I was using a Sony Alpha series camera which created avchd files, which are videos, and the file format is .mts

I am wondering programs are people using to convert these without compromising on quality? Looking for something very user friendly and one click.

I noticed iMovie isn't equipped to handle these files, and I do have After Effects and Premiere at my disposal, but those are the opposite of what I am looking for.

I've seen programs on Google but I am curious what you are using and why

'Free AVCHD to Mov' does not work for the Sony A7s II movie files on my Mac

3 Answers 3


I used ffmpeg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FFmpeg, http://ffmpeg.org/) to exchange the container format while keeping the original video and audio data. You can also use it to transcode the video, but many of the stream formats work in other container formats as well, so the -vcodec copy -acodec copy parameters will keep the original quality. I used something like

ffmpeg -i movie.mts -acodec copy -vcodec copy movie.mp4

(untested, I don't have access to the computer I use for video work at the moment). With

ffmpeg -i movie.mts

you will get more details on the stream formats in your file and you can then decide what to do with them.

I even had to use it to copy to the same container (mpeg transport stream format) with sony files since the original files caused other software to become slow, what did not happen with the new but same container.

Ffmpeg is a command line tool and it is very user friendly (especially, it provides you with a lot of information about your files) and when you have found the best parameters for your case then it will become a 1-click solution since you can re-use the command on all your files.

  • Since the OP seems to be using a Mac, they can use a snapshot binary from evermeet.cx/ffmpeg
    – Gyan
    Jan 6, 2016 at 8:45
  • hmm, anything with a GUI and how would i extend that to a batch process?
    – CQM
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:49
  • I have no idea about a GUI but to batch process all files in a folder, you could e.g. use a for loop. for i in *.mts; do ffmpeg -i $i -acodec copy -vcodec copy `basename $i .mts`.mp4; done on most shells (syntax may differ depending on the shell used; untested again, just to illustrate the principle).
    – Chris
    Jan 6, 2016 at 15:23
  • I get these errors pastebin.com/CKGGSGC4 , a file of comparable size is created in .mp4 format, but it is not sendable in iMessage or compatible like Apple .mp4s are.
    – CQM
    Jan 7, 2016 at 16:09
  • I do not use apple computers, so I have no idea about the software you are using. Are you able to play the file? Maybe in vlc? If not, you could provide a sample file (of the unconverted source file) such that others can check if it works for them.
    – Chris
    Jan 7, 2016 at 16:44

Lightroom provides a one-click export function from MTS to Mp4 that works very well. Unfortunately it is a lot slower than ffmpeg and other copy-wrapper solutions, because Lightroom appears to be re-encoding instead of just copying streams out of the MTS wrapper into an MP4 wrapper. For the record I couldn't get any of the copy-wrapper solutions to work using AVCHD footage from a Sony A7sII.

Lightroom also has the capability to stack the new video overtop of the original file, so that it doesn't look like there are duplicates in the catalog. This is pretty ideal for me.


Ttry this ffmpeg command:

ffmpeg -i input.mts -c copy -fflags +genpts -flags +global_header output.m4v
  • This command, and Chris' resulted in a jerky output video, in the players that would play them (Quicktime is what I tried)
    – CQM
    Jan 8, 2016 at 7:11
  • Is your source video interlaced? If it is, there's a way around that. Paste mediainfo probe of the file. Use View -> Text mode
    – Gyan
    Jan 8, 2016 at 7:33

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