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


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Old August 13th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #1
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Weird XDCAM transfer problem

I had an associate do some shooting with my EX3 last week, and since he is PC based and I'm Mac, he just copied the files directly from the camera to an external hard drive. I've been using XDCAM transfer to get those raw files into .mov format for FCP with no problem. However, in one specific folder, even though all the files look to be there in a finder window, when I add them as sources in XDCAM transfer, they show up as "0" clips, nothing there. I can't look at the mp4 files, either, with any program including FCP and Quicktime.

Anybody else every have this problem, and hopefully a solution? I do have the latest SXS drivers, and like I said, I'm using XDCAM transfer with no other problems on all the other folders of downloaded raw files.

thanks...
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Old August 13th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #2
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First thing I would try is to put the cards back into the EX3 to see if the camera will do what it calls a "media restore". You don't want to do anything but stick the cards back into the camera, turn the camera on, wait for the boot up process to complete and hope it does the aforementioned media restore. Assuming it does this, then remove the cards from the camera and try an import again.

I always use the Sony software to transfer files from the cards regardless of the computing platform they are being brought to.

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Old August 13th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, this folder of files was from his first day of shooting out of five, so whatever was on the cards is long gone. What is frustrating is that the folder on the hard drive contains all of the files associated with the mp4, including XMP, SMI, etc., but XDCAM transfer will still not recognize the clip. And it is every file from that day, but not any of the files or folders from the other days, they all work great. Is there any program that will read the raw mp4 in the file folder from the camera?
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Old August 13th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #4
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So you have a folder named BPAV, inside another folder on your HD and if you select the folder with the BPAV inside it, the Trans program sees nothing?

I just want to be clear on your file structure.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 07:11 PM   #5
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If you are using XDCAM Transfer, you actually should be using XDCAM Clip Browser first, then XDCAM Transfer to wrap them in a Quicktime wrapper.

Try this:

use the clip browser to locate to the folder/directory of your source material on your hardrive, then actually go through the process of copying the flles inside of Clip Browser to a new directory on said hardrive. Then use XDCAM transfer to "wrap" the files into a viewable state outside of Clip Browser.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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Thanks, Andrew, I'll give that browser a try and let you know...as for the file structure, my friend just copied each individual file folder, for example the folder is named, "JEM110035_1" and inside it are five files, each with the same name but different extensions; .mp4 .smi .ppn .xml .bim

with every other folder, except for this one day, I choose it as a source and XDCAM transfer tells me there is one clip, which I then proceed to import. For this one day, it says there are "0" clips. strange.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #7
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Well....I installed Clip Browser for Mac, and it cannot find the files in those folders, either. Even though they show up in a finder window, it seems they are invisible to any XDCAM software. There goes an entire day of shooting. If only there were some way to salvage those mp4's.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #8
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OK, things get weirder...I was finally able to *view* the mp4 files in VLC (media player) even though every other media player gave me an error message when I tried to open them. So the *will* play, but I can't save them in VLC. Neither Quicktime nor Mpeg Streamclip will open them.

Quicktime says, "OSStatus error -12909"
Mpeg Streamclip says, "unrecognized file type".
FCP says, "1 file recognized, 0 access denied, 1 unknown."

and to top it all off, my friend said that he imported all the mp4's into Premier Pro from the hard drive to make sure they copied over correctly, so they opened fine in Premier. WTH?
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Old August 13th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jem Moore View Post
I installed Clip Browser for Mac, and it cannot find the files in those folders, either. Even though they show up in a finder window
Since it's desperate, and there's willingness to grasp at straws, I remember experiencing this the first time I brought files into my Mac. I looked at the files using Clip Browser then did some disk housekeeping. In the process, I renamed the BPAV folder to something meaningful. Next time I used Clip Browser, it would not see the video clips. As soon as I renamed it back to BPAV, Clip Browser worked again. Attached is a screen shot of the required folder structure.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 11:51 PM   #10
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I tried renaming the folder that contained all the other folders "BPAV", but clip browser said, "You cannot name a folder 'BPAV', choose another name." It's pretty picky...
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Old August 14th, 2010, 07:57 AM   #11
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I renamed it in the Finder.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 08:44 AM   #12
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Have you tried copying the files back to a card, then insert the card in the camera, see if you can view them there?

If you can try importing that card as you normally do.

If that fails, copy the clips from one card to another, and import that card.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #13
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You can make a new folder in Finder and name it BPAV, then put all the files inside that.

Then put the BPAV folder inside a folder with the card relevant name on it.

Then use the transfer program, find the folder you just named in the XDcam Transfer and the program will see the files if all your files and folders are intact.

The moral of the story is, always copy the BPAV folder complete, either in finder but better yet with the clip browser program. And put it in an appropriately named folder, and archive that.

Or if you don't want to bother with the BPAV stuff (sometimes use an expletive here). Just rewrap direct from the SxS card to whatever format you want, in my case .mov. Just bear in mind that if you use this "simpler" system, it is harder to share your files with people not using Macs and that don't have FCP 6.0.4 or later installed. It still can be done but it is more transcoding, not just a rewrap.

There are many opinions about how to deal with BPAV file structure, and archiving. You cant go wrong by keeping it intact though.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 10:07 AM   #14
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You should only have to have 1 OMG moment with SxS importing to now know that one should ALWAYS use the Sony software to import the media from the cards to the computer. It is also a good idea if one is on OS X to not open the directories on the card in the Finder so invisible files are not added to the card's directory contents.

Many have balked at the suggestion of using Clip Browser to copy the contents and then use XDCAM Transfer seeing this as an unnecessary step.

Clip Browser with error checking on ensures exact copies but Clip Browser also copies over a mountain of useful metadata from the IRIS setting at any given moment in a clip to the PP used to the lens angle, shutter, and a raft of other parameters that are useful if you have to go out on a pickup shoot or you are doing something in post and have to see how you setup the camera at any given moment.

Always use XDCAM Clip Browser and don't poke around on the cards when you mount them on your computer. Treat them as if they are the fragile data transport mechanisms that they are.

Doing reshoots are embarrassing, costly and sometimes impossible.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #15
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Thanks for the suggestions, definitely an "OMG" moment...I'm picking up my camera tomorrow from the shoot location, so I'll try the re-copy to the SXS card trick then. Otherwise, no luck creating BPAV folder in finder, neither Transfer nor Clip Browser can recognize any clips still, even though the directory structure looked correct.

Great advice on workflow, I'll always be using the Sony software from now on. This was the first time (and isn't there always a first time?) letting anyone else use the camera and download, so I figured there would be some issues. I just didn't think I'd lose an entire session.

I'll let you know how it turns out with a "return to card" strategy...
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