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Old June 11th, 2006, 02:17 AM   #1
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Download P2 cards to MacBook Pro

Hi everyone, just curious if anyone has a solution for downloading P2 cards to the MacBook Pro. I am hoping that there is a PCMIA to Firewire adaptor, or better yet a PCMIA to Express 3/4 adaptor. Any solutions out there. I spent some time online and can't seem to find anything that will work...

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Mike McEntire
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Old June 11th, 2006, 04:35 AM   #2
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Just hook up the HVX to the macbook via firewire 400 and import P2 through Final Cut Pro... quick and easy.

edit: there is a PMCIA to express adaptor in the works, can't remember where though...

Last edited by Pete Tews; June 11th, 2006 at 05:27 AM.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #3
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p2 store
cam through firewire
duel-systems is working on an ExpressCard/34 to PC Card adapter
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Old June 11th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. I was aware of these options but our workflow is a little different. We are shooting snowboarding and dirtbiking in remote locations and are running through the P2 cards super fast. I have a G4 laptop that we are constantly using to download the cards while the camera is being used. I am hoping to achieve the same scenario with the MacBook Pro. The PC to Express 3/4 adaptor seems like it will be the ticket when it comes out.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 10:37 PM   #5
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Mike,

Is using your g4 Powerbook working fine for capture in the field? Anything you might have learned you can pass on???

Thanks,
Jay
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Old June 12th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #6
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Yes the G4 powerbook is working well for our workflow. I have a mini G 80 gig firewire 400 drive that is powered by the computer. When one of our cards is full I just put the P2 card into the PCMIA card slot onboard the computer and drag the contents of the card to a new folder on the mini G drive. So far so good. This way I can keep shooting when our talent is in the groove.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #7
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PC Laptop to MacBook Pro

Hi. I plan on using an old PC laptop that can read the P2 cards and then transfer them to my 17" macbook. Until an adapter comes out for the expresscard slot, this seems to be the most cost effective solution if we don't want the the camera to be tethered down or 20 minutes of download downtime.

My question is, do I need special software to transfer the files from PC to Mac? I'm sure there's an easy solution, but I've never actually tried it.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 11:50 AM   #8
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Figured it out :)

Shot a short this past weekend using a PC laptop to help unload the P2 cards. Worked very well.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Stebbins
Is using your g4 Powerbook working fine for capture in the field? Anything you might have learned you can pass on???
From my perspective, I'd say YES. A while back I worked on a documentary project in which we went through 51 card loads in three and a half days. I used a PowerBook G4 in the field to capture the media. Everything worked like a charm. I had heard so many horror stories, so I though carefully about the workflow and made sure that we always had two copies on separate hard drives of every card before formatting a card.

I did finder copies of the cards but P2Genie offers some nice extra features and simplifies the process, especialy when pressed for time in the field. In order to make sure everything was in good shape, I played through some of clips using HD Log (now that it's available I'd suggest P2 Log ($99) if you don't need the fancy logging capabilities of much more expensive HD Log).

In some paranoid checking I did with the unix cmp (compare two files) command executed from a script I did learn that there were some minor errors here and there with the copies I made, so out of 51 card loads, I did find four individual files that did not match exactly, fortunatelly those clips played fine, but this alerted me to the fact that the copies we make really need to be verified. We need a better way of copying files from P2 to the hard drive, and Apple's suggesstion (made elsewhere) of making disk images is not the ultimate solution. P2 Genie is a step in the right direction. I'd like to see real verification of the copies I make before I format a card.

I was very pleased with the workflow, in spite of the many stories of nightmares with P2 and complaints that we don't have the comfort of tapes, I found it very useful to be able to watch and review the footage quickly, only 8 minutes or so after starting ingest of a 8GB card (holding 20 minutes as we were shooting 720pN). We worked with six cards in order to make sure I could capture faster than the two HVX cameras were shooting.

When I had access to AC power, I copied the cards to a pair of FireWire 800 drives (configured as a RAID-1 mirrored pair using SoftRAID). When I was not close to AC power I copied the card to the internal hard drive of the G4 and made a backup to a 60 GB iPod until I was able to move the media off the laptop's hard drive and onto the external hard drive.

At the end of the shoot I split the mirrored pair into two solo volumes. I kept the secondary and shipped the primary disk off to the editor. Now the production has the media and an off-site backup. I don't think hard drives are the best long-term media storage option. I did suggest to the producer making DVD+R/DL archival backups (as a third copy) but that was not in the budget for the shoot. We lived dangerously with only two copies of the camera original media. I would prefer to have a third off-line copy of the media. The digital age equivalent of having a videotape on the shelf.

I actually like the P2 workflow, the challenge remains, how to you justify the role of the media manager on the set, a critical component of the workflow, unless you have enough cards to cover the day's production, but it's still nice to have someone managing the media, a transformation of the 2nd AC's role, perhaps?

If I had to do it all over again I'd rent a P2 Drive (5 Cardbus slots), I like the idea of being about to mount 5 cards at a time on the laptop via USB 2.0.
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Last edited by David Tamés; June 22nd, 2006 at 11:37 PM.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 11:12 PM   #10
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Apple Automator Workflows

Unfortunately my experience with AppleScript and Automator workflows is limited. However, it seems that one could write a workflow or script that would recognize the p2 card mounting on the desktop-copy to specified locations-verify image and even beep when finished. Beep differently if a problem. This should be able to happen lid open or closed for maximum portability.

I am going to putz around and see what I can come up with. I think I already saw the answers. However, I would bet there is someone else on this forum that could do it in five minutes to my entire evening.

I think this would work.... http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos.../backitup.html maybe not streamlined enough, but still the idea.

Jay
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Old June 25th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #11
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I'm using both a Macbook Pro and a G4 Powerbook. At this point I use the Powerbook to capture the cards to a 160GB external 2.5" drive in a SIIG housing. I have a half dozen of these little suckers and use one per current project. After the capture, I edit on a Macbook. I've found the capture process on the Powerbook from a directly inserted P2 card to be much, much faster than connecting the camera to a Macbook via firewire (or using a P2 Store as a transfer drive.) On the other hand, I find editing on the Macbook much faster and particularly rendering and compression.
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Old June 25th, 2006, 07:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tames
[...] P2Genie offers some nice extra features and simplifies the process, especialy when pressed for time in the field.[...] P2 Genie is a step in the right direction. I'd like to see real verification of the copies I make before I format a card.
Anders Holck told me that Version 1.5 of his P2Genie will support verification of copies as an option. The current version of P2Genie is very reliable in terms of doing copies, but for that extra sense of security, this feature is on the way. Very cool, thanks Anders!
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Old June 25th, 2006, 10:27 PM   #13
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Just for info:
This ExpressCard/34 adapter is available.

http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-2sm2-e/

Sorry, this only helps to attach SATA drives.

Last edited by Gary L Childress; June 26th, 2006 at 05:32 AM.
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