Yesterday a client brought in footage he shot with a small JVC Everio HDD camera for editing. While this compact little camcorder does rate high in the compactness category, it does present problems when you've shot footage that needs to be edited later. Reason? Well it records SD video files to the internal hard drive as .MOD files. Really JVC, what were you thinking!? While the .MOD clips can be viewed in Media Player on a Windows system, you'll have a hard time importing these files straight into a pro editing app like FCP or Avid Media Composer.

Establishing a workflow to get this media into the Avid took a little online research but here's what I did:

Step1: Rename all the MOD files to MPG. After some online research I found out that MOD files are really just MPEG files in disguise. So the answer to getting  then recognizable to any thrid party app, is to simply rename the .MOD extensions to .MPG. You can do this manually, but with more than 90+ individual files I had to find a way to batch process this task. I found a freeware app called Extension Renamer that worked perfectly for this.


Step 2: Use Sorenson Squeeze to convert the newly renamed MPG files into Avid DNxHD files. The second challenge I have with this project, is that I need to edit the client's footage into an HD timeline already on the Avid. I opted to bump the widescreen SD clips up to HD for an easy edit. While the results don't look great on a proper HD monitor, there are benefits to be had as the final clip will only go online for final distribution. It's simple - the higher the quality you start out with, the better it will look down the line once everything has been compressed beyond belief to stream from the web.

I love Sorenson Squeeze! I has able to source ready-made Avid DNxHD120 presets online to fit my 1080i/50 project type, and downloaded that into Squeeze to crunch out Avid-flavoured media ready for quick import.

The next step was to do a batch encode of all the clips to my media storage drive.

Step 3: Import into Media Composer and start editing. The benefit of working with native Avid DNxHD media is that it imports quicker than non-native media. With 90+ clips to import this does save time! 

While this workflow is probably not perfect it did solve my problem of getting an unrecognized format ready for editing. And I have a hunch that as tape becomes obsolete and more and more file-based formats comes onto the market, digital media professionals will be dealing with challenges like this little one more and more.