Is the .Mod format new for capturing video

ElfQrin's picture
Last seen: 10 years 8 months ago
Joined: 12/10/2006 - 1:07pm

Will the .MOD flormat for capturing video be "mainstreem" soon, it is used with only JVC Everio camcorders but I was wondering if it is a good flormat to use and capture video in or will no one use it in the next few years.

I am debating weather to keep or return my JVC Harddrive camcorder (Everio 30GB Hard Drive with 34x optical zoom)


Anonymous (not verified)
Hi Danny,

I've been doing some tinkering at our office with a JVC GZ-MG555 Everio camcorder. Your file format issues with the .MOD file types are not unusual. The .MOD file format is, obviously, a proprietary file format that JVC has engineered to help their camcorders function with their Direct to Disk/Share Station product. But, the challenge, as you have found, is to use the native .MOD files for video editing. As JVC has mentioned, the supplied software (Cyberlink PowerDirector 5, PowerCinema and PowerProducer) will do all your basic functions, including convert your .MOD files to DV-AVI files which are compatible in nearly all video editing software packages. I've tried this several times and it has worked. However, it's a rather ridiculous process in that you need to do each clip one at a time, or, throw all your clips in the timeline and render out one very long DV-AVI file. Either way, this is not ideal.

The ideal solution to the problem would be the ability to batch render these .MOD files to DV-AVI files by simply selecting the clips you want encoded and pressing a "start" button. To that effect, the computer would individually convert each file. In the end you'd have a bunch of completely edit-able video clips. Unfortunately, that software functionality is not included with the software from JVC/Cyberlink. And to my knowledge, there is not a software package that can do this simple batch conversion with .MOD files as of yet. I suspect that unless JVC makes this happen, software companies probably won't do it themselves, as there is little reward in it for them.

With that said, all hope is not lost. Some video editing software makers have included .MOD file format support. I know that Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 ($99) has .MOD support. I'll be running a few tests later to see just how that support works, but from what I gather it does exactly what I mentioned the batch conversion would theoretically do, but it does it sort of behind the scenes. I'll let you know how that goes. We're also waiting to hear back from our contacts at JVC to get a more current list of third party video editing software that supports .MOD. So stay tuned.

An interesting side note to my tests with the GZ-MG555 camcorder, is that I used the dock that is supplied with the camcorder. On the dock there's a FireWire port. I plugged it in and used Cyberlink PowerDirector 5 to capture a AVI file, completely avoiding the .MOD file format. Unfortunately, this is counter productive, as the true benefit of having a hard drive camcorder is to avoid capturing altogether. But, it's an interesting alternative. Moreover, the DV files I capture were less than ideal, as the front and tails of the DV clip were about a half second of the .MOD file stalled. I think this is a natural response to the delay in the long GOP of MPEG-2 converting to DV.

For the sake of anyone looking into a camcorder purchase in the future, the lesson learned here is that there are many great attributes to hard drive camcorders and even DVD camcorders, yet anything that captures to MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 (especially the AVCHD flavor of MPEG-4) will be significantly more difficult to edit straight out of the camcorder. This has been true since we saw the first DVD camcorder come to market. Over time there has been additional support built into video editing software that will allow you to edit this stuff, but at the very least, the software needs to convert the files to a more edit friendly format. This is also true of the more common HDV video format. Anyone who edits HDV will tell you that native HDV editing is a little clunky. Video editing software have since authored Intermediate Codecs for HDV that will make the editing experience more friendly--this again is converting file types, usually in the case of HDV, on the fly as you capture your footage.

The good news is that I think you'll be able to find a post-production work flow that's much more what you expected when you got your camcorder. We're going to continue looking into that, but I hope this gives you some perspective to what the heck is going on.


ElfQrin's picture
Last seen: 10 years 8 months ago
Joined: 12/10/2006 - 1:07pm
Will more camcorders use the .mod flormat in the future?

Anonymous (not verified)
Since it's JVC's own format, it would be unlikely that anyone but JVC will use it in the future. I suspect that more JVC Everio camcorders to come in the future will use .MOD. However, JVC has recently focused new energies on their camcorder line. I wouldn't be surprised if they're taking a new look at their camcorders altogether. But, we won't know for sure until the first week of January at CES 2008, when camcorder manufacturers announce their new camcorders.


ElfQrin's picture
Last seen: 10 years 8 months ago
Joined: 12/10/2006 - 1:07pm
Do other companies have there own flormat? Why couldn't they just use like MPEG or .avi?

Is it a good flormat to record in or will it be obsolute later in the should I return the camcoreder?

Also do video cameras for $500--does the video get pixelated when you enlarge the video to full screen. Mine has been and I was wondering if the editing (Studio) is making the quality lower. I know I am recording in the highest level of detail!

Thanks again!

Anonymous (not verified)
Other companies do use proprietary formats, and the success of that format depends upon many different factors, but especially how widely popular that format becomes. I get the sense that .MOD has more to gain in this area before we see it become more widely adopted.

In the case of .MOD, you are actually getting a MPEG-2 file. The way video files work is that there is a codec (COmpressor/DECompressor) algorithm and a file wrapper (or extension). A JVC .MOD file is a MPEG-2 encoded file, with a .MOD extension. You're faced with two challenges, first the .MOD file type is only recognized and support by a few applications. I think we covered some of those already. The interesting thing about wrappers and extensions is that they can be dealt with in a variety of ways. Sometimes all you need to do to convert the video file to a compatible video file is to change the extension. In the case of .MOD files that's not enough. The .MOD wrapper apparently does a few more things than just bare a unique extension name. It requires a slightly more complicated method to convert that file. That is why there is supplied software and that certain third party applications have .MOD support.

The second problem you're experiencing is with the MPEG-2 format. It's not an edit friendly format to begin with. Many camcorders do use MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 codecs, and those file types still need to be converted or have additional support added to the software in order to accurately edit the file.

To answer you question regarding whether or not you should return you camcorder, I think the answer is yes and no. Before you run back to the store, consider that no matter what kind of camcorder you buy, there will have to be some level of post-production upkeep. Easily, with a modern computer supporting a FireWire connection, the most edit-able video format is Mini DV (or DV25). But, with Mini DV, you do have to take time to capture you footage from tape to computer in order to edit. This could take as long as converting you .MOD files and in some cases maybe even longer. So... I encourage to try to find a post-production work flow that is most efficient using your current camcorder. I tried to load up Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 at the office and found out that you can't install this software on a system with Premiere Pro installed... so I've got to find a machine here that doesn't have Premiere Pro (these are the kinds of problem you'd want to have, I'm sure) before running some tests. Furthermore, our contact at JVC as informed us that Pinnacle Studio 10 and the most current version, Studio 11 do support .MOD files. So maybe we can test that out too.



firmware's picture
Last seen: 10 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/04/2007 - 5:30pm
The MOD files that the JVC camera produces are really just MPEG-2 files. You can make a batch file to do a mass convert of MOD files to what they really are, MPG files, by just renaming the extension.

Copy & paste the folllowing into NOTEPAD and save as "jvc_rename.bat"

REM JVC Mass convert script
REM converts all MOD files in a folder to MPG files...
@ECHO off
ECHO - Renames MOD Files from JVC Camera to MPG
SET prefix=mov1
SET /P prefix=Type a rename prefix. [mov1]
REN *.mod %prefix%*.mpg
SET choice=y
SET /P choice=Do you want to erase the MOI files? [y/n]
IF %choice%==y del *.moi

redfox435cat's picture
Last seen: 9 years 9 months ago
Joined: 11/17/2007 - 2:58am

couple things.

firmware thanks for the batch file. kicks butt. but the main problem persists. wide screen video doesn't display correctly, it's still stretched to 4:3

In adobe premier 3 the mod file work great. the widescreen problem is fixed by.

after importing the files right click on the track or group of tracks select interpret footage, SELCT conform to: NTSC 16:9(1.2). using premeir to make dvds and dvd quality video is great. The problem come when trying to render down to internet streaming quality. Maybe someone has a solution but for me the progressive scanning used by the mod isn't rendered right and the horizontal lines are separated, very unwatchable.

For internet streaming video I just use the power director that came with it which you've probably found to have much to be desired as far as usability like sound edit features but file are read correctly and low quality video comes out just fine

XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

.MOD and .TOD files are simply alternatefile extensionsfor naming MPEG-2 (DVD codec) video. I highly doubt JVC owns this format, either. A file copied and renamed to .mpg is still an MPEG-2 file. This method works well if the editing software supports MPEG-2, but doesn't recognize these special extensions.

macksgarage's picture
Last seen: 7 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/08/2009 - 3:10pm

I have been working with an Everio HD camcorder for some time, and while renaming works some of the time, I have found that the files themselves seem to have certain inconsistencies which cause certain applications to crash or behave oddly when working with these files. I use Premiere CS3 and Premiere Elements. While Elements 'supports' these files, it is markedly unstable and frequently crashes while using the files, though the application is otherwise reliable. The solution I have arrived at is to repair the container using ffmpeg.

If you are not familiar with ffmpeg, it may be a bit of a bear to learn, but it's not only useful for this, but functions as a video swiss army knife useful for splicing, muxing/demuxing, and rendering just about any format into just about any other format.

ffmpeg is an open source project from the linux world, but it has been ported and is supported on windows. Fetch it here and place it somewhere handy on your system.

To rewrite the container into a nice, standards compliant .mpg file that doesn't make applications die, WITHOUT rerendering video or audio itself, I use this command.

ffmpeg -i INFILE.MOD -acodec copy - vcodec copy OUTFILE.mpg

This not only renames the file, but actually rebuilds the container around unmodified video and audio data, yielding a file which works much more stably with Adobe applications, and presumably others as well, as ffmpeg's open source development goals result in very standards compliant files.

I have a short script to handle a batch of files using the bash command interpreter from UNIXy type systems, which can be installed on windows via the cygwin project. Perhaps others in this forum with some knowledge of DOS type scripting can create a similar script for the standard cmd.exe for windows.

The short and simple bash script goes like this:

for x in *.MOD; do ffmpeg -i $x -acodec copy -vcodec copy $x.mpg; done

Maybe this helps someone as much as it helps me.

futball8's picture
Last seen: 9 years 11 months ago
Joined: 09/22/2007 - 5:57pm

Just so everyone knows - Canon uses the .MOD format as well, in it's FS line of camcorders. I have been using two Canon FS100's and several FS200'sfor a little under a year.

Iedit with Adobe Premiere Pro CS3. AllI have to do is simply rename the .MOD files as.MPG and then import into PP CS3. It takes a small amount of time to conform the audio, but no file conversionis necessary. It's a pretty slick workflow and I've never encountered any problems editing them this way.

When editing these files on a MAC with FCP, I've not found any way to get around converting them to DV. I use VisualHub for this purpose - it works fine, but takes a long time to convert. FCP will import .MOD files renamed as .MPG, but you will not have the audio, just video. Have'nt found a way around that yet for FCP. If anyone knows a way, please share!

skullcandy's picture
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 11/08/2009 - 4:41am

google "SDCOPY" it will rename your files and save you a lot of trouble.

I have a Canon fs100....