Final Cut Express could almost open my Bandicam AVI captures: no image but sound. I recalled that I chose to use Xvid as encoding format in Bandicam so tonight, I did a quick Google search to find some QuickTime components that could add Xvid support. I was not really hopeful to find anything useful, was expecting to get blocked by yet another trial version, but instead, I found Perian, a set of QuickTime components supporting several formats. Although the project reached its end of life, it can be of some help, and this is definitely better than nothing! It’s free and likely to be released as open source when it is final.
I couldn’t resist the temptation of powering my Mac up again, download the tool and install. That worked very well, no issue. After I did that, I was able to play my Bandicam AVI files in QuickTime, smoothly, no choppy video! I was also able to import such an AVI file into Final Cut Express. Very nice! That means I can use Final Cut Express to work with ANY Bandicam capture, including my next set of Minecraft videos if I feel at trying my luck with this.
Digging a bit deeper, I found out that the MPEG4 causing issues with Final Cut Express are the ones from my Android phone. They are encoded using H.264 AAC, which is quite expensive to decode. This explains why I was getting choppy video yesterday! Moreover, I found out that my new Nexus 5 creates 1080p videos, which really doesn’t help my poor old MacBook Pro! I still have to check the encoding out of my GoPro, which also resulted in choppy videos on my Mac, but again, 1080p definitely doesn’t help, even alone.
I tested with a video from my Sony Cybershot digital camera: MPEG4 encoding in 720p. That played smoothly in QuickTime and imported into Final Cut Express!
That means I can, at least in theory, do something with Final Cut Express now! I expect the machine will soon be too slow for any non-basic editing, especially with my HD material I intend to throw at it (even 720p may hammer it to death), but at least I will have a way to try out Final Cut Express. If the tool happens to be too cool, I will have to choose between putting my Hackintosh back up or purchasing a newer Mac.