Saturday, 13 December 2014

Using your voice to interact with your computer - Just like in Star Trek

Ever since I have been watching science fiction movies and TV series the characters have always been talking to their computers. This was the case in Star Trek, Blakes Seven and 2001 A Space Odyssey and many others. In some of the science-fiction movies the computer would be talking back and sometimes knew much better than the characters in the movie about what should be done next. So you can understand that for some of us interacting with our computer with our voices is like living in the future. In this weeks Mac 20 Questions Podcast I give you an insight of what it is like to start the day by talking to Siri.

Siri is extremely helpful but hasn’t worked out how to make the tea

IMG 0634

In the podcast you can hear that I am still quite groggy in the morning, almost to the point of being grumpy. The room is dark and I don’t want to open my eyes and let the light in. Yes, the brain has already started functioning in some small way. Actually, my brain only does functioning in small ways! So first of all I get my friend Siri to tell me what time it is as it is quite possible that I have been languishing in my pit too long. I should be up and out of my bed and taking part in the day. Siri even tells me “Good Morning” and is just too pleasant for words. She should really be saying “Get out of bed you lazy bastard, don’t you know what time it is?”

Quite often in the morning when you are just at this point of waking up you have ideas going through your head. Maybe you want to remind yourself of something that should be done during the day. You know that if you don’t do something with that idea and commit it to your system, you are going to completely forget about it. So this would be a good time to say “Hey Siri - Set a reminder for 11 o’clock today to do (whatever it is that you need to do)”. Siri dictation is pretty cool. You can also ask Siri to tell you what appointments and events are happening during the day you’ve already set into your calendar. Having this little chat in the morning with your friendly computer is a great way to start the day.

Checking up on the socials - What are all those people up to on the Twitters?

To be able to get through this far in the process of waking up in the morning in a good and geeky way your eyes will have to have been opened. So you might do the socials before you open up the emails so that you can be more awake when you have to start sending messages out to the wide world. Who knows what garbled rubbish you might start spouting if you haven’t given yourself some time to wake up properly. At least when you are checking out what’s going on with the Facebook and with the Google+ you are going to doing a little bit more consuming than creating. Still no need to do any typing, as you can use Siri to do the dictation and you might only have to correct one word or two. It is still a good idea to give it a check before you send it!

And so the day goes on

Once you start doing other things such as having your breakfast and walking the dog you can move on to things like listening to podcasts. I use the application Overcast which is fairly simple in the way that it functions, but it looks good and does all I need it to do. You can change the speed of playback so that you can listen to your podcasts quicker. You can also speed it up by telling Overcast to cut out any of the empty spaces. So each time there is a little bit of silence the podcast will jump past that. With some podcasts this is a particular good idea due to the way that the podcaster talks and also perhaps due to a lack of editing of the audio before it was published.

How do you start your day? Do you talk to your computer to get it to do your bidding?

Monday, 8 December 2014

Latest Mac20Q Podcasts Talking to Podcasters

The Latest Mac 20 Q Podcasts


In episode 115 of Mac20Q Podcast I was talking to Bob de Grande who is a podcast responsible for the Dexter Cast and also for the Clone Dance Party. Both of these podcasts are based on television series where a group of people come together to chat about what is happening in the latest episode. It brings a community feeling to watching and experiencing a television series. I imagine that it works better with the cult TV series such as Dexter and Orphan Black and it would be great with something like Breaking Bad. I have seen other broadcasters do something similar with the TV series Lost. In this podcast with Bob we talked about the process of podcasting in terms of the hardware that he uses and also the software.

Bob is a guitar player for fun and enjoys to collect his guitar to his Apple devices. I have the software to do this with my guitar, but I haven’t got around to setting it up yet. There are plenty of other applications that you can use to enhance your guitar playing. You might get your hands on applications which will help you to tune your guitar as well as applications like Garage Band where you can create music.

Episode 116 talking to Kurt Sasso

Two Geeks Talking specializing in Comics TV Film Music and Video Game Interviews

Kurt has used Macs but is not a full-time Mac user and I interviewed him originally on the Answer 20 Questions podcast. I asked him if he would like to be on the Mac 20 questions podcast and he said yes and that is fair enough saying as they would like to be a Mac user. Kurt is also a podcast with a podcast called Two Geeks Talking. He has a big interesting in the comics world and talks to comment producers and artists. We had an interesting chat about how comics stories are getting into the movies. Kurt would like to continue on from his present studies with his ultimate goal to be a producer. This led us into talking about TV series and movies and the role of a producer in making films.

During the podcast I do talk somewhat about various Mac and iOS applications and how I use them for making video and for my writing. So the Mac20Q Kurt Sasso interview is quite interesting and it just goes to show that if you are creative you don’t have to use a Mac, even though we all know that it does help.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Mac20Q Podcast Episode 114 - Talking to Mike Reed

Mac20Q Podcast Episode - Talking to Mike Reed

We talked last time in series one of the Mac20Q Podcast and this time we get talking about shooting video and making movies using Apple products. Mike is just as keen on using the best kit for creating and editing content and loving his iPhone 6 and his Mac computer.

Listen to the Podcast at Mac20Q

These chats I have with other Mac users who are clearly enjoying using the Mac and iOS devices are really great fun to do. In this interview Mike and I talk a lot about the video and movie business. When I talked to Mike last time he was involved in the making of some movies and now he is working towards making his own video business. He is looking at both ends of the age spectrum with helping parents to create a good quality record of how their child is progressing and at the other end with talking to old folks about their life experiences and life story.

Video made by Mike

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Encrypted Emails with Certs from StartSSL

This is for the people that struggle with the PGP public and private key pairs. There are a few steps that you have to go through to set it up but once it is done and easy to use. All you have to do is to exchange emails that you have digitally signed with your recipient and you have everything ready to be secure

Monday, 13 October 2014

DragonDictate update and how will Handoff work

Got an update to the DragonDictate application on my Mac and I am hoping that it will allow it to work on Yosemite which will be released soon. I always like to have the latest operating system on my Mac and I am quite happy usually to jump in there as soon as it becomes available. DragonDictate is one of my go to applications that I use just about every day. If it is not available on the new operating system then I will not upgrade. On the last operating system upgrade from Apple I had some time where DragonDictate was not working properly with Mavericks. It was very annoying and I’m not going to go through that again. I would hope that Nuance who are the developers of DragonDictate have got their fingers out and have been working on making sure it works well with the new operating system. Yosemite might be available later on this week, according to the rumour mongers.


Waiting for Yosemite OS X for Mac

I did try out the first beta version of the new operating system and I wasn’t able to use my favourite applications so I removed it from computer. I have been looking on the Nuance forum of the help system and I have not yet found any details from other users about whether it works or not. So it looks like I will have to give myself a backdoor and be able to roll back to Mavericks again if I find that DragonDictate stops working. I am just hoping that’s the today’s update to DragonDictate is something that is Yosemite inspired.

Handoff and Continuity

I have just been trying to get hand off and continuity working with my iPhone 6 and my iPad. It didn’t work and I think perhaps the reason why, is that the iPad is a third-generation device and I need to have a fourth gen iPad. Oh well, I will be able to rectify this problem in a week or so. Let’s see how things go on Thursday when the new announcement is coming from Apple about new iPads, allegedly. the handoff feature only works with a view application so far, namely Mail, Safari, the office suite of applications, Maps, Messages and Reminders. It is a feature that is available to third party developers and it would be good to see in something like Byword.

If you do have the right hardware to be able to make this work then when you open up your other device lock screen you will see an icon for the application you are handing off from. You swipe up on that icon in the same way as you would swipe up to get into the camera application from the lock screen. You then enter your entry code and away you go. It will be interesting to see how this will work when you are going from an iOS device to the Mac and vice versa.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Android to iOS and Apple Only

Have to learn about Touch ID on iOS

Touch ID CHiaroscuro

Now that I'm moving to the iPhone 6 I am going to have to find out how to use the Touch ID with my finger prints. Last year when the iPhone 5S came out everybody was raving about how good is and there were plenty of tutorials on how to use it for the best. With all of the new things that have been introduced with IOS 8 there is not so much new information available. So people like myself who are moving up from a phone that doesn't have Touch ID will have to go back to the information from last year to get properly informed.

Bye Bye Galaxy S3

The phone that I have been using for the last 16 months is the Samsung Galaxy S3. When I first got it I was very pleased with the phone and delighted that it could do much more than I could with the iPhone 4. I particularly liked that I was able to use the Swype keyboard and I also used the SwiftKey keyboard for a short while. I also liked the way that I could arrange icons on the home screens of the device. I had dictation available to me on the phone which was great as the iPhone 4 was pre-Siri. Being a big user of DragonDictate on my Mac I also wanted to have the same sort of facilities on my mobile devices. With the introduction of IOS 8 Apple have caught up with some of the things that took me over to the dark side.

Why can't I upgrade to the latest OS?

One of the biggest problems of the Android phones are the difficulties of upgrading to the latest operating system software. There was nothing coming down the tubes from the phone carriers and it really isn't great to have to resort to rooting and things like CyanogenMod. It is a lot of messing around and a complete pain in the arts. Is it any wonder I am going back to Apple Only and no more Android. There are a lot of good applications for the Android phones, but it seems to me that to a certain extent it is a second class experience compared to what is available on iOS. I am a big user of the application DayOne for journalling and that is only available on the Mac and iOS. The application that I like to use for inputting text is called Drafts and there is nothing like it on Android. I can put text into Drafts and I can then send it to various places at a later stage. This makes the application very versatile and the best notetaking application out there. I could start something that would be a couple of sentences and just right for sending off to Twitter, add some more to it and then it becomes a post for Facebook. The application Drafts is also great for longer pieces of work where I can write in markdown. I can export out of the application and put it into Blogsy the blogging application for iOS and that is just a brilliant workflow.

Apple iOS apps are better

Another application that I want to make more use of and is only available on Apple products is OmniFocus. With the books that I am writing I need to be completely organised and I can set each of these books up as a project. There are a huge number of ways to organise things from the project angle and also from the time angle within OmniFocus. I can have it so that the application only shows me the next thing that is due. I don't get overwhelmed by all of the jobs that are lining up in the queue waiting for me. I also use another application for lists called Clear. Clear is great for making quick and dirty lists when I don't want to jump into OmniFocus. Blogging from the iPad is far better than blogging from Android.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The sunsetting of Aperture on the Mac

What! No more Aperture on the Mac?

Of course, as soon as I nearly have this book ready to go out with the videos that I have made showing you how to use Aperture to organise your photos and to do various things such as enhancing by adding effects, then Apple comes out with the news that they are going to stop working on Aperture. This is called sunsetting of an application and it seems to happen more often than you would realise. So now they are going to bring out another application instead which will take over from both aperture and also from iPhoto. Even though Apple is a huge company with massive resources, it still makes sense for them to just have one application which will do the job for everybody than it is to have two apps at different ends of the market. The big problem with this announcement is that the photographic pros that use Aperture believe that they should get special attention and better capabilities of an application for dealing with photos. The pros have already jumped to the conclusion that Apple is going to ditch them in favour of a wider market of ordinary to enthusiast users that only need a bare minimum of facilities to deal with Their photos. There have been quite a number of articles written by the photographers claiming that Apple have stabbed them in the back with this move, and due to that they will just will head off to the main competition for Aperture which is Lightroom. Myself, on the other hand, I am working on the notion that the application Photos will be more than good enough for the enthusiasts and for the professionals. There are one or two reasons why you might want to be optimistic about this being the ultimate outcome for the applications you need to deal with photographs on your Mac.

What does the future hold for photos on Apple products

Well in the first instance we can say “Who knows!” Because until the application photos actually arrives on our desktop we have no idea what it’s going to offer us. There is the possibility based upon what has happened with previous similar upgrades of software and I’m thinking about Final Cut Pro here, that not all of the features that we would like, will be present on day one. The software will be written from the ground up and will be easy to use with some decent features and a promise of a lot more to come. Final Cut Pro X was like this and has just got better and better. Final Cut is easy for everybody to use, professional and beginners alike and yet still having excellent capabilities for dealing with the requirements of professional video editors. I could well imagine that it will be similar when Photos takes over from iPhoto and from Aperture. I expect that there will be some things that we do in Aperture now that will just be easier to do in Photos. If it is easier then it is also better, right?

Will all the photos have to go to iCloud?

It is going to be a good thing that we have one application that will span across IOS and also the Mac and is also linked to the cloud. The thing about linking to the cloud is that some people are making assumptions that if you put a photo into the application Photos then you will have to store that photo in the cloud also. What this would mean for people with large photo libraries is a large number of megabytes of data having to be uploaded and also then downloaded when you want to use any of these photos. Not all of us have download speeds or even upload speeds that are good enough to make this viable. I would like to think that it will be possible to choose which of our photos will get uploaded to the cloud so that if you do have big libraries of photos, you don’t have to put all of them up there. There is also the consideration of cost of the online storage. There will be a certain amount of online storage available for free with iCloud. It seems that the cost of getting extra iCloud storage is going to be fairly reasonable. Even so, it is still going to make a lot of sense to be able to choose which of your photos you will have stored online especially when you are running a very large photo library. The amount that we will get for free will be 5 GB which for many people will be plenty. Then some people will want to go with the 20 GB option and that is only $.99 a month or if you want to will look at it in terms of an annual payment it is $11.88. Even going for the next option which will boosted up to 200 GB it is only going to cost $3.99 per month and that is a huge amount of storage space.

What can we expect from Photos app from Apple

One of the main things that you will want to do with your photos is to be able to organise them in such a way as you can find them again easily. With the new photos app from Apple there will be some default collections of photos based upon when they were taken. So there will be a view which will start off by looking at photos separated by the year there were taken. It seems we will get some smart suggestions for creating albums based on locations, times and scenes that are similar. As you would expect from good photo editors these days, the edits that we can make with the photos will be nondestructive. Any changes that are made to a photo, also get sent off to the cloud and so the changes can be seen when you look for that photo on other Apple devices connected to that account.
Converting to Black and white in APerture
Searching for photos should be easier and it looks like there will be smart suggestions given to us, but for really good searching some of it will be dependent upon us using the tagging features and the naming of photos. The location of photos is another good way to search, but for that you will have to have done some geolocation of your photos in camera or using an application like HoudahGeo to do it after the fact.
In the demonstration of the Photos application at the keynote event at WWDC, they showed smart adjustments being available, which is all very good so long as you can also do your own manual fine adjustments. Not only that, but it will also have to be easy to get in there and make these changes and not be hampered by the easy-to-use smart adjustments that are there for the casual Apple photographer using the Photos app.

I feel optimistic towards the new Photos app from Apple

It is true that there have been a number of enthusiasts and professional photographers that have been running around like Chicken Little, thinking that the sky is falling upon them. There is a chance that they could be right, but I would like to think that Apple will give us all of the best things that we like to use in the Aperture and add the ease-of-use that they are famous for giving us to use on Mac OS X and in iOS. They have already said that on iOS it is going to be possible to use features available in other applications such as waterlogged as if we were still within the Photos application and I would expect this to also be the case when using the photos app on the Mac.

So while it is a bit of a pain that Apple have decided to sunset the Aperture application, it will still be available for people to use for another year if not two years. I do think it is strange that Apple have not decided to make the Aperture application free from now on. It is still available to buy from the App Store and I don’t think that is really the right thing to do. Most people making the decision to buy Aperture at the moment will most probably know about the impending demise of Aperture and will not get caught. Of course, there will be new tutorials by Wizardgold on the YouTube channel and also new tutorials that are specifically just connected to this book. So that will be something to look out for when I update this book and make it available to anybody that has bought it already.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Chromecast versus the Apple TV

I got the Chromecast to compare with the Apple TV

For a while now I have been having some problems with my Apple TV. To be honest, I think the problems are more to do with the network and the way it is working within the house rather than the actual Apple TV itself. Quite often what I have to do is I have to go into the general settings and then into network and reset the automatic settings for ethernet on the Apple TV. This is usually because the video I wanted to watch has declined to play and after doing this little reset trick it usually works again. The Google Chromecast has just become available here in Spain at the same time as in other countries including the UK and I had been wanting to give it a try anyway. So I thought why not have a look. It worked out at €35 to buy it and at the same time I also bought a wireless, induction charger for my Nexus 7. Not really too happy with the charger at the moment, but then that is another story.

No instructions in the box for the Chromecast

Really, when you consider it there shouldn't need to be any instructions for the Chromecast from Google, as all you need to do is to go online and to find the information that you require. I fully approve of this because I don't see any reason why we should cut down any more trees just to put unnecessary pieces of paper in with our purchases. It didn't take me too long to initially get the thing working although there was a seemingly lengthy download that was required to update the device before I could even do anything at all with it.
The first thing that I wanted to do was to try and play some videos that I have on my Nexus 7 through the Chromecast onto the TV. It seemed to me that it would be something that the Chromecast should be able to do and I only found out later that I would be able to do that through an App called LocalCast. So today is the second day of having the Google Chromecast and when I got back home from work I decided to switch on the TV and see what I could organise. I had done a little bit more research and found that there are a number of applications that are made to work with Chromecast. These applications are for use on your desktop computer within your Chrome browser and also applications that work on your Android devices. I still haven't got around to trying them all out yet. The one that I have been having some success with so far is the Plex application and I have been running that on my desktop computer, an iMac. I have been able to watch some videos / movies from folders of my hard drive without any difficulty at all. I got a nice smooth play of the movie with no buffering problems and I was quite happy to have got it working.

Using the Plex media server

I still haven't fully got into understanding all of the things that Plex is able to do, but the main thing is that you download and install the Plex media server software. When you have this done you can set up your library of videos. It is not completely intuitive the way that it works. On the Nexus 7 there is also an application called Plex Remote and that is another one that I have not been able to make work as yet. It seems that the best thing for me to do is to work out these things one by one and gradually build up my knowledge of how all of this functions as a system.

Using the Chromecast to display photos and play music

I found an application for the Android platform called AllCast and with this I was able to go into my photos gallery, this time on my Samsung Galaxy S3 and to send these images to my TV. I was looking to see if I can find a way that I could select a number of these and have them do a slideshow going from picture to picture. I did get to see the pictures one by one but still I'm looking to find an application that allows me to do that slideshow thing with all of the photos within a folder. Using this same AllCast I was able to send music from the Galaxy S3 play on the television.

The verdict so far on Chromecast

I still have a lot of things that I need to work out and so this will be just the first article in a series of articles as I find out more on how it all works. I have managed to get videos, music and photographs showing up on my TV, so I can confirm that it does actually work. I haven't found the whole process completely intuitive and I am sure that there should be more applications developed that allow the use of Chromecast. I see that there is work being done at the moment as evidenced by a beta app giving functionality of complete mirroring of your desktop. That is something that you get with the Apple TV, that I found to be easy and worth having. I feel sure that Google will be looking to give us a similar set of facilities that we can use Chromecast for demonstrations and presentations.

Try one out - Why not?

Keep your eye out on this website for some more posts on how to get the best from Chromecast as I work out for myself what is possible and where there are some difficulties. For the price I think that the device is marvellous and I would recommend trying one out.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Customising the Mac

One of the things that I really like about the Mac is that there are so many little applications that you can buy or get for free which customise basic uses and procedures using the computer. It isn't that the standard set up of the Mac is anyway bad, it is just that all of us use a computer in different ways and therefore is ripe for personal customisation. I only have to look at the menu bar on my iMac to see that there are a lot of little extras I have added to my personal set up for Mac computing. Today I have been setting up a couple of extra applications to add more functionality and give me some extra ease of use.

Doing things with DropZone

I have added the application DropZone which I got in the latest Mac Heist bundle. This makes it very easy for me to take a file and do a number of things with it. I have set it up with Flickr and I can drag a picture file to the right side of my screen and the dropzones that I have configured will pop out. Dropping the file onto the Flickr dropzone will send that file off to the web. There are a number of other things that you can set up to do, such as moving or copying files to a specific folder. I will be also looking into other connections that I can make with this application. I see that it is very easy to use this for launching often used applications, if I move the mouse cursor to the right-hand side of the screen I get the option to pop out the circles.

Dealing with the Trickster

Trickster is an application which I had on my Mac before and I found it to be quite useful and today I set it up so that it starts automatically when I open up my Mac. I have only just reinstalled it since upgrading to Mavericks. I had found it useful before, but had forgotten about it and only remembered when I heard another blogger talking about it in a podcast recently. What this application does is to keep an eye on certain folders that you can specify and the files which appear in those folders. You can set the view so that it shows the list of files by date and this is very handy for a file that you were working on today or yesterday and you want to get back to it quickly without having to open up the Finder window. If there are a lot of files that you have been opening then you can filter down the files by using a search term.

Getting the Canary out of the cage

There is a developmental version of Google Chrome called Canary. I only just found out about it and decided to add it to my Mac because it gives me a menu bar icon giving me access to Google Now. What Google Now does is to look at what you are doing with your life and pops up info to your Android devices and now also the Mac. It gives you information sometimes before you know you even need it. I like to use Google Now to know when the next game is being played by Barcelona Football Club and it will also give me the scores after the games have been played. It gives me the local weather as well as information about birthdays of the people I am connected to on Google+. At the moment what it does is fairly simple, but it is something that is gradually getting better and offering more information. A good thing about this Canary version of Google Chrome is the fact that I can have it installed alongside the normal version of the application. I find that it suits me to have Google+ in the Canary version and to run my general web browsing in the other one.

More file finding with Houdahspot

There are times when you are trying to find a file and you can't remember the name of the file, but you can remember some of the words that you used within it. Houdahspot is an excellent application which gives you all sorts of super search facilities including a fuzzy search. You can combine various searches creatively to really specify exactly what it is you are looking for. There is also a menubar icon for this application called Blitz Search and this is a good way to get the Houdahspot application started and then further refine what it is you're looking for in the main window of the application.
All you have to do with Houdahspot is to fill in the details of what it is you are looking for in the what, where, exclude and limit sections of the application. Once you get used to howe this application works and you know how to make it look for things when ANY of the following is true or ALL of the following is true you will find that it is an extremely powerful searching tool for the Mac. Spotlight on steroids.

Launch Bar or Alfred

As I have been using it for some time, Alfred is my preferred application for using as a Mac Application launcher. This is also because it can do a lot of different things as well as launching applications. I sometimes use Alfred to do a quick calculation and I also have a few other extras programmed in also, but I only use those rarely. I was tempted this week to give LaunchBar a try, as it was also included in the Mac Heist bundle. I haven't added it yet, but there are many people that swear by it and I might be tempted to give it a try when I have a little bit of free time to spare.

Textexpander and DragonDictate

In the previous version of Mac OS X I was having to switch off Textexpander whenever I started to use DragonDictate, especially when I was using DragonDictate in other applications. There seemed to be some sort of bug which made it so that those two applications didn't work well together. Now that the dust has settled with Mavericks I find that I can forget about having to switch off Textexpander while I am using DragonDictate.
It really is very useful having an application that will fill in things like email addresses and complete web addresses with a couple of key taps. For example, I can put in the whole of my email address by typing in ,,w. This is very handy as I find I often have to enter an email address into a web form and by using Textexpander I know that I will always enter it correctly without any typos.
Of course, all of this article has been written using DragonDictate while I have my feet up on the desk and I am leaning back in my chair in a very relaxed mode.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Importing AVCHD video from a Sony NEX-6 for Final Cut Pro X

My previous camera the Canon 600D gave me the video files as individual files that could be grabbed from the correct folder off the camera and had dragged straight in to be used and edited in Final Cut Pro X. With the Sony NEX-6 there is a folder which looks like a file that is called AVCHD and as you shoot more video the clips get added to that single file. It seems like it would be a more difficult thing to do, to get video from the camera into Final Cut Pro X, but it is not really much more difficult than before. In this video I show you three different ways of getting the video clips from the AVCHD file into your video editing software.

Import AVCHD video into Final Cut Pro X

The simplest way to do this process is to use the keyboard shortcut Command I to bring up the import window. You can then choose the AVCHD file which you might do directly from the camera or you might have copied the file from the camera to your hard drive first. I have found that it isn't any slower to do this on the camera and when you are ready to delete the file it is better to do it from the camera menu system anyway.
I found that the database of the movies in the camera can get a bit messed up if you delete from the computer rather than the camera. I also know that sometimes with a SD card I can be a could idea to format it using the camera software from time to time also. The size of the file is reasonable using this method and for most people it will be the way to go for now.
You will see within the import window all of the video clips that you have on your camera and you can choose to bring in just one of them, some of them or all of them. In the video I selected just one of the video clips and it doesn't take long for the video to be ingested into the Final Cut Pro video editing system.

Using specialised software to import AVCHD into Final Cut Pro X

I found on the Mac App Store some free software that is actually called free AVCHD to MOV. The application is very easy to use and it also has a number of presets to make it even easier. Drag-and-drop the AVCHD file into the application window and it will then show you the video clips with the details, so that you can choose which ones you want. In the video I bring in the same file that I imported in directly so that we can compare the differences between the import methods.
The conversion that I chose to use with this software is a preset specifically for Final Cut Pro X or other high end video editing applications. This is the Apple ProRes codec 422 and there is much more information contained within the resulting file. Because there is more information contained within, the size of file is therefore rather large, in fact you might say it is completely massive, enormous or huge. In this case the file which started out as about 140 MB grew to very nearly 2 GB in size. For many of us there is no advantage to using a file of this size and in fact it slows us down because of having to do the conversion in the first place. It could even be that you need to have a larger amount of memory on your computer to be able to work with these files efficiently. Certainly, for me using these type of converted files is rather like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Using QuickTime to convert from AVCHD to h.264

There is talk that the QuickTime format is on the way out and to be superseded by other video formats, but I think it will take some time before that happens completely. You can use the application QuickTime To convert your video from AVCHD to individual video clips that you can use and edit in Final Cut Pro X. You only have to go to the file menu and click on open and choose the AVCHD file. Up pops a window which will give you the option to choose whichever of the files you want to convert or open.
So you have the video clip open in QuickTime and you can do one of two things. First of all you could use the File And Save menu option to save the file out in the correct format or what you can do is to use the share option on the menus. There you have a number of preset choices and the one that I used to convert the video clips was the 1080p which converts it to the h.264 codec. It is a simple process to get the files into the Final Cut Pro X application either using the import window or just by doing a drag and drop.