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Old July 15th, 2007, 07:29 AM   #1
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Location: Orlando Florida
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Best method for offloading to a laptop

I'm new to P2 but I am in love with my HPX500 already. Offloading the cards to a laptop in the field has been much easier than I could have ever imagined! I bought a P2 store, but I think I'm going to return it because the laptop is easier and I have visual confirmation when clips copy. I'm going to hold out for the P2 gear . . . which I'm hoping will do the same thing without the bulky laptop.

Anyway, I was wondering if there is a preferred method to copying to a hard drive using the P2 viewer software. Should I create individual folders for each card that I offload or could I create one virtual card folder for the day and copy clips into that? I would like to keep it simple and use one virtual card for each day but when I copy clips that record across two cards the software tells me the two clips have the same global ID and asks me if I want to overwrite the clip. I tested this the other day and when I click OK to overwrite the entire clip seems to get merged together. Is this right? Or am I creating trouble when I try to import into Avid or FCP?

I'm shooting about 120-150 minutes of HD each day (its an 8 day shoot and I'm 4 days into it already) so obviously its a lot of cards to offload - that's why I'd like to keep it simple.

By the way, I'm using a PC laptop in the field.

Thanks for the help!

John X. DeMaio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2007, 09:15 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Monterey, California
Posts: 818
I've been doing this for a month too, although with a PowerBook. If I were you I'd create a seperate folder for each card, it's easy enough to do and that way you're sure to not have any headaches down the road.

I just name the cards the way I would film rolls.. ie: "Roll-1", "Roll-2" etc.. I've been doing it that way for years and it is natural for me - and as I accumulate numbers I have a rough idea of how much I've shot for a particular project (76 rolls lets me know I have approximately 76 hours of raw footage) - it's also nostolgic for me since I hardly ever get to shoot film any more.. you could also name them, for instance, with dates and roll #s - ie: "July 9-#1".

If you have the time, you might want to keep a log of which card each roll came from (I've numbered my cards 1 - 4).. That way if there's ever a problem, you'll know which card might have the problem (again, just like when shooting film, you log the magazine that the roll came from).
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Old July 16th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington DC
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Just a question. What do you do if your transfer hard drive dies? Do you have any fail safe backup plan?

Thierry Humeau, DoP
TÚlÚcam Films
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Old July 16th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Tulsa, OK
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I recommend P2Genie, the PC version is bullet proof, I have not used the Mac version as much. It is around $30 and basically turns your laptop into a P2 store

ash =o)
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Old July 16th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #5
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Location: San Diego
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I have to agree with Ash for using P2 Genie. This is really a great tool, especially for redundancy. P2 Genie lets you AUTOMATICALLY back up to a second location, and also creates a logical file structure so you always know the order in which you off loaded the cards.

Here's what I did on a portable PC with a PCMCIA slot:

1. Upgraded the internal HD to 7200 rpm model.
2. Added a 300GB external HD via USB.
3. Use P2 Genie to back up first to the internal HD (six minutes for 16GB), then to the external drive (11 minutes for 16GB).

This gives me a redundant copy in under twenty minutes. I also have P2 viewer loaded and minimized so I can check the data integrety on the external drive when done to ensure I have at least one good copy without corruption.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 10:12 PM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Orlando Florida
Posts: 13
Thanks for the advice. I purchased P2 Genie tonight and I'm going to give it a try.

Steve, I've been creating folders for each card like you suggested and although its a little more work on the front end it really makes organizing everything a lot easier. I had a fear of missing clips, but not anymore. Thanks for the help . . . maybe P2 Genie will be even easier?

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Old July 20th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #7
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Location: New York, NY
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P2 Genie


Not sure if they have fixed it the bug in the Mac version of P2 Genie yet, but when I tried it out a year ago there was a problem using this date structure (01/01/2001) in the naming convention so you may have to avoid this and go w/a reel# label FYI.
Brian Sargent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #8
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Location: United States
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I would suggest also write protecting your P2 card each time you use P2 genie to avaoid possible data corruptions when transferring MXF data. Great program as well as HD log that has a free P2 transfer utility.
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