In this article, you will learn the basic knowledge about MOD and TOD files and how to import MOD and TOD from JVC, Panasonic or Cannon camcorder to iMovie for editing on Mac OS X.
MOD and TOD at a glance
MOD and TOD are recording formats used in digital tapeless camcorders, they are informal names of tapeless video formats used by JVC (MOD and TOD), Panasonic (MOD only) and Cannon (MOD only) in some models of digital camcorders. The two formats are comparable to XDCAM EX and AVCHD.
Similarity and difference between MOD and TOD
Similarity: Both MOD and TOD are file-based formats that are stored on a random-access media. Directory structure and naming convention are identical except for extensions of media files.
Difference: MOD is used exclusively for standard definition video files stored in MPEG program steam container files with MOD extension, in most other systems these files have extension MPG or MPEG, while TOD is used for high definition files in MPEG transport steam container files with TOD extension, in most systems these files have M2T extension.
MOD video can be viewed on a computer with a player that is capable of reproducing MPEG-2 video. This video can be easily authored for watching on a DVD player without recompressing, because it is fully compliant with DVD-video standard.
TOD format is comparable with AVCHD, but can't be directly played on consumer equipment. Media files must be packaged into distribution formats like HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc, using authoring software.
Common camcorders that use MOD or TOD format
Camcorders using MOD format
JVC: GZ-MG30, GZ-MG70, GZ-MG37, GZ-MG77, GZ-MG505, GZ-MG130, GZ-MG155, GZ-MG255, GZ-MG555, GZ-MG7230, GZ-MG630, GZ-MG670, GZ-MG680
Panasonic: SDR-S100, SDR-S150, SDR-S10, SDR-H18, SDR-H200, SDR-H20, SDR-H60, SDR-S7, SDR-SW20, SDR-SW21, SDR-S26
Cannon: FS100, FS10, FS11, FS200, FS21, FS22
Camcorders using TOD format
JVC was the only supporter of TOD format, camcorders of such kind including: GZ-HD7, GZ-HD3, GZ-HD5, GZ-HD6, GZ-HD30, GZ-HD40
Why should we convert MOD and TOD files to other popular file format
Just as we mentioned above, MOD and TOD are special formats used by limited camcorders like JVC, Panasonic and Cannon which can not be accepted by most video players or editors. Therefore, if you want to enjoy these files on your computer or on portable devices like iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, Gphone etc or do some further editing with video editing softwares like iMovie, FCE, FCP, Adobe Premiere Pro, you will have to convert them to other common file formats.
How to deal with MOD and TOD files
I have noticed in some websites people suggesting some free program named FFmpeg which is supposed to deal with MOD and TOD files, but these program can only be run on Windows and Linux systems, the same case is with Adobe Premiere Elements which is available for Windows XP and beginning with version 3.0.2 for Windows Vista. However, in this article, we are focusing our attention on editing MOD and TOD files in iMovie on Mac OS X.
As for Mac, I also saw people recommending a program called iSquint, this application is an easy to use and totally free video converter for mac, which can convert videos to mp4 and provide settings for iMovie. But it may result in more quality loss because of incompatility and fault conversion job.
In order to retain the best video quality, I suggest you try this application: Movie Converter for Mac, it can convert MOD and TOD files to other file formats without extra codec installed and with no difficulty. The most important is it can keep the best output video quality.
General review: Movie Converter for Mac
Movie converter for Mac is a robust 2-in-1 application that packs DVD ripper and video converter into a single interface. It can not only rip and convert DVD content to other file formats, but also it can convert between almost all file formats including SD to SD conversion, HD to HD conversion and HD to SD conversion, the input and output formats are rich and broad, including AVI, WMV, MPG, MPEG-4 (MP4, M4V), MPEG-2, DV, MOV, VOB, SWF, 3GP, MKV, RM, MOD, TOD, AVCHD etc so that you can put them in iMovie, portable devices like iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, or other application as well.
Mac movie converter is more than a wonderful video player and video converter, it is also an excellent video editor that assists you in editing your MOD and TOD video files personally. With it, you can crop, trim your video files, add special effect to the video files, set the output parameters for the video files, merge several video files into a big one or split a video file into several smaller ones. Besides, you can also import several files with the same file format or different file formats for converting at the same as batch process is supported. Furthermore, if you want to see the whole conversion process, the preview window on the left is also available.