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Old November 4th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #1
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Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

An archiving / backup / editing situation has occurred where it would be helpful to know people's thoughts on the following -

Are there advantages to archiving the AVCHD folder structure for many, many cards (as is often the standard recommendation) versus just archiving the M2TS files resulting from running the originals through Sony's Content Management Utility?

As background:
All of the original HXR-NX30 footage was processed through Sony CMU to span files, create unique file names, and add the timecode to the M2TS file names.
Additionally, the M2TS files seem to run faster in Adobe Premiere Pro than do the native compressed MTS files.

To reiterate the question: Are there advantages to archiving the original folders versus archiving the spanned M2TS files?

Thanks for your input.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

I don't think you'll get consensus on this, but for what it's worth I mostly just archive the files, I can't see any difference in quality, makes them easier to access.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 04:26 PM   #3
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

If you use the Sony Content management software it retains all the information in its library. There is no more information to store as far as I understand. I use to transfer all the files from my NX5U, NX30 and PMB for the CX700 and XR500. I then back up to LTO3 data tape. I use the Content Management Utility V 2.1.01.11180 not the Browser.

Ron Evans
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Old November 4th, 2013, 05:32 PM   #4
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

Hi Rainer,
I don't expect a consensus ;)
but thanks for your response.

Hi Ron,
By "it retains all the information in its library", does this mean that the info is embedded in the M2TS files?
I can't find any reference to the CMU having a 'library'.
Thanks.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 08:45 PM   #5
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

FWIW, I back up the entire folder structure. While I'm not familiar with the "deep, down" technical issues, it's always been my understanding that there is data in the levels above the .mts files that COULD prove helpful in certain situations.

Matter of fact, as I write this, I can recall an instance where it did seem to make a difference, though it may have been due to my workflow. Unfortunately, I don't remember all the details, (it was more than 2 years ago), but here's what I recall: My "normal" routine was:
- I would shoot for a while with a Panny HMC-150, then
- hand the card off to someone manning the laptop.
The entire folder structure on the card would be copied to 2 external l drives, then I would convert the footage from one drive to something other than .mts, either .mov or .avi, (I don't remember which), after which participants in the event I was shooting could watch their individual performance when my laptop operator "played" the footage. The conversion from mts to the other format allowed for the footage to be played in slo-mo. (It was a speed event, and competitors were eager to see their performance in slow motion, and because mts files are pretty well compressed, I've never been able to get them to play in slow-motion without converting them).

On the particular occasion I have in mind, the person manning the laptop was copying only the mts files, not the entire structure. I believe the problem became apparent when I tried to convert those mts files to another format. If memory serves, the conversion would not work. Unfortunately, I don't recall what I used to convert formats. I'm pretty sure it was NOT an NLE application, and if it was, it was likely Edius Neo, because that was the only NLE I had on that laptop at that time.. It was likely something like Handbrake, or MPEG Streamclip, or something similar. Sorry I can't remember.

Bottom line is, that taught me to make sure the entire structure was copied and I've been doing that ever since. If you ever have need of that footage in the future for some other reason, you may be sacrificing some flexibility by leaving those higher-level folders behind.

Maybe others here can verify that data in the higher-level folders CAN be helpful in certain situations.

ADDENDUM: on the occasions where I do this, I'm usually shooting to at least 15 SD cards. I hope this provides SOME help, or at least food for thought.
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Last edited by Denis Danatzko; November 4th, 2013 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Addendum
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Old November 5th, 2013, 07:40 AM   #6
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

Sorry I should have said database. It keeps information on date taken, location , if GPS was enabled, file size etc. I think camera data code is embedded in the file but have not tried this as most of my projects are long 1 hour or more at a time and need the CMU to correctly join files. Of course I cannot put these back in the camera to check for the data code !!! It appears that Content Browser 2.1 has these features though. I will try with a file and let you know if it still sees the data code.

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Old November 6th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

My understanding is that the data is NOT in the MTS files, but might be in the M2TS files.

Also, is the data in the associated CMUPROPS files output by the CMU?


Thanks to all for the responses; keep 'em coming!
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Old November 13th, 2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

Ron,

Any word?

Thanks.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 01:04 PM   #9
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

Sorry I have been a little busy lately. I used a file transferred back in 2012 from my CX700 using PMB and got PMB to send back to the camera. All the information is there. Date and time, camera settings GPS. So the information is in the m2ts file. When I have time I will see if PlayMemories will export NX30U files as PMB will not do as they are 60P with PCM audioi.

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Old November 13th, 2013, 01:42 PM   #10
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Re: Archiving AVCHD Folder Structure vs. Archiving M2TS files

Great, thanks Ron for making the effort and replying.
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