XDCAM driver description
Can someone please explain the Sony drivers in plain English? The descriptions (sometimes) found in the release notes are very similar to each other. (ie; Browser software, Proxy viewer software, Optical browsing software, XDCAM viewer, FAM for this and FAM for that.) It would be nice to know which ones I need. Then again, maybe I need them all. :)
I've got an intermittent file/folder structure problem when reading from my PDWU1. Sometimes the structure is correct.
(CLIP, EDIT, GENERAL, & SUB folders with files C0001.MXF, C0001M01.XML, C0002.MXF, C0002M02.XML, etc. inside the CLIP folder.)
Other times the structure begins with GENERAL and PROAV followed by CLPR and EDTR inside the PROAV folder. Sometimes ejecting the disc and re-inserting it a few times will cause it to read correctly, but not always.
I have read that other Win7 (64-bit) users have experienced the same problem, but I have never read that they solved it. I installed the drivers on a 64-bit Vista computer and the structure is always correct.
I don't think it should matter, but I'm using an XDCAM HD PDW-F355L with Sony brand PFD23A discs. If I knew how to post
screen-caps of the structure I would.
Does anyone have any advice on how to solve this one?
For firewire devices you need the FAM (file access mode) driver.
For the PDW-U1 you need the U-1 USB Driver software.
Whenever you see an XDCAM folder structure of just PRO AV and GENERAL this means that the USB driver is either not installed or is not working properly. The reason for this is that the XDCAM folder structure we're used to seeing (Clip, Sub, Edit, General and, depending on the device used to format the disc, UserData and Component) is virtual. What actually lives on the disc is ProAV/General with the ProAV folder opening onto the 'raw' MXF contents of the disc. On firewire devices there is a layer of internal software that virtualizes these directories and combines all the raw video/audio information before presenting it to your computer. On the USB drive there is no such internal software so the driver on the PC/Mac has to do this. If the driver isn't installed or is not working, you will see the raw contents of the disc.
Make sure you are using at least 2.3.0 of the XDCAM driver software and 2.4.2 of the drive firmware. You can upgrade/verify the firmware on the U-1 using the supplied utility app (the firmware is bundled with the app; no further downloads are required). Also, we are just about to post 2.3.2 which has a number of bug fixes and stability improvements. It will be on the US software site (sony.com/servicesplus) tomorrow, Friday at the latest. Please try this version and let us know if it improves things.
Sony Broadcast and Professional Company
Thank you Ian! That was the best explanation I've read in months.
My next question, which I may find out on my own in a day or two, is in regards to a hard drive back up of several discs. They were backed while seeing the GEN and PROAV. I'm curious if I connect
the hard drive via USB (after properly installing drivers) if the "Clip, Sub, Edit, General" folders magically appear. My next attempt would be to import the MXF files in Premiere anyway to
see if they work, even though I would need to re-sync the audio with the video. If it fails I'll have to back up the discs again, (luckily I still have them), when the PDW-U1 displays the
correct folder structure.
I know I have the latest drivers installed, but the firmware upgrade on the PDW-U1 I'm not sure about. I'm about to check it out now.
Thanks again for the help.
The existing backups you have won't work in Premiere or Avid. The files should really be recopied if at all possible. If you can access a Mac with FCP, our XDCAM import plug in, XDCAM Transfer, has a "virtual" file access mode capability and can read XD discs when the driver is not installed (and when all Finder sees is General/Pro AV). However it is not always able to read from archived disc images (technically that's outside the spec of the feature, which was implemented to support the U-1 before we had a proper driver for it).
If you are able to get to a Mac and have the files read you can export new MXFs in the proper format by right clicking on the thumbnails and selecting 'Export to File.'
In this Tread Ian states "The existing backups you have won't work in Premiere or Avid." Any recent improvements on this?
We are unable to view footage shot on a PDW 700. The footage came back on a harddrive with the following top folder structure:
From reading the tread I believe the correct driver is either not installed or is not working properly on the camera's end...correct? We don't have any xdcam readers on site. We stick to linking AMA to the harddrives and use the "Write Back to XDCam" method. Is there a way to fix the folder structure if we don't have the original disks?
Also. Is there viewing software that works for both XDCamHD and XDcam EX footage?
Sorry, but no, the files need to be copied from the correct directory. There's no way that Avid can link virtual volumes containing the raw files.
XDCAM Browser and Clip Browser can be used to read both EX and optical XDHD. Also we'd strongly recommend the standalone MXF player, PDZ-VX10. if you're running Windows. It plays all Sony MXFs, full res or proxy.
If I remember right, you may be able to import video and audio peices separately into a timeline from the "bad" folder structure. Tedius, but it worked for me until I updated firmware on the disc reader. The correct folder/file structure has always appeared since. (I don't think it's the firmware on the camera that has issues.) I haven't heard of a way to correct the structure after it's been written. Ian didn't sound optimistic, so I gave up hope as well.
Not sure if HD and EX can be viewed on the same program, but I use PDZ-VX10 XDCAM Viewer Ver2.30 to preview HD files from a PDW-F355.
In my experience importing the raw video and audio MXFs into Avid MC doesn't work and generates a "you can't import this file into a bin" or "MXF I/O" error..
Thanks Guys. I was able to import both audio and video (at the same time) by importing the XML file into Edius. The xml file had to be in the same folder as the mxf clips. If I tried importing the XML file outside of the folder it didn't work.
Wow. Are you sure you were able to reconstruct the whole clip and not just import the Proxy? If so, I had no Idea Edius could do this. Other NLEs will generally only pick up the Proxy. I will try this on our Edius box..
I'm having a different issue with XDCam that I haven't seen. Footage shot on a PDW700 came back without MXF files inside the Clip Folder, just .xml files. I also don't see a component folder. I've tried log and transfer, avid ama, clip browser, xd cam browser...no dice! The only program that can read the file is Edius 6.02. Is this structure correct? Is it the camera's firmware that needs updating? The footage came back on a harddrive. I do not have the discs.
It sounds like you have a USB/Proxy disc image. These are created in the following scenarios:
1) The camera is set up for simultaneous USB recording to an attached thumb drive
2) Clips are copied from the camera to an attached USB thumb drive
3) A backup disc image is exported from the PDZ-1 software. (People sometimes think that this function creates a full 'clone' of the disc-- it does not.)
The point of a disc image with everything but the hi-res files is portability (1 hour of proxy video = approx 1 GB). This enables you to import the disc into the PDZ-1 software and log/edit the metadata and then write that metadata back to the master disc at a later time. You can also import the proxy disc image into (for example) Avid Media Composer or Sony Vegas Pro and then conform the proxy clips to full resolution when you have access to the master disc.
I'm guessing that neither of these correspond to your workflow and that what you need is a copy of the master disc with the full-res video files. Hopefully this isn't a problem for you to get. But the image you have isn't broken or the product of a malfunction; it's just not the image you need.
Have them copy the entire disc using Windows or Mac OS or a file copy utility. This will create a copy with the full res clips.
The 'component' folder is optional and only appears when the disc is formatted on certain machines. Its purpose is to store audio-only MXF files created when using the live voice over function on the portable decks. What you should see from a 700 is Clip, Sub, edit, General and User Data. You may see a "Pro AV folder," which can be optionally hidden as it contains all the raw, non-interleaved MXF data. You do not need to copy this folder unless you are using Avid and want to edit proxy video with high-res audio. You'll notice that if you copy a disc with 30 GB of clips and include the ProAV folder you end up with 60 GB of copied data--this is because you end up copying both the self-contained MXF files and the raw audio and video files (i.e. copying all the contents twice). Again, you do not need to copy this folder unless you are working in Avid and want to import the low-res video with high-res audio.
Hope this is helpful..
It seems to be working great. (Knock on wood.) Evidently the firmware was the issue. I'll admit I was confused with the various versions out there. (ie; PDWU1 ver. 230 updates firmware to (currently) 245)
Thank you, thank you.
That was an extremely important piece of information, thanks! :) I'm going to try to sear that into my memory so I don't panic sometime down the road. I can see someone plugging a PDW-U1 into a computer without the driver installed and freaking when our UserData folder is missing on an archive disc.
I am having a similar problem and cannot seem to get to the bottom of it. We have a U1 drive with latest firmware (version 2.450) On Macs and Windows 7 this works perfectly but on Windows XP I always get the wrong folder structure.
I have tried the U1 drivers v2.3, v3.0 and 3.1 but cannot get the correct folder structure so I never get the clip folder.
Unfortunately our main edit systems needs to run on XP so I have to copy the files down from another computer onto an external drive and then import which is not very convenient.
I am wondering whether there is a conflict with firmware version 2.450 and Windows XP. Can anyone tell me whether they are successfully running this configuration? or is there a way to roll back the firmware to an earlier version to try that?