When I Googled, I found https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2499735?start=0&tstart=0 which mentions a Panasonic Varicam and the ai1p codec
>installing Panasonic's AVCHD codecs. No joy
Well, does Panasonic SAY that what you have is an AVCHD codec?
Could there be something else on the Panasonic site?
No. Panasonic seems to say nothing about ai1p. There is very little info out there that mentions ai1p. I believe it to be a Panasonic AVCHD codec because I was told the material was shot on Panasonic P2 cameras, and it is not DVCPro. (I make that judgement because I regularly use DVCPro material fro Panasonic cameras in PPro with no trouble.)
I found the same article you did when I Googled ai1p. It's really not much help.
Final Cut Pro-X reports the files as "AVC-Intra 100M 720p60/30/24"
PPro has no trouble playing AVC-Intra files that are in the original P2 MXF folder structure. Do you think this has something to do with FCP7's importing the files? Has anyone seen this before? And if so, do you know a fix? (I've got 3 TB of this stuff to work with.)
organized in Final Cut Pro 7 projects.
That's the likely issue. FCP often coverts media upon ingest (Log and Transfer).
Go back to the original camera media, untouched by FCP.
Unfortunately, I don't have that option. The assets only exist as ingested to FCP.
After much poking around, it seems clear that the problem is QuickTime. The FCP ingest has wrapped the files in a QT wrapper. The ai1p codec is AVC-Intra. But QT does not come with that codec, and there seems to be no source from which to download that codec unless you have one of Apple's qualifying Pro Apps. I downloaded FCP-X and did the software update, which downloads the Apple Pro App Codec Support Package. That fixed the problem for Premiere, and for QT as well. (For some reason I don't pretend to understand, FCP-X could play the files before the Codec Pack was installed.)
This is another strike against the idea of proprietary codecs. I'd gladly have paid to download the needed codecs, but could find no source willng to sell them to me. Apple said that I didn't have a qualifying Pro App to be able to download the Codec Pack. So unfortunately, I had to but FCP-X to get a codec that should have been free or cost $10. Why in the world does Panasonic not make this available to editors? And why is there no Adobe page that has info on where to get every useful codec an editor might need? Especially those of major camera manufacturers.
Why in the world does Panasonic not make this available to editors?
I think the better criticism is against the way FCP handled the original media.
why is there no Adobe page that has info on where to get every useful codec an editor might need?
Because Premiere Pro doesn't change the media which it supports the way FCP did. Rather PP just works with the media as it comes off the camera, so typiclly no extra codecs are necessary with an all Adobe work flow.
I think it's great that Adobe doesn't change the media as it comes from the camera, and an all-Adobe workflow may well be some form of nirvana. I have never been a fan of FCP, and I think QuickTime is only a little less odious than Windows Media. But I live and work in a world where not everyone edits using Adobe products, and some of those people are my clients. And while Premiere is certainly increasing its market share, FCP is still a dominant presence, and those of us who don't live in a pure Adobe world have to find ways to accommodate that fact from time to time.
Adobe is doing a great job of providing interface aids for editors coming from Avid or FCP. A page of notes on codecs would just add to that.
Jim, please don't think I'm blaming Adobe for Apple's bizzare way of dealing with media. It is true that this whole episode has made me grumpy. I'm especially iritated at having to spend $300 to solve a simple codec problem. I don't blame Adobe for that, It's yet another reason not to like FCP.
But in truth, I don't really care about that. It doesn't matter who I criticize, I still have to get my work done. The world is what it is, and Adobe could have scored a lot of points by having a resource that helped me to know what was going on without having to spend half a day and most of a night on it. In the end, that information seems not to be available from anyone. I only found the answer by testing things until the answer revealed itself.
Apple doesn't want to talk about it because QT is a mess. Panasonic doesn't want to talk about it because they are simply clueless in the Mac world. So Adobe has a real opportunity to look like a hero. Or at leaset like they get the world that people have to work in.
I hate to tell you this, but you did not need to spend $300 on FCPX. You could have spent $50 on Compressor to get the same codec pack.
Adobe could have scored a lot of points by having a resource that helped me to know what was going on without having to spend half a day and most of a night on it.
There's nothing wrong with praise for a group that takes the initiative and solves a problem created by someone else, but it's not right to criticize them for not doing so. Criticism or complaint belongs squarely on the shoulders of the group that created the problem in the first place, in this case Apple.
Yes, I expect that's true. But I had to download FCP-X to find out that it was the codec pack I needed to make Premiere work.
Since the material came to me as FCP-7 projects, I hypothesized that FCP-X might play it back. Having exhausted the other options I could think of, I did that. It worked. But the files still didn't play in Premiere. Things being what they were, I set out to see if I could learn enough FCP to get on with my work. Then Software Update offered to download the codec pack, and it solved the problem for Premiere.
This is why I say that Adobe should have a page of info on codecs. It would save people time and money and Adobe would, once again, look like the smartest guys in the room.
OK. Point taken. In my frustration, I unfairly criticized Adobe for not providing the information I needed. Sorry.
The biggest problem is that there are thousands of CODEC's out there, and the list grows almost monthly. Most are designed just for playback, and a smaller sub-set can be used to Encode, say from PrPro, while a much smaller sub-set can be used to edit in Premiere Pro, in that it can use the CODEC to both Decode and to Encode.
However, there are many that are designed for other NLE programs, and only some will also work in PrPro. Some are Mac-only, while some are PC-only, but some ARE X-platform. When one gets to some of the proprietary CODEC's, the user might have to have their NLE installed, along with PrPro, and then, some just will not work.
No sooner does a user feel that they have a good handle on CODEC's in general, and then some mfgr. either releases a new one, or tweaks an older version, so that ONLY their version will work with files using it.
Because Apple's NLE's create intermediate files, and often with proprietary CODEC's, material from iMovie, FCE, FCP, etc., just might have to be converted to a more "standard" CODEC.
It also does not help that one is most often confronted by file FORMATS, but some, like AVI, MOV, etc., can contain any number of CODEC's, and now, some mfgrs. are wrapping CODEC's in non-standard formats/containers. Now, more than ever, it's incumbent on an editor to know the full details of the CODEC, though, as in your case, that was only marginally helpful.
The task was to find a way to get the necessary CODEC onto your system, and then hope that it's one, that PrPro can use. That is not always the case.
Because the list of CODEC's, that any one NLE cannot edit with, is in flux, i.e. changing constantly, keeping such a list evergreen would be a daunting task.
Sorry that you had to jump through some "flaming hoops," but is often the way that it is, with CODEC's.
It's all good. One of the reasons this was all such a surprise to me was that this is the first media I've ever asked PPro to read that has come up short on. (And yes, I understand that it's not really PPro's fault.) Wait-that's not true, PPro can't read seem to read Avid MXF files either.
I do understand that there are many, many codecs to keep track of. But it surprised me that there was not a readily-available answer in this case because all of the players were big companies with huge installed user bases: Apple FCP-7, Panasonic camera, and Adobe. "How could a quick Google search not yeild an answer?" I thought. Silly me.
In this case, I don't believe it was a codec problem (per se) at all. The problem was getting the codec into the QuickTime system. This was necessary because (at least as I understand it) FCP-7 wraps everything it touches in a QT wrapper. I don't think it actually changes the codec. But it does seem to be impoaaible to get that codec into QT without the Pro Codec Pack. The Panasonic installer seems to think you're going to be using the mxf package, so it doesn't bother.
Anyway, I hope this thread proves helpful to some other editor who's trying to get something done with a bunch of media that's organized in FCP-7 projects.
PPro can't read seem to read Avid MXF files either.
DNxHD in an MXF wrapper would be a nice addition to the list of supported codecs.