How To Convert The MOD Camcorder Video Format To MPG Instantly

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So your friendly neighborhood admin has been asked this question way too many times and I have decided to share this information with you here in the hopes that users will Google this issue before asking!

Camcorders such as the JVC Everio (pictured below) use a .MOD extension to save their video files. This is very frustrating for a number or reasons. The first reason being you cannot easily read .MOD files in Windows Media Player or many other top tier video applications – many people try hunting for a MOD file converter without success. The second reason that this format infuriates me is that users also have a horrible time trying to get their videos converted into DVD format. Most DVD burning applications do not know what to do with a .MOD file. And my final reason for hating this .MOD format is that this proprietary format is not proprietary AT ALL!

how to play mod files

Huh? What?

That’s right. JVC and some other well know brands like Canon and Panasonic have decided to just rename the extension of their files. Can you believe that the files are actually standard MPEG2 sound files and thus should be very easy to manipulate, convert and <gasp> actually watch?

The devices we have seen that use this horrible file format are:

  • JVC GZ-MG30
  • JVC GZ-MG70
  • JVC GZ-MG37
  • JVC GZ-MG77
  • JVC GZ-MG50
  • JVC GZ-MG130
  • JVC GZ-MG155
  • JVC GZ-MG255
  • JVC GZ-MG555
  • Panasonic SDR-S100
  • Panasonic  SDR-S150
  • Panasonic  SDR-S10
  • Panasonic  SDR-H18
  • Panasonic SDR-H200
  • Panasonic SDR-H40
  • Panasonic  SDR-H60
  • Panasonic  SDR-SW20
  • Canon FS100
  • Canon FS10
  • Canon FS11

So now that you have acknowledged your issue, let’s show you the ridiculously simple way (not using a mod file converter) to solve your problem.  When you open Windows Explorer and look at your files, they are either unrecognized or you have a program like VLC installed so you can view them. We covered VLC’s awesomeness many times on MakeUseOf here.

This is what I see when looking at my file on my system after copying it from my camcorder.

view mod files on windows

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Now if I try to open it with Windows Media Player this is what I get:

Then you think that you would be able to click on Yes and view your file in Windows Media player seeming that it is indeed a MPEG2 that Windows Media Player would have no issue playing. But alas, this is what we get after clicking Yes:

And if we examine the bottom of the Windows Media Player windows we see this:

And then after some unsuccessful requests, we finally see this error message:

But by deploying a little MakeUseOf magic, we do the following. First, make sure you have your Windows Operating System set to show file extensions. You can find this option under Folder Options in Windows Explorer. Then you can rename the file’s extension to be .MPG and make it work. You heard me correctly — by simply renaming the file, you will make it work in Windows Media Player or any DVD authoring or burning software just like that! Let’s see it in action:

Right click on the file and choose Rename like so:

Rename the extension from .MOD to .MPG and then you will see this warning:

Click Yes and that is it! You have successfully converted your camcorder’s video file without any sort of MOD file converter, but instead with a simple rename! Who knew it could be so easy!

Did this solve your problem? Have you ever encountered any other weird file formats when using camcorders? Would you like to share your solution with us? Hit us up in the comments!

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Comments (19)
  • Bill

    I used to convert the MOD file from my Panasonic to AVI using AVS video converter and also VIN AVI video converter, but after changing to Windows 8, it no longer worked.
    This renaming of the file sounded good and simple, except after doing just that, all I have is sound. No picture. What did I do wrong?

  • Kristine

    This did not work for me. I have a Panasonic SDR-T70. I have had this for about 2 years. It has always created mpg videos. All of a sudden after all of the football games and after wrestling matches, baseball started. Pulled out the camera, and now it records in .mod. I made no changes at all. In the menu options where you can change your output, i have no options to change it back to mpg. It is either XP, SP or LP. None of those record in mpg format.
    Simply changing the file extension does not work in Windows 8. I am now stuck with my amazing videos of my son and my kids with sound only. No more home runs. No more touchdowns or pins, the baby crawling…nope…just sound only :( I am furious.

  • Denise

    THANKYOU! I had this exact problem (probably why I was able to buy the camcorder for $45 from the previous owner!) I really like the quality of the videotaping, but wasn’t happy with how difficult it was to watch! THANKYOU AGAIN FOR THIS SIMPLE SOLUTION! :)

  • Robbie

    I have an old Canon Legria. I was surprised to find that even the Canon software, ImageMixer, would not recognize the MOD file.
    Like the author of this post, I found that I could rename the extensions, but this took some time as I have a lot of files.
    I then realised that the problem only occurred if you take the files straight off the camera using Windows Explorer or other importing software. If you use the Canon software, ImageMixer, to import the files they automatically get imported as mpeg-2 and not mod. This is now what I do and then use other software to edit the files.

  • John

    Process doesn’t appear work with PC running Windows 8.1.
    File extension changed from .MOD to .MPG as directed above. File opens with WMP, (not with native VIDEO app) but sound only and no vision.

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.