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Old May 11th, 2009, 11:36 PM   #1
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Vegas 9 imports native xdcam ex files

Vegas 9 will now let you import mp4 native Xdcam EX files. It was released today
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Old May 12th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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great news,
was hoping for that,
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Old May 12th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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I'd like to ask why is this a big deal to some people?
Am I missing something?

I don't use Vegas, I use Final Cut so maybe that makes a difference in how smoothly the workflow goes, but staying native is not something I would do even if it was an option.

When I import my clips via XDCAM Transfer the software automatically strips off the .MP4 suffix and changes it to .MOV --- PLUS it places all the files nice and neatly into one folder on my hard drive. There's no transcoding of the clip, no delay during the transfer, and no reason to want to change the process.

When somebody has the opportunity to try Vegas 9, I'd like to hear how it works in the real world - -and what they see as being the benefit to staying native.

Are all the files still scattered around in their own folders like they are when they are inside the BPAV folder? Do you still have to have the other four support files (.SMI, .PPN, .XML, .BIM) following them around? At least with FCP you leave all that clutter behind when you import.

Even with Vegas, you still have to transfer the clips from the card to your hard drive, right? You still want to gather all the clips out of their individual folders and put them into a "group" folder for easier organizing, right? So where's the benefit of keeping the file native? What difference does it make if the file is called .MP4, .MFX, ,MOV, or whatever? It's just a label. The file is unchanged.

Another reason I don't care about staying native is that .MP4 files won't play in QuickTime and they aren't compatible with Adobe Bridge. Bridge is an integral part of my editing, archiving, and previewing of clips. I don't want to give that up just to stay native.

What is different about the Vegas workflow? Why is staying native desirable and what is wrong with re-wrapping to something else? I'd love to find out from someone who is using it.

PS. I'm not bashing Vegas or saying FCP is better. I used to use Vegas before I switched to FCP and I liked it a lot. I'm sure it has only gotten better over the years.
My questions are just about the value of staying native, not which NLE (or workflow) is better than the other.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 04:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski View Post
great news,
was hoping for that,
New Vegas Pro 9 features include:

New user interface for optimized color viewing and enhanced usability
Native XDCAM EX reading and import
Open and edit RED ONE™ files on the timeline
4K project support, up to 4096 x 4096
New Gradient Wipe transition
New Glint, Rays, Defocus, Starburst, Soft Contrast and Fill Light video effects
Support for Gigapixel-size images
Includes native 32- and 64-bit versions of Vegas Pro 9 software

Sony Creative Software - Vegas Pro 9 - Introduction
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Old May 12th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #5
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Doug,
yes you are missing something. XDCAM is a system and the mp4 container used in the EX variant is a vital part of that system. My understanding is that's where very usefull metadata is stored such as index marks, in/out points etc.
Previously in Vegas we also had to rewrap the data in the containers into MXF and as you say that also meant having to copy the cards. I haven't tried Vegas 9 as yet however certainly Ppro's CS3 native mp4 support means you can edit straight from the cards. I suspect we'll see much more use made of the mp4 container from Adobe if they haven't already done so.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I'd like to ask why is this a big deal to some people?
Am I missing something?

I don't use Vegas, I use Final Cut so maybe that makes a difference in how smoothly the workflow goes, but staying native is not something I would do even if it was an option.

When I import my clips via XDCAM Transfer the software automatically strips off the .MP4 suffix and changes it to .MOV --- PLUS it places all the files nice and neatly into one folder on my hard drive. There's no transcoding of the clip, no delay during the transfer, and no reason to want to change the process.

When somebody has the opportunity to try Vegas 9, I'd like to hear how it works in the real world - -and what they see as being the benefit to staying native.

Are all the files still scattered around in their own folders like they are when they are inside the BPAV folder? Do you still have to have the other four support files (.SMI, .PPN, .XML, .BIM) following them around? At least with FCP you leave all that clutter behind when you import.

Even with Vegas, you still have to transfer the clips from the card to your hard drive, right? You still want to gather all the clips out of their individual folders and put them into a "group" folder for easier organizing, right? So where's the benefit of keeping the file native? What difference does it make if the file is called .MP4, .MFX, ,MOV, or whatever? It's just a label. The file is unchanged.

Another reason I don't care about staying native is that .MP4 files won't play in QuickTime and they aren't compatible with Adobe Bridge. Bridge is an integral part of my editing, archiving, and previewing of clips. I don't want to give that up just to stay native.

What is different about the Vegas workflow? Why is staying native desirable and what is wrong with re-wrapping to something else? I'd love to find out from someone who is using it.
Ok, I will try to answer as best I can, I just wrapped up a shoot and dumped it all into vegas 9. now, keep in mind, some people have had better luck with PC's and the XDCAM EX workflow then I have, so their opinions may differ.

before the native ability, I would have to (like most others) transfer the BPAV file, then rewrap in clipbrowser, I dont have an express card slot on my desktop, so using the USB out, I honestly can say, it was about 20 minutes to rewrap a 28 minute card. to me, that wasnt very fast. So, in the end, I had a folder, we will call it "project" inside that folder I had the BPAV folder, then once rewrapped, all the .mxf files as well.

NOW, I open vegas, open device explorer, select some, or all of the clips, specify a destination folder (project folder) click import, and 9 minutes later, I had all 28 minutes neatly in my project folder as .mpg4 files, and nothing else. to me thats a huge difference, one that I welcome openly.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #7
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Doug,
yes you are missing something. XDCAM is a system and the mp4 container used in the EX variant is a vital part of that system. My understanding is that's where very usefull metadata is stored such as index marks, in/out points etc.
Previously in Vegas we also had to rewrap the data in the containers into MXF and as you say that also meant having to copy the cards. I haven't tried Vegas 9 as yet however certainly Ppro's CS3 native mp4 support means you can edit straight from the cards. I suspect we'll see much more use made of the mp4 container from Adobe if they haven't already done so.
Bob,

I can't say for sure, but I think the metadata is mostly stored in the other four files that accompany every MP4. Either way, it doesn't matter because the metadata is part of the MOV after the re-wrapping the file for FCP. Sounds like you're saying Vegas had a problem with managing the metadata and their solution was just to edit native files. I guess that's a difference with FCP.

As for editing straight from the cards, that has no appeal for me. Maybe if I shot run & gun breaking news that would be a great, but I don't.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #8
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Ok, I will try to answer as best I can, I just wrapped up a shoot and dumped it all into vegas 9. now, keep in mind, some people have had better luck with PC's and the XDCAM EX workflow then I have, so their opinions may differ.

before the native ability, I would have to (like most others) transfer the BPAV file, then rewrap in clipbrowser, I dont have an express card slot on my desktop, so using the USB out, I honestly can say, it was about 20 minutes to rewrap a 28 minute card. to me, that wasnt very fast. So, in the end, I had a folder, we will call it "project" inside that folder I had the BPAV folder, then once rewrapped, all the .mxf files as well.

NOW, I open vegas, open device explorer, select some, or all of the clips, specify a destination folder (project folder) click import, and 9 minutes later, I had all 28 minutes neatly in my project folder as .mpg4 files, and nothing else. to me thats a huge difference, one that I welcome openly.
Ian,

I played around with Vegas 8 a little during the production of my EX1 training DVD in November 07, and I didn't experience any speed problems like you describe. Importing and re-wrapping to MXF was pretty quick on a 4 year old Alienware notebook via the camera as the card reader. I can't say how fast it was, but I don't recall it being anywhere near as slow as you were having.

I'm glad the new version of Vegas solved your speed problem, but I still don't see what all the fuss is about with editing native files. I think your speed problem was unrelated to being able to edit natively. I'll bet some other bug got fixed in this release.

Aside from the import speed issue (which I think was caused by some other bug), is there really any difference if the imported files are called MP4 or MXF? That's really the root of my original question.

It takes you 9 minutes to import a 28 minute card and the files are MP4.
It take me 9 minutes to import a 28 minute card and the files are MOV.
So why should anyone care if the files are MP4, MOV, MXF, or whatever?
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Old May 12th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #9
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Aside from the import speed issue (which I think was caused by some other bug), is there really any difference if the imported files are called MP4 or MXF? That's really the root of my original question.

It takes you 9 minutes to import a 28 minute card and the files are MP4.
It take me 9 minutes to import a 28 minute card and the files are MOV.
So why should anyone care if the files are MP4, MOV, MXF, or whatever?
I dont think there is a difference, it just takes out the step of having to run through clipbrowser right? or am I missing something? I dont care what format its in, I just like that I am cutting out a whole step.

I do shoot news, so for me its awesome to edit right from the card too, but as you mentioned, thats not for everyone.

you are a lot better at taking these things apart and doing a write up on them though, so I am probably not doing any justice to vegas, but I just know, for me, and what I do, I really enjoy the latest release.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #10
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Doug,
yes you are missing something. XDCAM is a system and the mp4 container used in the EX variant is a vital part of that system. My understanding is that's where very useful metadata is stored such as index marks, in/out points etc.
Previously in Vegas we also had to rewrap the data in the containers into MXF and as you say that also meant having to copy the cards. I haven't tried Vegas 9 as yet however certainly Ppro's CS3 native mp4 support means you can edit straight from the cards. I suspect we'll see much more use made of the mp4 container from Adobe if they haven't already done so.
Bob,

Like some people here, I don't see any special advantage to native mp4 being recognized by Vegas - at least not with how it's implemented.

On my editing PC, I have one of those Synchrotec PCIe ExpressCard readers. When I mount an SxS card in it, Vegas cannot "import" the clips from it to a chosen destination on my HDD; it sees it as a regular hard disk and only recognizes the .mp4 files inside their own clpr folders. It won't copy them to the local HDD, but simply put into the project's Media Bin. So yes, you can edit straight from the card - but with a serious project, would you tie up your SxS card for that, rather than copying its contents onto your local HDD?

And with ClipBrowser, exporting (i.e. rewrapping to mxf) doesn't take much longer than copying. So, what's the big deal? I can't see any - the more so that no metadata seems to get conveyed to Vegas 9 when using native mp4's...

Disclaimer: I have yet to test Vegas 9 on my Vaio laptop; perhaps the "Import from memory recording unit" will be operational there, with the ExpressCard reader being indeed seen as a "memory card storage", rather than as a regular hard drive.

PS I tested with my laptop - still no mp4 import capability. I.e. - editing from the SxS card seems to be the only advantage; otherwise copying while rewrapiing is still the way to go; smart render doesn't work with mp4 either - only mxf!
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; May 13th, 2009 at 05:22 AM.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #11
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Piotr, you can import the clips from the sxs card with 9 and device explorer.
View> device exlporer, window pops up, on the left you have the sxs card, right click on it and choose where to import, by default it's in c drive, users, blah blah blah.

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Old May 13th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #12
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Piotr, you can import the clips from the sxs card with 9 and device explorer.
View> device exlporer, window pops up, on the left you have the sxs card, right click on it and choose where to import, by default it's in c drive, users, blah blah blah.

Paul.
Paul,
Device Explorer only seems to work with USB connection (either EX direct, or the USB SxS card reader). Otherwise, it "fails to initialize".
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Old May 13th, 2009, 09:11 AM   #13
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Piotr,
I can't really offer much comment at the moment as it'll be a few days before my official boxed upgrade arrive.

What I was sincerely hoping for was that V9 would work as seamlessly as Ppro. With that I can drag the mp4s directly from the cards or from a disk image straight onto the timeline thus avoiding all the messing around with the clipbrowser. This is a much faster way to work.
Doing the Clipbrowser tango to get to MXFs is very tedious and slow, especially how we've had to handle clips split over cards and the later versions of the Clipbrowser.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 09:22 AM   #14
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Paul,
Device Explorer only seems to work with USB connection (either EX direct, or the USB SxS card reader). Otherwise, it "fails to initialize".
I did it today with the transcend card and the little sdhc>usb reader.

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Old May 13th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #15
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I did it today with the transcend card and the little sdhc>usb reader.

Paul.
So it looks like USB is the only device type recognized by the "Device Explorer" - neither my laptop's nor desktop's PCIe ExpressCard reader is...
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