Working with .DV Files Captured on a Mac Inside of Premiere Pro on Windows PC

I have 11 two-hour long .DV files captured from Hi8 tapes using iMovie. These represent the digital masters, and they weigh in at approximately 13GB per hour.

The digital masters are stored on my FreeNAS file server. The capturing was performed on my MacBook Pro two and a half years ago. The computer that I would like to use for editing is my Cool ‘n’ Quiet AMD workstation, running Windows 7 64-bit. Alternatively, I can edit on my MacBook Air.

These .DV files are not natively supported within Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2014 release) on the PC, but they can be imported into Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 on my MacBook Air.

The software that I’m using to make this move away from iMovie and into Adobe Premiere Pro:

  • QuickTime Player 7 Pro
  • MPEG Streamclip

MPEG Streamclip gives the following information about my .DV files:
Video: DV/DVCPRO – NTSC, 720 x 480, 4:3, 29.97 fps, 28.77 Mbps
Audio: DV stereo, 32 kHz, 28.77 Mbps

VLC gives the following information about the same files:
Video: DV Video (dv)
Audio: PCM S16 LE (s16l)

My first effort used QuickTime Player 7 Pro to trim the .DV files into individual clips. I marked the start and endpoints, and selected Save As… (⌘S) Save as a reference movie.

These .MOV reference movies import successfully to my Adobe Premiere Pro projects, with the exclusion of the audio track.

When I use Adobe Premiere Pro to inspect the imported .MOV reference movie, I see that it contains both the video and audio tracks. The compressor on the audio track is vdva.

This error message prints when I attempt to play the .MOV reference movie in VLC:

Codec not supported
VLC could not decode the format "dvau" (DV Audio)

I see several possible solutions:

Extract the audio track separately, export the .DV into another file format for editing, locate the “dvau” codec

Going back to the iLife suite is not an option.

Within QuickTime Player 7 Pro, I can select Save As… Save as a self-contained movie to save the .DV as a .MOV, but at the expense of doubling the file size. Holding onto this .MOV and the original digital master would result in massive disk usage.


It turns out that no elaborate workaround was needed. The obvious problem was that my Windows machine lacked the codecs required to work with the .DV files that I made using my Mac. I downloaded and installed QuickTime 7.7.8 for Windows 7 (Apple), and was able to work with the files just fine.

Hopefully this helps!