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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old November 29th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #1
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New Tool for Viewing nanoFlash Files

I discovered by accident last night that Picasa 3 (free from Google) is actually a pretty decent viewer for nano MOV files. I haven't tried MXF files yet and I have only tried this on the MacBook Pro, but I'll give other options a try and make an update here.

There are a number of things that make this more convenient than QT for quick viewing of files.
  • One can see thumbnails of all clips and resize them in the browser.
  • A new window isn't opened for each clip. Double clicking on a thumbnail opens the clip and begins playing it in the player window. "Esc" returns one to the browser.
  • It is possible to size the clip to fit inside the player window or to view them full screen.
  • There is a "Take Snapshot" function, which works very well. Those snapshots are easily tweaked in Picasa, as are still photos.
  • There is an "Upload to YouTube" function.
  • There is an "Export Clip" function, which allows one to save a sub-clip marked by "in" and "out" points.
  • There is editing capability, which I have not tried, although I assume it is elementary.

More on this later. If anyone has other options for quick viewing of these files that may be better, please chime in!
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Old November 29th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #2
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Dear Steve,

This is very interesting, what a great find.

But, I am concerned after reading the fine print.

It appears that one must already have the codec for the type of file to be played already on one's computer.

Thus, if one is on a PC or a Mac, and wants to play one of the XDCam 4:2:2 at HL files, in other words one of our high quality files, one needs to have the codec already installed on the computer.

Steve, are you on a PC or a Mac?

If on a Mac, do you have FCP 6.0.3 or higher already installed. If so, then you have the codec to play the Quicktime files that are 4:2:2 at HL.

If on a PC, it is difficult to find the proper codec to play these Quicktime files that are 4:2:2 at HL.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #3
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Dan,

The files I tested on the MacBook Pro (17" with FCP-7 installed) were 50 Mb/sec MOV. I will try some other record rates later.

I have done some additional testing and here is what I have found.
  • MXF files do not appear to play within Picasa on Mac. Perhaps they would if I had the correct driver installed. I assume XDCam Viewer would add those drivers, but I don't think there is any way to install that on a Mac. Picasa doesn't even allow me to add the MXF files, as they are ghosted in the file chooser.
  • MOV files play in Picasa on a PC, but with errors. I will continue to work on that to see if I can make that work.

Also, I did try to do some editing in Picasa and it is very primitive and cumbersome.

I am working on the "Upload to YouTube" function now to see how that works.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #4
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Dear Steve,

Thanks.

I look forward to the day when Apple releases their 4:2:2 at HL codec for other platforms.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #5
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I transferred some 100 Mb Long GOP files last night and played them successfully in Picasa. That really is a convenient way to browse MOV files!

As soon as I have time, I'll try some files with higher bit rates. I have SanDisk Extreme III cards, so I'll be limited on the high end bit rates. Maybe someone else can check the newer extreme bit rates and let us know.
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