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The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?

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Daniel Frome
The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 6:13:33 pm

6 months ago a coworker backed up an XDCAM disk by simply copying all the visible folders of the disk to their hard drive.

Now I've been tasked with restoring these XDCAM from the hard disk source. I've got all the latest drivers, and I am able to write to the XDCAM disk in Avid and other software just fine. However, from the mac finder I am only able to copy into the "userdata" folder and nothing else. Is this normal?

Looking to get a crash course on how putting all the original clips back to disk might be possible?

In case anyone is wondering: XDCAM transfer, XDCAM browser, and Avid can all access all the media just fine if I point to the folder where all the disk data was copied.


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Ian Cook
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 8:03:32 pm

When the disc was backed up were all the correct drivers installed? You should first make sure you see CLIP, EDIT and SUB folders in the backup. This will indicate that the files were copied properly. If you only see PRO AV and GENERAL folders (with PRO AV opening onto numbered clip folders) the files were not copied properly and what you have are the 'raw,' de-interleaved files, and these cannot be copied back to disc (not easily, at any rate). If you don't have folders and just copied the .mxf video files, make sure you see only one .mxf for each clip and not multiple files per clip with separate .mxfs for audio and video.

If you see the correct file/folder structure then the task will be a simple one. The basics of writing to XDCAM disc are as follows:

-Full res clips reside in the CLIP folder. The easiest way to copy a disc is to copy the .mxf files from the CLIP folder on one disc (or disc archive) to the CLIP folder on a new disc. All the proxy and metadata files are generated automatically and do not need to be manually copied.

-The root/top level of the disc and all the other folders except GENERAL and USER DATA are restricted.

-If the clips you are copying have unique names (i.e. anything other than generic Cxxxx.mxf filenames) you have to enable free-form naming on the device to which you are copying. This is in the operations menu on decks/camcorders and in the User Settings area of the XDCAM Drive Utility (used with the PDW-U1/U2 USB drives).

-You can mix record formats (including SD/HD, 1080/720, 35 Mb/50 Mb et al)) as long as they are all within the same frame frequency, i.e. 30/60, 25/50. 24p cannot be mixed with other formats on a disc. to mix record formats you have to enable 'Mixed Recording' in the maintenance menu on the decks/camcorders or in the Utility software for the PDW-U1/U2 drives.

-When a disc is formatted is it agnostic as far as video format/frame rate/codec etc. The settings of the device do not format a disc as a "60p" disc or a "24p" disc. The first clip you put on the disc is what determines the video format of the disc (if 'Mixed Recording' is not enabled/utilized).

I'm leaving out a lot of detail but these are the basics. If you still have questions let me know...

Ian Cook
Sony Broadcast and Professional Services


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Daniel Frome
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 8:52:19 pm

I have no way of verifying what drivers the original system had. Here is exactly what I'm seeing:



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Ian Cook
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:02:26 pm

You're good to go. You can always tell if the correct drivers were installed at the time the copy was made if you see the file/folder structure I outlined above.

If you format the target disc and copy the file from the CLIP folder in the archive to the CLIP folder on the new disc, you'll be all set. If you see that the files inside your archived CLIP folder have names other than the generic Cxxxx.mxf file names, be sure to enable Free Naming on the XDCAM device you are using for the copy. If it's the U1/U2 drive it's in the Utility app under User Settings-->Naming Form. If you're using an HD1500 or F1600 deck it's menu 36.

Additional drivers, firmware etc can be found at http://www.sony.com/xdcam-downloads


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Daniel Frome
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:10:45 pm

Weird, that's exactly what I tried to do at first.

I can format the disk OK.
I can even change the label of the disk afterwards.

When I try to copy from the hard drive 'clip' folder into the XDCAM 'clip' folder I get this:



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Ian Cook
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:22:23 pm

Can you tell me:

-What device you are using

-FAM or USB Driver version. FAM = File Access Mode over i.LINK/FireWire. You can check the FAM driver version using the FAM DRIVER TOOL utility. It will be in your Applications or Utilites folder. If you're using the U1/U2 USB drive you can check the driver version on the Device Info page of the Utility App (also in /Applications under 'XDCAM Drive..').

-Are you able to copy small generic files (.pdf, .txt etc) to either User Data or General folders

-Do the files you are trying to copy behave normally in other applications (Avid, XDCAM Browser etc)

If you want to take this offline you can email me at ian dot cook at am dot sony dot com . I'm in the states on EST and will be in the office until 8pm or so.


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Daniel Frome
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:53:58 pm

Using USB. Sony U1.

Sending another screenshot ... maybe I am being too lazy here ^ ^



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Ian Cook
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:10:57 pm

This helps. Your software is up to date. Is Free Naming enabled? Would you like to send me a short hi-res file to test on my U1?


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Ian Cook
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:23:27 pm

Also we have seen this occasionally fail with Mac OS if the source files are a large number of directory levels down, i.e. something like:

External Drive/Folder 1/Folder 2/Folder 3/XDCAM Disc/CLIP

If we do not identify another cause of the problem you should try, if only as a test, moving one of the source files to the desktop and seeing if a copy works from there.


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Daniel Frome
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 1:10:18 pm

Thanks for this tip. I'll be at work in a couple hours again and will try this!


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Daniel Frome
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 3:10:38 pm

Another update:

the CLIP folder contains MXF files and XML files.

Turns out that I can copy the MXFs back to the XDCAM disk just fine. But not the XML files.

However, when I copy over an MXF, the disk created a companion XML files automatically anyway.

So... I'm going to copy a whole disk full of MXF files into the clip folder (it's taking about 25 minutes, not too bad) and see if the disk turns out OK. Fingers crossed.


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Daniel Frome
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:49:42 pm

So...solved.

When copying to/from "clip" folder, only select the MXF files. Accompanying XML files in CLIP folder, as well as proxies in Sub folder, are automatically generated upon writing to the disk.


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Ian Cook
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Feb 25, 2012 at 12:14:09 am

Yes, I mentioned this earlier but it probably got lost in all the detail..

The easiest way to copy a disc is to copy the .mxf files from the CLIP folder on one disc (or disc archive) to the CLIP folder on a new disc. All the proxy and metadata files are generated automatically and do not need to be manually copied.


Glad it all worked out. Cheers.


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Eric Sternberger
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Mar 15, 2017 at 3:29:25 pm

Hi,


I have a similar question according this topic:
Can I Simply put a (properly configured mxf-file) into the clip folder and the disc will be good?


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Michael Slowe
Re: The "can" and "cannot" rules about writing to XDCAM?
on Mar 20, 2017 at 6:37:56 pm

Ian, whilst we have your attention can I ask about a couple of things that I've wanted to know.

I'm using your PXW-Z150 camera and I've been a bit frustrated because the file (clip) numbering starts at zero with each card. So, if you're shooting using the two cards in the camera, when it comes to transferring media I have a problem with the application EditReady. It wants to overweight clips that have the same number, unsurprisingly. With the EX 1 you could set your own clip names but Doug Jensen says you can't do this with the Z150, is this correct? It means that I have to have a separate folder for each card when ingesting.

Secondly, is it OK to just select the individual clips from the 'Private' folder on the cards? With the BPAV folders in the EX 1 this was not advised, indeed, dire warnings were issued, the BPAV folders were sacrosanct. I have been doing this with no problems so far. Great camera by the way, pity though about the aperture 'ramping' on the zoom. It means a max of f4 if you intend to zoom in. In poor light it then requires a gain increase. The good thing is that with your new 1' sensor gain can be tolerated very well, the bad news is that it is difficult then to minimise DOF.

Ian, your comments on all this, when you have time, would be much appreciated. (I would only use Sony cameras!)

Michael Slowe


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