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View Full Version : AVCHD Files...What a Headache!



Coco Bermudez
07-14-2009, 10:47 PM
Can someone explain it to me as if I were a 4 year old...or maybe direct me to another posting where this is explained.

This is my first time I work with AVCHD and I am a bit lost. When I shoot with my 16GB on the GH1 I usually do not end up filling the card. I shoot for about 20 minutes or so and then I copy the folder labeled PRIVATE into my hard drive. This way I insure EVERYTHING is in there. Now when I go out the nesx day and shoot, i do not format the card again...I have lots of extra space left from the day before.

Now here comes the tricky part...If i want to make a backup of what I shot, what files do I copy? Do I have to copy the whole folder again? This would contain my new movies plus the one before. is there an easy solution? I know that AVCHD breaks real easy if one file is missing.

Any suggestions?

Ben_B
07-14-2009, 10:50 PM
Whole folder again. You should just be formatting the card! Same with P2 and all other (non AVCHD) digital workflows! If you can go back and delete the clips manually on the camera when you forget to format I believe that works too. Get a second HDD for backup and log and transfer your footage right away to makes sure everything works fine.

J Davis
07-14-2009, 10:50 PM
If you are using FCP you should backup the whole PRIVATE folder structure as FCP needs that. If you use Adobe's media encoder then you only need the .mts files in the STREAM folder which is in the BDMV folder.

Be careful tho as sometimes the data corrupts and you need to go back to the card. I usually don't erase the card till I have everything in prores with pulldown removed

Ozpeter
07-16-2009, 12:16 AM
Whatever you do, ensure you have two copies of the footage at all times - eg, on two hard drives with the card wiped, or on the card and on one hard drive. Never make one copy to the hard drive then wipe the card right away - make the second copy (from the card) first.

Personally I'm copying off the whole card contents into dated folders, so if there are photos in there too, they're safe. The folders are dated in yy-mm-dd format so they sort correctly when you look at the parent folder. Maybe put a text file in each day's folder describing the content in summary - you should then be able to do a text search at the top level (in Windows at least) for a key word which will then help you work out where on earth the vital shots have gone to.

Copying the folder structure compared with the just the video files themselves will take up no extra space worth worrying about.

TrueIndigo
07-16-2009, 10:16 AM
I have two external drives to double-archive my files before re-using the cards. I have only been copying the video files (not the other folders). So far I have been using a video utility to make proxies for editing because my machine is not powerful enough to play avchd in realtime. These mov proxies play ok in the NLE. So my question is: in what situation do I need the contents of those original folders? What part do they play in a avchd workflow? Thanks...

Ozpeter
07-16-2009, 03:13 PM
So my question is: in what situation do I need the contents of those original folders?You would need them if you didn't have them... that's the way the world works! I've seen software that likes to retrieve the video files from the folder structure rather than direct. One day you might want to use software like that. My point remains that the contents of those folders is trivial compared with the size of the video files, so you might as well have them. Only downside I can see is that it takes a bit more time to navigate down to the actual video files.

Ben_B
07-16-2009, 05:00 PM
Final Cut Pro, for example, requires the directory structure to be intact for log and transfer. I don't really see why anyone would much want to edit in AVCHD anyway! Just transcode, edit, turn down quality if you need it in your program, use media manager to convert your files to only use what footage you're using when your edit is done, add handles for cushioning, and erase the transcodeded excess...the end. You still have the card data, and you avoid all headaches with editing in native AVCHD. Afterall as the thread is titled "AVCHD Files...What a Headache!" then again the OP was only talking about digital workflow in general, which many of us have been using for awhile.

TrueIndigo
07-18-2009, 03:20 AM
Ok, I'll start saving the memory card folder structure, in case that is ever needed in the future. It makes the video files several extra folder levels deep -- but I could just keep those folders out the way somewhere if my current workflow does not need it, and bring them back if I did need it? However, it struck me that if I rename my video files (a very useful thing to be able to do) doesn't that screw up the original indexing in those folders of the video clips?

Using a video utiltiy (which doesn't need the folder hierarchy) to make proxies (of everything) and then later say uncompressed output (of only the used clips) seems like the best workflow to avoid the "headaches of avchd" editing.

Ben_B
07-20-2009, 11:42 AM
Final cut can rematch clips by metadata it's not totally dependent on name...I know if you rename in final cut it does not effect file name. Also I am not sure what it does with multiple dumps in one scratch folder Clip #1 showing up a bunch of times, etc...that is one thing I really hate about AVCHD...I prefer the P2 naming convention (or lack therof.)

AdrianF
07-20-2009, 02:47 PM
Personally I'm copying off the whole card contents into dated folders, so if there are photos in there too, they're safe. The folders are dated in yy-mm-dd format so they sort correctly when you look at the parent folder. Maybe put a text file in each day's folder describing the content in summary - you should then be able to do a text search at the top level (in Windows at least) for a key word which will then help you work out where on earth the vital shots have gone to.

Copying the folder structure compared with the just the video files themselves will take up no extra space worth worrying about.

This seems like a pretty sensible approach to archiving the camera originals. If you wanted to then make a subject/project/scene based library, it's easy enough to copy/convert the originals to the their specific folders.

Also I am not sure what it does with multiple dumps in one scratch folder Clip #1 showing up a bunch of times, etc...that is one thing I really hate about AVCHD...I prefer the P2 naming convention (or lack therof.)
Yeah, this part is a bit of a pain, if the camera could write the files in the same way as it writes filenames for jpegs/raw, it would make things a little easier.

Ben_B
07-20-2009, 03:08 PM
Yeah or just did the P2 thing where it gives it a random name based on some algorithm and theres a small chance...like one in 100 million that you get the same name and scramble your card's brains. lol.