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playing XDCAM clips on other people's systems

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Chandler Kauffman
playing XDCAM clips on other people's systems
on Dec 9, 2009 at 11:31:51 pm

I recently dropped off a drive with .mov files converted in the latest version of XDCAM Clip Browser to clients running a MacBook Pro without FCP and a PC with some version of AVID. Neither could play the quicktimes, only the sound came through. I had them download the Sony software assuming this would install the XDCAM codec in the Mac at least and the client upgraded to QuickTime Pro as well but still, sound with no picture. The screen is just black. I had them both try VLC player but that didn't work either.
What am I missing?
PS I've double checked the files and they play back perfectly for me on the same drive.
Thanks

Sony EX1
Canon 5d mark 2
FCP 6.06


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Craig Seeman
Re: playing XDCAM clips on other people's systems
on Dec 9, 2009 at 11:40:45 pm

ClipBrowser will and VLC can play the .mp4 files. ClipBrowser does not install the codec.
.mov requires FCP 6.0.2 and up otherwise no codec for .mov playing is installed.
CalibratedSoftware
http://www.calibratedsoftware.com/QXD.asp
$80 will play on non FCP systems. Mac or Windows version available.

Don't use EX MOV as a distribution format. Fine for other FCP system 6.0.2 and up though.
Include BPAV (camera masters) for use on other systems. VLC can play the MP4 files without the BPAV.
I include both Mac and Windows ClipBrowser for clients to use. They then can also wrap to whatever their NLE or other workflow might need.



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Chandler Kauffman
Re: playing XDCAM clips on other people's systems
on Dec 9, 2009 at 11:47:10 pm

Ah smart, didn't occur to me to just give them the BPAV'S and let them watch it in clip browser. Wanted to give them the smallest files possible without the rendering time of outputting to another format. If you were to output though, what format would you give clients who only have Quicktime player?
A side note, the Mac couldn't play an SD uncompressed QT, is that another feature not available without FCP?
Thanks

Sony EX1
Canon 5d mark 2
FCP 6.06


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Craig Seeman
Re: playing XDCAM clips on other people's systems
on Dec 10, 2009 at 12:18:07 am

[Chandler Kauffman] "Wanted to give them the smallest files possible without the rendering time of outputting to another format. "

You could make a copy of the BPAV and separate the MP4 from them (don't do it to original master BPAV - too risky). Then VLC on Mac and Windows can play it. Unlike Quicktime, VLC doesn't need the codec installed. It might be bother having to pull out the MP4s though but there are ways to automate that.
I just hand them the BPAV and ClipBrowser installers.

[Chandler Kauffman] " If you were to output though, what format would you give clients who only have Quicktime player? "
H.264 .mov or, if you have Episode or Squeeze or some other none Apple compression app, H.264 .mp4.

Keep in mind older computers might have issues ranging from not having Quicktime 7 installed or not being able to decode (play) the files smoothly. If you're just looking for "pretty good" I'd compress to 720p at about 5000kbps. H.264 compression can be slow though. I use Matrox CompressHD which works in Apple Compressor and Telestream Episode (using it's internal link to QuickTime) and it compresses faster than real time.

[Chandler Kauffman] "A side note, the Mac couldn't play an SD uncompressed QT, is that another feature not available without FCP? " I believe 8 or 10 bit Uncompressed 4:2:2 is also an FCP install but that was supported long before FCP 6.0.2 but it won't help Windows users.

Another solution which will give you EXCELLENT quality and EASY PLAYBACK (since it's not GOP based) is Apple Pro Res. Apple has a free download for Windows playback too.
http://support.apple.com/downloads/Apple_ProRes_QuickTime_Decoder_1_0_for_W...





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