First major problem with FireStore FS-4 at DVinfo.net

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Focus Enhancements FireStore
Specifically for the FireStore DV Direct-To-Edit Disk Recording Solutions.


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Old March 18th, 2005, 11:48 AM   #1
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First major problem with FireStore FS-4

I have found that the last segment of a 2-hour recording (AVI Type 2) is corrupted in the audio track. I have a total of 14 pieces, 13 of which are maxed out at the 2GB limit. The last piece is 259MB.

When I play this last piece in Windows Media Player 10 straight from the FS-4, WMP10 says that the clip is 41min., 28sec long, as opposed to 9min, 13sec that all the other pieces are at. Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 and Virtualdub think it's 9min, 54sec, though there is only 1min, 4sec of actual video.

Much more seriously, I am hearing a rhythmic noise pattern throughout the entire segment, best described as 4 kick drum hits followed by 4 hits on a high hat as if someone were practicing on a drum set in 4/4 time.

I tried to repair the clip via the Utilities menu, but that did nothing. I've also rebooted the computer and rebooted the FS-4 to no avail.

No other clip displays this problem.

The weirdest part of this is that when I play the video out the DV I/O port through the camcorder, there is no noise problem.

This immediately points to the Computer I/O port or something in that chain.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #2
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Hi David,

This problem has all the symptoms of a recording that was stopped without properly closing the file. Is it possible that a battery or other source of power was removed during a recording? When you did a clip repair, did you select the particular clip? I am sure you did, but just checking.

We just tried to reproduce the problem here, and we did not see it. But, we may have different setups. I would recommend that you contact our tech support at support@focusinfo.com or call 408-370-9963. I will also pass your post on to them.

Thanks,

Matt McEwen
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Old March 18th, 2005, 04:35 PM   #3
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Not sure if I stopped properly

For sure, I had pressed the Stop button once. I don't remember if I pressed it again because I was not familiar enough with the unit to do that conciously - I may or may not have. There was several minutes' time between stopping the recording and shutting the unit down.

There was a half-charged battery in the unit but I was running on AC power. There was no interruption during the actual recording.

When I did the clip repair, there was only one clip from which to choose - 001. If I understand how the clip is represented, the clip refers to the entire recording, not the actual components of the recording. Since it was my first use, there should only be one clip to repair, correct?

I also tried to repair the disk, but that did not work either.

I'm puzzled as to why I can play the problem clip through my camcorder without any noise problem.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #4
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Hi David,

That may point to the problem. You need to press the Stop button twice to properly close a recording. What appears to be a issue is that when the unit powers down, it does not completely close the file...hence the problem you saw. For now, press Stop twice after a recording. We will have a new firmware update out soon that will fix this issue.

Thanks David,

Matt
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Old March 19th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #5
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Hi David,

I experienced the same problem you are describing, while beta testing the unit. This happened when I shut down the unit after having pushed the STOP key only once. Pushing STOP once puts the FS-4 into record pause. I too was able to see the entire clip in the viewfinder on playback, but the last segment was irreparably corrupted on my G4 using FCP.

I would suggest that you try dumping the end of the clip back to tape by using the VTR record function on your camera with a fresh tape in it, while playing back with the FS-4. Do this, that is, if you don't have a tape backup already from the shoot. That way you will have at least saved the footage.

I'm sure that Focus will find a solution. I found updating the firmware, to be a very comfortable process.

Until then, always make sure to hit the STOP key twice to end recording when using it in LOCAL mode.
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Old March 21st, 2005, 09:15 PM   #6
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Now I know

Yes - Stop twice does indeed work. I dumped the segment back on to tape, then captured it into the computer. What a hassle. Looking forward to that firmware upgrade.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 02:23 AM   #7
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This is the most dangerous user interface issue I encountered while trying- out the beta FS-4. This two times STOP = STOP is the most unintuitive interface I have ever encountered, especially since there is no logical reason for a PAUSE function. I hope that Focus can adjust this.

However, I did notice that once I was aware of this "FS-4 way" of stopping recording, I was able to get used to it. Now I automatically push stop twice when stopping. I'll probably start doing that on all my recording devices!

As soon as I get my production model FS-4, I will post a list of pitfalls, if there are any others. I think that this is really the only significant one, and it is nasty because it is avoidable if one reads and comprehends the users guide from back to front. But who does that! I took the beta unit out of it's box and tried it out, and then I started reading the users guide, like any normal person would.

This is also a general argument for doing dry run testing with any new device before using it for real in the field. What a wonderful world it would be if everything worked like we expected it to "out of the box", but it almost never does.

cheers
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