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Old September 18th, 2011, 04:13 PM   #1
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H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

I recently did a wedding and used a Zoom H1 to record audio for well wishes, bride interview, and some other things. My sound guy was monitoring the audio and everything seemed to go fine, but when I go to upload it to my computer, there is no information on any of the clips except 1. This makes me think that something may be physically damaged inside the H1. I work with a Macbook Pro and all the sound icons showed up as white except the one with data on it. That one showed up as black like normal. Does anyone have any ideas before I buy a new recorder?
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Old September 18th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

I don't have an H1 so I can't give you any specific info about that model.

However, I own a DR-03, DR-07, Microtrak, two Sony pocket recorders, and several digital cameras. One common warning with all these devices is: Do not turn off power before the file is completely saved, and be sure batteries don't run out in the middle of recording/saving.

If power was removed (intentionally or otherwise) before all file info was written to the FAT, that might produce the results you're seeing.

Whatever you do, do not attempt to write anything else to that memory card, or you might over-write any remaining data.

First, try reading the card with another computer, or in a different card reader. You just might get lucky.

If the session was important, I suggest you google "file recovery software" and see if you can find more data on the card. (This is not the same as "undelete" software... you definitely need "recovery" tools.)

With luck, you might find at least one valid file on there somewhere, although probably only one (if the FAT doesn't have info for the missing files, it would not set aside space for them when creating the next files in sequence).

Good luck!
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Old September 18th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #3
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

Greg, thank you for the reply. The recorder did not lose power at anytime during use. The H1 has a playback feature, and when used to review the clips on the miniSD, it shows that a clip is present without anything recorded. It is just showing dashes were normally the length of the clip is shown. I have backups (although not as good of quality) of everything except the bride interview. Honestly she might be relieved because her interview was not very good at all. That is not the point though. I have to figure out how to fix this issue or buy another recorder. Thanks again for the input.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #4
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Aumen View Post
The recorder did not lose power at anytime during use.
You mean the H1's power was on continuously during the entire event, from the start of the first clip to the end of the last clip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Aumen View Post
when used to review the clips on the miniSD, it shows that a clip is present without anything recorded.
Most likely it doesn't really show that a "clip is present." It probably shows that a file name is stored in the FAT, but doesn't tell you whether or not there's any corresponding (audio) data. That's possibly what you'd see if the file name was saved when you started recording the file, but no file length was saved at the end of the recording process.

However, there's still a chance that the audio data for at least one "invisible" file is on the card. Wouldn't it be worth the $40 or $50 price of file recovery software to find out?

--

Then in terms of figuring out what went wrong, there are some questions to consider.

Did you ever record with the H1 and this particular SD card before? Some cards are allegedly not compatible with some recorders.

Was the card ever formatted? If so, when, where, how? (For example, formatting it in a computer might put a file structure on the card which the recorder can't use correctly.)
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Old September 18th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #5
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

The card that I am using is the 2gb card that came with the H1. I have always erased the clips in finder off the card. Then, I empty the recycle bin which frees up the space on the card. I use a Targus usb card reader that reads SD and miniSD cards.
I did not let the recorder on for the entire event. In this case it is not worth the price to try to recover the files. I grew up with the bride and groom and she is actually relieved that her interview wont be used. The main use was for well wishes and backup for ceremony. The camera audio wasnt too bad for the well wishes and the ceremony audio from my wireless was good. Would you suggest using the disk utility to format the card while plugged in to the usb card reader and run some tests?
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Old September 18th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

First, there's a program called CardRecovery.exe which has a free demo version. It will scan your card, and tell you what it finds, without paying the registration fee. (You need to register the program only if you actually want to recover some files.) It might be interesting to run that, just to see what it finds on the card... that might help you figure out what went wrong. You'd want to do this before doing anything else whatsoever to the card.

Then it can't hurt to use some disk utilities to look at the card; you never know what they might find.

Ultimately, I would suggest disconnecting the recorder from the computer, and then using the recorder's own "format" function. That should guarantee that the card is formatted for the file system that the recorder wants.

As I said, I don't have an H1, so I have to ask a question about how it operates. If you record a long file, and then press "stop" to end that session, is it at all possible to turn off the power before the file is completely saved and "finalized"? Hopefully the H1 firmware would prevent this, but since I don't own one and the 1-page "manual" is pretty lame, I need to ask you this. And if it is possible to power off prematurely, then it's important not to do so until the latest file has been completely saved.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 02:12 AM   #7
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

sounds like a file corruption of some kind. I run into this more than you would expect with sdhc cards. If it only happened once I'd not make too big a deal and try to have a backup next time. I'm actually thinking about putting a $100 h1 or similar in the bottom of my sound bag, turn it on at the beginning of the day and just leave it running, deleting only once I've transferred the primary recorder files successfully.

That would have saved me when I lost a file recently, although in that case I think it was me not being used to a more professional recorder that requires two pushes to record.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

I think I am going to attempt to format the miniSD card and do some tests. If it's still giving me trouble I am going to call and see if I can get a new one or pick up something better.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #9
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

As Greg stated, the card must be formatted with the recorder.
FWIW, when I encounter a missing or corrupted file:
- Missing file: use a file recovery utility such as Piriform's Recova will often recover all or part of it. If the TOC was not written, which is usually the case when a loss of power occurs whilst recording, it usually will not have a normal GUI name so search by date. (if that was set correctly in the recorder)
- If the file is present but corrupted, I change the extension to .raw and open in Sound Forge Pro. I've done this a few times for clients and it 'usually' works. Once opened it can be re-saved as a WAVE, or whatever.
Note: Vegas Pro will not open a .raw file. I don't know if Audacity, Sound Forge AS, Wavelab, Bias Peak or what other audio app.s will open a .raw audio file.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

Per your instructions, I did a google search on formatting the card in the zoom recorder and it seems that was my problem(have not tested yet because I am at work). I also rememberedine flashed card access for a minute before allowing me to record. I found some great info about the zoom an my issue here: Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder Consumer Review | JoeNo1's Blog - classical guitar music & life on web
Thanks again for steering me in the right direction guys!
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Old September 20th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #11
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

Per your instructions, I did a google search on formatting the card in the zoom recorder and it seems that was my problem(have not tested yet because I am at work). I also rememberedine flashed card access for a minute before allowing me to record. I found some great info about the zoom an my issue here: Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder Consumer Review | JoeNo1's Blog - classical guitar music & life on web
Thanks again for steering me in the right direction guys!
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Old September 20th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

Eric,

Thanks for posting that link to the review and user comments. It sounds as if there are a few remaining bugs in the H1.

The fact that he H1 display indicates the unit is recording, even when there's no SD card inserted, could be quite problematic. What if the card if visually good, but electrically flaky (maybe dirty edge contacts, or whatever)? You might think you've recorded an entire event, only to get home and find the card is blank. I would be very concerned about the omission of error-checking in the OS.

I hope reformatting solves your problem. If not, and you decide to return the H1, you might consider a Tascam DR-03 instead. It's a similar small size (but rather different form factor), is much better documented, and seems to have a better reputation. I just now tried an experiment of turning it on with no card... the display immediately says "NO CARD." That sounds a lot better than the H1 firmware.

I certainly have had no problems with my DR-03. YMMV.

Regards
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Old September 20th, 2011, 04:25 PM   #13
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

Thanks for the recommendation Greg. I just looked up some specs on the dr-03. Its actually slightly cheaper than the h1. I was planning on picking up another h1, but I think I will go with the Tascam.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 05:49 AM   #14
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

Hate to say it but reliability is one of the reasons professional gear is more expensive than consumer gear. You can pay the price and work with confidence or you can go cheap and take your chances - the choice is yours. If it's a hobby and the only price you pay is embarrassment when a gig screws up, go for the bargain kit. But if your professional reputation and thus your career hangs on delivering the goods with every shoot and failure to deliver means you don't make the rent this month, anything less than a top-shelf toolkit is the height of folly.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 07:02 AM   #15
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Re: H1 records clip with zero kb of info.

Steve I definitely respect that concept and I am trying to make the transition from hobby to career over this year. I am trying to figure out the workflow that is going to work best for me to see what gear I should upgrade to. I know for certain we will be recording sound separate, so I need some sort of recorder. I have one h4n now and I have been pretty happy with that. I do not know much about mixers, so I'll need to do some research. Thanks for the advice.
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