Originally Posted by michaelsmith
.... The short version is that I hate the idea of it. The mts files, the bluray format. This isn't a good acquisition / archival file format. My wife is smart, but she can't just copy the contents off into a folder without the worry that a file will be missing and the footage unusable. It's a crappy format and I refuse to use it for things I shoot. The promise of digital was that we didn't have to capture the footage and could use it right away, but if there is a lengthy importing/converting process it's moot. Might as well use tape. No.. shooting video and pulling it to a computer should be just like pulling .JPG files off a memory stick. But to answer your other question, we're on mac. We use FCPX or FCP7.
Someone has given you incomplete information, old experiences or bad advice.
The "promise of digital" is fine with AVCHD. The only files that count are the ones that end in .m2ts or .mts. Cameras may have special feature that use some extra files that are created, but once out of the camera they are needed for nothing. I can shoot a few clips, pull the card, copy the files, make backups to an external drive and be editing in a couple minutes. I could be making a AVCHD based video for YouTube in the time it takes me to type this response!
.m2ts files are just as digital as .mp4 files. They archive the same.
Simple file copy programs that come with the cameras move the .m2ts files to the computer from either the camera or the SD card. On a PC, Windows Explorer does it just as well. I forget what the copy program is called on a Mac. Once on the computer HDD the .m2ts or .mts files are available for anything from simple playback to complicated editing. Granted, the folder structure on the SD card is related to Blu-Ray, but the copy process puts the video clips into any folder you want.
If your wife is knows to look for .mp4, she can find .m2ts. It really is just like moving .jpgs off a memory stick, except in my case is is the more universal and cheap SD card. I do it all the time.
Even Apple says Final Cut Pro now is OK with AVCHD: http://help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/10.0.6/#ver2833f855
Adobe in both consumer and pro versions of Premier are OK with AVCHD. Same with Sony. Even Windows Movie Maker! I was in an Apple store shopping before I bought a PC. The wizard sales guy took my .m2ts clips and made a movie with a hollywood style theme on a Mac Book Pro I chose not to afford. If you have older software of any brand or source, it may true there is an issue. But any current version of editing software will take the .mt2s clips from most any common camera.
If you have any specific issues with AVCHD, there may be people here that can help.
Good luck with your project.