Dodona gives you answers

How can I play .MOD movie files on my Mac?

with 8 comments

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.

Written by lutsen

November 1, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Mac

8 Responses

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  1. hi dodona,

    your entry is superb. thumbs up. thanks for the tips! more of mac stuff please!


    January 13, 2009 at 8:10 pm

  2. Helpful guide
    for mac users
    how to convert mod to dvd on mac


    August 19, 2009 at 9:34 am

  3. changing the file extension name to .mpg worked a treat!


    April 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm

  4. Just a quick update for 2010 – I found this article on Google after my company purchased a Canon FS200 (records in MOD format). The current version of iMovie (iMovie ’09 or version 8.0.x) imports MOD files from the FS200 with no problem whatsoever. This will work on OS X 10.4,5,6. Hope that helps someone if they happen to search on it like I did. Thanks.


    August 12, 2010 at 6:58 pm

  5. Please update your page to let users know that the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component no longer works on Mac OS X Lion, thus if you buy it, it will NOT install and Apple will not give your money back.

    Please see this Apple KB Article for details:


    April 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm

  6. Thank you so much!!!


    September 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm

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