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working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs

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Paul Dougherty
working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs
on May 20, 2015 at 8:33:59 pm

I'm using Media Composer to capture 1:1 lossless NTSC for archival purposes. For this project the preservation format or digital master will be ProRes. I'd like to be able to distribute the processing ie. not tie up the Avid for transcoding but keep it free to do capture. Is there a way to skip the "export to Qt" step and work directly with the mxf "capture" files? (1 video & 2 audio)

Because I saw mxf listed among the file types that Adobe Media Encoder works with I thought that maybe I cold drop the mxf files into a Premiere CC timeline but not so. (The importer reported a generic error).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions,

Paul


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Bill Ravens
Re: working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs
on May 20, 2015 at 9:03:32 pm

The only application I'm aware of is the Calibrated{Q} playback codec. And this will only allow .mxf (OP1) files to playback. MXF is only a wrapper, like MOV. Almost any format can be contained within MXF. Avid's format is OP1. To be able to use OP1, it has to be re-wrapped as OP1a, which interleaves the audio files with the video to produce a single file.



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Paul Dougherty
Re: working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs
on May 21, 2015 at 2:29:24 pm

Thanks Bill, the only version of this I could find (got it from their web site) was "Calibrated{Q} XD - Snow Leopard" probably should not expect it to work on a Mac running 10.8.5 and it didn't. Not in Premiere CC or Quicktime Player (trying to play a video mxf file)


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Ryan Holmes
Re: working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs
on May 21, 2015 at 3:21:10 pm

You need to install the appropriate codecs for Premiere to be able to decode and playback what you captured. As Bill stated, MXF is just a wrapper. The analogy I use is gum. The wrapper that goes around the gum is generic, but the flavor of gum inside could be anything - Juicy Fruit, Big Red, Spearmint, etc.

The MXF file is a wrapper, like MOV. The codec inside is what matters - DNxHD, ProRes, Animation, JPEG200, etc. are just different codecs that go inside of a wrapper. So you need to determine what codec you used to capture your archived footage and then make sure that's installed on the Premiere system.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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Paul Dougherty
Re: working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs
on May 21, 2015 at 3:41:26 pm

Thanks Ryan, I read you loud and clear. The mxf files were generated (captured) by Avid's Media Composer. I do have the Avid Qt codec installed but that (to my knowledge) just means I can work with Qt's that employ the Avid (native) codec for 2:1, 3:1 etc

I understand what you and Bill are saying but seek actionable advice or workflow on how to work with Avid's media files in other programs, assuming that is do-able

Thanks

Paul

Bill says
"Avid's format is OP1. To be able to use OP1, it has to be re-wrapped as OP1a, which interleaves the audio files with the video to produce a single file."


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John Pale
Re: working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs
on May 22, 2015 at 12:53:17 pm

Random thoughts...

If you export an AAF file with media from Avid MC, you can open that in Premiere Pro CC and it will play just fine.
Not sure if that is helpful to you.

Another thing...if you have Avid MC 8 and not an old version, you can capture in Apple Pro Res MXF on a Mac instead of using the old Avid 1:1 Meridien codec. This will speed up exports to Apple Pro Res QuickTime, as it's simply a rewrap and not a transcode.

You did not say whether you have an Avid DX Nitris/Mojo. If you have a third party card (AJA, Blackmagic), you could use Premiere to capture Apple ProRes QuickTime directly. You could also just use the deck control software for your card (AJA Control Room or Blackmagic Media Express).


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Paul Dougherty
Re: working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs
on May 22, 2015 at 8:01:07 pm

Thanks so much John, you got my mental wheels turing and I'll seat doing some R&D

Paul


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Paul Dougherty
Re: working directly with Avid mxf files in other programs
on May 26, 2015 at 1:12:48 am

Tried the AAF import into Premiere. The AAF came in as a file & seq but without media. When I tried to link to the mxf, Premiere (the AAF) knew what file to ask for but when I located it got this msg

"Importer reported a generic error"

This is with Premiere CC (OS 10.8.5)

Paul


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