What They Say
MPEG Streamclip is a powerful high-quality video converter, player, editor for MPEG, QuickTime, transport streams, iPod. And now it is a DivX editor and encoding machine, and even a stream and YouTube downloader.
You can use MPEG Streamclip to: open most movie formats including MPEG files or transport streams; play them at full screen; edit them with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Trim; set In/Out points and convert them into muxed or demuxed files, or export them to QuickTime, AVI, DV and MPEG-4 files with more than professional quality, so you can easily import them in Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Toast 6 or 7, and use them with many other applications or devices.
MPEG Streamclip lets you play and edit QuickTime, DV, AVI, MPEG-4, MPEG-1; MPEG-2 or VOB files or transport streams with MPEG, PCM, or AC3 audio (MPEG-2 playback component required); DivX (with DivX 6) and WMV (with Flip4Mac WMV Player). MPEG Streamclip can export all these formats to QuickTime, DV/DV50, AVI/DivX and MPEG-4 with high quality encoding and even uncompressed or HD video.
Video conversion is performed in the YUV color space; you can choose to scale video to any frame size using a professional 2D-FIR scaler (better than bicubic) but you can also leave it unscaled. Other optional video processing features include a powerful motion-adaptive deinterlacer, a field dominance converter, a chroma reinterlacer and an option to perform interlaced scaling instead of progressive scaling. Audio can be converted to uncompressed or to IMA, AAC, MP2 or AMR using the high-quality MP1/MP2/AC3/PCM built-in decoders of MPEG Streamclip; it is also kept in perfect sync with video using a timekeeping system.
MPEG Streamclip can save edited movies as MOV files, and (when possible) as AVI or MP4 files. Edited MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 files are saved as MPEG or TS files.
MPEG Streamclip (with or without the MPEG-2 Playback Component) can also convert MPEG-2 transport streams into muxed MPEG-2 files, for immediate burning at full quality with Toast 6 or 7 and Sizzle; it can also demux MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 files and transport streams with MPEG, AC3, PCM audio to M2V and AIFF (or M1A or AC3) files, for immediate burning at full quality with DVD Studio Pro or Toast 6 and 7. A special demuxing option is available for Final Cut Pro 4/5: this application does not work well with M2V files, but MPEG Streamclip can write a special “unscaled” M2V file that preserves full video quality when imported into Final Cut Pro.
MPEG Streamclip can handle files and streams larger than 4 GB, split in any number of segments, or with multiple audio tracks, and can also optionally handle timecode breaks. It is compatible with MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video, MPEG layer 1/2 (MP1/MP2) audio, AC3/A52 audio, and PCM audio.
The player included in MPEG Streamclip lets you preview the files and transport streams before doing the conversion; it also lets you visually set the In and Out points for the conversion so you can convert just the part of the file you are interested in, and also cut commercials and other unwanted parts, or edit the stream and join two streams with Cut/Copy/Paste.
MPEG Streamclip supports batch processing: just drag some files in the batch list, choose a conversion and a folder, click the Go button and MPEG Streamclip will automatically convert all your files.
What I Say
It does – it is a little overcomplicated and fussy, but that isn’t really the fault of the application. After all if you are like me you are only really using it because something you have already captured wouldn’t transfer seamlessly to your Mac.
More techy stuff as that really is what you will want to know:
MPEG Streamclip supports the DreamBox DM7000/DM5620/DM500 and the DM7020 (www.dream-multimedia-tv.de), and the Topfield TF5000PVR/TF5000PVRt/TF5500PVR (www.topfield.co.kr), two important families of DVB set-top boxes (all digital satellite receivers, except the TF5000PVRt which is terrestrial and supports DVB-T); two powerful connection tools for these devices have been developed and included in MPEG Streamclip. You’ll no longer need to use FTP, mount SMB disks, or use MacTF to download and upload files: MPEG Streamclip does this for you. For the Topfield, you can even upload TAP files (you can find TAPs here: www.topfield.cc). And for the DreamBox DM7000, there is also a multiboot tool that lets you install firmware images in an external USB stick.
MPEG Streamclip is also compatible with most MPEG-2 devices that use program or transport stream files, including FireWire MPEG-2 devices like Sony IP7/MicroMV, Sony HDR-FX1 (www.sony.com) and JVC GR-HD1 camcorders; DVHS recorders; FireWire/Ethernet/USB set-top boxes or digital video recorders, like EyeTV (www.elgato.com), ReplayTV, the Samsung SIR-T16, the Humax PVR-8000, the Homecast, the Technisat S2 and the Siemens M740 AV; USB cameras like Panasonic SV-AV100, Sony T1 and JVC Everio (www.jvc.com); DVD camcorders like Panasonic VDR-M70 and Hitachi DZ-MV230. MPEG Streamclip is also compatible with most DVD recorders, since it can open and convert unencrypted VOB or VRO files, and supports AC3 audio.
You can import transport stream files from FireWire MPEG-2 devices using DVHSCap or VirtualDVHS, two free applications available from Apple as part of the FireWire SDK 20 (developer.apple.com/sdk). NOTE: the latest FireWire SDK is not publicly available, please scroll down the list until you find the FireWire SDK 20, or click this direct download link from Apple: FireWire SDK 20. Install the package and you will find DVHSCap and VirtualDVHS in /Developer/FireWireSDK20/Applications/.
* as an aside following that exchange Mac and I have kept in touch, and have been doing some photographic stuff together. Gotta love this crazy blog inspired world we are dominated by!