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Table of Contents

Setting Preferences
Previewing and Editing
Converting and Uploading


Welcome to the VoltaicHD version 2 User Guide. This should tell you everything you need to know about how best to use VoltaicHD.

The user guide for VoltaicHD version 1 can be found here. Please note that VoltaicHD version 1 is no longer being updated.

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You install Voltaic by dragging it from the disk image to either your Applications folder or your desktop. We recommend placing Voltaic in your Applications folder, then keeping it in your Dock.

Have a look at our Installation video if you need help with this.

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You activate VoltaicHD by purchasing an Activation Key. Once you have completed payment via PayPal, the Activation Key is emailed to your supplied email address immediately. Your key is also displayed on the screen when you click on the 'Return to Systemic' link displayed on the PayPal confirmation screen.

If you do not receive your key withing a minute or two, it is probably in your SPAM folder.

Once you receive your Activation Key, open VoltaicHD and go to the Voltaic->Activate menu option. Enter your key into the text field and click 'Activate'. Voltaic then communicates with the Shedworx activation server to activate VoltaicHD.

Have a look at our Activation video if you need help with this.

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Setting Preferences

Like all well-designed applications, you don't have to set any preferences before using Voltaic. If you want to take more control of your conversions, read on!

Preferences can be reviewed at any time by using the menu option or Apple,

General Tab

This tab controls the basic operation of VoltaicHD.

Scratch file location

This allows you to specify where the temporary files are placed during each conversion. If you are converting large files from an external storage location, and want to preserve disk space on the machine running the conversions, you should set this location to be on the external storage device.

Output Directory

This allows you to specify where the converted files are placed.

Output Resolution

This option allows you to specify the resolution of the converted clips.
same as source
This ensures that the output from Voltaic is the same resolution as the input clip. If your input is 1440x1080i, the output will be the same. If you input is 1920x1080 (interlaced or progressive), the output will be the same.
This downgrades the output to 1280x720p. This is still a HD resolution, but half the size of Full HD.
This is another downgrade option for editing. Again, still officially high definition, but at the low end of the HD scale.

Notification Type

This lets you decide what notifications you want to see/hear at the end of a batch conversion.

Check for updates on startup

Checks for a newer version of VoltaicHD on startup.

YouTube Tab

This tab controls YouTube uploads from VoltaicHD.

Automatically Upload to YouTube

This option enables YouTube uploading. Once selected, the option in the main Action Selector changes from 'Convert for YouTube' to 'Send to YouTube'.

Username and Password

This is your YouTube username and password. These details will be used to do the upload. You should verify your username and password when you enter them to make sure the upload is going to work.

Default Privacy

This is the privacy setting that will be set on your uploaded movies. You can always change your movie's privacy setting after it is uploaded in YouTube.


This tab controls the behaviour of iPhone and AppleTV conversions.

Save Files in another location

When set, this file location will be used to save your converted movies when doing iPhone or AppleTV conversions.

Automatically Sent to iTunes

When selected, this will cause VoltaicHD to add your converted iPhone or AppleTV movie to iTunes.

Custom Tab

This tab controls the custom conversion options of VoltaicHD. Settings from this tab are only used when performing a Custom Conversion.


This option allows you to specify any supported Quicktime codec as the output format.

Advanced Tab

This tab controls the advanced conversion options of VoltaicHD. Options set in this tab apply to all conversion types.


This option deinterlaces movies as they are converted. This uses the ShedWorx deinterlace filter which we have found to be quite effective.

Set movie file timestamp to recorded time of movie

This sets the converted movie's timestamp to the date/time that the original movie was recorded.

Extract 5.1ch Audio

This allows you to have the audio track from your movie extracted during the conversion process. The audio extracted will be in AC3 format (Dolby Digital for most cameras) so will require further processing before being accepted by Final Cut.

Note that iMovie only handles stereo sound, so don't bother using this option unless you are using Final Cut Express or Pro. Here is an article on working with surround sound if you need a hand getting started with this.

Flip images for DOF Adapter

35mm Depth of Field adapters give a great looking narrow depth of field, but result in the recorded movie being upside down, since they involve the use of a second lens on the camera. This option flips the recorded movie vertically so that the converted movie is the right way up.

Overlay Timecode on Final Movie

This adds an timecode overlay to the final Quicktime movie. The settings used to display the Timecode can be altered by editing the TimeCodeFormat.txt file. Instructions for doing this can be found here.

NOTE: does not work for Native AVCHD output.

Faster conversions

This use a new conversion approach that works with some, but not all cameras. This does not work for AVCHD Lite video.

Export as 24p

This will perform a 24p pulldown on 24p footage stored by the camera as 60i. Here is an article on 24p if you want to know more.

NOTE: does not work for Native AVCHD output.

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Previewing and Editing

VoltaicHD now includes the ShedWorx AVCHD Previewer to help manage your movie conversions.

The new Previewer, along with the Send to YouTube and Send to AppleTV functions, makes VoltaicHD a simple, but fully-fledged movie editor.

Using VoltaicHD you can now Preview, Trim, Join and Upload movies from you camera to create a complete movie in iTunes or on YouTube.

Please see this video tutorial for an overview of how the Previewer works.


The Previewer provides a 'keyframe' preview of your AVCHD movies. It does this in real time, requiring no pre-processing so that the preview will start as soon as you click on play, regardless of how many movies you load and how long they are.

The Previewer currently plays at around 2 frames per second without audio. We will be adding audio in a future release. While we only play back at 2 frames per second, the playback is in real time, so you will be watching the movie 'as it happens'.


The Previewer also contains a simple Trim control which allows you to select a portion of the movie for conversion/upload.

To trim a movie you can drag the yellow bars to set the in and out point of the movie, or you can use keyboard shortcuts of "i" to set the in point and "o" to set the out point.


The final part of the editing functions of VoltaicHD is movie joining. The feature is controlled under the Preferences General tab and applies to all conversions when set. This feature will join all converted movies from the VoltaicHD batch. This is especially useful when creating a movie for YouTube, AppleTV or iPhone.

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Converting and Uploading

VoltaicHD includes a number of pre-set conversion options. The required option can be selected from the Action Selector and commenced by clicking on the Start button.


This is the default conversion action and will convert your movies to Apple Intermediate Codec, ready for editing.

NOTE: This format is optimised for editing, not playback. Movies converted to this format will not playback smoothly on your Mac.

Convert (Custom)

This action will convert your movies to whatever format you have selected on the Preferences Custom tab.

Convert for YouTube

This action will Convert your movies to a format suitable for uploading to YouTube, in High Definition.

If you have selected 'Automatically Upload to YouTube' in Preferences, and set up your YouTube username and password, the name of this Action will change to 'Send to YouTube'.

Convert for iPhone

This action will Convert your movies to a format suitable for playback on the iPhone or iPod touch.

If you have selected 'Automatically Send to iTunes' in Preferences, the name of this Action will change to 'Send to iPhone'.

Convert for AppleTV

This action will Convert your movies to a format suitable for on an AppleTV in High Definition.

If you have selected 'Automatically Send to iTunes' in Preferences, the name of this Action will change to 'Send to AppleTV'.

Native AVCHD

This action will provide you with AVCHD output. We don't convert the video or audio formats at all with this action, which means the conversion is very fast and there is absolutely zero quality loss.

This action does have a few limitations:

  • You can only use AVCHD files of the same format in a joined batch.
  • We cannot apply any overlays, since we're not converting the video. This means that Timecode and Titles don't work.
  • 24p doesn't work. Again, since we're not manipulating the video, 24p pulldown isn't supported.

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