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Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import

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Jordan Montminy
Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 16, 2010 at 12:34:45 pm

Hi,

I recently imported 14 hrs of footage shot on the XDCAM EX1 into Final Cut Pro 6.0.6 using FCP Log and Transfer. It's a 25fps PAL project shot at HQ 1080p25. Because we only have 5 SD cards, we copied the BPAV folders onto a hard drive in the field and then imported the clips into FCP from the hard drive. For the most part all clips imported properly without any hiccups.

We are having trouble with 2 clips-- Each clip has a different problem and both came from the same 32GB ATP ProMax SDHC Class 6 card used with a Hoodman Raw SxSxSDHC adapter. This card has since been reused without any problems.

(FYI During shooting on this particular card, our DP was receiving error messages asking her if she wanted to Restore the card, but there was no option to do so, so she didn't.)

Both clips appear and playdown properly while in XDCAM Clip Browser v 2.00.01, so it seems the media exists. But when in FCP Log and Transfer, there are problems:

Clip #1 claims it's 35 mins long. But it will only import the first 27 mins. If I try to play the clip within Log & Transfer it just stops at the 27 min mark and I can't continue even though the Preview window indicates there is more to the clip.

Clip #2's thumbnail won't appear when I click on it, and in the Preview window I get the message "Preview unavailable for this format." But again, I can see the clip and play it in Clip Browser. When I attempt to import it in Log and Transfer, the spinning import icon stops spinning after several seconds and freezes with no error message or warning. When clicked, it turns into a red exclamation point icon.

When I try to Export the clips in Clip Browser I get the message: "Error Details, code: 88000008 Reason: An error occurred during conversion." (Thanks for that, Sony)

In the Clip Browser manual it says this code means: "The selected clip is in an unsupported format or the material data is corrupt. Check the properties of the folder and clip." How do I do this?

(On a side note, when I upgraded Clip Browser to a newer version, the problem clips didn't appear or play properly at all-- Clip #2's thumbnail disappeared and wouldn't playdown. So I downgraded back to v2.00.01)

I tried opening both clips in XDCAM Transfer v 2.12.0 and I get this error: "Failed to import movie from file at xxxxx (-50)"

In XDCAM Transfer Clip #1 appears as a .MP4 file and Clip #2 appears as a .SMI file. Neither have thumbnails (No Image Available).

When I try to import the clip into XDCAM Transfer I get this error: "Exception opening XDCAM EX file (Condition Failure-moov existence)"

When I try to Export the clip I get this error: "***[NSConcreteFileHandlereadDataOfLength:]: Cannot allocate memory"


I also copied the BPAV folder back onto a different SD card to see if that would help (it didn't). When I place the card back into the camera, the clip thumbnails all appear and everything seems fine. I even did a media restore on the card in-camera, but nothing improved.

I was going to copy the bad card in-camera onto a new card to see if that fixes it (a corrupt BPAV folder?) Then worse case I was going to try and play the clips in camera and input it into FCP via firewire. TC won't match I guess but at least I'll have the media. All in all we're missing about 20 mins of footage.

HELP!

Thanks in advance...

BTW I'm running Final Cut Pro 6.0.6 on MBP 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM on Mac OS 10.6.2



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Craig Seeman
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:32:22 pm

[Jordan Montminy] "(FYI During shooting on this particular card, our DP was receiving error messages asking her if she wanted to Restore the card, but there was no option to do so, so she didn't.)
"


I believe if you then remove the card (wait for light change) and the put back in, it'll throw the error again and give you the option. I don't get media restore errors but I was able to force it in an experiment.

Update to ClipBrowser 2.6.
Copy (duplicate rather than just move) the two MP4s in question to their own folder and then use ClipBrowser File/Import. You can then create new BPAV for them. This is assuming the only real damage is to the metadata.



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Jordan Montminy
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 16, 2010 at 5:18:57 pm

Thanks, Craig for the swift reply. I just have a few questions regarding your suggestions:

Update to ClipBrowser 2.6

I upgraded ClipBrowser to 2.6 previously and at that point was unable to view either of the problem clips, so I downgraded back down to the older version where I could view/select everything... What are the advantages to upgrading to 2.6?

Copy (duplicate rather than just move) the two MP4s in question to their own folder and then use ClipBrowser File/Import. You can then create new BPAV for them. This is assuming the only real damage is to the metadata.

To clarify, do you mean to copy the MP4s within ClipBrowser and to copy them to their own folder onto another drive? And how do I create a new BPAV folder? Should I create a single BPAV for both clips or a new BPAV for each? (I'm not very familiar with ClipBrowser)

Thanks.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 16, 2010 at 5:43:40 pm

[Jordan Montminy] "To clarify, do you mean to copy the MP4s within ClipBrowser and to copy them to their own folder onto another drive? And how do I create a new BPAV folder? Should I create a single BPAV for both clips or a new BPAV for each? (I'm not very familiar with ClipBrowser) "

You're going to HAVE to update ClipBrowser to do this. NO CHOICE.
Copy the MP4 you can use to a folder or desktop or whatever. Using ClipBrowser File Import. It'll create a new BPAV for it.



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Tim Kolb
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 17, 2010 at 12:01:21 am

I've only had a 'restore' warning twice since I've owned the camera, but I've done exactly what Craig is saying...then restore it...then I take it out and transfer it. I don't shoot with it until I've verified there isn't a media problem.

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Marek Bilski
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:26:44 pm

Hi Jordan,

I might be able to help you, if you can provide the firmware version you currently have on your camera and as well when you approx. bought the adapter.

I had a similar problem but only with the first generation of adapters and it all came down to Sony's firmware.

MxM Express


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Jordan Montminy
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 19, 2010 at 3:33:31 pm

The camera is at version 1.11_0531. The adapters were purchased in October 2009.

I copied the problem clips within ClipBrowser and created a new BPAV folder. No dice-- unable to import into ClipBrowser and Log and Transfer. I also copied the problem clips within the camera to another freshly formatted SD card and still cannot import into ClipBrowser or Log and Transfer.

Also I upgraded to ClipBrowser v2.6 and Clip #1 doesn't play down or contain a thumbnail, and Clip #2 doesn't show up at all anymore.

Very frustrating.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 19, 2010 at 3:57:32 pm

As a test, can you play the MP4s in question in VLC Player?

If all else fails this company has expertise in salvaging EX clips.
http://www.aeroquartet.com/



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Jordan Montminy
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 19, 2010 at 4:21:20 pm

Problem Clip #1 was split up into 3 separate folders within the CLPR folder within BPAV. The third .MP4 does not open in VLC with the error message: "VLC can't recognize the input's format. Format of xxx.SMI can't be detected." (This is consistent with where the death section of this clip lies) Clip #2 is one .MP4 file and won't open, same error message.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll give those guys a shout.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 19, 2010 at 4:24:49 pm

[Jordan Montminy] " Format of xxx.SMI can't be detected." "
For VLC you should just play the MP4 sections. It won't understand the SMI which joins the clips.

[Jordan Montminy] "Clip #2 is one .MP4 file and won't open, same error message. "
Confusing as you said the previous error message is SMI.

Just try to play the individual MP4 in the CLPR folder.



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Jordan Montminy
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 19, 2010 at 4:33:54 pm

I agree, it's confusing but that's the error message I get when trying to open the .MP4 files in VLC. I saved the crash log, is it possible to attach it as a document?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 19, 2010 at 4:49:26 pm

COW has a file upload feature. See the little floppy disk icon on the far right of the icons as you type your message.

Just to make sure you're doing this right, try a known good EX MP4. The SMI shouldn't come into play at all. As far as VLC is concerned you're just playing (or trying to play) and MP4 with MPEG2 on the inside.



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Marek Bilski
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Apr 20, 2010 at 7:41:14 am

Hi Jordan,

If you purchased in Oct '09 the chances are, your SDHC adapter has a first generation internal controller based on the GL827L chipset.

At that particular time, the controller was not working very well with 32GB memory and Sony's firmware.

From testing, we established that when we used that particular controller (GL827L) which Kingston was also based on, they all produced audio drop outs @ approx. 27mins duration.

The only way to fix this error is to try to load the footage in the clipbrowser and move the cursor left and right on the timeline and try to locate the precise position of the error (audio drop out) and try to cut it out with in and out points.

My suggestion for the future, is not to use ATP 32GB with your current Sony firmware until you perform a Sony firmware upgrade and migrate to 1.20 version which has eliminated that particular error on ATP 32GB memory cards only.

We had no choice, as we had no help from Sony, to come up with a solution ourselves and this is where we ended up improving and upgrading to the current controller which is a single chip solution, and has no issue with this particular error.

MxM Express's card is easily recognisable with this new controller by the new orange label. This newest and the lastest controller has been used in Hoodman's and MxML SDHC adapters for the past 6 months.


MxM Express


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Mark Santa-Maria
Re: Corrupt XDCAM EX1 Clips -- Will Not Import
on Oct 31, 2010 at 11:04:40 am

I too had a critical crash shooting a tv pilot and it was underwater nonetheless. Totally not reshootable.

I worked for weeks and weeks at the solution. Digging up my old roots and former bitnibbler days, I think I've developed what I think is a relatively reliable way of getting back almost all files. I've even been able to rebuild the bpav folder on a few occasions so everything read just fine in clip browser and the camera. But at the least I got the mp4s back. Usually, the clip being shot during the crash was only partially recovered.

I need more samples to try out my techniques on. If you have a corrupt sd card shot on an ex1 or ex3, and have exhausted all other software options or cant afford the clean room services, please contact me. I'm not charging. I want to prove my techniques will work consistently. If I can help you get your files back, I may ask for recommendations and a review later.

Whatever you do, dont write on the card again. Throw on the write protect tab. My technique does not write to the card, I just read from it. I end up using another card to test my recoveries with.


I'm serious...I need some more corrupt cards for testing and free recovery for you.

Mark

In the event of my untimely demise, it was all my fault. That said, "who the hell took my mouse?"


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