MOD files created with your video camera are really MPEG files with the MOD file extension. Depending on how the video clip was recorded, you may be able to simply rename the MOD file extension to MPG to open and play the file in a video player. If the video was recorded with the aspect ratio set at 4:3, renaming the file is likely all you need to do to convert the video to the MPEG format. Additionally, you can convert the MOD file using a video-conversion tool.

Rename File Extension

To rename the MOD file to MPEG, first you must configure Windows to display file extensions. By default, extensions are hidden. To unhide your file extensions in Windows, open File Explorer, then click the “View” tab. Click the “Options” button, then click the “Change Folder and Search Options” to open the Folder Options dialog box. Click the “View” tab, then click the “Hide Extensions for Known File Types" check box to deselect it. Click “OK” to save the settings. The file extension is now visible for each file in File Explorer. Right-click on the MOD file, then click “Rename.” The file name is highlighted. Delete the “.mod” file extension, then type “.mpg” as the new extension. Test playback in your favorite video player. If you see only black screens but you hear sound, you must convert the file using a conversion tool.

Camcorder Software

All digital camcorders are shipped with software that can be installed on your computer. In most cases, this software will convert the raw MOD files to other formats, like MPEG and AVI. Install the software that was shipped with your camcorder and explore the “File > Export” options available through the applications.

Online Conversion Tools

You can use one of several online conversion utilities to convert MOD files to MPEG. ZamZar and Convert Files both are free services that will convert your MOD files to MPEG without installing any software. Using your browser, upload the MOD file according to the site instructions, then select the “.mpg” output format. Enter an email address if the service emails the file to you after the conversion. Click “Convert” or “Start” to convert the file. Download and save the MPEG output file.

Conversion Applications

Downloadable conversion tools and other applications that you can use to convert MOD files to the MPEG format include SD Copy, FreeMake and Nero SmartStart (see Resources). SD Copy is a free, simple executable file that you can run to convert MOD to MPEG files. No installation is required. If you use the Nero suite to burn CDs and DVDs, Nero SmartStart is included by default. Nero SmartStart can convert MOD to MPEG files on the fly before burning the videos to DVD. FreeMake is a small downloadable conversion application you can use to convert any video type, including MOD to MPEG. You can even use FreeMake to download and convert YouTube videos.