The Best Way to Use MTS Files in Premiere

MTS is a file type that is used for the high-definition video camera format AVCHD, which stands for Advanced Video Codec High Definition. Typically, this format is found when recording footage on a Panasonic or Sony HD camcorder. If you're looking to use MTS files in your next Adobe Premiere project, getting them to import correctly may require some extra steps, depending on the version of Premiere that you are using.

  1. Version

    • When it comes to .mts files and Adobe Premiere, working with them on a Timeline is not the issue; it's getting them into Premiere that can be a challenge. Every camera maker has its own file extensions and formats, and it's asking a lot of software makers to be prepared to handle all those formats. As such, Premiere was not equipped to natively handle the AVCHD format until the release of Adobe CS4. Thus, if you have an earlier version of Premiere, you're not quite ready to import and edit that file format. If you have CS4 or later, you should have no problem encoding and working with .mts files in Premiere, just as you would any other type of video file.

    Plug-In

    • If you're using a version of Premiere that came before CS4, you'll need to install third-party software in order to work with the AVCHD file format and its .mts files. One option is to install a high-speed processing plug-in that will allow you to encode the video files and encode them faster than your computer's CPU can. Elemental Accelerator is designed for handling AVCHD video within Adobe Premiere.

    Video Converter

    • Another option for working with those .mts files -- if you're working with an older version of Premiere -- is to convert them to another file format before you encode them into your video editor. A number of online video converters provide this service, though you may lose some quality with the conversion. See Resources for free software options. Simply download the free program of your choice, follow instructions to tell the program which .mts file you'd like to convert, and then select the type of file format you would like to convert to.

    Trial Version

    • If you're trying out a newer version of the Adobe Creative Suite and you still can't get your .mts files to work, there may be very good reason for that. According to Adobe, trial versions of Premiere -- including CS5 and 5.5 -- do not include import features for a number of file formats, including AVCHD. You'll need to upgrade to the full version to work with AVCHD.

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