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Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder

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Brian Purcell
Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 8:45:00 am

Ok so here is the dilemma. We just recently got a server and have since moved our big ol project onto it, media included, so that all our computer can finally be in "sync". As you might imagine some stuff slipped through the cracks and some media is still offline.

I managed to track down the media to its old home. It used to live on Thunderbolt Raid tower. I saw that the same mxf folder was also living on the server, it's just that it was only missing those files.

So no biggie right. I just copy those particular files over to the mxf folder on the server. But nothing happened, the media did not come online despite the files being in the correct mxf folder. I tried deleting the database files. This didn't do anything, Avid didn't even index afterwards which concerns me a little that the database files might be gone forever. Opening and closing the project also didn't do anything


I've attached a screenshot of our server mxf folder structure because I have a feeling this is somehow the root of the problem. The server that is.



As you can see each MXF folder has a name in front of it to dignify which computer it came from. This will do this automatically even if you create new media. But I still feel like the root of this problem stems from the server.

So just to reiterate.
  • project moved onto a server
  • mxf files for offline media were placed into appropriate mxf folder on the server
  • files still won't relink



Does anyone know how to resolve this issue other than copying the whole folder to the sever again. I mean right now it's not that bad because it's like 70 gigs, but next time it could be like 200GB or more. So hopefully someone knows the answer to this problem.


Thanks,
Brian


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 12:30:06 pm

Is this a shared storage among several editing systems? Is the "DIT" station that originally created and indexed the files still attached to the server?

Michael


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Brian Purcell
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 6:41:27 pm

It is? I'm not positive, it was laptop that was used for most of the transferring


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Brian Purcell
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 6:43:14 pm

And yes to your first question. It is a shared storage system. I'd too much about the details because I'm not looped in that deep


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 7:26:07 pm

Change the name of one of the DIT folders to a system name that is still attached and see if that allow re-indexing.


Michael


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Brian Purcell
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 7:42:07 pm

Tried that. No effect


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John Pale
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 10:30:22 pm

Were the folders enclosed within the MXF folder named by Avid or manually named?

If they were manually named, they would probably be read only, so that would explain why no new media database was written when you deleted them.

(Do not worry about the media databases you deleted. They are easily rebuilt once you get to the bottom of what's going on here.)


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Brian Purcell
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 10:34:08 pm

A few of them were created by avid and some were brought in manually. If that's the case that folders are read only, Then I shouldn't be able to place the individual mxf files in the folder in the first place correct?


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Scott Freeman
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 11:03:57 pm

I find it best practice to let Avid Media Composer Create the Proper Folder Directory. I have seen many shared systems and believe it might be fastest and easiest to try these steps to allow Avid to direct you to the correct folder on the Volume you decide:
https://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/14275/avid-please-open-the-folder-for-me...

I wonder if this helps?


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Andrew Proude
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 24, 2016 at 11:42:39 pm

Two things,
your media folder names do not look correct - each should be computer name then ending in sequential number.
eg
machine.1
machine.2
(a new folder is created each time Avid reaches the limit of 5000 files)

Secondly as you arent working from Avid storage you need to enable alldrives in console, this will allow Avid MC to read media from network drives.

Once you have done that, delete the two database files mdb & pmr whilst no one is accessing the media and your machine will rescan and create them.


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 25, 2016 at 2:45:52 am

anytime i have difficulty with avid scanning a drive or a folder, i create a new title, or import a still to that folder. Avid will create the proper folder structure. At that point you can move your media into that folder, and rename it afterwards to reflect the media that is in it.

Glenn


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John Pale
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 25, 2016 at 3:52:13 am
Last Edited By John Pale on May 25, 2016 at 3:56:24 am

"Then I shouldn't be able to place the individual mxf files in the folder in the first place correct?"

Not talking about Read Only in Finder. Read Only by Avid.

The folders that live inside the MXF folder have to be named in a very specific way. In a standalone system, the only folder Avid will write to is simply named "1". When the maximum number of files are reached folder "1" is automatically renamed "2" and a new "1" is created. In a networked system (Unity/Isis), there are folders for each computer name on the network with a ".1" appended (then computername.2, etc.)

If the folders are named any other way, they become Read Only to Avid. You can use this rigidity to your advantage for media management purposes, if you know what's going on.


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Jimmy See
Re: Avid Media not relinking despite MXF media being in the folder
on May 25, 2016 at 4:11:49 am

I haven't used Avid in shared storage environments too often, so you may want to wait to see if there are any replies to my comment correcting inaccuracies but I think I can lend support to the suggestions that this is related to the names of your folders and clear something up regarding the read only confusion.

In a single user, non-shared storage environment, as you probably know, avid creates subfolders in the 'MXF' directory in which it places the MXF media it generates, along with the media database files. It creates a new one of these every 5000 files and in the context I describe, each of those subfolders is named simply 1,2,3,4 etc incrementally up from the previous batch of 5000 files. It's actually possibly though, if so inclined to change the name of one of those folders, after it's been created, and have Avid still continue to access the media stored therein and read the database correctly, this has one catch or useful feature depending on your perspective, which is that Avid will not write to, scan, or update the databases of any subfolders in the MXF directory that do not conform to the naming convention it uses when creating those files, only read. In a sense, you could say it's read only, except it's more that Avid will only read it, not write to it, but the directory as far as the operating system is concerned has all the same permissions it's always had including write permission. This is quite handy if you want to logically sort your Avid media by things like date for example, as it keeps it all in one folder with a name that matches its contents and because it can no longer be written to by Avid, nobody can accidentally add anything to it that's from a different date, and it doesn't get filled up with renders and titles and graphics etc, as that will automatically go only to correctly named, numbered, avid folders.

If the Avid MXF subdirectories have been renamed for the purpose I describe above, the thing to remember is that there is a side-effect of the folders becoming read only to Avid, which is that if you have to add something to one of those folders later on down the track, (maybe if they're organised by date, the data wrangler hands an additional card to you that somehow never made it back from the shoot with the rest of that day's footage), then when importing, that footage won't go to that folder, and if you later drag that footage in to that folder, Avid can not write to it, and thus can not update the database, and thus can not tell that the media is in there meaning it won't link to it and it will show up offline despite being correctly placed in the MXF folder it should be inside.

In the single user setting I describe, that problem's easy to workaround, you simply copy your footage in to the folder you want it to be in, then rename the folder to something like '2' or any correct system name for the folder that isn't already taken, and then switch application to Avid which will begin scanning the new directory and updating the database and then ultimately relinking the footage, and then rename it back to what I wanted it to be in the first place which puts it back in to a read-only state that correctly freezes the contents of that folder so that it only includes exactly what you want it to. Handy if you're not using shared storage and want to distribute media between multiple, disparate storage locations piecemeal.

This paragraph is the part that would be best to have confirmed by someone who works with Avid in managed, shared storage scenarios because my knowledge here is a bit iffy. Another commentor has pointed out that the folders don't look like correct system names, and I also note that there are a lot of folders and that the folder names look a lot like date formats yyyymmdd, and that they also lack a period followed by a number as a suffix. This suggests to me that those folders aren't computers but are MXF directories that have been manually renamed to match the date their contents was filmed and that somehow additional footage was added after those folders were initially made, presumably by someone else than whoever initially did it and that additional footage that was added, was added to a different storage location that was still attached to the machine that the project was initially started on. Fixing this problem should be a very simple fix of renaming the folders correctly, first and easiest thing to try then is to simply rename the folder you just added the footage to something like '2' and seeing if Avid will scan it and if it fixes the problem, you can rename that folder back again afterwards if you want to retain that same structure. If that doesn't work, I assume that's because in shared storage situations, the Avid MediaFiles structuring is slightly different and in which case I assume the way the structure should look in such a situation is that each computer linked to the shared storage should have a folder in the MXF directory called computername.01 or computername.02 etc, and within that folder should have numbered subfolders just like in a single user setting. If that's the case and I'm correct in my assumptions, then you want to use one of the linked computers and import something, anything, even a still, in to the project, my guess is that will create a folder for your computer in the shared storage with the correct system naming conventions and a subdirectory with a folder called '1'. If it does that, then you can drag all those folders from your picture in to that computer's folder and perform the same renaming trick I described above for the problem folders in there.

Whatever the fine details, this problem looks very much like it's related to how those folders have been named and I strongly suspect it's a case of a manual renaming meaning that Avid can no longer write to the database file within the MXF subfolder, which will be a nice easy fix. If no one chimes in with more credible information, you could always experiment with what I'm suggesting because it's all reversible and nothing is deleted in the process.


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