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Old January 9th, 2016, 05:44 PM   #1
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FCPX File Organization with Sony FDR-AX100

Well, this is the start of a new year and I’m trying to improve the video file organization on the computer using FCPX v10.2.2 with the Sony AX100 v2.0 and it’s AVCHD files. I know there was a discussion about this last year but here’s my situation.

Previously, my files were organized chronologically by year, month, and day with the syntax Movies > [yyyy] > {[yyyymmdd] (space) [short description]} with the last one { … } being a sub folder under the year folder. With the JVC cam, the files could be easily dragged and dropped into the sub folder with the above mentioned syntax and then imported into FCPX as needed so this, with the Sony cam, has been a new learning experience.

The past couple years, after considering a number of different cams, and thanks to the more user-friendly relationship between Sony and FCPX, I finally decided to pick up the FDR-AX100; however, the ability of the two systems to shake hands hasn’t been as user-friendly as I had hoped for and I really miss the JVC drag-’n-drop files.

The first struggle with file transfer was when I downloaded the Sony’s “PlayMemories” application and in hindsight this may have been a huge mistake as it doesn’t seem to be needed. Upon opening the application it went and cataloged with thumbnails all my photos and videos on the computer. Then, the actual transfer of files from the cam was very time consuming even using the cam’s USB built-in connector. Whether this was due to a USB knothole with data transfer or due to additional processing, or both, I don’t know, but there was definitely a lot of processing taking place.

Current file transfer procedure
Last year there was an improvement between FCPX and the AX100 where FCPX could import the cam files directly. The Workflow I’ve been using of late is as follows:
Create a Library and a Project in FCPX, connect cam and set to MTP,
In FCPX, select Project > Import,
A new screen opens with the cam files listed,
Select the desired files and click Import.
The selected Sony files would be imported into the Project.

So far, so good. This procedure is easy and fast and PlayMemories isn’t needed. After the files are imported then the cam [NO NAME] and [UNTITLED] is Ejected and disconnected. Irritating note: The wording on the LCD (Don’t disconnect cam, Don’t …. blah, blah, etc.) is a bit confusing so by not doing this step properly I’ve got a warning message a few times.

Video file organization
Video file organization used to be really simple and easy, organized by year and then chronologically within the year, and the same with the backups. Now, however, it’s really a mess because the AX100 files are imported directly into FCPX instead into their own folders. Fortunately, I have two video computers and the cam files have been copied from the cam to both computers so in effect there is a backup of the original files. This is not an efficient system. One computer is a mid 2012 MacBook Pro and the other computer is a Mac Pro with a SSD and two hard drives. Both computers are for video work only.

Questions:
(1) For the AVCHD files, is there a better way than the 'Current file transfer procedure' to import the files using FCPX import vs PlayMemories?

(2) And the more important one (because the year is progressing and the video files are starting to accumulate), for the overall video file organization, is there a better organizational system to keep the original Sony files and the edited video files ?

Last edited by John Nantz; January 9th, 2016 at 06:18 PM. Reason: added: and PlayMemories isn’t needed
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Old January 9th, 2016, 08:17 PM   #2
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Re: FCPX File Organization with Sony FDR-AX100

Can't comment for FCPX as I am on a PC but I use Playmemories. Once Playmemories has been connected once to the camera there is no further need to connect that way. Just use a USB3 card reader and read the card from the AX100. This is a lot quicker than the built in USB of the AX100. I can transfer about 2 hours of AVCHD 60P from a theatre show in about 6 mins. I use SDXC U3 extreme cards. For AVCHD transfer is of course then clips not files so they are joined and all the information is either in the m2ts file or in the history file in Playmemories. I like being able to look by calendar view for my family videos but for projects just put into a project folder for each camera. Use 4 for theatre multicam. Then backup source by project.

XAVC-S can be transferred this way too but does not have the advantage of naming files like AVCHD. Wish it did, backward step in my opinion. 0002.mp4 doesn't mean very much compared to 2016 01081012.m2ts and there is no embedded data code either so identifying exposure parameters etc from the past is not as useful. With my multicam, I have as such been still using AVCHD rather then XAVC-S so that I can compare camera exposures afterwards.

Ron Evans
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Old January 11th, 2016, 01:38 AM   #3
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Re: FCPX File Organization with Sony FDR-AX100

Those not keeping camera originals and thinking the joined files are good enough, you may want to reconsider this line of archival.

I've had instances where joined files I've got from the NXCAM utility have had 1 duplicate frame compared to a Nanoflash recording that splits it perfectly on the next Long GOP.

Always keep the full contents of your card with file structure intact. Miss even one file and your backup is incomplete. On more advanced NLEs, you can work directly from this file structure without processing anything.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 07:38 AM   #4
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Re: FCPX File Organization with Sony FDR-AX100

Well Jack I have never had that with any of the Sony utilities I use. Content Management Utility 2 ( Content Management Utility Ver.2.1 : Download : Sony Middle East & Africa unfortunately just for Windows ) for the NX5U and NX30U, Playmemories or the original PMB for the other Sony cameras and recently Catalyst Browse for the AX1 or AX100 for XAVC-S though they do not split files like AVCHD. The Sony Content Browser was useless and was supposed to replace the Content Management Utility and XDCam utility however it did not join AVCHD files and that did result in issues with joining files on the timeline. I tried and then deleted it from PC !!! Stayed with Content Management Utility and the original XDCam Browser. I have been shooting AVCHD since the first AVCHD cameras came out many years ago . All AVCHD for the last 5 years with 4 cameras a show. Just under 10 Terabytes of data with no instances that I have seen. I agree moving files individually will result in issues you mention though.

Ron Evans
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Old January 12th, 2016, 02:38 PM   #5
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Re: FCPX File Organization with Sony FDR-AX100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Can't comment for FCPX as I am on a PC but I use Playmemories. Once Playmemories has been connected once to the camera there is no further need to connect that way.
With regard to PlayMemories, shortly after I had the problem with the very long processing of the clips upon the initial import I discovered FCPX could, in fact, import the clips directly so PlayMemories was avoided (or is it running in background?). Before importing clips the first time I did a lot of Internet searching to find out the best way to do it. Finding a Workflow was difficult because it would depend on what version FCPX was at and what hardware version the cam was at. Some web pages would be missing things like dates, when they were created, and versions, so the workflow could potentially be different.

For info, the Workflow that I’ve been using is from “How To & Troubleshooting the AX100” at Sony eSupport - FDR-AX100 - Support , and then,
“How to transfer videos to a Macintosh computer” at Sony eSupport - Using your Sony<sup>®</sup> Camera with a Macintosh<sup>®</sup> Computer
Note that the first link mentions iPhoto and iMovie but does not mention FCPX so I wonder if this is the proper workflow but it does import files. So far, I’ve been unable to find a Sony page that covers the Workflow that specifies it is for FCPX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Just use a USB3 card reader and read the card from the AX100. This is a lot quicker than the built in USB of the AX100. I can transfer about 2 hours of AVCHD 60P from a theatre show in about 6 mins. I use SDXC U3 extreme cards.
I’ve heard of this, actually mentioned by Noa before, but I haven’t upgraded my 2.0 reader yet. Since the initial file transfer, the times haven’t been onerous enough so getting a new reader is lower on my To-Do list. I think this is known as the squeaky wheel prioritizing method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
For AVCHD transfer is of course then clips not files so they are joined and all the information is either in the m2ts file or in the history file in Playmemories.
I haven’t been back to PlayMemories since the initial startup. Instead, I’ve been trying to find out how to organize the clips in Finder, or File Manager.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
XAVC-S can be transferred this way too but does not have the advantage of naming files like AVCHD. Wish it did, backward step in my opinion. 0002.mp4 doesn't mean very much compared to 2016 01081012.m2ts and there is no embedded data code either so identifying exposure parameters etc from the past is not as useful. With my multicam, I have as such been still using AVCHD rather then XAVC-S so that I can compare camera exposures afterwards.
+1 with the “backward step”. After doing some shots in XAVC-S, I went back to AVCHD until the file management part can be figured out.
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Old January 18th, 2016, 01:08 AM   #6
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Re: FCPX File Organization with Sony FDR-AX100

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't FCPX import into project specific (event I mean?) folders? When cleaning house a few months ago, I remember each import folder filled with my X70 mov files for the specific story.

Also, an advantage to importing directly into FCPX is that the AVCHD file structure is done away with, and you end up with single movable mov transcode of the AVCHD clip. :)

Paul
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Old January 18th, 2016, 02:20 PM   #7
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Re: FCPX File Organization with Sony FDR-AX100

Library can contain multiple Events. FCPX has changed the way it stores things since the early days.
The metadata in the AVCHD will present the clips at their correct duration, not broken by Fat32 file size limits. It can be the original, optimized (ProRes) or Proxy (ProRes Proxy).
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