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Which Media drive do you use?

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Alan Howard
Which Media drive do you use?
on Jun 22, 2014 at 8:51:38 am

Hi,
I'm upgrading my edit laptop and am looking at changing the media drives I've been using.
For a while I've used inexpensive USB 3 drives, although it was recently pointed out that my machine has USB 2 inputs ....
I have noticed that my machine doesn't cope with AMA, it runs many levels of DNxHD no problem but can't play AMA files with any reliability....
Does anyone out there have success using AMA with USB 3?
If not what drives are recommended ??

Thanks in advance.

Alan


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Michael Phillips
Re: Which Media drive do you use?
on Jun 22, 2014 at 1:31:38 pm

You will first want to use the fasted connection you have available. Everything is defined by the weakest (or slowest) part of the chain. If it is only USB2, then that's what it will be. If you can confirm two separate USB buses, then you might consider RAID drives across the buses to increase spindle and throughput speed, but many times, multiple USB ports on the same bus.

I am on an older MacBookPro that only has USB2, but I do have Thunderbolt which helps, but as I posted in my other response, AMA is dependent on a combination of things.


Michael


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Jeff Kay
Re: Which Media drive do you use?
on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:19:18 pm

I've edited for about a year on a laptop with USB3 media drives with no noticeable issues, both imported DNxHD and AMA linked media. I've done it with many different brands, models, and qualities of USB3 drives and never had an issue except when it was a bad drive.

Don't use USB2 for editing, ever. I'm actually rather skeptical that you have been using USB2. USB2 uses a burst transfer (can't give a full technical explanation) that runs a high risk of bricking the drive. Well, it won't destroy the drive, but it will cause all of the data to become unreadable and require that the drive be reformated, which of course wipes everything. I've experimented with this and it really doesn't take all that much to do so.

In regards to AMA linking, I've noticed that the computer's specs affect how AMA linked media handles not the speed of the drive's connection. The same drive used with my laptop is running AMA linked H264 rather smoothly (I know AMA linked H264), when attempting to do so was painful on the laptop.


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Alan Howard
Re: Which Media drive do you use?
on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:44:44 pm

Thanks Mike and Jeff...
My drives are def USB 3 but I'm assuming the laptop is USB 2 cos it's pretty old ... dumb question is there a way to confirm??
Like I say I'm updating my laptop so hopefully the newer specs will sort out my AMA issue ..

I'm not technical at all and up until recently could just call in the engineers to sort out tech issues so don't understand raided drives etc.. I pretty sure that puts me in the minority here ...

current economic situation means being freelance I have to be everything .. including my own tech support ... jeez, thanks for places like this !

Reassured that USB 3 def works fine ... thanks


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Jeff Kay
Re: Which Media drive do you use?
on Jun 23, 2014 at 1:29:31 pm

Its fairly standard for the inside prong of USB3 connectors to be blue (rather than the black of USB1/2), much like the top of the USB cord has the little USB icon on it. Though I can't say for certain that every hardware manufacturer follows this (the USB cord for one of my LaCie drives is the opposite, so it always throws me for a loop).

Also the MC7 handles AMA better than MC6. Should have mentioned that earlier. I don't normally get excited for new versions of software, but I've been particularly happy with MC7. Though don't feel bound to AMA for editing and don't hesitate to AMA link then consolidate/transcode if needbe. AMA still handles different formats of footage very differently, XDCAM is very smooth, H264 is just not, and most everything else falls somewhere in-between. If your source footage isn't something MC handles well, don't try to force an AMA workflow (XDCAM, H264, and NDxHD comprise 99% of my footage, not enough experience to talk about other formats).


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