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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old June 15th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #1
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can't import footage into FCP

I just finished my first project with the EX1. I left the footage with the director, but when I copied the files off of the SxS card during the project, I only copied the footage folders, not the BPAV or CLPR folders. It seems that that was a mistake! Now that I've travelled back home, the director is tellling me that he can't get the footage in to FCP.

To clarify, he only has the mp4 files with the handful of other "support files" that each footage folder contains specific to that clip, nothing else.

Help?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #2
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It seems DVInfo EX forum gets a similar post nearly every week.

Chris H, time for a Sticky?

Current Clip Browser is supposed to create BPAV folder for orphaned MP4. It is broken and Sony is aware of it. Clip Browser 2, coming in July, will fix that.

In the meantime you can use ffmpegx which is free
http://www.ffmpegx.com/
It will encode the MP4 to another codec such as H.264. Although it is not EX1 codec and will likely require rendering in Final Cut Pro timeline but the quality will be fairly high.

If one wants to work in EX codec, you're willing to do another encode and have the budget to purchase, Telestream Episode Pro ($900) can take the encode from ffmpegx and encode to the XDCAM EX codec.

Again, by the end of July, you'll be able to recreate BPAV from orphaned MP4 with no extra cost, no other utility and a simple extra step.

Of course NONE of the above is EVER needed if you simply copy the entire BPAV as Sony instructions and users here often state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David W Williamson View Post
I just finished my first project with the EX1. I left the footage with the director, but when I copied the files off of the SxS card during the project, I only copied the footage folders, not the BPAV or CLPR folders. It seems that that was a mistake! Now that I've travelled back home, the director is tellling me that he can't get the footage in to FCP.

To clarify, he only has the mp4 files with the handful of other "support files" that each footage folder contains specific to that clip, nothing else.

Help?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Of course NONE of the above is EVER needed if you simply copy the entire BPAV as Sony instructions and users here often state.
This seems to be the perfect example for RTFM! I'm reading everything I can get my hands on including all of the training DVD's.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #4
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if the Sony software can recreate the necessary files/folders for orphaned mp4s, then the files must have all the info that is needed already. Why, I wonder, can't an NLE figure all that out?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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one more question: will the reencoding option you mentioned also take care of the audio?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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The ClipBrowser was supposed to create a new BPAV from "orphaned" MP4s. It actually says so in the PDF Manual on the EX install disk. The metadata is missing so it creates bogus metadata for it to work. For example, it creates new (not matching) time code. I suspect it won't join spanned clips either (they'll be there as separate clips though).

FFMPEGX will include the audio in the encode. Nothing is lost.

For those interested, it tells us that the source MP4 is a muxed file (includes video and audio).

_____
BTW. Just for yucks you can import an orphaned MP4 in the current Clip Browser and copy it over and watch it create a new BPAV. Unfortunately that BPAV won't be recognized by the Sony Transfer Tool. Seeing that take place is what resulted in my calling Sony to report it. They acknowledged it was a bug.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #7
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Premiere Pro CS3 will import the files raw, and MPEG Streamclip like ffmpeg can convert to something usable for FCP
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Old June 15th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #8
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MPEGStreamclip 1.9.1 on Mac will NOT open the EX MP4 files.

VLC only shows video and has poor conversion functions.

So far, only FFMPEGX on Mac will encode EX MP4 files that are generally playable by Quicktime based applications.

FFMPEGX, although based on FFMPEG, is NOT the same application.

Read the link I posted. The information on that page states:

- Please note: the ffmpegX project is not associated with the ffmpeg project, and support emails about ffmpegX should not be sent to the ffmpeg project ! -

Please vet your posts with first hand knowledge or attribute information before making claims.

If you're posting information specific to Windows, please state so. Premiere Pro CS3 is cross platform BTW.

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Originally Posted by Andrew Hollister View Post
Premiere Pro CS3 will import the files raw, and MPEG Streamclip like ffmpeg can convert to something usable for FCP
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Old June 15th, 2008, 07:08 PM   #9
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Use ImToo MP4 converter (www.imtoo.com) and mpeg streamclip to create files FCP can read.


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Old June 15th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #10
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Here's a good reason to test the entire workflow before committing to any project.

See what it takes to shoot, transfer, archive and edit some small inconsequential test shots. Document the workflow. THEN do the paying jobs.

Otherwise it's easy to fall into technical pitfalls from which there may be no salvation!
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Old June 15th, 2008, 09:40 PM   #11
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Andrew, can Premiere then output the footage in a format that doesn't require recompression? I'd really like to avoid having to tell the director that he has to spend hours recompressing his footage...
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Old June 16th, 2008, 12:03 AM   #12
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Must get easier

This cam is supposed to be a FAST TRANSFER solution! RTFM is not the issue. The FM and the "clip browser" software are confusing. I came up with my own workflow as I do almost everything in house.

I'm looking forward to improvements. To put all the weekly issues into the user error category is just not fair and the rediculous system we have now sucks. I post in the hopes that the powers involved in fixing it are reading.

In making my decision to purchase an EX I was told the transfer was EASY and FAST. My ecperience has been to the contrary. I am know forced to transfer the files no matter how late at night if I have a shoot in the AM the next day. Doing this causes major anxiety as I need to make sure it is backed up at least twice. Currently looking to buy shotput for mac ( if it exists ) to see if that works to aleave my tension.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #13
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Transfer is easy and fast for me but that's releative.
Clip Browser - Make folders and copy (split 16 GB for 8GB DL-DVD backup)
XDCAM Transfer rewrap to mov.

Alternative to Clip Browser is ShotPut which will auto create folders for you and verify the copy.
Alternative to XDCAM Transfer is Sony FCP import plugin.

The only bad thing is Sony's poorly written manuals IMHO.

Speed on 8 Core MacPro. Clip Browser via USB about 4x. XDCAM Transfer rewrap from hard drive about 7x.
Laptop Clip Browser should be much faster (about to try that).

Slow part is backing up to DL-DVD which at 4x seems to be no faster than real time.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #14
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Craig, will ShotPut fix the 'orphaned file' situation?
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Old June 16th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #15
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Nope. It's just a copy program. It doesn't create new BPAV AFAIK. So far only Clip Browser would do this and it's broken in version 1.

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Craig, will ShotPut fix the 'orphaned file' situation?
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