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Old November 26th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #1
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I need help to troubleshoot a weird problem (FCP)

Hi,

I'm posting this question on behalf of a friend of mine because she didn't feel comfortable enough with the English language to post this by herself.

She's having a hard time with FCP right now and since I'm not a MAC user, I wouldn't know where to start to help her out, so I'm counting on the more savvy posters from this board.

Here's the thing. When she captures DV footage with the normal settings (DVNTSC 48Khz) from FCP (v.4.5 I think), The image freezes up at about 6min 30 sec. Then FCP also freezes because the footage takes up all the available space on her HDD.

But if she captures 3-4 minutes at a time, it works. If she captures with I-Movie, it also works fine. This started just recently. She's never had this problem before. She tried uninstalling FCP and reinstalling without success.

She also told me the bitrate of her captured footage is 6.9MBps (which is odd to me, should be 3.6MBps). She also said to me the disk shouldn't be getting full as fast as it does. The last time she tried to capture, the captured footage took up all of 48GB of her drive for only 8 minutes of DV which again, isn't normal.

I tried to go trough her FCP settings with her and even though my knowledge of FCP is minimal, I'm an experienced editor and to me, all her settings looked fine (capture, render and sequence all set to DV).

I don't know if she's having a weird bug with her OS, with FCP, her HDD or any other thing I can't think about. I'm helpless on a MAC platform so if any of you could give her hints as to where to start looking to troubleshoot this, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your help folks.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #2
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It's just a shot in the dark, but it's possible that she's capturing to a codec such as Apple Intermediary Codec, which takes up much more space than DV.

Again, I'm not sure if her version of FCP has that ability, it's just a guess.

I would find the captured file, open it in Quicktime, and check the video properties to see if it's encoded in DV or AIC.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 07:15 AM   #3
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Try saving the project on an external drive....keep the main hard drive as free as possible so that FCP can operate at optimal levels.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #4
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Not likely to be an issue with AIC since FCP 4.5 didn't even support that (no support for HDV in that version). There was an old bug related to virus checking software and FCP. Somehow their interaction would cause FCP to crash, and afterwards it would appear that your whole hard drive was full. IIRC you needed to look in your capture folder and delete a file which appeared to be using up all your disk space, and you also needed to disable your virus software while running FCP.

But the other important question would be what version of the system and quicktime your friend has. FCP 4.5 is getting really old by software standards, and it doesn't play well on newer setups. If she has her computer set to auto-update software (look under software update in system preferences), she may have recently installed some new component which is causing the problems.

John has a good point too - her internal drive may just be filling up.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm going to forward this to her and see if this makes any sense to her. I feel so helpless as I don't know the first thing about MACs.

Any chance she could fix the problem by updating FCP to a newer version? The thing that intrigues me is that she says capture works just fine when done with I-Movie. It's when it's done within FCP that it causes problems. I don't know if there is a capture setting to capture the footage at an other rate than DV but browsing through her settings quickly, everything appeared fine to me.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #6
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Unfortunately you can't buy FCP as a standalone program anymore, you need to get the full Final Cut Studio suite. I believe she could upgrade to that for $700, and it *might* fix the problem. But if she has an older machine this may not be a good idea since the new version will probably also expect a newer version of the operating system and more powerful hardware.

But I think it's going to be hard for any of us to troubleshoot this third-hand....
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Old November 28th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #7
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Yes I know what you mean Boyd don't worry I wasn't expecting a miracle solution. Just some pointers and hints as to what usually goes wrong or where to usually start looking. If this problem was happening on a PC it'd be a different story but me going to her place and checking out her config has not done much good so far.
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