Monday, August 16, 2010

SDCopy for Changing MOD Videos to MPG Videos

For those of us that have certain types of camcorders from Canon, Panasonic and JVC you know that there is a MOD file and a MOI file. Many of use have copied the MOD file and use a video conversion program to create a video file acceptable to our video editing program.

After I got the comment from Chris at JVC I got to thinking. Maybe I am locked into how I convert MOD videos because of when I started. Back in the day it was rough. Help was hard to find. I tried the software that came with my JVC Everio but I could not work with it, it was like typing with boxing gloves.

My current process is:
  1. Record the video.
  2. Convert it with MPEG Streamclip to an .avi format.
  3. Choose the appropriate video editing software and edit.
  4. Render in the right codec/format for the video host and upload.
Anything that can help me drop a step in the process is welcomed.

Don't get me wrong, MPEG Streamclip has been very helpful. I can transfer just the bit of video I want and I can do batch conversions. The problem is that .avi files are huge. Most times the .avi copy video is 1GB or more.

That eats up hard drive space and I have duplicate video files. Yikes!

SD Copy

I want to simplify. I need to simplify. My hard drive is begging me to find better solutions.

For years I've heard about renaming the MOD video file extension to MPG. I did try that but when I imported the widescreen video it was squished, no audio or otherwise unusable.

I knew about SDCopy but I thought that all it did was renaming the file. Nope, it does a bit more. It taps into the MOI to get info plus you can set the 16:9 flag so that it makes a copy of the widescreen video correctly.

04/17/2012 Update: Our hero Sektionschef seems to be back at the his prior download link per at January 2012 posting at CNet. If that doesn't work you can still find a function zip download at Paul McGrath's page.

You'll need to right click the link and then save it to your hard drive. As always, make sure that you have updated your anti-spyware and anti-virus on your computer before you download anything.

You have options:
  • If you want to overwrite the original video file you can do so. (Please don't do this, archive the original MOD file to a DVD.)
  • You can create a copy of the MOD to MPG
  • You can modify the settings, if you are comfortable editing .ini files to further customize the software.

On my external terabyte drive I've created a source folder and a target folder. This is important. If you don't have a destination folder then SDCopy will overwrite your original video files.

You really don't want that to happen. You work from a digital copy and protect the original.

You can add a name but the copied file will have a time based name if you don't. You can do a bunch of files or just one video. For those that record in 16:9 make sure you tick the 16:9 flag.

Click the start button and boom, you have editable video files. It took less than three seconds with 10 videos at 202MB. I also tested with larger videos over 750MB and over.

Greased lightning couldn't move faster. Now for the acid test: Importing the video and exporting for upload.
  • Apple QuickTime Pro with MPEG add-on, Import yes but interlacing visible on screen.
  • Corel Video Studio X3, Import yes, desired export problematic. If I wanted to save as anything other than a .mpg video I had to customize due to the video dimensions.
  • Serif Movie Plus X3, Yes!
  • Magix Edit Pro 16 Plus HD Yes!
  • Windows Live Movie Maker, Yes!
  • Windows Movie Maker for XP/Vista, Yes!
I am a happy camper. Much love and kisses to Sektionschef who really needs to have a permanent location on the Internet. Seriously, this has shaved about an 15 minutes to an hour per video conversion time. Time to re-organized my work flow and project folders.

Dude, get yourself a blog or something. People want to thank your directly and the spammers are trying to sully your most esteemed name.


  1. While using SDCopy, Is it possible to include time in the video from the MOI file?

  2. I just checked the very small help menu; you can have the date/time as the file name and converted .mpg file. So yeah - it does draw from the .moi info.

    There is the second option of add it as part of your specific file name in the text section if you happen to know that info.

  3. I am trying to download SDcopy for the same purpose, but the website I found to download it from is "temporarily unavailable".

    Is this truly temporary, or is it gone?

    Can you give me a good link to get SDcopy? I'm trying to make videos for Christmas gifts.

  4. It took a while but I found the real SectionChief and the program.

    I'll put this in the main article but this is a compressed zip file. You download it and the software on your computer should be able to un-compress

  5. I'm having the ablove problems, but still can't find the legendary sdcopy as the link above doesn't work. Does anyone know where to find?

  6. Melissa I just tested the link to the software and I was able to download a copy.

    It is in a zipped folder so you will have to extract the program.

    Let me know if you still have problems and I might be able to find a way to get it to you.

  7. Sadly Gena's link seems to have died and a Google search points to a location that has exceeded its bandwidth limit. :(

    Anywhere else that this very handy sounding app might be found?

    Many thanks...

  8. Hah, answered my own question!

    Just downloaded sdcopy from

    Scanned virus free with latest McAfee so happy camper.

    Long may Paul continue to host this file...!

  9. Thank you for hosting this tool. It is a life saver.

  10. Agree with the above, a life safer!!! Thank you for the link to Sektionchef!

  11. The SD Copy tool is fantastic, worked perfectly and quickly to convert my JVC Camcorder MOD files to MPEG for a decent resolution. Have been so frustrated previously in trying to create movies combining video from other MPEG sources and the MOD as JVC software wouldn't import the non MOD files and most other software wouldn't even read the MOD files. Thanks for the solution!


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