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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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Another Warning About The Locked Files Created by Nano/XDR

Hi guys. Hopefully none of you ever have as much trouble as I do with Convergent Design's decision to create "locked" files with the Nano and XDR recorders.

I know I've voiced my opinion in other threads about how broken this design decision is, but I thought it deserved it's own thread. Hopefully it will save you some headaches if you are aware of this.

The XDR and the Nano create "locked" files when you record them. CD decided that it was better to create locked files so that you would not delete them accidentally. I think they made this decision without thinking about the complete workflow.

First of all the Nano and XDR record to CF cards formatted with Fat32 filesystem. This is a filesystem that is native to Microsoft OS (Windows, etc). If you're working on a PC, you probably don't notice any special pains. You can connect the CF cards to your PC. Remove the "locked" attribute if you like, even delete the files if you want. You can't do any of this on the Mac.

Macs are able to read and write files to Fat32 but are not able to alter file attributes on Fat32 at all. So, there is no way to clear the locked attribute of the file on your CF card. You have to copy the files to your Mac, wait for the copy to complete and then remember to remove this locked attribute. If you copy the files from the card again to a different computer, don't forget to unlock them there too. In fact, you can't unlock they files on the card at all with a Mac. Either you get a PC and attach the card there, unlock the files for good or ... You can copy all the files to your Mac, unlock them, format the card and copy the unlocked files back to the card.

Then there's also the problem with pruning bad takes from your CF cards. Again, no way to do this with a Mac either. If you want to delete a file from your card, you'll need to connect the CF card to a PC. The Mac is unable to delete these locked files from Nano/XDR CF cards.

If you think all of this is a reason to really scratch your head on why they decided to do this, consider it even WORSE if you are using a Nexto-DI. I also purchased a Nexto DI from Convergent Designs to offload cards in the field. It was highly recommended by CD. Well you can probably see where this is going already, but the Mac is also unable to clear the locked archive on the Nexto. The Mac is unable to clean up the files or delete bad takes either.

If that all is not reason enough to re-think this really, really bad design decision, consider the FULL WEEK my editor just wasted because they were unaware that the FILES WERE LOCKED. My editor grabbed all the files from my Nexto after we wrapped for the day. I failed to warn the editor that the files were locked. The editor spent a few days working on the edit, which included setting AUX TC for all files (very time consuming). Everything looked good with the AUX TC and the edit until exiting FCP. The AUX TC disappeared on all the files after closing the project. After taking another whole day to re-enter the AUX TC on all the files, again the AUX TC vanished after re-opening the project.

As it turns out, FCP does not warn you when you set AUX TC on a file and FCP is unable to write to the files (because they are locked). Through the entire edit session, the aux tc was there but not being written to the file.

This was so frustrating and this edit was so far behind, I ended up doing the edit myself.

All these experiences with these locked files, leaves me scratching my head. If you're going to include such a frustrating and annoying "feature", at least give us a way to turn it off. Just for the record, I see absolutely no advantage to ever using this feature under any circumstance.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #2
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Aaron,

Sorry about the edit. Sounds very frustrating... and so unnecessary.

I agree with Aaron. For Mac users, this is a real pain. I think that the last time we discussed this Dan or someone from CD indicated that this wasn't hard to do and would be something they could include in the next rev. That begs the question: When's the next rev? It's been a little quiet around here lately which I'm taking as a good sign that the latest rev is working for most folks pretty well. I hate to unset the apple cart but this unlock fix would be most helpful.

Aaron, I found a way to batch unlock the files once they are on the Mac. I'll root around inside my edit machine and see if I can remember how I did that last... and post it.

Thanks!
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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:51 PM   #3
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Hi Aaron:
Man, I'm really, really shocked about this fact ! I had no warning and no idea about this. I know the Nano Flash and Flash XDR will never overwrite existing files already recorded, but I forgot about the implication of this on the MAC OS and its inability to modify the file attributes on FAT & FAT 32. Man, this really, really sucks ! I'm sorry to learn of your post agony. Looks like it's time to go Avid Media Composer 5. BTW, Avid Media Composer also runs perfectly on the MAC.

The real bug a boo I'm experiencing in post is if I shoot commercially, then everything has to be recorded in.MXF 50 Mbps to make the XDR files compatible with Avid TV Network post workflows. If I shoot in a high enough data rate to make using the XDR relevant in the first place to take advantage of its great quality increase (Read Recording in Long GOP 100 Mbps), then the resulting CD files are freaking useless to anyone in post ! They can't post the higher data rate files. If I stay in .MXF 50 Mbps Long GOP, then they ask why don't you simply use a Sony XDCAM HD camera and be done with it ? I tell them we can go all the way up to I-Frame intra 280 Mbps, but then they think that I can do Sony HDCAM SR - When I tell them it's still XDCAM HD 4:2:2 8 bit, then they don't understand. This is a conversation I really don't want to have to have with any folks at network. :-(

Now don't get me wrong, I still see great value in being able to take my prosumer HDV camcorder and record in TV Network ready Sony XDCAM HD 50 Mbps ready for post in Avid Media Composer, but the nano and the XDR have such great potential and superior performance when you push that built in hardware MPEG 2 Sony encoder to data rates of 220 Mbps and beyond - so naturally I want to go there. I've already requested a further elevation of the XDR data recording rate to at least approximate, if not equal, the lower HDCAM SR VTR mastering rate of 400 Mbps. I strenuously maintain a distinct visual difference between 220 and 280 Mbps on my HD monitor.

I just want get more network jobs with my gear man ! Avid Media Composer 5.0 will now handle Pro Res 422 and QT H.264 at any data rate, so this is a positive step in the right direction. The only problem with this is it will take ages before the Networks slowly upgrade to the next iteration of MC ! The other alternative is to *playout in realtime to HDCAM SR VTR tape at the station, but this plan goes south when they can't control the XDR from its RS-422 port ! It's not about the format, rather, it's about the workflow.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #4
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FileXaminer

Hey Aaron,

It's called FileXaminer from Gideon Softworks. FileXaminer It is a 14 day freebie... $10.00USD after that.

Select a bunch of locked files in the Finder. Open the program. Under Info, select "Batch Get Info on Finder Selection". Under the "General Information" dropdown, select "Advanced". Highlight all the files in the left column. Select "Unlock Files". Hit "Apply Advanced"... and voila!

HTH,
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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #5
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Automator

Aaron, I feel your pain and frustration... Very sorry about the time and lost of edits a few times.
I have posted a few times about an "Automator". I have done my workflows and a right click on my Mighty Mouse I have a lot of options to choose from. I have never experience any trouble of not able of reading, edit, delete my NF files. I use MBP 17" 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo.
I do not use Nexto-DI. I have enough CF cards to work 48h at 180 without repeating a card, so I really do not have a solution for you there, but, for CF cards or any external HDD "Automator" works magically well. Now I have to fine sometime to split the the audio from mono in QT to stereo....
If help need it just PM.
Cheers
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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #6
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Gentlemen,

Just read your thread so I decided to do a test on my editing suite Mac. It is running Mac OS 10.5.8 (aka Leopard). I selected all the nanoflash files in a directory on an external RAID, invoked a Command-I for get info, it opened up a "Multiple Item Info" window, I unchecked "locked" and all files stayed unlocked.

Possible other version of OS 10 won't let you do this or maybe if the files are on your root drive. Someone else will have to confirm this.

The files I just unlocked are RAW nanoFlash files.

-Andrew
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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #7
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That is correct Andrew!. I use the same Operating System. I use "Automator" because of other functions combine with unlock (like -rename, copy to backup HDD, copy to FCP Edit HDD, take a snap shot picture and crop and add to DVD for producer/director, or upload to FTP.... and more) great app
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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #8
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There are lots of ways to unlock the files on a Mac.

The easiest is just to put all the files in one folder, then get info on that folder (command-I), scroll to the bottom of the info window and change the privileges for everyone to Read and Write, you may need to authenticate (login and password for an admin user).

Then check apply to inclosed items in the menu below, the "cog wheel".

It may seem a pain but you get fast at it quickly. Or you can automate as in above posts.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:04 PM   #9
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You guys are talking about unlocking files ON THE MAC. I know how to do that. I agree, it's very easy to do if you know they are locked. My editor didn't know this. Once you copy the locked files to the Mac, they are easy to unlock.

My gripe is that there is no way to unlock the files ON THE CF CARD or on the Nexto. This is a problem. You can't prune the CF cards from a Mac. You can't keep your Nexto tidy from a Mac either.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #10
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agreed, it seems like a pain in the butt. I can't trim shots when I download from cards in the field.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:38 AM   #11
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Hello Aron,
I am sorry to hear about your issues you are having with locked files it must be very frustrating for you as others have pointed out it is really so easy to unlock files on the Mac. I use FCP and I can unlock the whole directory of CF files in five key strokes. I vote to keep the files locked and secure in case of accidental damage.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Stone View Post
Just read your thread so I decided to do a test on my editing suite Mac. It is running Mac OS 10.5.8 (aka Leopard). I selected all the nanoflash files in a directory on an external RAID, invoked a Command-I for get info, it opened up a "Multiple Item Info" window, I unchecked "locked" and all files stayed unlocked.
Andrew... very smart. I'm running the same system. With a little help from "Mac Help", I discovered that selecting multiple items, then holding down the Control Key and clicking on those items, produces a "Get Summary Info" selection where "Get Info" normally appears. Select that and one window appears that let's you change the common attributes of all the selected files. Sweet! And I wasted $10.00...

Back to Aaron's point, having a nanoFlash menu item that let's the user decide whether to Lock or Unlock files seems to be the answer here. Dan?
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Old May 18th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #13
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Dear Friends,

We are making changes in this area.

I have delayed posting as I wanted to get the latest, accurate information from Tommy.

As soon as I do, I will post what we are doing.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #14
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Good News

Hi Dan:
This is good to learn of. I sincerely hope this isn't the only development awaiting us XDR and Nano users.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #15
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Dear Friends,

Locking of the files does not appear to be an operational problem on PC's, but is a problem, under certain circumstances on a Mac.

We have made changes in our code, which will be in our next release.

This will remove all locking of the files.

This is not a perfect solution, as some prefer for us to lock the files.

We are striving to keep our menu structure simple. There is a price to pay if we have options for everything: the menu's get complicated and the device becomes intimidating, which we want to avoid.

If someone accidently deletes a file, while it is on a PC or a Mac disk drive, it will go into the deleted files folder.
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