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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 October 16th, 2008, 11:22 PM   #1
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using XDcam clip browser

maybe i am missing something [i am kinda new to this workflow] what is the point of using xdcam clip browser if you are using FCP for editing? seems that export only makes .MFX files that will not import into FCP.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 04:53 AM   #2
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Ron, yes it does appear that way on the Mac version of the Clip Browser 2.0, at least for progressive clips. All the export options are greyed out except for the mobile type file formats.

However, try shooting some interlaced clips (i.e. 50i or 60i) and you will discover that the Mac version or the Clip Browser will indeed export and downconvert to .avi and .dv SD Quicktime files. The Clip Browser manual is mute on this point. Hope this helps, cheers!
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #3
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ClipBrowser2 copies files with CRC checking. Splits BPAVs for backup to DL DVD (or combines if you want to do that perhaps to 50GB Blu-ray). Deletes the clips from SxS so you can pop the card back into the camera.

If you're copying BPAV "by hand" it's an accident waiting to happen. If you're rewrapping to MOV and not backing up your BPAV you're locking yourself out of file portability and that will come back to bite you.

Those source BPAVs are your CAMERA MASTERS. Do not take risks with them. Use the ClipBrowser.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #4
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Could you elaborate on that, Craig. I've only used cutting & pasting of the BPAV folder to get stuff off my media, and then XDCam transfer to import into FCP, but it seems it's a much simpler operation to copy and paste the BPAV folders than to use Clip Browser, where you need to select each shot, rather than the whole folder. And you can't select them as a group, so you need to select each one, one by one. Seems tedious and more error-prone, especially when you've just finished a day of shooting. What am I missing?

Also, are you leaving behind any information when you import with Clip Browser. Does it mean anything that when you select the shots for import, you're selecting only the MP4 file, but you're not taking along the TAKR folder, or the info with the suffixes SMI , PPN, XML, & BIM? Is that stuff coming anyway and just not showing? Is it not important? I guess what I'm asking is, where's your original BPAV folder when you import with clip browser? And does it matter?

Also, when you're exporting for a blu-ray archive, does that mean that you're exporting video files for a video disk, rather than exporting the BPAV folder for a data disk, since you only have the MP4 files? Does that matter?
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Old October 17th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #5
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I'm new to this as well so my reply is not meant to be advice as much as solicit feedback on how I'm doing this.

The first thing I do after a shoot is create a folder on an archive hard drive (attached to a MacPro) wuth the same name as the scene and use Clip Browser to copy the BPAV file from the SxS card to that folder. Note, I'm using version 1.01.

I then use XDCAM Transfer (vs 2.1.0) as a stand alone application to convert and copy the .mov to the folder of my choosing to the file system for post production. I find using XDCAM Transfer on its own to be much quicker and easier than trying to import via FCP, plus I don't have to tie up a FCP system. After completing this I just tell the editors where I placed the footage and they link to it as usual.

This is fairly fast and efficient and I know that I have two versions of every clip, the camera original on the archive drive and the .mov being used in post.

It would be great if I could combine these tasks in the Clip Browser, copying the BPAV to one location at the same time exporting the Quicktimes for FCP to a different location.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #6
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I don't think you understand how ClipBrowser2 works.

First of all cutting and pasting risks corrupted files. There's no data check. It's risky especially since these are camera masters. Clip Browser allow you to enable CRC checking so the data is verified.

You can certainly copy folders with ClipBrowser. There's a Copy All command. It does as described. It copies everything including all meta date. It's that simple.

Aim it to a folder which you set in ClipBrowser preferences. In the interface select Copy All. ClipBrowser creates a folder with date/time inside the folder you designated in preferences and copies everything into the date/time folder it creates. It verifies the data as it copies. Done.

As you transfer more cards it creates new date/time folders inside the folder you designated. In other words once you designate that folder ONCE it will but all copies to a date/time folder in the parent folder.

If you need to burn those 16GB BPAV folders (actually about 14.9GB) from a 16GB card to DL-DVD, point the ClipBrowser to the folder and designate it split for DL-DVD and it does it. Done.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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ClipBrowser 1.0.1 is missing features. Use ClipBrowser2. XDCAMTransfer 2.1 is MAJOR BUGGY. 2.5.1 is OK. 2.7 is better.

Within the last year EVERYONE was new to EX series. What's not new is that you're dealing with camera masters. Life's lessons: Cross at the Green, wear your seatbelt, don't risk your camera masters.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Clip Browser allow you to enable CRC checking so the data is verified.
It should be noted that the CRC checking is not turned on by default. You will have to go into the app's preferences and turn CRC checking on. At least I had to on my Mac.

That said, in the time owning my EX1, I have neith copied from SxS to drive using Clip Browser, nor used copy and paste. I drag and drop BPAV folder in the Finder. And have yet to have any errors, lost footage or frames. So far, all's good.

That said, I mean to say nothing against Craig's (or "The Proper") workflow. I'm even reconsidering a switch to the dark side. :)
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Old October 17th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #9
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Yes, I forgot to mention that one has to enable CRC.

Many people copy by hand without issue. People have had corrupted files though. That's why I mentioned the Green light and seatbelt analogy. It only needs to happen ONCE in numerous hand copies (and all the forums I read verify that it does happen) for you to find yourself in a bad situation.

You only need to be in one serious accident in your life to wish you wore your seatbelt. There's generally no reason to risk a hand copy (drag and drop) unless you're under some kind of crazy time gun (and you must weigh such risks).

The cost of one corrupt master file can cost a professional hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It's just NOT worth the risk EVER in my book.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #10
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But how are you getting the BPAV folder itself instead of the individual clips, even with CRC checked? This is V.2.0 on a mac, using import from a disk.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Chandler View Post
But how are you getting the BPAV folder itself instead of the individual clips, even with CRC checked? This is V.2.0 on a mac, using import from a disk.
Hi Mike,

I'm not sure I understand your question. When using the Clip Browser to transfer your footage from the SxS cards you just point the application to the card in the left file pane and then either hit the all button or hold down shift and highlight the clips you want to transfer and then drag them into the lower target pane. That creates a BPAV folder containing just the clips you chose. If you click the "All" button it obviously copies the entire BPAV folder.

If your using the Transfer software to transfer footage into FCP you need to point to the folder that contains the BPAV folder, not the BPAV folder itself. If you point to the BPAV folder you will get the message that there are no clips, but if you point to the folder that contains the BPAV folder it will find the clips.

I hope this helps.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #12
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As Chuck says, in ClipBrowser2 select the folder on the left and click the All button. It's that simple.

ClipBrowser2 is RADICALLY different than ClipBrowser1 (IMHO) so if you haven't looked at it or discovered how it's different I can see the confusion. That's why I posted the previous explanation. If the procedure seems alien then you may not have looked at ClipBrowser2 yet.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #13
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Thanks, Chuck and Craig. No, it was just pilot error, not realizing about the ALL button. I just did a test, one ALL and one selective import. Interesting that it won't make the time/date folder if you selectively import.

My big worry is that it loses the folder structure by which I'd identified where certain clips came from, but maybe it's still enuf info: You've got the date folder, and the clip number inside that, which should be enuf , (so long as you do an ALL import or put any selective BPAV's from that date into that date's time/date folder.), but loses which particular media it came from. Not sure you'd need that, though, once you have the clips transferred, other than tracing some problem back to a particular sxs or phu drive. I'll need to take the stuff into FCP and see what it lists as source or reel.

Of course, now I think I need to get a new laptop, since mine is an older G4! Until then, I think I'm stuck with copy/paste.

Is the CRC (what does that stand for anyway?) check in the background, or does CB give you a report saying everything was Aok?

Thanks for setting me straight.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #14
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Wikipedia to the rescue:
Cyclic redundancy check - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I could never remember what it stood for either, but I knew it was a good thing! Also, once I discovered that every individual clip that I dragged from the card got "rewrapped" or housed in its' own BPAV folder, I felt a lot safer using the Browser for filing and sorting. I'll sometimes go out shooting odds and ends and will have timelapse, macro, etc. shots on one card and will use the Browser to move these different types of shots into storage folders that I've already created. Having them in their native BPAV folder structure just makes it even more reassuring.
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