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Converting video files (MTS to... what?)

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:56 am UTC
by Zohar
I have a couple of huge MTS files - they're about 4GB each and are 22 minutes long. I'd like to convert them to a smaller, more manageable size, and to paste them one after the other. What's a good format, and a reasonable piece of software I could use? Ideally free... I use Windows 10.

Thanks for any help!

Re: Converting video files (MTS to... what?)

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:05 am UTC
by Flumble
VLC! If you look in its File menu, you'll also find a convert entry. You can choose your file there and then choose from a couple of preset output formats (go for either mp4, mainly for playing on your pc and many other devices directly, or webm, mainly for playing in a web browser).
If the output is either too blurry/muffled or too big, you can also edit the preset and set the bitrate on the video and audio tab higher/lower.

I'm not sure if it automatically concatenates the files, because I've never converted anything more than 1 file and I can't be bothered looking it up right now. Worst case you have to use a playlist or merge the streams in a matroska container.

Re: Converting video files (MTS to... what?)

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:54 am UTC
by Soupspoon
I've used ffmpeg (or the winff GUI at a push, on Windows but mostly stuck to the command line) to convert just-about-anything to just-about-anything, monolithically or ripping/replacing audio from a video, or vice-versa. Combined with Audacity, or similar, I've done much ad-hoc editing...

Powerful tool, sometimes a bit hard to get used to. I note that the winff page only claims Win8 top-end capability, so don't know if that's an oversight/stalled website curation or an actual technical issue.

(But I like VLC as well, though I've never used it to convert, just admired its diverse codec handling. What ffplay doesn't play and VLC doesn't play is pretty much not playable, and if it can be played and there's opportunity to rewrite it again, it can be written into another format.)

Might be worth double-checking against the formats supported list, first, as I couldn't actually see MTS (or AVCHD) mentioned at a quick glance, but as it's free anyway, you could just give it a try regardless.

Re: Converting video files (MTS to... what?)

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:19 am UTC
by Dthen
There's always virtualdub.

Re: Converting video files (MTS to... what?)

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:30 pm UTC
by siloguist
TEncoder is also very solid, in case you need any more recommendations. It's pretty versatile, will happily do audio as well, and supports multithreading. Can't go wrong!

Re: Converting video files (MTS to... what?)

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:34 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
Zohar wrote:I have a couple of huge MTS files - they're about 4GB each and are 22 minutes long. I'd like to convert them to a smaller, more manageable size, and to paste them one after the other. What's a good format, and a reasonable piece of software I could use? Ideally free... I use Windows 10.

Thanks for any help!



You got Windows? Use Handbrake, and convert into H264 / mkv files. That's the simplest solution.

------------

For everyone else...

Soupspoon wrote:I've used ffmpeg (or the winff GUI at a push, on Windows but mostly stuck to the command line) to convert just-about-anything to just-about-anything, monolithically or ripping/replacing audio from a video, or vice-versa. Combined with Audacity, or similar, I've done much ad-hoc editing...

Powerful tool, sometimes a bit hard to get used to. I note that the winff page only claims Win8 top-end capability, so don't know if that's an oversight/stalled website curation or an actual technical issue.

(But I like VLC as well, though I've never used it to convert, just admired its diverse codec handling. What ffplay doesn't play and VLC doesn't play is pretty much not playable, and if it can be played and there's opportunity to rewrite it again, it can be written into another format.)

Might be worth double-checking against the formats supported list, first, as I couldn't actually see MTS (or AVCHD) mentioned at a quick glance, but as it's free anyway, you could just give it a try regardless.


The only issue is that IMO, FFMPeg is too hard to use for a non-developer. I prefer Handbrake because it uses libx264 directly, so you have more control over the minute parameters (placebo mode vs turbo mode for example). Basically, Handbrake is just a better GUI although it isn't FFMpeg based.

Otherwise, you're right, FFMPeg is a valid solution to this problem. (Although FFMpeg basically just grabs libx264 and then is a passthrough to it. So using libx264 directly is better IMO). FFMpeg has the advantage of being able to use other codecs however: VP9 is probably the best compression you're gonna get today but its going to take something like 10x longer to encode.

But I'd use FFMpeg for VP9.

Dthen wrote:There's always virtualdub.


Virtualdub works on AVI files best. You can get it to work on other files with FFMpeg plugins + avisynth files, but that's much much harder than just using Handbrake.

In any case, you're gonna have to be tinkering with a lot of plugins to get Virtualdub doing what you want it to do. I typically use Virtualdub as part of my video-workflow... but it isn't a tool I'd recommend to a beginner.

Its a great tool, but not for the simple conversion job.

Re: Converting video files (MTS to... what?)

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:49 pm UTC
by Zohar
Thanks for all the comments. I tried to use VLC but it ended up being still pretty big, and couldn't get the concatenation right. I'll try some of the other options, but frankly I'v been neglecting it. It's our wedding ceremony video and I was pretty wedding'd out and didn't feel like dealing with it, but I appreciate your feedback.

Re: Converting video files (MTS to... what?)

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:36 pm UTC
by Zohar
Managed to convert the files with Handbrake, and then concatenate them with ffmpeg. Thanks for the help!