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How do I view AVCHD files on a Mac? [SOLVED]

Rob Parsons Updated on Apr 15, 2022 4:23 PM

Apple QuickTime is integrated with every version of MacOS as default media player. It is a pretty nice player with numerous basic functions, such as playing, editing, and sharing audio and video files on your Mac machine. And it supports a lot of media formats and codecs, even with many more coming all the time.

However, superb as it seems to be, QuickTime still has some limitations in terms of video and audio formats it can play. Only QuickTime movie files (.mov), MPEG-4 files (.mp4, .m4a, .mp3, .m4v), and some .wav files are relatively friendly with QuickTime.

Suppose you got a 1080p 60fps AVCHD video shot by a HD camcorder, and you want to watch that footage on your Mac. When you try to open it with QuickTime, you may usually get an error notification saying "You may experience problems playing a video track in [name of video] because the required compressor could not be found". [Further reading: Burning AVCHD video to DVD]

Fortunately, you always have a plenty of choices at your disposal when dealing with the task about playing AVCHD files on Mac. Here we'll show you two most common solutions in the following part.

Option One: Use a 3rd Party AVCHD Player for Mac

If you get tired of playing a limited number of formats with QuickTime and want a more comprehensive media player to open AVCHD on Mac, you may be interested in the following app which even with no need to install a codec pack on your machine.

VLC is currently one of the most popular substitute of QuickTime for Mac platform. It works great with almost all types of video and audio files. Playing AVCHD files on Mac with VLC is rather simple—just install it on your Mac computer, open it. Drag your AVCHD file from its folder and drop onto it, you will notice that it now plays just fine now. To get more information about VLC media player, please check here: http://www.videolan.org/

Option Two: Convert AVCHD to a Mac Viewable Format

Another efficient option is to convert the AVCHD to QuickTime natively playback format with a video converting application. This is for instance the case for Video Converter.

It handles just about everything you throw at it, either AVCHD or any other formats you can imagine. And this program features batch conversion function, so that you can convert as much videos as you want at the same time. Even better, you are allowed to edit your video files as you want with its built-in handy video editor. One another good thing about it is that there are more easily accessible presets to adjust your settings—by selecting your output device from the preset profiles, then all settings can be done automatically.

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Now, turn your attention to the simple steps of converting AVCHD files to the Mac-approved format.

Further Reading: Top 5 iTunes Alternative to Manage Media Files between iOS and Computer

Step 1: Import your AVCHD files

In the opening program window, click on the "Add File" button on the menu bar, then browse to the location of the AVCHD video file you wish to convert. Alternatively, drag-and-drop option is also acceptable.

The program comes with basic video editing capabilities, allowing you to edit your AVCHD videos as you like, trimming, splitting, cropping, merging are all practicable. To do this, you just press the "Edit" button on the top bar.

Step 2: Select output format

After successfully opened the AVCHD video files, then head to the "Profile" section at the bottom of the screen, click it and you will get a drop-down list, then from the "General Video" category, select the appropriate output format. To make you AVCHD files playable on Mac, you can choose from either MOV, MP4, or M4V option in the category.

Also, you're able to do some tweaks over the videos settings manually if required. Just by clicking "Settings" button to the right side of "Profile" menu.

For those who want to convert videos to play on a device, you can choose from a library of preset profiles . Once it can adjust all settings automatically.

Step 3: Start conversion

When everything is completed, please hit the "Convert" button at the very bottom right corner of the screen to start converting your AVCHD file format to Mac playable format. Once conversion finished, you will be able to enjoy watching the new minted files on your Mac.

The Bottom Line

You no longer see any reason to use other apps beyond Video Converter and VLC in terms of avoiding and overcoming the Mac playback issue that irritates so many users. While VLC media player gives you ability to view anything including AVCHD files on Mac without a problem, Video Converter do much more than VLC to make your files flexible on Mac.

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