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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 12:06 PM   #1
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SMI file oddity

A friend saw this "odd behavior" which someone here might be able to explain. Using XDCAM Transfer app to import files, he sees an SMI file but selecting it does NOT make the IMPORT button active. However, if he clicks on the video window, sets an IN point anywhere, the clip is now able to be imported. I was able to see the same thing with an SMI part of clip myself.

Can anyone explain why setting the in point makes a difference? (or why an SMI file would show up but not be importable).
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 08:41 AM   #2
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I am having all sorts of problems like that with both XDCAM Transfer and the plug in for Final Cut.

I am a long time PC user, and have decided to make the switch over to Mac
1) to end innumerable Adobe crashes with solutions like "delete crazy.xml and your system will be fine until the next crash"
2) to have better compatibility with other Mac editors here.

But I am struggling to make my brand new MacBook Pro with Final Cut 7.0 actually work with XDCAM files, particularly the spanned ones (technically is a spanned clip, a clip recorded on two cards? - I mean clips which consist of two or more mp4s because they are long, and over the file size limit)

So in XDCAM Transfer I can't import whole SMI's - the import button is greyed out. I read somewhere else that if you click the Logging tab, by ticking the right subclips you should be able to achieve this - not working for me.

And in the plug in for log and transfer, if I try and import long smi clips I just get random portions of them, never the whole clip. It doesn't seem to be consistent - sometimes a long bit of it, sometimes a shorter bit. (I had thought it might be bringing in just one of the MP4s but it seems to be pretty random)

I have tried reinstalling the SXS drivers, running software update, etc. No luck.

This is starting to make me a bit crazy, especially considering that I thought I was leaving behind annoying and time consuming problems with my PC...

Anyone know what on earth is going on?
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 10:52 AM   #3
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Normally, I have no problems with XDCAM material and you shouldn't be having so many problems.

Any clip that is in two pieces is "spanned." This happens, as you note, when the clip rolls over to a second card or simply when the clip size exceeds the file size on the card (4GB); in all cases, the clip is seamlessly divided into pieces and recording continues with no break. I generally make an effort to avoid having this happen but I do not typically record a lot of long interviews, for example.

Not certain how you are importing clips. I always connect my camera via USB and import using the XDCAM Transfer app (not the new thing). I will typically "select all" and click import. The application itself is where the clips get put back together. (btw: I never invoke the XDCAM transfer app from within FCP. I do this because I often do some file management / renaming / weeding out after I have all the quicktime MOV files on my hard drive.)

One confusing aspect of this is that the last SMI file is the one with the information about putting all the files back together. While I don't deal with a lot of spanned clips, I believe that importing that last SMI file effectively causes all the others (assuming the media is available at that moment) to be imported and assembled.

The individual SMI files can only used, apparently, if you set IN or OUT points, basically telling the application you only want a part of the (complete when assembled) clip. Hope this helps some.
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