How can I play .MOD movie files on my Mac?
I recently had to import movies to my Mac from a Cannon FS100 camera. This and other similar cameras record their movies as .MOD files. After some web-surfing I found out MOD video files are actually MPEG-2 files with AC3 audio.
MPEG2 files are not supported by Quicktime by default.
You have to buy the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component from the Apple store. It costs $20. Update: QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component no longer works on Mac OS X Lion.
There are some free alternatives to view MPEG-2 files on a Mac:
- For playback, I liked the VLC player the best.
- An alternative player is MPlayer (but it played my movies rather slow)
- To convert .MOD or MPEG 2 files to another format use ffmpegX
NOTE: Apart from ffmpegX the above players don’t recognise the .MOD extension. There is a simple workaround for this; just change the extension of the file you want to play to .mpg.
The missing link
OK, so this works, but having to change the extension or convert the file is not very practical, especially when you have a lot of movie files.
But that’s when I bumped in to VideoPier from Aquafadas. It’s a program especially designed for Macs to work with MPEG2 camcorders. “The missing link between MPEG2 camcorders and your Mac” as they call it. It’s a bit like iPhoto for MPEG2 Camcorders. It has no problem with the .MOD files, lets you browse them, play them and export them to Quicktime, DV, iMovie, iPod, iPhone or Apple TV.
VideoPier has a free but limited trail version, the full version costs $49.