Camcorders forum


Problem with .MTS file: Incorrect Video Length?

by theup3985 / October 24, 2012 9:37 AM PDT

Hi, I am new to this forum, so please bear with me.

I recently bought a refurbished Canon VIXIA HF R21 camcorder back in May, and for the most part, it has been a great camera and I haven't really had any problems with it - at least perhaps until now. To give you a little background, I use the default Pixela VideoBrowser software that comes supplied from Canon to import video from the camcorder onto my computer, and then I always edit my video footage in Windows Movie Maker before saving the file in .wmv format and uploading it to YouTube. I am running Windows 7 (64 bit) on an Acer Aspire 5532 laptop, and have the Windows Essentials 2012 suite installed on my machine.

Up until this week, I had been importing and editing videos with no problems, but now in the past few days I have run into trouble with a couple of select raw .MTS files that I've imported onto the computer (via the Canon supplied software). The issue is this: When I select the video file in question on my computer (in the directory where the imported video file is located) and view the video properties, it indicates a video length that is far longer than what the actual video recording is. And by "far longer", I mean that the video recording in actuality is only maybe two minutes long, but the file properties indicate that the video is like two hours or longer. I should note that when I view the video in question on the camcorder itself (not on the computer), the correct video length time is displayed. It's only an issue with the file imported onto the computer for some reason. Furthermore, if I open the imported file on the computer to view the video in an application like Windows Media Player, the video will play perfectly normally from start to finish - but again, the displayed time length will be like two hours or something ridiculous when the video is actually only a few minutes in length. You might think "Okay, so what, as long as it plays normally, is it that big of a deal?" Well, the real trouble comes when I try to import the file into Windows Movie Maker. It takes a long time as it is for Movie Maker to import and prepare selected video files for editing, given that these are AVCHD files we're talking about here. When I try to import the problem file into Movie Maker, because the video file in question has an incorrect time length, Movie Maker of course imports the file with the incorrect time length - which is really really long - and it would take hours or even a full day just for Movie Maker to import and prepare that one file for editing. Obviously, this is a major hassle and makes video files with this problem almost impossible to edit and upload to online video sharing sites like YouTube. Fortunately, this "hiccup" only happens with a very few select video files - in most cases the .MTS files import perfectly fine and it's not a problem. But I could see it coming to pass at some point that I might make a very important video recording in the future (say for a wedding or something), and that particular video file will be the one with the video length issue when I import it onto the computer, and it would be a major problem if I couldn't edit that file because the computer thinks the video length is ten times longer than it actually is and it takes eternity to import into Movie Maker.

Has anybody else on here run into a problem like this before, especially any Canon users? My best first guess is that the problem is with the .MTS file itself when it's imported using the VideoBrowser software, and not with the actual camcorder - but then again, I'm not entirely sure. Does anybody have any insights into what is causing this bizarre problem, and how I might address it?

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Problem with .MTS file: Incorrect Video Length?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Problem with .MTS file: Incorrect Video Length?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Clarification Request
" but the file properties"?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 24, 2012 9:57 AM PDT

Like in Windows Explorer? Hasn't that been borkened for years?

Remember that Microsoft didn't support this video format so some "codec" steps in and fills in these details. Find out whose CODEC this is and that's who you ping next.

Collapse -
RE: "but the file properties"
by theup3985 / October 24, 2012 11:23 AM PDT

Yes, in Windows Explorer, when you navigate to the directory where the .MTS file is located, and then when you select the file you can see at the bottom of the Windows Explorer pane the file attributes (i.e. file format, length, size, etc.) (You can also right click on the file and select "properties", navigate to the "details" tab, and view the same information).

I don't know much about CODECs, but I'd assume it's whatever the defaults are that came with Windows 7. Also, I thought Windows 7 Home Premium edition (what I'm running) supported .MTS video files, no? Otherwise, how could I even import, view, and edit .MTS files like I've been doing all this time in the first place? I'm a little confused...

Collapse -
And that's the breaks.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 24, 2012 11:34 AM PDT

All the Windows 7's I've encountered do not have a CODEC for MTS files. So you or some app installed it.

I wish you were not confused but let's get going on this. Go look up CODEC SNIPER and use that to see which CODECs you have, who they are from so you can lodge a complaint.

Collapse -
by theup3985 / October 24, 2012 12:10 PM PDT
In reply to: And that's the breaks.

Okay, I will try doing that. Now that I think about it, it is probably the Pixela VideoBrowser software that came bundled with my Canon camcorder that must have installed the codecs when I installed the software. If you're sure it's the codec that's causing this problem, then I will need to look at getting the codec upgraded/replaced; but I want to be sure that's what it is first before I start messing around with trying to install new codecs that may or may not solve the problem (or even potentially make it worse). What still puzzles me about this is the inconsistency of this "time" quirk. I haven't had this problem with 97% of these imported .mts files, it's only on a couple of random .mts files imported from the camcorder where I've had this come up.

Collapse -
I'm just a designer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 25, 2012 12:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Ok

I've been around the computer or rather electronics industry since the pre-PC days and try to help where I can.

It appears you are just coming up to speed on how Windows Explorer gets that information. In short it does not know such so it looks at the file type and finds a CODEC that handles that so it asks the CODEC for the information. If there is a bug, that's where it is.

If you want to debate that, I'm unsure how to cover how Windows, CODECS and Explorer work in less than a paragraph.

Collapse -
Just Wanted Reassurance
by theup3985 / October 27, 2012 3:45 AM PDT
In reply to: I'm just a designer.

I wasn't trying to cause a debate or sound obstinate, so don't take it personally, this ignorant newbie here only wanted reassurance that it was a problem with the codecs before messing around with installing new codecs, because I know *nothing* about which replacement codecs I will need to install to fix the problem, and I was hesitant to immediately go off willy-nilly trying to find replacement codecs to install (and possibly install the wrong ones and screw everything up) without being certain I had properly diagnosed the cause of my problem. I do very much appreciate your help, and I will find out which codecs are on my machine and try to find a better codec package that will (hopefully) fix this bug. You'll have to forgive my ignorance on the subject; up until now, I've never had to understand anything about codecs in order to view and edit AVCHD video files on my machine, because I've never encountered a problem like this before. Hopefully new codecs will solve the problem, as you have suggested. Thanks again for your help.

Collapse -
This could be (and is) what Microsoft and others call
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 27, 2012 3:49 AM PDT

"A cosmetic issue."

Since the files play and more, having the wrong time length shown is not a show stopper. If you are in this business you know the managers will stop fixing stuff when it reaches this stage and while programmers hate to leave a bug like that, if they are not paid to fix it they usually won't.

So why fix this time length display in Explorer at all?

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Big screens for the big game

Still looking for the best TV deals ahead of Sunday's game? Here are our top three big screen picks.