Mac OS X: Complete your Mac video format toolkit
June 14, 2011
Audio | Mac OS X | Quicktime | Video and Multimedia | Windows Media

Add MPEG StreamClip and Perian to your system to import, play and convert video in more formats.

There are some video formats that Quicktime and Quicktime based applications have a hard time interpreting. For instance, certain Sony video cameras produce files in multiplexed (muxed) mpeg format. If you use Quicktime player, iMovie or Final Cut, the video will probably play but the audio will not. Sometimes the video will not play at all. Adobe's Media encoder for the Mac will not even allow a muxed file to be added to the queue.

The best solution I've found so far is to use MPEG Streamclip. MPEG Streamclip will open, play and export these files to other formats with no problems.

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Posted by ellen at June 14, 2011 01:22 PM

 MPEG Streamclip is provided free of charge by Stefano Cinque, through his company Squared 5. From his description on the website:

"MPEG Streamclip is a powerful high-quality video converter, player, editor for MPEG, QuickTime, transport streams, iPod. And now it is a DivX editor and encoding machine, and even a stream and YouTube downloader.

Supported input formats: MPEG, VOB, PS, M2P, MOD, VRO, DAT, MOV, DV, AVI, MP4, TS, M2T, MMV, REC, VID, AUD, AVR, VDR, PVR, TP0, TOD, M2V, M1V, MPV, AIFF, M1A, MP2, MPA, AC3, ... "

Quicktime also controls which conversion formats you have to chose from, and you may find you need to expand your selection from the original set. To do this, install Perian. Perian is a free, open source QuickTime component that adds native support for many popular video formats. This means that when you select Export to Quicktime Conversion, you'll see these new formats right in the export window, without the need to use a separate conversion tool.

If you need support for FLV, you may have to download and drop it into the /Library/Quicktime/ directory with all the other components. For some reason Apple no longer includes it. 

Perian enables QuickTime application support for:
File formats: AVI, DIVX, FLV, MKV, GVI, VP6, and VFW
Video types: MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivx, H.264, Sorenson H.263, FLV/Sorenson Spark, FSV1, VP6, H263i, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Snow, NuppelVideo, Techsmith Screen Capture, DosBox Capture
Audio types: Windows Media Audio v1 & v2, Flash ADPCM, Xiph Vorbis (in Matroska), and MPEG Layer I & II Audio, True Audio, DTS Coherent Acoustics, Nellymoser ASAO
AVI support for AAC, AC3 Audio, H.264, MPEG4, VBR MP3 and more
Subtitle support for SSA/ASS, SRT, SAMI

The final piece you may need is support for Windows Media. This can be added by installing the Flip4Mac Windows Media Components for QuickTime which are available for free through Microsoft's site. The complete suite of Windows Media tools are available from Telestream: Flip4Mac WMV overview.

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