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Re-analyse media is clearing metadata!

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Jason Whetstone
Re-analyse media is clearing metadata!
on Jan 26, 2012 at 8:19:03 pm

We just migrated our entire catalog from FCSvr. After opening a catalog in CatDV, I can see all my metadata from FCSvr, which is great. However, some of the clips are corrupt, some have inaccurate timecode references, and CatDV doesn't understand some of the metadata that came over. Plus, there are no thumbnails. To remedy this, I started using "Re-Analyse Media" from the Tools menu, which seems to fix everything and it also builds the thumbnails. However, it DELETES the metadata that came over from FCSvr! and in the manual, it specifically states that this reanalyze media feature does NOT change the metadata. Can anyone explain this? Is there something I can do? Looking for a way to get around this so I can proceed with my migration. Thanks!


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Jason Whetstone
Re: Re-analyse media is clearing metadata!
on Jan 26, 2012 at 8:56:18 pm

I have discovered something that may shed light on this, I have opened a catalog created with the CatDV FCSvr migration tool. I exported some clips from the catalog into a CatDV XML file and examined it. I see that all the fields from FCSvr show up between METADATA tags. It appears that Re-analyse media considers the values in these fields expendable. I created a new User-defined field, populated it with a value, and re-exported the same clips to another CatDV XML file. I see in this file that the new User-defined field is listed as USER1. The value in that field is preserved after the Re-analyse media is performed. So it would seem that i need the fields from FCSvr to show up as USER-DEFINED fields instead of general fields... Anyone else running into this?


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Jason Whetstone
Re: Re-analyse media is clearing metadata!
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:26:29 am

I actually figured out a workaround for this. It took me awhile, but it seems to be working.

I had to duplicate all the migrated fields that I wanted to stay in the catalog as user-defined fields. In essence, I had to make what FCSvr considers "Custom Metadata" into what CatDV calls "User Metadata" since the migration tool does not make that distinction. All in all this amounted to around 15 fields. The rest of the fields were either not of value, they were inherent to the media files that could be reanalyzed by CatDV, or they were garbage from the FCSvr migration. I made note of the ID's of these new User fields (User 11, User 12, User 13, etc).
I made a new view in CatDV that consisted of the fields Name, In, Out, File Name, and then all the new user fields.
I selected all (7748) clips and exported those as a tab-separated text file.
I opened the tab-separated file in OpenOffice.
I changed the headings to NAME, IN, OUT, MEDIA FILENAME, USER 11, USER 12, USER 13…USER 44 and saved this.
In CatDV, I imported the tab-separated text file into a blank catalog.
I selected all (7748) clips and copied them to the clipboard.
I selected all (7748) clips in the original catalog.
I selected "Paste Metadata" from the edit menu and selected only User fields, and selected Overwrite.
I reanalysed all clips.

There are a few things to note - making a new view with the fields I mentioned is really important, as CatDV needs them to identify the clips. Make sure the original catalog and new catalog you make from the tab-separated text file are unsorted so the clips stay in the same order. Make sure you read the help file on working with unsupported file types in the on-line CatDV help, it explains the user headings that need to be set for the imported fields.

It might be worthwhile to add a checkbox field to every migrated clip to indicate that it's migrated from FCSvr, and save the original migrated catalog in a safe place. That way if you later decide you need additional data out of the original catalog that was migrated with the FCSvr migration tool, you can use this process again and will have any easy way to filter the original migrated clips after additional clips are entered.

Now I think we have what we need. I will have to do this to each catalog that has important metadata though. Luckily it only amounts to about 10 catalogs, although they are all large, consisting of several thousand clips each. FCSvr does have a clear distinction between Custom Metadata and other metadata in its postgres database - If Square Box support is willing to improve upon it, it may help FCSvr-deserters with their migrations!


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Rolf Howarth
Re: Re-analyse media is clearing metadata!
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:45:09 pm

Normally the "read only" metadata fields are used to store metadata that is read from the file, such as EXIF or IPTC or ID3 or XMP metadata. When you reanalyse media they are therefore replaced, because analysing media is how they get set in the first place.

If you're using these fields to store logging data (which you will be if you use the FCS migration tool, because it's only these fields that support arbitrary metadata keys) then you need to check the "Allow editing of 'read-only' metadata" option in Preferences to tell CatDV not to overwrite them.



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bryson jones
Re: Re-analyse media is clearing metadata!
on Jan 27, 2012 at 6:02:36 pm

Jason, thanks for that info, and good catch.

Rolf, is there a plan to do that field mapping in the tool? If not, I'm betting an extraction script to take the info and pull it into XML for re-import would be a good one to have.

Jason, in your original import into CatDV, did the data go into or ?

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Rolf Howarth
Re: Re-analyse media is clearing metadata!
on Jan 31, 2012 at 5:51:04 pm

We might revisit the way these metadata fields are stored and displayed in future but that's unlikely to be a short term solution.



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