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Old December 17th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #1
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Archive or backup mts files on the Panasonic TM700

I just bought the TM700, and 60p does not disappoint. I did so as a Mac owner knowing the issues surrounding editing this format. I have used Handbrake to put these mts files in mpg4 for now. But, I want to go ahead an archive the original files for what I hope is the day when i can open iMovie and make a video using the original TM700 files (space is not really an issue for me).
So, can I just keep the single mts file, or do I need to make a copy of my SD card every time I download the video (including all those other files associated with it)? Is the single mts file my original video and the 5.1 sound? What would be the disadvantage of only backing up these single files and not the series of other folders that are associated with the mts file on my card?

Any other suggestions?
- Kevin
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Old December 18th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #2
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How 'bout this: If you only want to back up the video, you only need the .mts files.

:-)

Some camcorders save other interesting stuff on the memory cards, though, such as what settings you used when you took the shots, etc.--things that might be interpreted by the software that came with the camera or might allow you to back up and restore your settings, for example. I don't own a TM700 and don't know what else Panasonic throws on their cards (if anything).

But the video is in the .mts files and you certainly don't *need* any of the others if the video is what you're after.

Best,
Aaron
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Old December 18th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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IF you record for longer than about 20 mins the FAT32 file system on the card will have to start another file. This start and stop information on some camcorders is stored in those other files and may be needed to stitch them together without any audio sync problems. These other files are very small anyway, why take the chance you may need some of this information. I use the Sony Motion Browser software that came with my Sony AVCHD cams to transfer data to the PC. This creates a nice backup with all the data to search by calendar etc and for the Sony will also do a face search or by other parameters. I wouldn't transfer any other way for me other than the Sony MBS.

Don't know what came with your camera but the least you could do is establish a good backup routine since there is no tape to fall back on with file based camcorders. For the sake of such small files I would backup everything and then use the video files as needed. Just backing up to a single hard drive is not very reliable either.

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Old December 18th, 2010, 04:06 PM   #4
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Fair point, Ron. I would say that if you *do* observe that, it's a bug in your camera's codec, but I certainly can't argue the point about the file size. May as well take it all for posterity; you'll never have any regrets that way!

Best,
Aaron

PS: I've never bothered with PMB, but if I can figure out how to trick it into joining files that are < 2Gb then I might just start! :-D Hmmm...
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Old December 18th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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I have always used the Sony software so have never had any problems. You will find lots of post of people on the forum who have had problems by transferring the files. Audio seems to be missing for a few frames is the usual defect from the posts. PMB does a really nice job of managing the transfer with easy searching of the database once done. I can look back in calendar view and see everything that I did with the cameras in a particular month, video and stills and address them directly. I leave this directory on the PC so that I can do this but also back the whole directory up to LTO3 data tape.

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Old December 20th, 2010, 05:55 AM   #6
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Thought about installing Windows on my Mac

As you probably know, the software that comes with the TM700 to handle their version of AVCHD 60 p (24Mbps) is Windows only...out of luck on my Mac. That would be the best way to handle downloading and backing up. More research showed me that the other files and their structure may assist if I ever wanted to put video back onto the SD card to have the camera play back 60p on my HDTV, etc. I don't see myself doing that, but would like to keep what I need in the event this video becomes editable on my Mac and perhaps BRD changes to let me burn a disc and play it on my HDTV @ 1080/60P.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 06:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Ryan View Post
As you probably know, the software that comes with the TM700 to handle their version of AVCHD 60 p (24Mbps) is Windows only...out of luck on my Mac. That would be the best way to handle downloading and backing up. .
Have you tried running the Panny utility on "Crossover"? There's a free trial version to test this stuff out.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Ryan View Post
I just bought the TM700, and 60p does not disappoint. I did so as a Mac owner knowing the issues surrounding editing this format. I have used Handbrake to put these mts files in mpg4 for now. But, I want to go ahead an archive the original files for what I hope is the day when i can open iMovie and make a video using the original TM700 files (space is not really an issue for me).
So, can I just keep the single mts file, or do I need to make a copy of my SD card every time I download the video (including all those other files associated with it)? Is the single mts file my original video and the 5.1 sound? What would be the disadvantage of only backing up these single files and not the series of other folders that are associated with the mts file on my card?

Any other suggestions?
- Kevin
In reality, the video is just stored in the MTS files. However there is a lot of 'meta' AVCHD information in the other files, the most useful being if a file at the 4GB limit is continued at the next MTS file. For whatever reason, the AVCHD spec doesn't require that the end of the 4GB continued file has a completed GOP sequence, it just gets cut wherever and started at the next file, usually in the middle of a GOP. This is why even players, like the excellent 'Movist' sometimes studder a bit at the beginning of files.

Some apps (like FCP) may required the AVCHD surrounding files to be intact in order to read and properly transcode the MTS files. In the case of the TM700 1080 60 P mode I don't think FCP can recognize it because it's not a standard AVCHD format.

I have a TM700 (among many other camcorders) and I use a Mac and pretty much have explored all the backup and playback and NLE possibilities.

If you use a Mac and Final Cut Pro or something that relies on Quicktime, you'll need to at least 'wrap' the MTS files for Quicktime and/or FCP to recognize the files. I use the excellent 'ClipWrap' to do this.

Though I don't absolutely have to back up anything but the MTS files for AVCHD and the ATM700 60P files I do. It's not much data, and you don't want to cheat yourself out of something that might need an intact AVCHD structure to deal optimally with the base MTS files contained within the AVCHD structure.

Also, Premiere Pro CS5, which I'm now using increasingly instead of Final Cut Pro 7, handles the TM700 60P files very well without QT wrapping or transcoding, saving a lot of time and hard drive space.

My advice, just back up the AVCHD folder structure, it's not costing you anything really to do that.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 09:04 AM   #9
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Great advice

Les, I am going to check out Crossover, thank you.

Keith, very sound advice, that will be my workflow for now. Like you said, it's relatively little space/effort if I am storing the mts files anyway.

Thanks gents!
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