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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #1
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What format to request from PC people

I work on a Mac-mini with FCP5. What format should I request from people who give me DVDs edited on a PC using the various programs available to them (there will be multiple people and I can't say for sure if they're all using Vegas, Premier, Windows Movie Maker or what).

Can most PC programs output AVI? Is AVI the best for Mac FCP5? Should I just tell them to do what they want, burn it as a movie to their DVD, and I'll just capture their work on my mac from their DVD.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 08:46 AM   #2
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What format do you want?

Almost every NLE out there can render out whatever you want including avi.

An authored DVD is going to be MPEG2 by default no matter who masters it, but just about any other format can be rendered out including DV and just written to a DVD as a storage device.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 09:28 AM   #3
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MPEG StreamClip

I work on a mac, and get all kinds of stuff from people on PCs. I prefer uncompressed .mov's, but sometimes they can't provide that because PCs have a max file size of 2 gigs.

So, the best thing I've found - and a pretty darn good solution at that - is to use MPEG StreamClip to convert their files into whatever format I want. MPEG StreamClip is a free download from squared5.com, but you might have to purchase a plug-in from Apple in order to use certain file types. For the most part it will support the majority of formats you will be handed.

Hope this helps.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Timothy D. Allen View Post
I work on a mac, and get all kinds of stuff from people on PCs. I prefer uncompressed .mov's, but sometimes they can't provide that because PCs have a max file size of 2 gigs.
Specifically FAT32 systems have a limit of 2gb. With a properly configured NTSC hard drive or RAID, this is not an issue. You only really run into issues with new hardware if you buy an already-formatted drive, and don't think to reformat it. XP and newer typically uses NTSC, which is a much better filesystem with no 2gb limit.


As far as file formats, I had good luck passing uncompressed MOVs back and forth. Cineform is also looking very promising for my future mac+pc workflows, as it allows changing between AVIs and MOVs with *no* rerender. Wonderful stuff!

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Old November 7th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Carl Middleton View Post
Specifically FAT32 systems have a limit of 2gb. With a properly configured NTSC hard drive or RAID, this is not an issue. You only really run into issues with new hardware if you buy an already-formatted drive, and don't think to reformat it. XP and newer typically uses NTSC, which is a much better filesystem with no 2gb limit.
l
Such a naggling little thing, but I have to differentiate a touch here.

Carl is quite right, the 2GB limitation is only on the FAT-16 and FAT-32 partitions, but it's NTFS, not NTSC... (Sorry Carl, don't want to confuse Scott between broadcasting standards and partition formats ;) )

Also, if they're providing a portable drive or the movies on a USB thumb drive, your Mac Mini will read the FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS formatted partitions but will only write to the FAT16 and FAT32 partitions (at least without installing some extra software).
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Old November 7th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Carl Middleton View Post
Specifically FAT32 systems have a limit of 2gb. With a properly configured NTSC hard drive or RAID, this is not an issue. XP and newer typically uses NTSC, which is a much better filesystem with no 2gb limit.
Touche'!

I am, however, running Avid Xpress Pro on an NTFS file system and consistently get error messages on export telling me that file files size has reached the max limit and cannot complete.

Perhaps I have a purely formatted drive? But that's neither here no there.

Having the client provide you with a drive seems to be a fantastic solution since most of the time you're not going to write your files back to the clients drive. At least I don't. :-D
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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kelly OHara View Post
Carl is quite right, the 2GB limitation is only on the FAT-16 and FAT-32 partitions, but it's NTFS, not NTSC... (Sorry Carl, don't want to confuse Scott between broadcasting standards and partition formats ;) )
Wow, can you tell what's on my mind lately? :P

Good catch, I had to read my own post to see it for myself, that's hilarious :D

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