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Old June 2nd, 2008, 09:55 AM   #1
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XDCAM clips from a MAC to a PC

I just shot a short film with the XDCAM EX1. Clips were transferred from the memory cards to a Macbook, using the XDCAM transfer utility, so they're wrapped in quicktime (MOV) files. We did not have the whole BPAV structure. They can be viewed on the Macbook with the XDCAM Clip Browser.

Is there a way to watch those clips on a PC? The Clip Browser doesn't recognize the files and the Quicktime Player only plays back the audio. Is there a codec I can install to view them?
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:34 PM   #2
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First a wag of the finger. This is why one should back up the entire BPAV. The only hardship would be if you have a G5 Mac which can't run ClipBrowser. Even then you can backup 8GB cards although there'd be no way to split 16GB cards.

That EX .MOV is tied to the codec in Final Cut Pro. Not only can't Windows Play it but Macs without FCP 6.0.2 and up can't play it either.

With Compressor you could encode it to another codec (with some loss of quality).

One thing I don't anyone has yet mentioned on this forum anywhere (AFAIK) is that you CAN EXPORT BACK TO .MXF from FCP using XDCAM Transfer.

In FCP, select clip or sequence.
Select File/Export/Sony XDCAM
It'll export the clip/sequence to MXF.

Now that means the playback computer must be able to playback MXF.

BTW VLC can playback the .MP4 but without audio. I haven't tested reliably with .MOV or .MXF (which work on my system) since, with FCP on my system, I'm not sure if the codec is "assisting" playback.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 02:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
VLC can playback the .MP4 but without audio. I haven't tested reliably with .MOV or .MXF (which work on my system) since, with FCP on my system, I'm not sure if the codec is "assisting" playback.
VLC does not use external codecs, they're "selfcontained" in the application.

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Old June 2nd, 2008, 02:55 PM   #4
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Then the good news is that I can confirm VLC will play the MXF file with audio.

So to get .MOV wrapped to something that can play on non FCP 6.0.2 and up computers (both Mac and Windows).

Export those .mov using File/Export/Sony XDCAM from FCP and it'll create an MXF file that can be played in VLC. MPlayer also worked.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 03:19 PM   #5
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i have a fairly powerful dell xps notebook and using VLC on a 1080-24p MXF clip of 37 minutes (9+gb), the playback with audio was poor with a lot of distortions, pauses, etc.

the MOV version on the macbook pro ran errorlessly.

paul






Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Then the good news is that I can confirm VLC will play the MXF file with audio.

So to get .MOV wrapped to something that can play on non FCP 6.0.2 and up computers (both Mac and Windows).

Export those .mov using File/Export/Sony XDCAM from FCP and it'll create an MXF file that can be played in VLC. MPlayer also worked.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 08:34 PM   #6
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Tested on Dell XPS400 Pentium D 2.8GHz Windows XP SP2 and MXF plays back smooth as silk with VLC. 1080p30 file.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 01:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
One thing I don't anyone has yet mentioned on this forum anywhere (AFAIK) is that you CAN EXPORT BACK TO .MXF from FCP using XDCAM Transfer.

In FCP, select clip or sequence.
Select File/Export/Sony XDCAM
It'll export the clip/sequence to MXF.

Now that means the playback computer must be able to playback MXF.

BTW VLC can playback the .MP4 but without audio. I haven't tested reliably with .MOV or .MXF (which work on my system) since, with FCP on my system, I'm not sure if the codec is "assisting" playback.
I have literally just gotten off the phone with a client and we are having the same problem. So let me get this straight. If I export from FCP as an MXF my client will be able to edit on his PC using Edius?
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 05:51 AM   #8
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If I export from FCP as an MXF my client will be able to edit on his PC using Edius?
I believe only Edius Broadcast 4.6 (and newer) support editing EX footage directly.

All Edius NLE's support MPEG-2 and QuickTime editing, so you could export from FCP in one of those formats instead.

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Old June 3rd, 2008, 06:29 AM   #9
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I believe only Edius Broadcast 4.6 (and newer) support editing EX footage directly.

All Edius NLE's support MPEG-2 and QuickTime editing, so you could export from FCP in one of those formats instead.

George/
Thanks George. We established that my client has Edius Broadcast. I uploaded a short clip in MXF to my ftp and it worked. I have just spent the last few hours converting over 300 QT files into MXF for the edit tomorrow. Wish me luck!
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 09:21 AM   #10
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Key is that the file is being re-wrapped from MOV to MXF and there's not another round of compression. It's a round about way to go from MP4 to MOV to MXF on Mac/FCP but it works.

I'm surprised that no one else has mentioned this but I only just figured this out myself. Leave to Sony's documentation to obscure what could be an important feature for moving file from Mac to Windows.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 03:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Key is that the file is being re-wrapped from MOV to MXF and there's not another round of compression. It's a round about way to go from MP4 to MOV to MXF on Mac/FCP but it works.

I'm surprised that no one else has mentioned this but I only just figured this out myself. Leave to Sony's documentation to obscure what could be an important feature for moving file from Mac to Windows.
Why not download and install a Win QT Player on a PC? It's free.

Link: www.apple.com/quicktime
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 03:25 PM   #12
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XDCAM EX wrapped in MOV still needs the EX codec. MOV is a wrapper not a codec. Quicktime does not play EX natively. Only with FCP 6.0.2 and up is EX codec added (buried in the HDV Quicktime codec I believe).

In short, if you want to play the EX file in its native form you MUST have the codec to play it.

It seems only VLC and MPlayer can handle MXF or MOV with native EX file unless one has an NLE with the EX codec installed.

There's a basic concept people need to grasp MP4, MXF, MOV are all WRAPPERS, NOT CODECs. The "essence" is MPEG2 Long GOP at the frame rate, frame size you shot with. The "essence" needs to be supported in one of the above wrappers. The wrapper support depends on the NLE amongst other things.

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Originally Posted by Peter Kraft View Post
Why not download and install a Win QT Player on a PC? It's free.

Link: www.apple.com/quicktime
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 03:38 PM   #13
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what is frustrating with all these wraps is this.

i have both pc and mac and a macbook air

the only way to play a MOV file on the macbook air is to do the extra stuff Craig wrote up or to install FCP 6.0.2 on the macbook air, which is not that great as an alternative.

without doing the extra FCP work on another MAC, that MOV file cannot be play on the macbook air's quicktime player currently.

there should be a add-on codec for installing onto mac's without having to install FCP 6.0.2


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Old June 3rd, 2008, 03:51 PM   #14
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The odd thing is you'll see no codec specific to the EX in the Quicktime folder. I've heard some say that it's the HDV component that gets updated when one update FCP to 6.0.2 or greater. I can't verify this though even when looking at the HDV component's package contents. There's nothing in the creation or modification date to indicate a change either.

I guess if one wanted to test this theory out one might try copying the HDV component from a system with FCP 6.0.2 or greater to a Mac's Quicktime folder that does not have FCP on the system.

I believe ClipBrowser 2.0 with the help of MainConcept will be able to rewrap and or re-encode the EX source files.

Basically there's no way (yet) to get the EX .MOV files to play on anything other than a Mac with FCP 6.0.2 and up. That's why I say making a back up of those MOVs rather than the original BPAV with MP4 is NOT a good idea.

The BPAV/MP4 is more "portable" in that they can be rewrapped to MXF or played natively depending on player, NLE, etc..

At least there's a way, albeit a few steps, to rewrap MOV to MXF with FCP 6.0.2 and up.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 04:11 PM   #15
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you're beginning to scare me as my first few jobs had been backup to hard drives with MOV files only through my macbook pro and onto 2 mirrored RAID servers.
i don't remember the mac XDCAM transfer application saving anything other than those MOV files as i now have on my hard drives.

concerned!
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