The usual suspects - ffmpeg, MPEG streamclip, SUPER©. All free. If neither of them is able to transcode your stuff in a way that would be usable, then I'm afraid you eitehr will have to tell your rental shop to convert them or get the latest version of AE. Depending on how often you plan on doing that, the latter may actually be much cheaper in the long run then always shelving out money for a service provider doing conversions...
The camera rental firm simply say I can drag the files into any NLE and they'll work fine
Any NLE/video application (hopefully) released after the XDCAM EX format was introduced.
Thanks for the ideas.
However, it seems to be not so 'simple'.
First off, I ran the trial version of AE CS4, but still it wouldn't import the MP4s. Neither would the Adobe Media Encoder.
The free stuff I have yet to find a way to convert the files to anything usable - AVS Video Converter is not free (watermarked in the free version), but so far has converted an HD clip to 124 bytes file, when I asked it to export to a .mov using PhotoJPEG with frame size and rate as per the original ..... hmmm. That's when it stops crashing that is.
But those aside, clearly neither the latest AE nor QT will read these MP4s - the only thing that does is the Sony Clip Browser, which does so perfectly well, suggesting the clips are not actually damaged, as per the error messages from both AE and QT. I have also used the Clip Browser to export clips to the various formats on offer, none of which are useful to what I need, but the point there is that they do work. So again, I don't believe the clips are damaged as such.
So how, normally, would anyone get such XDCAM EX clips from a Sony camera, copied from the card to hard-disk via the Clip Browser, into AE, or anything else for that matter?
Surely it can't be this hard and convoluted?
Or am I missing a vital codec, or something really obvious that seasoned video pros take for granted?
Ah - we may actually have a problem.
I just sent a clip over to the editor, who says he has no problems dragging XDCAM EX clips into FCP normally. The sample, however, reported the same error I'm seeing, same as all of them.
So, the Clip Browser must be using proxy files, which are clearly not damaged, but the MP4s are. How that happened we don't know ..... the bad news is that the cameraman has disappeared off to France this morning with the same kit ..... oh dear ..... !
Anyway, it looks like perhaps it is a 'simple' problem after all - nothing to do with AE or QT anyway.
But thanks for the ideas!
Julian: The reason why you can't import these files in CS4 trial is because the trial version doesn't include support for MPEG-based formats, because of third party software technologies which can't be included in a free trial version because of licensing reasons.
XDCAM is fully supported in the actual product.
OK - thanks Adolfo. I'm going to take a serious look at CS4 anyway I think ..... much as I would dearly love to upgrade to the Masters Suite, and the price is great relative to what you get, it's just too rich for me right now. However, I can run to upgrading my AE, so I am seriously looking at that over the next couple of days.
On the main issue, bear in mind also though that the footage would not open in my colleague's FCP suite, when he says normally it's an easy matter of dragging the MP4s into the Bin. So there seems to be an external issue at play here as well. I kind of hope not, but it's looking that way - as I said: cameraman in France with same kit, shooting all weekend for our History Channel show ..... not the kind of news we need!!!
Well, after all that I just upgraded to AE CS4 and to cut to it, I can now load that footage without problems.
Thanks again for the help.
I am glad to read it worked for you!