What Is an MTS File?

How to open, edit, and convert MTS files

What to Know

  • Some MTS files are AVCHD videos.
  • Play one with the VLC media player.
  • Convert to MP4, MOV, and other video formats with EncodeHD.

This article describes three formats that use the MTS file extension, how to open each type on your computer, and how to convert the file to a different file format.

What Is an MTS File?

A file with the .MTS file extension is most likely an AVCHD video file, but it could also be a MEGA Tree Session file or even a MadTracker sample file.

AVCHD videos are saved in the HD MPEG Transport Stream video format and are commonly created with Sony and Panasonic HD camcorders. The video is Blu-ray compatible and supports 720p and 1080i video. Sometimes, these file types use the M2TS file extension and might be seen stored alongside MPL files.

MTS files in Windows 10

MEGA Tree Session files store phylogenetic trees that the Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) program can be used to analyze species genetics to help determine ancestral relationships. Versions after 5.05 use the .MEG (MEGA Data) file extension.

MadTracker sample files that use the MTS file extension are audio files that serve as samples of an instrument or another sound.

MTS is also short for technology terms that have nothing to do with the file formats described on this page. Some examples include Microsoft Transaction Server, message transfer system, Microsoft Terminal Services, multi-threaded server, and media transcoding server.

How to Open MTS Files

In addition to the software included with Sony and Panasonic HD cameras, a number of other video players can open MTS files that are in the AVCHD video file format. Some examples include Windows' default media player, GOM Player, and VLC.

MTS file open in VLC in Windows
VLC Opening an MTS File.

To easily share the video online or open it from your browser or Chromebook, upload it to Google Drive. Please know, however, that MTS videos are usually very large, so the upload process could take a while.

If you're looking to edit the MTS video, try EDIUS Pro, MAGIX Movie Studio, or CyberLink PowerDirector. All of these are commercial programs, so you'll have to purchase the program to use it for editing (some might be available as free trials for a limited time)

MEGA Tree Session files are opened with the free MEGA software.

MadTracker is the application needed to open MadTracker sample files. You can do so from the Sample > Load menu.

How to Convert an MTS File

Since there are three file formats that use this file extension, it's important to first recognize which format your file is in before you try converting it. If you tried plugging the MTS file into a converter that's for a different format than your file, you might end up trying to convert a video file into a phylogenetic tree, for example, which clearly isn't possible.

AVCHD video files are, of course, videos, so for them, you want to make sure you're working with a video file converter. To play your MTS file on a phone or with a specific video player, you can use one of those video converters to convert the MTS to MP4, MOV, AVI, or WMV, or even directly to a DVD.

You might also have luck converting the video with VLC. To try that, go to Media > Convert / Save and then import the video file from within the File tab. Select Convert / Save and choose which format to convert the MTS file to.

If MEGA Tree Session files can be converted to any other format, it's likely only possible through the MEGA program mentioned above. The software can also convert other file formats into one compatible with MEGA, such as ALN, NEXUS, PHYLIP, GCG, FASTA, PIR, NBRF, MSF, IG and XML files.

MadTracker might be able to save an MTS file in its own format to WAV, AIF, IFF or OGG through the Sample > Save menu.

Still Can't Open It?

If you can't get your file to open, double-check the file extension and make sure it actually reads ".MTS," else you might be dealing with a totally different file extension that just looks like MTS.

As you can see above, some file formats use the exact same file extension even if the formats have little or nothing to do with each other. The same is true for file extensions that are spelled similarly; it doesn't necessarily mean the formats are related or that the files can open with the same program.

For example, MAS files share two of the same file extension letters as MTS files but are associated with programs like Microsoft Access and Image Space rFactor. However, to make this even more complicated, MAS files are actually compatible with MEGA as well (they're MEGA Alignment Sequence files)!

MST files, however, share all three of the same letters but are unique in that they're either Windows Installer Setup Transform files used by the Windows OS, or a template file that can open with WordPerfect Office.

If you don't really have an MTS file, research the true file extension to learn more about the format and to see which programs can open/convert the file.

  • How do I open an MTS file on Mac?

    Use a program like VLC or download Elmedia Player to open MTS files on Macs. Alternatively, convert the file to an MP4 and open it using any media player.

  • How do I split up large MTS files?

    Download and use video editing software like Lightworks or Filmora Video Editor to split large MTS files. Both programs cost money, but you can get a free trial. In Filmora, add the MTS file to your timeline, move the red time indicator to where you want to split the file, then select the Scissors.

  • Can iMovie open MTS files?

    No, iMovie doesn't support files with the MTS extension. If you want to import an MTS file into iMovie, you must first convert it to a different format, such as MOV.

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