Tech Note: Importing AVCHD with Final Cut

If you have one of those new tapeless camcorders, chances are pretty good that it records in AVCHD on a memory stick, hard drive, or DVD disk.

Final Cut Pro still does not nativly support AVCHD, but will automatically transcode it into ProRes by default, or the Apple Intermediate CODEC (if you’re using iMovie it’s Apple Intermediate by default).

If you’re already used to importing P2 media using the Log and Transfer window inside of Final Cut Pro, then the process is the same using AVCHD. However, some have had problems (myself included) with Final Cut continuing to crash during the import.

Very often this problem stems from having the QuickTime component Perian installed. Perian allows QT to play back additional file types that would not otherwise be supported. However it seems it does cause a conflict in this case. The quick fix is to remove the file “Perian.component” from you Library/QuickTime folder. Once you do that, importing should resume as normal.

Apple has an official tech note on the problem as well.

Updated Tuesday; February 26, 2008

About a week ago Perian 1.1 was released. My hope is that this fixed the problem, but I have not had time to test it. If you have let me know what your experience has been.