-s26 and final cut pro 6

    Thanks a million!

  88. I took a big risk and purchased this camera 2 days before leaving on a Disney vacation with my 2 year old.The risk was well worth it, the camera worked great and was extremely easy to use. Battery life was great and not having to carry blank tapes was a big plus!I used this to replace my aging JVC Mini DV camera.
    The quality of the final product was very close to my DV tapes, it was perfectly fine for home movies.I was able to seamlessly upload the video when I got home using iMovie on my
    Mac.I don’t understand the other reviews stating poor picture quality or problems with a Mac. They may not have set the camera for maximum resolution, it’s comes set from the
    factory at medium quality. No, it’s not HD & yes it records in a compressed format, but definitely a great camera for the money! I would buy it again tomorrow.

  89. Such a good read, could not stop, thanks all

  90. Hey, great article!

    I’ve got hundreds of .MOD files to edit in Final Cut Pro. If I first rename the files .mpeg then FFMPEGX does a good job at converting them to .dv

    Only problem is that they still need to render when in Final Cut Pro which dosen’t make any sense to me?

    And is there a queueing option in FFMPEGX? Renaming and individually converting hundreds of clips dosen’t sound like much fun!

    Damn you Canon!


  91. It appears that changing the file extension from .MOD to .MOV doesn’t work if you’re trying to import to iMovie or iMovie HD. I got an error message about Quicktime not being able to parse it (yes, parse—I’ve never heard of that but it’s spelled correctly).

    Has anyone had success with that method, or any other besides the flaming-hoop-jump style process of several conversions using ffmpegx?

  92. I have tried this method, it worked fine, tried converting the mpeg file into avi, but that didn’t work so I tried mov and that did. Thanks for the advice.
    Also, with the second update, (changing into mov then dropping into FCP) that didn’t work for me!

  93. thank dude, it worked great.. i have been breaking my head trying to figure out what the heck was going on !

  94. Thanks so much for this, it’s worked except somehow the sound wasn’t exported and the video is mute.

    Any ideas what i might have done wrong???

  95. Great help thanks. Has allowed someone who was married 18 months ago to now finally see their wedding video!

  96. saved my ignorant ass….big time!!! i have you to thank that my balls still remain perfectly healthy(nok nok)… in southern finland you always have beers waiting ;)


  97. the easiest way is to connect your jvc camera with your mac (usb) when imovie is running, then you can choose what files to import and imovie makes the conversion without any other software

  98. Another good source for the mod video files at (look at comments)

  99. Thanks for the help! Because of this tutorial I’m able to convert over some family videos for a memorial happening on Monday. Appreciate it.

  100. THANK YOU! i have been trying to find out how to do this for ages now!!!! thank so much!

  101. I am actually having a lot of trouble downloading the ffmpegx program. it keeps saying the disk images failed to mount because the program/format was not recognized. any tips? could use some help please, thanks!

    • It sounds like its just the download thats not completing properly. Have you tried another browser? Try Safari, Chrome or Firefox and see how you get on

  102. Hi everyone, I spent hours to get the best advice or find the most efficient way on how to convert my .MOD videos to iMovie readable format.
    Some people said it’s not possible to extract .MOD movies directly to iMovie – THEY ARE WRONG coz right now I my iMovie is transferring my .MOD videos directly to .mov in a new “Event” through what its called Apple Internal Memory Card Reader. If you are in iMovie 11 go to help, choose Download Help and Lesson 1 will tell you how to do it. Good luck!

  103. Just thought that i would let you know that i used Total Video Converter to convert to .MOV then imported straight into iMovie. Was much simpler than some of the other options available.

    It is also a FREE download.

  104. OMG You are amazing!!!

    I have been trying to get my files off my camera for ssooo long and I just found your post.

    Thanx ssoo muucchh!!

  105. Mpeg Streamclip works a treat for me.
    In fact that program in general is a godsend for file conversion. Highly recommended

  106. Hi everyone!!

    I think you don’t need to download any software to convert the videos. If you plug the camera and choose the option playback on pc everything will be done. Final cut has an option:

    – File/ log and transfer

    You can have your videos with the same quality.

    I hope it helps!!

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] HOWTO: Import JVC .MOD camcorder files into iMovie, Final Cut or Convert to another format « Bassis… […]

  2. By 28 Hours Later « Murphs ~ Blog on 01 Dec 2009 at 8:45 pm

    […] this point i was getting rather annoyed and after another chat with Nick he came across this Blog and from here i found Quick Media Convert which actually converted all 40mins of my footage, […]

  3. […] If this tutorial doesnt help or you want to look more places – here are my resources. I found a lot of this information from Garth, who found this information online at TeacherTube: JVC HDD Camcorder to iMovie HELP! and then I found this link HOWTO: Import JVC .MOD camcorder files into iMovie, Final Cut or Convert to another format, […]

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