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FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?

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Tim Jones
FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 2, 2014 at 3:02:37 pm

I've been delivered 2.2TB of AVCHD files in M2TS wrapper format. When I open FCP X's Import dialog and browse to the folder where they've been restored and select a couple of 4-5 min clips, the Import window goes into high gear and I get the busy wait cursor (spinning beach ball) while FCP X goes to sleep.

Since the CODEC Apple/Sony provide to deal with these must be the problem, is there a better CODEC or plugin out that will allow me to convert these files to a more workflow-friendly format?

I shudder to think what will happen if I import the entire 2.2TB of content into FCP X and let it create the optimized media from the originals.

How do others deal with the AVCHD content in FCP X? Is it just going to be a "wait for it ..." process?

Thanks,

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Fabrizio D'Agnano
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 2, 2014 at 4:21:13 pm

I remember having a similar problem some time ago trying to import AVCHD media without the entire structure (.mts files alone). I ended up downloading an app called "ClipWrap" that did the job of rewrapping those files. You could check if that's what you're looking for.

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy
early 2008 MacPro, BM Intensity Pro, early 2008 iMac, 2014 MacBook Pro Retina, Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Monitor, FCP7, FCPX, OSX 10.9.4


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 2, 2014 at 7:19:15 pm

Perfect solution, Fabrizio. ClipWrap is now part of my toolbox. In my first test, it rewrapped an 18min M2TS file and FCP X opened it with no more delay. Much faster than transcoding and no spinning beach ball!

New workflow -

Restore LTO BRU tape to ingest array
Drag clips to ClipWrap
Import rewrapped clips into FCP X.

A good $50 investment.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Bill Davis
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 2, 2014 at 8:41:46 pm

[Tim Jones] "Perfect solution, Fabrizio. ClipWrap is now part of my toolbox. In my first test, it rewrapped an 18min M2TS file and FCP X opened it with no more delay. Much faster than transcoding and no spinning beach ball!
"


I'll disagree slightly. It's not "perfect" because somebody upstream didn't understand metadata and THREW AWAY all the valuable camera metadata - causing you to HAVE to ClipWrap to fake some.

The "perfect" solution is to swim upstream and school whoever sent iso files instead of complete card clones to call 2007 and tell them to come get their workflow back.

Metadata preservation is professionalism.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 2, 2014 at 9:30:03 pm

Yea, Bill - in a perfect world... :)

I actually consider myself lucky that the provider understands that the files are (were) difficult to work with and didn't place undo expectations on delivery.

BTW - what metadata should I expect to be missing in this type of scenario? So far as I can tell, everything needed is there.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 3, 2014 at 4:13:19 am

Since 10.1, Fcpx can read avchd transport files natively without any card structure at all.

I would think there's something else going on.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:33:06 pm

Tim,

If someone is finder copying (drag and dropping) the movie files around, they risk breaking the structural arrangement between them and the INF (info) and the THM (thumbnail) files.

It puts at risk all the camera metadata (including lens data) being stripped out of the stream. The thumbnails are actually trivial since they can be regenerated later, so that's a convenience rather than a necessity) but the INF files often carry very useful metadata information that should be imported and preserved for later user benefit.

Even if that INF data is copied to a new card or drive, if X can't "see" it because it's in the proper location, it won't flow into the X metadata stream.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:39:24 pm

What Bill is saying is technically correct, you may lose some metadata (although sometimes, that metadata is baked in to the transport stream) you do not need this information to import an AVCHD file to FCPX any more.

FCPX can read avchd files without any other wrapper or info. The Finder can read AVCHD files as well.

If none of this is true for whatever reason, I would suspect that there's a bigger problem, perhaps the file didn't survive the layoff to LTO and back.

Jeremy


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:46:10 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "If none of this is true for whatever reason, I would suspect that there's a bigger problem, perhaps the file didn't survive the layoff to LTO and back.
"


Since someone will read that and say "see, I told you tape is not safe.", I'll state for the record that the copy on LTO is exactly the same as the copy on the user's original ingest system. This is strictly something in the way that FCP X is seeing the m2ts files. Otherwise, simply rewrapping them with ClipWrap would not resolve the issue that I'm witnessing.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:47:37 pm

[Tim Jones] "Since someone will read that and say "see, I told you tape is not safe.", I'll state for the record that the copy on LTO is exactly the same as the copy on the user's original ingest system. This is strictly something in the way that FCP X is seeing the m2ts files. Otherwise, simply rewrapping them with ClipWrap would not resolve the issue that I'm witnessing.
"


I use tape. If tape is broken, I'm in serious trouble.

I'm not saying that tape is broken.


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:56:21 pm

I know that - I just wanted to make sure that no one grasped the straw as a potential excuse :).

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:43:04 pm

The curiosity is that the INF files apparently do exist (the Import dialog only shows the .m2ts files). The trouble that I'm running into without the rewrap is that simply opening the Import dialog, browsing to the storage folder, and selecting just one of the clips puts FCP X into "Not Responding" mode and I have to wait for quite a while for the import dialog to finish whatever it's doing.

Dragging the un-rewrapped m2ts files from Finder into the event is no better and it then even puts Finder into the "Not Responding" category as well.

By simply rewrapping the m2ts files, I alleviate both of these situations - the Import dialog allows me to import the clips right away, and dragging from Finder doesn't hang up either FCP X or Finder.

BTW - the storage folder is on a 4TB SSD array via TB2 and ATTO H680, so it's definitely not an issue with the drive's speed.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:46:42 pm

[Tim Jones] "The curiosity is that the INF files apparently do exist (the Import dialog only shows the .m2ts files). The trouble that I'm running into without the rewrap is that simply opening the Import dialog, browsing to the storage folder, and selecting just one of the clips puts FCP X into "Not Responding" mode and I have to wait for quite a while for the import dialog to finish whatever it's doing.
"


Can you see the file in the Finder? You should be able to open it in Quicktime. Mavericks now "packages" AVCHD and when you double click it in the Finder, it should let you decide which file to open (if there's more than one to open in the package).


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:51:09 pm
Last Edited By Tim Jones on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:57:48 pm

If I double click one of the M2TS files, I get the "Converting File" message dialog and then the file opens once the conversion is completed.

This takes longer than the rewrap. I can rewrap the entire collection of 42 clips in less time than it took QT to convert two of the shorter clips.

Again, I know that FCP X / QT can deal with AVCHD files, it's just that there seems to be a time cost to getting the files ready for actual use that rewrapping resolves.

As an aside, if I import these same files into Vegas Pro 13, they drop right in with no delays (I checked that because a Sony rep said that Vegas handles AVCHD natively and to double check the validity of the files in the Vegas demo).

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 4:56:58 pm

[Tim Jones] "As an aside, if I import these same files into Vegas Pro 13, they drop right in with no delays."

Then there's something weird with how those files are created.

AVCHD files usually look like this in the Finder:



So, I would assume, that something else is happening to those files, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with LTO.

Jeremy


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:01:04 pm

Thanks, Jeremy,

If that's what I should be seeing, then it is definitely something at the source that is occurring to cause this. I just have a folder full of .M2TS and .INF files (as well as a few .THM's that seem to not be related to any of the included clips).

I'll go back to the source and ask about their workflow.

In the meantime, ClipWrap rescued things and I'm able to continue editing.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:04:00 pm

You don't have a PRIVATE or VIDEO folder at the root of your drive, do you?


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:12:17 pm
Last Edited By Tim Jones on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:14:48 pm

Nope:

/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/.DS_Store
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/.DocumentRevisions-V100
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/.com.apple.timemachine.donotpresent
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/.fseventsd
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/AVCHD Rewrap Test.fcpbundle
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/Adobe CC Sync
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/Avid MediaFiles
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/Avid Projects
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/Creative Ingest
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/GoPro
/Volumes/ArGest SSD 3/blkmagic

The m2ts files are in the folder named "Creative Ingest" and there's nothing else in the folder.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:39:53 pm

Yeah, the whole thing seems odd.

Apple has changed how AVCHD is handled, and when it works, it's great, but when it doesn't...


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:40:49 pm

I suspect that this is one of those "but, when it doesn't" moments :).

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 5, 2014 at 10:16:32 am

Which versions of FCP X and OS X are we even talking about? Nothing unusual about the disk they're coming from?

But yes, the import of AVCHD files, whether from the camera or even the individual "naked" MTS files, haven't been a problem for me as of 10.1. So I'm with Jeremy on that one. It must be something else.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 6:58:36 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Aug 4, 2014 at 7:02:09 pm

[Tim Jones] "If that's what I should be seeing, then it is definitely something at the source that is occurring to cause this. I just have a folder full of .M2TS and .INF files (as well as a few .THM's that seem to not be related to any of the included clips)."

THIS.

My growing suspicion is that because the M2ts and the INF files have been separated, X isn't seeing a cohesive "volume" that It's comfortable reading directly.

When you get some time, Do a test IMPORT inside X and create a dummy "disk archive". Then drag the entire folder structure you have (the Private folder, et al) into that archive structure.

I bet that suddenly X will see that volume and allow you to import and even range import your clips directly. If so that confirms that the problem is the lacking volume structure.

X wants to see mounted volumes - which is precisely what dragging folders of files onto backup drives destroys.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 7:25:05 pm

Bill-

X does not need the volume to read this media.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 5, 2014 at 9:16:58 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Aug 5, 2014 at 9:18:19 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Bill-

X does not need the volume to read this media"


Jeremy,

I'm not saying it needs volumes to read it.

I'm saying that if the issue is that the software isn't "finding" the clips in order to import them - then putting them in the volume structure that is most native to FCP X is one way to potentially overcome that issue.

The X engineers will always make more and more filetypes "readable" as the program progresses. But there are ways that the clueless can manipulate the raw assets in THEIR workflow that strips out the location Info that X relies on to see and work with files.

And my suspicion is that this was the OPs problem.

But as always I can be wrong. ; )

It's just that if ClipWrap could solve it, then the fundamental problem might not be the nature of the clip itself, but rather the clip header info that ClipWrap is replacing. And It may be that re-wrapping the files into a volume structure that X understands may just be enough so the the program can then see the clips properly without having to go outside for that file header repair.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Ben Hendriks
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 6, 2014 at 9:21:38 am

My experience:

When importing MTS directly X uses de transportstreams with (in my case)
ac3 audio. With a lot of clips a lot of beachballing.
With volume structure X rewraps to mov and transcodes the audio to pcm.
A very different approach, I think Clipwrap does the same.

Cheers Ben


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Bill Davis
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 6, 2014 at 9:53:08 pm

FCP X Axiom.

Sometimes, the cause of your problems in X will actually be the video. -
but most of the time, 100% of your problem will be your audio!



(Going to get a needlepoint of that done someday.)

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Tim Jones
Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 6, 2014 at 9:55:55 pm

Corollary to that axiom - even if it's not your audio, it's your audio!

What a strange trip this has been.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Tim Jones
Solved - Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 6, 2014 at 7:19:10 pm

We have finally uncovered what was causing the issue in the m2ts files that we received and whyy they were giving FCP X fits on import - the audio was encoded as AAC instead of the AC-3 format as defined by the standard (thanks to Colin at Divergent Media). To make things work, FCP X was converting the AAC audio to AC-3 for proper container contents and that's what was putting the system in bog-mode.

I've asked the content creator to change the audio type to AC-3 for future clips.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Fabrizio D'Agnano
Re: Solved - Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 7, 2014 at 9:43:16 pm

[Tim Jones] "To make things work, FCP X was converting the AAC audio to AC-3 for proper container contents and that's what was putting the system in bog-mode.
"


And why is Clipwrap so much faster in doing that, if it's what it does?

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy
early 2008 MacPro, BM Intensity Pro, early 2008 iMac, 2014 MacBook Pro Retina, Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Monitor, FCP7, FCPX, OSX 10.9.4


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Solved - Re: FCP X Import of M2TS AVCHD files causes pizza wheel on browse?
on Aug 7, 2014 at 9:44:10 pm

[Tim Jones] "I've asked the content creator to change the audio type to AC-3 for future clips."

Glad you got it sorted.

Jeremy


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