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File Extensions

What are file extensions and how to deal with them when your files wont open.

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Canon HD File Formats

I have a Canon HD camera. The videos are .m2ts files while the saved projects on the computer are saved as .es5 files. What movie program opens these movies with the above file extensions?Celeste Stewart

M2TS Files

The M2TS file format is used by Sony and Canon camcorders. As you know, HD stands for High Definition and several competing formats have been developed for HD video including Blu-ray. M2TS is a type of Blu-ray format known as Blu-ray Disc Audio/Visual (BDAV). BDAV is based on MPEG-2 Transport Stream (M2TS). In addition, you may notice a couple of other acronyms in the mix: AVCHD and H.264. Basically, BDAV is a container format that has extended from the MPEG-2 Transport Stream format. It can contain audio, video, and data by Blu-ray or AVCHD. File extensions used include .m2ts and .mts. While Blu-ray uses discs, AVCHD uses other media types such as memory cards and hard drives.

While this sounds like a confusing alphabet soup of file types, working with the M2TS files isn't overly difficult. You simply need the right program.

Programs that Work with M2TS Files

First, did your camcorder come with software? If so, the Canon software should be more than capable of playing these files. If not, you may want to look into M2TS-compatible media players such as CyberLink Power DVD, Roxio Creator 2010, Sony Picture Motion Browser, or VideoLAN VLC Media Player. However, anecdotal information on the Internet indicates that not all M2TS-compatible medial players can handle Canon's version of M2TS files, so try before you buy.

Pixela ImageMixer 3SE Software

It looks as though most Canon HD camcorders come with Pixela Image Mixer 3SE software which is capable of importing .m2ts files. If so, there's no need to invest in another product unless you are unhappy with the Pixela software. After importing and editing your video, you can specify the format for the final project including the same H.264/M2TS file type or the more universal MPEG-2 format.

As far as the .es5 files as "saved project" files go, it appears that the .es5 file extension is used by your editing software to save your project. For example, when editing a video project, you normally import video clips, drag and drop them on a timeline, add transitions, music, and other effects before creating the final edited file and burning it to disc. Video project files are files containing all of your specifications such as references to the source videos, edit points, transitions, and titles. You'll notice that these files are much smaller in size than your source and edited video files. That's because they are project files, not video files. The final video file is not created until you say it's time to "publish" or "render" (or similar term depending on your video editing software) the video.

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Opening Mysterious Computer Files

My computer will not open haverstraw.1260861867, image-4.1261143638, hopper-railroad-10bis.1260860380, or 902561.kmz. Please help me. Kate Dubensky

When it comes to opening mysterious files the information you need to have is the extension. In order to open a file, you need to know either the program that created it, or a program that can open it. The file extension tells you the program that created the file - most of the time - or at least narrows down your options. File extensions can also hint at related or compatible programs that might be able to open the file, even if they didn't create it.

In this case, the only extension that we have to work with is the KMZ. The others may have the same extension and you just left it off. Otherwise, once we are finished with KMZ you can write again with your other file mysteries.

For KMZ, the associated program is Google Earth. There is a Filetonic file extension database that is devoted to helping you find the programs that created unknown files. You can find the database by clicking the link above. KMZ files are compressed sets of one or more files that can be viewed in Google Earth.

Since image files are usually very large, they are also usually compressed, and the same is true of the KMZ type. KMZ files are compressed using a ZIP compression and so can be unzipped with any generic zip utilities. Before you can open the file, you might need to rename it from a KMZ to a ZIP file for compatibility. To rename a file, simply click the text box that contains the name and manually change the extension, then press Enter. Once you have unzipped it, you should change the format back to KMZ if you plan to use the file again.

Common zip tools include WinZip, 7Zip, the Windows XP Compressed Folders Tool for Windows of Stuffit. You may already have a zip utility on your computer. A quick search in your Start directory should let you know. If not, you can google the program that you choose and install a download - they are usually free. I hope this solves your problem. Good luck! 

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Opening S Files

I purchased Filecure so that I may be able to eliminate problems with file extensions, but I still find that I cannot open files with an .s extension. Can you help me download a file that will let me view these files? They are of the x-rays of my right elbow that need to be reviewed by my radiologist.Celeste Stewart

The S File Extension

The S file extension is used in several different ways including as source code, as 3D image files in a Microsoft train simulation game, backup Ipflow files, and as assembler programs. However, little information is available online detailing the .s file extension as an x-ray file. This could be a proprietary file format used by the radiology department.

X-Ray Files

A few questions come to mind about the .s file in your possession. Is the radiologist unable to view the x-rays? Presumably, the radiologist would be familiar with the current technologies in use and have access to the appropriate program for opening the .s file. If not, he could call the doctor who originally took the x-rays and ask for a more compatible format.

If you're simply curious, it's unlikely that you'll be able to find a compatible program for opening these x-ray files. And if you did, it would likely be cost-prohibitive due to its specialized nature. It does not appear that the .s file extension used in this case is a common imaging extension like .jpg.

A couple of common formats are used in medicine for storing x-rays digitally including Dicom (.dcm) files. In this case, .dcm files can be opened using a viewer such as ezDicom.

Compressed S Files

Another possibility is that the .s files are compressed ZipSplitter files which usually contain numbers following the ‘s,' especially if there's a series of files involved. If this is the case, you'd likely have a series of files such as sample.s00, sample.s01, and sample.s02. To open ZipSplitter files, you'll need Lithops ZipSplitter. Since these are compressed archives, the files inside the archive may need different programs for opening them. For example, the ZipSplitter archive could contain .dcm files which would need a Dicom viewer file.

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Opening ODM Files

I just bought a new entertainment notebook. It does not recognize the ODM extension. Thus, I cannot download books from the library. The very reason I wanted the laptop. Is there anything I can do?Celeste Stewart

The ODM File Type

ODM files are associated with two different applications. The first one is the OpenDocument Master Document file type used by software. The second one is the one you are referring to: OverDrive Media files.

ODM Files and Library Digital Content

OverDrive Media files are shortcut files that take you to the Digital Library Reserve where your library's audio books, ebooks, and other digital media files are stored. The ODM file does not actually contain the contents of the digital content that you are checking out from your library. Rather, it contains location information. It tells your computer where to go to download the actual file.

However, your computer needs a way to interact with the ODM file. This is down with a special piece of software known as the OverDrive Media Console. As you have a brand new laptop, the laptop most likely did not come preinstalled with this software.

Getting the ODM Software

Fortunately, the OverDrive Media Console software is free and available online for both the Windows and Macintosh operating systems. There's even a version for the iPhone and other mobile devices. Head on over to and download the OverDrive Media Console. The software comes with a variety of tools including bookmarks, playback controls, a "resume" feature, and an export utility that allows you to transfer titles to portable devices and burn them to CD. The OverDrive site also features a search feature where you can search for audio books and e-books.

In addition to the OverDrive Media Console, you'll also need to make sure that your computer has Windows Media Player version 9 or above installed. If it's a Windows computer, then it most likely already has this preinstalled. You'll soon be able to launch your ODM shortcut, download the audio or eBook, and start enjoying your library content on your computer.

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Determining File Types

I have a file that I need to open for educational purposes, but Windows will not let me open it. It says that the file is unknown.Celeste Stewart

Windows and Unknown File Types

With thousands of file types in existence, it's not unusual for Windows to come across unknown file types or to generate an error message when your computer doesn't have the right program for a known file type. It's also not unusual for Windows to lose its file associations and become confused over which program it should use. In your case, the first step is going to be to determine what type of file the file is, whether your computer has the right program for opening the file, and, if not, where to find a compatible program.

Determining the File Type

Your computer may not be set to show you the file extension by default, so you may need to go into Windows Explorer and make a minor setting adjustment. Go to Windows Explorer (right-click Start and choose Explore). Click Organize > Folder and Search Options > View. Scroll down and remove the checkmark in the box labeled "Hide file extensions for known file types" and click OK.

Next, navigate to the file that you are trying to open. What is its file extension? You can also right-click the file and choose Properties. The General tab will display more information about the file as well as provide you with a way to easily change the program that is set to open it. For example, if you see that the file is a .doc file and that Microsoft Word is no longer set to open the file, you can click the Opens With "Change" button and reset the file association so that Windows recognizes the file as a Word .doc document and launches Word to open it.

Once you determine the file extension, go to the Filetonic File Extension Library and look it up. For example, if the file ends with the file extension .dmg, you'd learn that this file extension is a disk imaging file for the Macintosh platform and that your computer would need a specific program, such as UltraISO or ISO Buster, in order to open the file.  

Locating the Correct Program

Now that you know the file type and its associated programs, you'll need to see if your computer is equipped with the right program. Some files can be opened by multiple programs. For example, .rtf files are text files that can be opened in virtually any word processor including the built-in Notepad. Others need specific programs or viewers. Others still may need to be converted into a compatible format. Figuring out the correct program goes back to determining the file type. Once you know that, you can search online for the right program.

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Open MIME File

I am trying to open Mime extension attachments. I have downloaded your product but still cannot open. Celeste Stewart

What are MIME Files?

MIME files, or Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension files, are encoded files used in email transmissions. This file extension was created to allow for greater flexibility in what could be transmitted via email. Prior to MIME, only plain ASCII text could be sent via email. Today, thanks to MIME, files of many different formats can be transmitted without losing data. The MIME file extension appears as a .mme file extension.

Opening MIME Files

Most email client programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, and Windows Live Mail handle the decoding of MIME files automatically. However, if the email doesn't do this for you, you may need to manually open the MIME file yourself.

Typically, MIME files arrive as an attachment. A single MIME file may contain several files, much like a ZIP file. In fact, the strategy for opening MIME files is much like opening ZIP files. You'll need a file decoding program such as WinZip or Smith Micro Stuffit Expander. These programs are compression/decompression utilities that support many different formats, including MIME. If your email program isn't opening your MIME attachments automatically, download one of these utilities and use them to decode the MIME attachment.

MIME Files and Email Programs

Not all email programs handle MIME the same. For example, many AOL users have problems with MIME attachments. If you have multiple email accounts and email programs, another option is to forward the message to your alternate email account and open the attachment from that program. For example, if you have a Gmail or Hotmail account, try forwarding your message to that account and opening the attachment through the Gmail or Hotmail interface.

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