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MS-DOS FAT32: clips captured in split files ... Can I merge them?

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Alan Langdon
MS-DOS FAT32: clips captured in split files ... Can I merge them?
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:06:18 am

OK, so realize I might have messed up. I have captured footage using a mac, onto a USB external drive formated for MS-DOS (FAT32).
I didn't think this owuld be possible, but then I remembered I might have installed an NTSF sort of plugin that would allow my computer to read AND write onto such type of drive without it having to be MAC formated.

So now all my video files, coincidentally longer than 2 GB, end up captured in 2 segments, being that one is dependent on the other, as in reference files: if one is missing, the other cannot open. The file break happens at 2 GB, due to the Windows limitation.

OK. So, I am giong to pass the HD back to the client, who needs to be able to edit using the drive, reading AND writing. Am I correct at fearing that he will not be able to write to the drive unless he installs the same NTSF plugin?

Is there a way I can re-export the clips, while preserving the time-code from tape, in case there is Media Manager usage in the future? In other words, can I make 1 single file from 2 linked files, preserving the time-code continuous and equal to the tape TC?

Thanks for any help on this!


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Zane Barker
Re: MS-DOS FAT32: clips captured in split files ... Can I merge them?
on Feb 16, 2011 at 4:34:30 pm

[Alan Langdon] "I have captured footage using a mac, onto a USB external drive formated for MS-DOS (FAT32)."

Two problems here.

One, never edit using a USB drive, it works in burst of data so it has problems with the high sustained data needed for video editing.

Two, As you have discovered fat32 formatted drives will have problems with file size limitations.

[Alan Langdon] "I might have installed an NTSF sort of plugin that would allow my computer to read AND write onto such type of drive without it having to be MAC formated."

A plug in like that could be useful if your drive was formatted NTFS, but your drive is formatted FAT32 so the plugin will do nothing with your drive.

[Alan Langdon] "OK. So, I am giong to pass the HD back to the client, who needs to be able to edit using the drive, reading AND writing. Am I correct at fearing that he will not be able to write to the drive unless he installs the same NTSF plugin?"

Again a USB drive ill cause problems editing, use a firewire drive. Again that NTFS plug in does nothing for a FAT32 formatted drive.

If the files are to be edited in FCP by the other person, then reformat the drive Mac OS Extended and recapture. If they are not going to be edited in FCP by then I would recommend having the video captured on that that system as problems may arise if video is captured in FCP but then edited on a non FCP system.

**Hindsight is always 1080p**


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Alan Langdon
Re: MS-DOS FAT32: clips captured in split files ... Can I merge them?
on Feb 16, 2011 at 4:52:24 pm

Thanks a bunch for the reply.
I agree about the USB drive, I recomended Firewire but here in Brazil people are used to using USB drives, for better or worse, and FW is more scarse / expensive, so they went with USB. I have been editing on and off with USB drives for some years, so I know it is possible, although not ideal. I myself use only LAcie FW800 drives, personally.

You have a point about the non-NTSF formated drive: it was not formated with the plugin... but so how did I manage to even capture footage on the drive? This is what baffles me, and why I made the mistake: I opened the USB drive box, tried to copy a file to it, saw that it worked ok, so I didn't think twice about it: I assumed it was MAc formated. My bad. But then why am I able to capture to this drive? Usually it's not possible to write PC drives, only read.

I have discovered that if I export the clips ou of compressor, using DV NTSC codec (assuming it is NOT re-encoding... is there a way to safely pass-through image and sound in compressor?), the timecode is maintained (essencial) and the resultant file is single, roughly 2.2 GB. So I can re-export the footage out to another HD and back to this one, formated for Mac OS Extended. Any throughts on this? I know USB is not the best way, but let's assume I have no choice, which is the case.



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Walter Soyka
Re: MS-DOS FAT32: clips captured in split files ... Can I merge them?
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:48:10 pm

[Alan Langdon] "Usually it's not possible to write PC drives, only read."

On Mac OS X, FAT32 is read/write. NTFS is read-only (unless you install a third-party tool).


[Alan Langdon] "I have discovered that if I export the clips ou of compressor, using DV NTSC codec (assuming it is NOT re-encoding... is there a way to safely pass-through image and sound in compressor?)"

I don't think Compressor has an option for video pass-through. I think you can avoid re-compression by opening the segmented files in QuickTime Player Pro, then using File > Save As... (make sure the "Save as a self-contained movie" option is checked).

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Eric Peters
Re: MS-DOS FAT32: clips captured in split files ... Can I merge them?
on Feb 16, 2011 at 4:37:43 pm

The way I see it, you have a couple options here... You could either reformat the hard drive and then recapture the footage (the safest way to deal with the problem) OR you could throw your clips in a sequence, set the starting timecode of your sequence to reflect that of the footage, and export a new merged quicktime. Either way is a bit of a headache. No matter which option you choose, you're going to want to get that drive reformatted at some point so that you're not dealing with FAT32. Also, I know it's been said on here plenty of times before, but a USB drive isn't the best storage solution to be editing from...

Eric Peters
ProMAX Systems
eric.peters@promax.com



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