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Old March 8th, 2012, 05:58 PM   #1
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Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

People have debated whether they actually need to use ClipBrowser and now, XDCAM Browser to download their SxS cards. Well, I have now had 2 problems from just copying and pasting data in the last 3 weeks which caused a couple clips to be corrupted. I always use XDCAM/Clip Browser to download the cards to my raid array, but the problem is when I copy the data from my raid array to my backup drives (eSata) and then bring one of these drives home to copy onto my home PC's raid array. I used to just check the properties of the copied data to see that they have the same number of bits as the original data on the raid array, but this method is not exact as I have learned from 2 clips being corrupted even though their number of bits were the same. So, from now on, I must use XDCAM Browser to verify the integrity of each clip when I backup.

Before someone blames my backup drive as the problem, the first time I had corrupted data was with my USB drive and the 2nd time with an eSata drive.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 12:36 AM   #2
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

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Before someone blames my backup drive as the problem, the first time I had corrupted data was with my USB drive and the 2nd time with an eSata drive.
If this is the case then you computer must be corrupting files elsewhere as well. It's not suddenly looking at an XDCAM file and deciding to corrupt it. If you are copying from one hard disk to another and your video files are getting corrupted that is evidence of a wider problem with your system.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 01:06 AM   #3
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

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If this is the case then you computer must be corrupting files elsewhere as well. It's not suddenly looking at an XDCAM file and deciding to corrupt it. If you are copying from one hard disk to another and your video files are getting corrupted that is evidence of a wider problem with your system.
Such as???

I'm very knowledgeable with PCs (not so much Macs) and I have never experienced this exact problem before. The closest experience was with good video files that became corrupt upon editing which was caused by bad ram. However, this workstation that I download all SxS cards to has Registered ECC ram which means the ram cannot cause data corruption (HP Z800 with 24GB of ram and dual 6-core Xeons) ECC=Error Correcting Code - ECC prevents data corruption due to bad ram which is why it is always used in servers.

Each of the last 2 times, I have just re-copied the data from the same raid array onto the eSata drive and everything was fine.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 05:56 AM   #4
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

There's actually nothing special about XDCAM files or data - it's just data - and copying from one disk to another should cause no problems if your system is functioning properly. I don't see why you would need to use Clip Browser.

Some people run into problems by messing with the file structure but if you are just copying an entire BPAV folder it should be fine to just drag and drop.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

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There's actually nothing special about XDCAM files or data - it's just data -
Exactly. If you are running into problems copying XDCAM files then you will run into problems with any type of file. The computer just sees them as zeros and ones, nothing more.

If your XDCAM files corrupt then it's just as likely that the animation you just exported from After Effects will corrupt when copying as well. Or the piece of stock footage you downloaded or even a Word document.

The CRC check is designed for copying files off of the card. Using it every time you copy shouldn't be required otherwise you may have bigger problems on your hands.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #6
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

Personally I use Toast to CRC my BPAV copies once I've made them.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #7
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

It is possible that there are real errors on the flash card and that XDCAM ClipBrowser also corrects those errors during the copy of a file. This scenario is much less likely with a magnetic disk, but they also occur. An OS file copy will be unable to correct errors in the video stream.

Most SATA / IDE controllers are unable to correct and detect data errors, so it is most likely that one of the disks or disk controllers is at fault on this fellow's system. This is a major problem with software RAID and budget RAID controllers.

I have also seen disk file systems "unwind" as they degrade, including a circa-2003 episode of using a 160 GB drive when Windows XP SP1 could not handle more than 128 GB without an OS patch. A similar episode was repeated when swapping a 2 TB disk between a Windows7 and WinXP SP3 as more attention is needed during the formatting of drives larger than 1.5 TB.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #8
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

Always a good idea to use software to check the copy you made is readable before moving on. With Sony that is Clip Browser. For my P2 stuff I use P2CMS. Can't say I would attribute the errors I have had over the years to the computer making the copy. Most of the times it is a symptom of a media problem either card or HD (most of the time harddrive). If you are experiencing this on multiple drives then your computer may be at fault. Problem solving would dictate trying a different computer if you haven't isolated the issue to the media. On a Mac it has been proven that not putting copy protection on a P2 before mounting has caused problems. Haven't heard that for a windows machine. SXS and P2 have the fewest (if any) issues but CF and SD are another story.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #9
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

I had a similar problem, only with copying still images. Image files were corrupted, the problem was due to a faulty motherboard. The fault only showed up with large files that had longer data transfer times. I replaced the motherboard but unfortunately lost some of the images. A good back up strategy is the best solution.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 09:12 PM   #10
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

Steve, Could you fully detail exactly what happened so we can evaluate what the problem was. It's never very helpful when someone says they had corruption but is vague about what they did. Maybe someone else can trouble-shoot the problem.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #11
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

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Steve, Could you fully detail exactly what happened so we can evaluate what the problem was. It's never very helpful when someone says they had corruption but is vague about what they did. Maybe someone else can trouble-shoot the problem.
What else is there to know? I copied data to an external drive and one clip was corrupt.

The only thing different from the past is that I started using the new XDCAM Browser instead of ClipBrowser. Now, to keep things the same as when I had zero problems, I am only using ClipBrowser (except for F3 footage).
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Old March 16th, 2012, 03:23 AM   #12
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

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Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
I had a similar problem, only with copying still images. Image files were corrupted, the problem was due to a faulty motherboard. The fault only showed up with large files that had longer data transfer times. I replaced the motherboard but unfortunately lost some of the images. A good back up strategy is the best solution.
Oddly enough this reminds me of a problem I had last May. I'd purchased a new Lacie external drive. I found that random clips would corrupt when copied to the drive from card. Different each time. Spoke to tech support at my retailer who got me to perform a full format on the drive (as opposed to the quick format Apple machines seem to use by default). Drive has been faultless since.

So one piece of pertinent advice might be to always fully format a new drive before you use it. A full format can take an hour or more on a large drive, a quick format takes just 30 seconds.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 02:08 AM   #13
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

If you can't correctly copy the files from an SxS card (XDCAM) or a SDHC card (NXCAM) by simply dragging and dropping, then something is wrong with your computer. A directory is a directory and a file is a file. There is nothing magic about those directories or files.

For several years, I have been using Windows Explorer to simply drag-n-drop the whole directory structure from an SxS card or an SDHC card. I have never had ANY problem with this method. You DO NOT need any special software to copy the contents of the camera output data.

Yes, I have the clip browsers installed for both formats, but for most projects I never even use them. I can drop the raw camera files directly into the timeline of Sony Vegas 11, and no conversion is necessary.

XDCAM Browser (and the one for NXCAM) are completely optional and not necessary at all. You can browse files with VLC player, and there are several options for converting codecs, etc. if necessary. Of course, the Sony-provided software is a nice one-stop shopping for viewing and converting, but it is by no means "crucial".
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Old March 19th, 2012, 02:30 AM   #14
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Re: Why XDCAM Browser Is Crucial

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Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post
Oddly enough this reminds me of a problem I had last May. I'd purchased a new Lacie external drive. I found that random clips would corrupt when copied to the drive from card. Different each time. Spoke to tech support at my retailer who got me to perform a full format on the drive (as opposed to the quick format Apple machines seem to use by default). Drive has been faultless since.

So one piece of pertinent advice might be to always fully format a new drive before you use it. A full format can take an hour or more on a large drive, a quick format takes just 30 seconds.
A good tip Marcus, you could also perform a Check Disk (CHDSK), this will mark out any bad sectors. I am not sure, but I think this is also included as an automatic part of a Full Format.
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