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Old October 23rd, 2009, 09:27 PM   #1
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how can I label / organize the .mts files on my HDD?

Hey Everyone,

I'm shooting a promo video for a college right now (on a HMC150), and want to be able to organize my clips in folders for each department of the college, and if possible label the individual video clips within each departments folder as: "professor ___ interview" etc. I will need to do this because I'll be shooting material for 8 departments simultaneously and will often have many clips from different departments on a single card, as I shoot material for various departments each day without a chance to upload in between.

ie. after dragging the whole PRIVATE folder off the SD card and retaining the original AVCHD directory, is there any way i can then organize or label each individual clip? The ideal solution being i could add a "Biology department" folder in the Stream folder, then move all the .Mts files in there and add a description of the clip after the original file name. Is anything like this possible?

Would it solve my problem if i used cineform to transcode (something I will probably be doing anyway) and then labeled and organized the files as i like? And just keep the original PRIVATE folder to archive?

Please let me know of any solutions you can think of as clip organization and labeling are going to be essential to me on this long term project. Thanks!


- Shawn
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 10:33 PM   #2
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I copy only the .MTS files from the STREAM folder and make no attempt to keep the AVCHD structure intact, but if you have to this is one possible approach.

Once you've imported the AVCHD structure (intact) to your hard drive then from that folder on your hard drive copy the .MTS files to another working folder. Review and rename in that working folder (or folders if you need to separate by department). This will simplify any editing you have to do.

On the original AVCHD structure: It is my understanding that if you rename .MTS files in the STREAM folder (or make any changes to files) you cannot play them back as if they were still in camera. I may be wrong on this but those who wanted to put the AVCHD stuff back on a media card so they could play from the camera to an HDMI connected HD TV found that with any changes it didn't work.

In any edited project all I have ever needed were the .MTS files, left with the 4321.MTS filename convention or with the file renamed in a manner similar to what you need, my NLE software still let me drag 'n drop them to the timeline and edit. After the edit I can render to whatever output format I need.

Hope this helps.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 11:42 PM   #3
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Hey Bruce

As far as I have found out so far, the only reason NOT to rename the files is if you are transcoding with MainConcept which expects the files to retain the file format, name and folder structure. After transcode you can rename them and if you want to edit directly from the MTS, apps like Vegas are quite happy to accept a new name.

With weddings shooting two cams I, of course end up with a pile of duplicate file names so there is always 000.MTS and 001.MTS etc etc.

What I'm doing on my external drive is creating an AVCHD folder and an AVI folder for both cameras "CameraA" and Camera"B" Purely for workflow purposes I then copy all the files from the "Stream" folder from each card into their AVCHD folders and THEN use the transcoder to convert them to AVI direct from the card to their respective AVI folders.
Once that's all done I watch the thumbs on the camera and then rename both the MTS and AVI's to useable file names before editing (The MTS are currently there as backup only until I get a call for BD production but test renders direct from the renamed files using Vegas are no problem)

If you don't want to transcode directly from the card then you simply copy the entire card folder structure to a drive and MainConcept is happy with it. If I use Upshift to transcode to HDV it couldn't care less what the name of the file is!!!!

Chris
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Old October 24th, 2009, 02:10 AM   #4
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After reading around a bit more on AVCHD, seems like the only reason you need to keep the file structure and names intact is if you need to use the playback information again, which i dont think I will, and would rather sacrafice for much greater ease of editing and organization. Oh and also a few people mentioned it would be useful to retain the file structure and names if you were authoring blue ray discs for some reason i didnt understand. But im finishing to the web and DVD so im not worried about that either.

Anyways i dont have a problem just dragging over the STREAM folder from now on and organizing / renaming the clips relevant to their contents, at least for this project. Anyone know a reason i may not want to do this?

- Shawn
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Old October 24th, 2009, 02:33 AM   #5
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this might help

MTS File Joiner (MTS File Joiner)
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Old October 24th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #6
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AFAIK, once you download the clips from a camera (at least if you use the software provided by the manufacturer), you don't need the "housekeeping" files/folders. So at least in theory, you should be able to rename the .mts files at will as needed.

At least with Sony PMB software, it just dumps clips into folders, and makes a new folder for each camera/clip series, I think it also has a few options for naming/renaming files, at the moment my files are scrambled from a hard disk upgrade, so I can't quite tell what options are available...
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Old October 25th, 2009, 12:25 AM   #7
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So if i just drag the STREAM folder off the card and then organize and rename the .mts files i should be fine as long as i dont need to play them back on the camera later or dont need the meta data for any reason right?
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Old October 27th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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Anyone know if that is true?
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Old October 27th, 2009, 05:51 PM   #9
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Hi Shawn

That's what I do!! I just copy from the card (only the actual MTS files in the stream folder) and pop them onto my external drive into a sub-folder called "AVCHD" under the clients folder. That way I have the original HD video if I need to use it. Sony Vegas will import it without any issues at all!!!

The only time that you might need the metadata from the card, is when you are using a transcoder that requires all the info (like MainConcept for Panasonic files) However if you think that will be an issue just copy the entire folder structure across and you have a "clone" of the card on your drive.

Chris
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Old October 28th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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The only potential problem is with clips that exceed aproximately 17 minutes/2G file size - the separate files of those need to be stitched together to form a single file.
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