Panasonic HPX-170 P2 Offload

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Panasonic HPX-170 P2 Offload

#1 Post by jstenner »

P2 Offload procedure for Mac
by Barry Green, taken from this URL with additional comments by Jack:

If you intend to use a Mac to offload P2 cards, follow these procedures. Failing to do so can subject you to ruining your footage. What has worked in the past (or, more appropriately, what people have gotten away with doing in the past) is not recommended.

If you want to avoid glitching your footage, follow these steps.

First, let's talk about what you simply must not do.
1) NEVER put a P2 card into a Mac, or into a reader or camera connected to a Mac, unless you have first write-protected the P2 card. Failing to do so will result in the Mac's OS writing files to your card, which apparently can cause file corruption when you copy the files over.

2) DO NOT use Finder to drag and drop the contents of the card over. I don't care that this has worked for you in the past, and I guarantee that people who have glitches do not care that this has worked for you in the past. Apple, Panasonic, and DVXUser all say don't do it. If you use Finder to drag & drop, any glitching that results is your own fault.

Apple says not to do a finder drag 'n' drop, they say that you should do a "disk image". Panasonic says not to do a finder drag 'n' drop, and they've gone so far as to release a free utility for you to use that does the copy operation properly and verifies that it's successful. So DON'T DRAG 'N' DROP!

Okay, with that said, what is the proper procedure?

Step 1: Write-protect the dang card.
Do it. Don't not do it, failing to do it is just foolish. Any time you have a full card you should always write-protect it immediately. For your own workflow purposes, you automatically know that any write-protected card needs to be offloaded, but more importantly it appears that write-protecting the card can prevent the rare but deadly "glitch" from happening.

<INSERT BY JACK> Open the P2 card slot and slide the little switch on the end of the P2 card to the left (PROTECT). Next, you need to hook the camera to your computer via the 1394 (Firewire) port behind the flap next to the battery. Then, turn on the camera and press the Menu button. Scroll down to Other Functions and scroll down to PC MODE. Be sure the camera is set for 1394 DEVICE mode (ie, not HOSTMODE). Hit Menu a couple of times to exit and then press the MODE button next to the battery until the light next to MCR is on. Then, press and hold the MODE button a couple of seconds until it goes into PC mode. You should then see on the screen that the camera is in 1394 DEVICE mode. It will changed from DISCONNECT to CONNECT as the P2 card mounts on the computer desktop, just like a hard drive. It is this "source" that you select in the steps below. Don't forget to unprotect the P2 card and delete your footage when you're done with the transfer. HTH </INSERT BY JACK>

Step 2: Run P2CMS (a free download from Panasonic's website). <jack>aka P2 Contents Management Software at the link provided</jack>

Step 3: Make sure the orange "ingest" button is highlighted. In the "Source" window, select the card you want to copy (or all cards, if you have multiple P2 slots and want to copy all those cards into one big mega-directory). Click the "..." button to bring up a Finder file selector box, and navigate to the P2 card you want to offload.

Step 4: Choose the clips you want to copy, or chose Edit->Select All.
Note -- you do not have to "ingest" the footage into the database. Just have the card contents show up in the window, and select them all.

Step 5: Choose "Export"

Step 6: In the Export dialogue box, go to the "Export Target" box and choose the directory you want to copy to. For "Content of Export", choose "Copy" and under "Option", click the "Do Compare" box.

When you click "OK", it'll copy the files over to your Mac's hard disk, and it will verify that the clips were properly copied.

It does a number of things that will ease your mind, remove any doubt from the workflow, and solve a number of user errors that crop up in post. First, it makes sure that the clips actually successfully get copied! Second, using the "Do Compare" option defeats the "glitch". Third, it guarantees that you won't only partially copy clips because you forgot to copy over the XML or BMP file or other user error. Fourth, it avoids the common/frequent mistake of people not copying over the "lastclip.txt" file. And fifth, it fixes up any spanned clips (at least, as per the cards that you have mounted). In short, it's a million times better than doing a finder drag 'n' drop!

If you follow these procedures, you guarantee yourself a successful P2 experience.

Nobody wants that. We all want to prevent that. Using the write-protect tab, and using P2CMS to do the copy, and selecting the "do compare" mode, you should be able to prevent this from ever happening to you. Yes, the "do compare" means it takes extra time, but it also verifies that you will NOT get hit with the "glitch."

You have been warned. You've been advised. These are the official procedures as recommended by Panasonic.
The master of disaster!

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