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Sony Hard Drive and Memory Card Recorders
Including the HVR-MRC1K CF Card Recorder, HVR-DR60 Hard Disk Recorder and others.


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Old May 30th, 2009, 09:15 PM   #1
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Why FAT32 on all these devices?

There's been much discussion about the utilities used to stitch together clips that are split up due to the 2GB (or 4GB, depending upon who you talk to) limit for FAT32, which is how all the Sony and Firestore tapeless recoding solutions are formatted. But my question would be, why are they formatted this way rather than NTFS or some other file system that can handle large files? Could these drives even be reformatted with the new file system, and what would happen if one tried to do so?

Anybody know? Why would these presumably cutting edge devices use a file system from 20 years ago? Given that the biggest single advantage (for me, at least) would be the ability to record long events without a tape change, why would they use a file system that makes the unit completely unable to do just that? I mean, I know they come with utilities that supposedly re-connect all the smaller clips into one large one, but based on the posts here they don't always do a very good job.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 04:04 AM   #2
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Hi Adam. I believe the main reason is the cost of licensing the NTFS file system from Microsoft.

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Old May 31st, 2009, 04:39 AM   #3
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and FAT32 is almost universally supported (PC,Mac, Linux).

The problem is if you put a proprietary DOS (disk operating system) into a device, you have then to embedd a program (OS) to act as interface (like some NAS system).

So you would not be able to attach the disk as an external disk, but only as a networked drive. With Gigabit ethernet today it could be a solution.
Most of device for video should not really require a complex DOS, since they are barely using only 3 functions (writing, reading, deleting files).
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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:00 PM   #4
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I'll bet you're right. But in an age when you can get $100 terabyte hard disks an $20 card readers, not to mention digital audio devices for a few hundred bucks, having this as an excuse on a thousand-dollar device seems unconscionable.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:27 PM   #5
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I'll bet you're right. But in an age when you can get $100 terabyte hard disks an $20 card readers, not to mention digital audio devices for a few hundred bucks, having this as an excuse on a thousand-dollar device seems unconscionable.
Of course, there are other filesystems that handle large files. It doesn't have to be M$.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:42 PM   #6
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Right, but none of these tapeless video recording solutions use them, hence my frustration.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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FAT32 is the only commonly available format that macs & pcs share without add-on software. That probably makes good sense to manufacturers.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 12:10 PM   #8
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FAT32 is the only commonly available format that macs & pcs share without add-on software. That probably makes good sense to manufacturers.
Do MACs not read/write ext2? That would be the one to go for - and it's open-source... (although, older versions of windows would be a bit left out because I think Exts IFS 1.11a is only for VISTA/2008).
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Old June 6th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #9
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I'm not that familiar with ext2 - doesn't it require 3rd-party drivers for Windows. I think the same is true for OS X... Granted, they are freeware/open source drivers.

I'm not up for defending manufacturers, just trying to understand why they do what they do. Trading off the 4GB file size limit of FAT32 vs. losing plug&play connections to mac & PC must be a serious product marketing question for them. This is the same reason that flash drives ship formatted FAT32.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 08:33 AM   #10
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I'm not that familiar with ext2 - doesn't it require 3rd-party drivers for Windows. I think the same is true for OS X...
Yes
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Granted, they are freeware/open source drivers.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 01:57 AM   #11
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The Edirol unit uses NTFS; unfortunately it is too big and heavy to attach to a camera and means the operator has to make sure he/she doesn't inadvertently pull out the firewire cable between the camera and the Edirol on a belt.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 03:55 AM   #12
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you could look at the advantages of the 2&4 gig files, if ONE is bad, you only lose 10-20 minutes of data :-)
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