AVCHD corrupt folder structure crashed in iMovie/FCP- How to fix

Published on by Chris King

If you are troubled by the AVCHD corrupt folder structure and can’t import AVCHD MTS files to iMovie, FCP correctly, just read on to find the quick solution.


As a full HD AVCHD camcorder user, some problems would trouble you probably: If you’re using OS X and copy AVCHD media folders to it, opening the media in 10.8’s Finder gives you “CANNOT OPEN instead of a clip browser, FCP X can’t see the clips, iMovie crashed and so on.

I own a Canon HF-100. I recorded a movie with 280 scenes. There seems to be a bug in the HF-100 firmware, because the 00000.mpl file got corrupted: it contains only the last 60 scenes, while in the STREAM and CLIPINF dirs 280 files are present. The stream files are fine, I can playback them. BUT: I need to import the whole "film" = all scenes to iMovie. But that program only can import BDMV structures, and not simply .MTS files.... So, is there way to recover corrupted AVCHD structure? Or is there any alternative way to import these AVCHD files to iMovie smoothly?

Get some tech supports and multiple testing, I got some clue. AVCHD is still not fully supported by mainstream software and generally requires an importation and conversion process to be used on computers. Generally, the entire file system structure is required. The following graphic illustrates the complication of this structure.


AVCHD Corruption

AVCHD files are like any other computer file. If you have a faulty storage device or an improper shutdown occurs on your camera, files can get corrupted. Unlike a simple text file, the complicated format of AVCHD and its surrounding file system structure makes the AVCHD corruption more of a pain.

What to do if your AVCHD files are corrupted in SD card

1. Connect the SD or SDHC card to your computer through your camera or through an external card reader.
2. Obtain a copy of Stellar Phoenix recovery software and make a block level copy of your drive. In Stellar Phoenix 4.0 Mac this is done through the “Image” tab on the far right side and it will create a DMG image which is a mountable copy of the drive that gets stored on your hard drive.
3. Once you create this duplicated image, mount it and verify you can see a file system that looks similar to the AVCHD file system image to the right. You can mount a DMG drive in the Mac by double clicking on it.
4. Remove your original SD card from your reader or disconnect your camera so the volume name doesn’t get you confused. We are going to perform the next step on the image copy you made of the drive. The reason is we want to preserve your original card should you need to try another approach.
5. Now, with the same copy of Stellar Phoenix, perform a drive recovery selecting the “Formatted Media/Lost File Recovery” option. This will end up creating a file structure on your hard drive and will generally create 1-10 additional folders with fairly ugly names in it. You can actually see this prior to the recovery via their “scan” viewer. Scans can be saved as well.
6. Once the recovery process is complete, peruse all of the folders in the recovery output and look for files with a .MTS extension. If they are worth anything, they will actually have some file size to them. One that is useless will be 16KB or 32KB. One that has video in it will be MB’s or GB’s in size. These are your AVCHD files.

Here is the problem. Most software iMovie, FCP, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro will not read these files without the complicated AVCHD file system around it. However, if you download and install Brorsoft MTS Converter for Mac, it will allow you to convert those single .MTS files directly.

With this MTS converting tool, you can achieve the individual .mts to Final Cut Pro, iMovie conversion easily. It's designed directly to convert AVCHD.MTS/.M2TS (1080p60/50 included) to iMovie natively supported Apple InterMediate Codec, FCP natively supported Apple ProRes. So no matter the AVCHD files are single .MTS files or directly from your camera, you can transfer it to iMovie/FCP compatible formats and directly import it for easy editing. Plus, this Mac AVCHD converter also supports converting AVCHD MTS footage to Adobe Premiere, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Express and more to meet your needs. What's more, some easy-to-use editing features like trimming, cropping, adding watermark, deinterlacing, etc are combined with the convert program.

Main interface:steps-sony-a99-to-imovie.gif

Related Guides:

Convert MTS to FLV for uploading MTS to YouTube
Convert .MTS to ProRes on Mac Mavericks for FCP users

Comment on this post

Ricardo D'Aguiar 04/17/2015 01:55

MTS Converter for Mac really worked for me. I tried a variety of strategies, and this was the one that got me through a difficult situation with 35 GB of interviews on the line. Feel free to contact me for further details. I am not in any way connected to the app developers, I am a Brazilian postproduction manager and media development professional.

Valentin Kravtchenko 11/28/2014 15:21

Hi, just a small correction. Premiere can read without any problems those videos files inside the avchd structure... it doesnt need the folder structure, just the video file by itself.