23 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2013 1:19 AM by Fuzzy Barsik

    Link Media without losing Metadata ?

    ExactImage Level 3

      I'm trying to figure out a robust workflow for working with AVCHD media in Premiere Pro.  Each way I turn I find a hole in the workflow that meas it's unusable.

       

      If I want to use the native AVCHD footage, all is well until I want to move it to another system, or retrieve the project from an archive.   At this point Premiere asks me wher 00000.mts is.  Great!  WHICH 00000.mts file does it have in mind?   With native footage and multiple cards I seem to have multiple 00000.mts files and I have no idea which one it has in mind!   I've made a request that they add the tape name to the open dialog but I'm not holding my breath!

       

      If I rename the source files prior to import it no longer joins the (leaving me with lots of files).

       

      If I try to transcode it (using AME) I get all the little files instead iof a jioned file.

       

      If instead of choosing (possibly the wrong) 00000.mts file I say take offline, then when I can see the project browser and the tape names I can relink to the original media, it erases the tape name / shot / angle etc I had for every file in Premiere Pro.  Arrgghh!!!!

       

       

      -- so heres the question --

       

      What exactly is the right way to do this with native AVCHD media ?  

       

      -- OR --

       

      What is the right way to transcode the AVCHD footage (within the adobe suite) so that it's all joined in to single files that I can then rename to unique file names?

        • 1. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
          joe bloe premiere Level 5

          I move projects between systems all of the time with no problems.

           

          Make sure that you use identical drive letters and pathnames on
          both systems for your project, media, media cache and preview files.
          If you do this there will be no need to relink media, Premiere will
          look to the identical paths as specified in the original project and
          automatically link everything up.

           

          You mention multiple cards... be sure you copy the entire contents of the
          media cards to a folder on an internal drive on both systems for editing.
          This way you won't have to guess which "00000.mts" it is looking for...
          Premiere will look to your "card1" or "card2", etc. folders.

           

          I never try to isolate and copy media cache files from system to system,
          preferring to let them re-generate once for each system.
          If it is the first time you have moved the project to the second system,
          or if there are new media files added to the project since it has been opened
          on the second system, Premiere will need to generate media cache files.
          However, if you use an identical path for the cache you will only need
          to do this the first time the project is opened, or when new media is added.

           

          What is the right way to transcode the AVCHD footage (within the adobe suite) so that it's all joined in to single files that I can then rename to unique file names?

           

          I have done this before using UT codec... it works fine but the files are bigger, and
          I have found that if I keep the project organized as described above it is much simpler.

          Also, you will lose the timecode from the original .mts metadata.


          ps
          Whew!  It took about 45 minutes to be able to log in and post an answer!

          • 2. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
            ExactImage Level 3

            Thanks for the reply, but it's really not as simple as that.

             

            Make sure that you use identical drive letters and pathnames on
            both systems for your project, media, media cache and preview files.
            If you do this there will be no need to relink media, Premiere will
            look to the identical paths as specified in the original project and
            automatically link everything up

             

             

            While that's possible PC to PC or Mac to Mac it's not possible going between Mac and PC, which at the moment is something we need to do.

             

            You mention multiple cards... be sure you copy the entire contents of the

            media cards to a folder on an internal drive on both systems for editing.
            This way you won't have to guess which "00000.mts" it is looking for...
            Premiere will look to your "card1" or "card2", etc. folders.

             

            We ALWAYS copy the entire card contents.   Premiere doesn't ask for card1, card2, it asked for 00000.mts, 00001.mts.  That's the whole problem.  If it told me which card it wanted the file from there would be no problem at all.  On large projects, there is no way to predict which order it will look for files. 

             

            I never try to isolate and copy media cache files from system to system,

            preferring to let them re-generate once for each system.
            If it is the first time you have moved the project to the second system,
            or if there are new media files added to the project since it has been opened
            on the second system, Premiere will need to generate media cache files.
            However, if you use an identical path for the cache you will only need
            to do this the first time the project is opened, or when new media is added.

             

            Yes, we know all this.  We move projects back and forth all the time, but native AVCHD is proving a problem.  Normally we'd throw this through FCP to transcode, but I'm trying to come up with a Mac / FCP free workflow, and right now I can't figure out how to EITHER move project and have it re-link to the correct media every time where files names are duplicated (e.g. 00000.mts) without losing the tape name. 

             

            TRY IT!

             

            If I could find a way of sending the card to AME and having it produce joined up files I would be happy

             

            Like I said, which ever way I turn, there is a hole in the workflow....

             

            Try this....

             

            1) Create a new project and import two cards of AVCHD (where both cards start at 00000.mts) and add TAPE NAME to all the files so you know which card they came from.

             

            2) Save you project

             

            3) Close Premiere Pro

             

            4) MOVE the card folders so that when Premiere Pro is restarted it needed to ask you where they are

             

            5) Start Premiere pro

             

            6) It asks for 00000.mts, but doesn't tell you which one.   If you had 10 cards all on sequences it could be asking for them in any random order.  Which one would you pick?

             

            -- OR --

             

            6) Tell it to take the file OFFLINE because you'll know which tape to re-link to once you get in to the project.

             

            7) In the Project panel, tell it to Link Media back to the files from Card 1.    It does link the media, but the Tape Name is now erased, meaning you'd have to go add it back in again and if you forget to do that (i.e. you're in a hurry) and move the project back (so it need's linking again) then you have no idea where stuff comes from any more.

             

            So......

             

            Given that at the moment I can't replicate system file structures, and I'm happy to transcode, provided it will join the files, what other options are there?

            • 3. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
              joe bloe premiere Level 5
              Thanks for the reply, but it's really not as simple as that.

              For me... yes, it is.  As I mentioned I do this all the time.

              For you... apparently not.

               

              going between Mac and PC, which at the moment is something we need to do.

              You didn't mention that.

              Lose the mac.

               

              3) Close Premiere Pro

               

              4) MOVE the card folders so that when Premiere Pro is restarted it needed to ask you where they are

               

              5) Start Premiere pro

               

              6) It asks for 00000.mts, but doesn't tell you which one.   If you had 10 cards all on sequences it could be asking for them in any random order.  Which one would you pick?

              Easy... DON'T MOVE THEM.

               

              6) Tell it to take the file OFFLINE because you'll know which tape to re-link to once you get in to the project.

               

              7) In the Project panel, tell it to Link Media back to the files from Card 1.    It does link the media, but the Tape Name is now erased, meaning you'd have to go add it back in again and if you forget to do that (i.e. you're in a hurry) and move the project back (so it need's linking again) then you have no idea where stuff comes from any more.

              Don't do this either unless you are certain of what to relink.

              It seems you are causing yourself problems, then looking for a fix.

               

              Given that at the moment I can't replicate system file structures, and I'm happy to transcode, provided it will join the files, what other options are there?

              You can transcode to any format available in AME... try a few.

              • 4. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                Fuzzy Barsik Level 4
                ...If you had 10 cards all on sequences it could be asking for them in any random order...

                Not exactly.

                PrPro is a software, and on that basis can't think, feel, choose on its own etc. It just executes lines of code in a particular order.


                Regard to asking about missing media files, PrPro starts looking through your project subfolders in alphabetical order.

                Let's say you have 'Card 01', 'Card 02' etc. subfolders in AVCHD folder.

                PrPro. Searching Order.jpg

                Irrespective of order you imported media files into those subfolders, whether you imported them into 'Card 02' subfolder first and then into 'Card 01' or vice versa, PrPro asks you about ones from 'Card 01'.

                 

                However the order you imported files into 'Card 01' subfolder does matter. If you e.g. selected files in Media Browser from top to bottom, you will be asked about 00000.MTS. If from bottom to top - about e.g. 00100.MTS

                 

                Check if the above works for you.

                • 5. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                  joe bloe premiere Level 5

                  Good and pertinent info, Fuzz... thanks for chipping in!

                   

                  • 6. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                    ExactImage Level 3

                    Joe, while I appreciate your feedback, some of the comments seem rather flippant and unhelpful.   Telling me to "lose the mac" doesn't change the fact that if a project is archived on windows then restored with any change at all in the path then the same problem happens. Who knows what the system config could be in 2 years time?

                     

                    I could equally tell you to "lose the pc" but it wouldn't help.    I'm trying to coordinate several systems, some of which are running FCP and so can't magically change to Windows.

                     

                    Telling me "Easy - DON'T MOVE THEM" seems to have completely missed the point.   I was merely showing how to recreate the problem.  We don't move files around for the fun of it.  The only time the paths can change is when moving from system to system. 

                     

                    If I can't predict what file it is asking for (before the project is fully open), the only option is to take it offline and then relink later.   I'm not causing these problems for the fun of it. I'm trying to coordinate several systems until we can eventually sync them all to the same OS versions with the same HDD paths etc.   It's not going to happen over night, so I'm looking for a workable solution today.  The problems exist on Windows as well as Mac, so blaming the Mac is pointless.   If there were a way to rename the AVCHD files uniquely AND still have Premiere Pro import them as spanned files I would be more than happy.  If this is possible (and not hugely long winded and tedious) I'm all ears.   Renaming them prior to import breaks the span capability.

                     

                    I am also well aware that we can use Media Encoder to transcode, we use it litterally every day, but the question was wether you could use it to transcode AVCHD  ***AND*** have it join the files like Premiere Pro does.  Maybe you missed that?

                     

                    Fuzzy, thanks for your input.  It's appreciated.  However, I've had experience of Premiere Pro asking for files in what appeared to be 'sequence' order (as in the order it is used in the sequence) rather than source card order, so it really does 'appear' to be random from project to project, even though it's clearly going through a predefined decision tree.  

                     

                    The problem is that you can't see the project when you are trying to open it and it's asking for files, so again, you have no idea what card it's refering to at the time.

                     

                    I'm simply trying to find a way to uniquely identify AVCHD files so I don't have to go through any of the link problems..... yet still create spanned clips in Premiere. 

                    • 7. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                      Fuzzy Barsik Level 4
                      I've had experience of Premiere Pro asking for files in what appeared to be 'sequence' order (as in the order it is used in the sequence) rather than source card order, so it really does 'appear' to be random from project to project, even though it's clearly going through a predefined decision tree

                      Doubt if things actually go that way.

                      I specially spent some time on checking again before posting previous message. 'Sequence' order never had any influence onto.

                      You are asked about missing media file even though you never used it in any sequence in a project, but had imported it into a project.

                       

                      What is more I'd never been able to explain 'random' behaviour you describe from a developer angle.

                      You may have various algorithms for doing things, but they hardly ever prescribe random behaviour...

                       

                      The problem is that you can't see the project when you are trying to open it and it's asking for files, so again, you have no idea what card it's refering to at the time

                      Pardon ???

                      Who prohibits you from opening the project by choosing 'Skip All' or 'Offline All', checking project folder structure, closing without saving changes and reopening?

                       

                      I obviously don't follow you, sorry...

                      • 8. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                        ExactImage Level 3

                        Obviously you can see it if you take things offline, but at that point it should be easy to re-link the media - which is what I tried and it erased the Tape Name from the newly linked files.  Arrgghh!!!

                         

                        I guess the term "random" may be wrong in this instance, because clearly there is an algorythm it follows, but I just tried to use your method on a test project and it certainly didn't ask for them in the card import order or even name order, because doing that replaced the wrong footage at the start of the sequence.   It actually wanted the file I'd used first on this test sequence. 

                         

                        I also verified this happened on both Mac and Windows, so it's not an OS issue.

                        • 9. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                          Fuzzy Barsik Level 4
                          ...it certainly didn't ask for them in the card import order...

                          Indeed!

                           

                          ...or even name order...

                          It doesn't ask for names you have on your HDD, it checks for subfolders names within a project...

                           

                          Have a look at the picture above. I was playing with various rearrangements. Footages in project subfolder 'Card 02' in that particular case were imported from 'CARD A' subfolder in HDD and marked as 'Card 01' in the 'Tape Name' field and vice versa. And all of them point to correct media files after moving data in HDD and restoring the project...

                           

                          If you really experienced with quite opposite PrPro behaviour, it's far beyond of my understanding, can't explain that...

                          • 10. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                            ExactImage Level 3

                            I created the following cards in premiere (and imported in this order)

                             

                            Card_1

                                 00000.mts

                                 00001.mts

                            Card_2

                                 00000.mts

                             

                             

                            I created a sequence with the 00000.mts from Card_2 first, then 00000.mts and 00001.mts from Card_1.    Premiere Pro asked for the location 00000.mts. If I picked the file from Card_1 it replaced the wrong clip in the sequence.  

                             

                            Was this the order you had in mind or did I missunderstand things?

                             

                            Also, if files are moved from the "Card_1" bin (e.g. to a bin of a specific subject), and there are multiple 00000.mts files in there then it makes it even harder.

                             

                            It's a really messy work flow situation.   If all those files have Tape Name associated with them then it becomes easy to re-link the correct media, but having the tape name erased when the media gets linked kinda screws with things badly.  

                             

                            Now, I'm willing to transcode all the AVCHD footage to something like DNxHD in order to get unique names, we've been used to transcoding to ProRes in FCP, but there doesn't seem an easy way in the Adobe Suite of doing this without manually picking out the root files and leaving the spaned files alone (as Premiere would do on import).  Thougts?

                            • 11. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                              Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                              I just created two brand new subfolders - Card 01 and Card 02 - within MULTICARD TEST folder in my HDD.

                               

                              I placed the whole BDMV folder from first memory card into Card 01 subfolder in my HDD and the whole BDMV folder from second memory card into Card 02 subfolder in HDD.

                               

                              I created two subfolders within my test PrPro project: ABC and DEF.

                               

                              I imported into ABC subfolder two media files from HDD Card 01 subfolder in the following order:

                              - 00007.MTS

                              - 00002.MTS

                              I imported into DEF subfolder two media files from HDD Card 02 subfolder with the same name (the order doesn't matter)

                               

                              I selected files in ABC subfolder and marked them as 'Card 01' in Tape Name field.

                              I marked files from DEF subfolder as 'Card 02'.

                               

                              I placed 00002.MTS file from DEF subfolder into a sequence, saved project and closed PrPro, renamed MULTICARD TEST folder in my HDD to just MULTICARD and opened test project. I NEVER been asked about 00002.MTS file, which had been placed in a sequence, but about 00007.MTS file, which had been the first one imported into ABC subfolder. After that all the metadata were correct and all media files pointed to correct places in HDD etc.

                               

                              P.S. I use to create AVCHD, Footages, Images, Music, Sound and Sequences subfolders within my PrPro project. Sometimes I separate Dynamically Linked AE comps from Footages into a dedicated subfolder, sometimes not. I can create some extra 'subject' subfolders within any/all subfolders above, but I never mix source files with the same name in one subfolder. I always keep all files from a certain memory card in a dedicated subfolder within AVCHD one in PrPro project. So I never face up to 'even harder' issue...

                              • 12. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                ExactImage Level 3

                                I've just had similar results to you with a different test project.

                                 

                                However, digging deeper, it looks like both the Tape Name and Log Note get lost if you take a clip offline then re-link it - even within Premiere Pro (i.e. don't close the program), but the Shot, Scene, Description and Comment fields are preserved.   It seems like we need to stick the Tape Name in one of the other fields for now and report this as a bug.

                                • 13. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                  Shadreck Rukweza Level 2

                                  Hey if you shooting AVCHD you need to rename your files appropriately, because everytime you use the same card, it will revert to the default renaming of clips. The best way to achieve this is using Adobe Bridge, assuming you have got Premium Production or Master Collection. Once you copy your files into a dedicated folder on your system, launch Adobe Bridge and navigate to the file folders, and go to tools and select batch rename. In that case you will be able to rename all your files, rather than stick to the default card file system.

                                   

                                  Gud luck!!

                                  • 14. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                    ExactImage Level 3

                                    Hey if you shooting AVCHD you need to rename your files appropriately, because everytime you use the same card, it will revert to the default renaming of clips. The best way to achieve this is using Adobe Bridge, assuming you have got Premium Production or Master Collection. Once you copy your files into a dedicated folder on your system, launch Adobe Bridge and navigate to the file folders, and go to tools and select batch rename. In that case you will be able to rename all your files, rather than stick to the default card file system.

                                     

                                    That's what we do for DSLR files, but for AVCHD it's not that simple.   If you rename the MTS files Premiere Pro no longer joins the spanned clips.... unless you know differently   We often have 1 hour clips from unattended cameras.  Having 5 files appear instead of 1 is a PITA.

                                    • 15. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                      Shadreck Rukweza Level 2

                                      That's what we do for DSLR files, but for AVCHD it's not that simple.   If you rename the MTS files Premiere Pro no longer joins the spanned clips.... unless you know differently   We often have 1 hour clips from unattended cameras.  Having 5 files appear instead of 1 is a PITA.

                                       

                                       

                                      Try and use Bridge to get the footage from the card first, because Bridge will save the metadata for you.

                                      • 16. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                        ExactImage Level 3

                                        Please explain......   since we have all the card info on the hard disk, how does that make a difference?

                                        • 17. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                          ellemichelle Level 1

                                          Exactimage, I hope you've identified a good workflow by now? Would you share?

                                           

                                          I am transitioning from FCP7 into CS6 and realize I have this same issue with relinking AVCHD files with the same name.

                                           

                                          Thanks!

                                          • 18. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                            ExactImage Level 3

                                            ellemichelle wrote:

                                             

                                            Exactimage, I hope you've identified a good workflow by now? Would you share?

                                             

                                            I am transitioning from FCP7 into CS6 and realize I have this same issue with relinking AVCHD files with the same name.

                                             

                                            Thanks!

                                            Not a workflow I'm happy with     Right now, until Adobe's codec supplier pulls their finger out and gets us a fix (ADOBE: is any one chasing this?) I'm transcoding all my AVCHD to Prores usings FCPX!

                                            • 19. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                              Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                              Aside from spanned AVCHD clips issue (which in my point of view can be resolved by rewrapping MTS files into M2TS ones with a vendor utility) what prevents you from utilising an understanding in which order PrPro searches for missing media?

                                              • 20. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                                ellemichelle Level 1

                                                I waited this long to respond because I wanted to get more familiar with the software. Now that I have completed one project it seems like I am able to relink. I have taken special care to create folders with specific identifiable names for each "private" file I offload from the cards with matching bins in PP, so I know where to direct the relink. I would not be able to function with files simply named Card1, Card2, etc.

                                                 

                                                Though I don't like this proccess, and it is rather time comsuming, it works as long as I don't shoot footage for two different projects on the same card before offloading. I learned quickly to avoid that.

                                                 

                                                Anyone with a better workflow will be my favorite contributor

                                                • 21. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                                  dsfsdsdfsdffdsf Level 2

                                                  Just adding my 2 cents. We've been using Pr CS6 for a few months now. Our backup workflow is to copy the project from the shared server to a PC workstation, undock that machine from the server to check the project integrity, and back up to LTO. Using FCP that's a breeze because of it's brilliant - and many years old - batch reconnect feature. On checking a few restores using Premiere I've also come across the ugly reality of trying to reconnect multiple MTS files. We structure our capture directories and rushes bins identically so there's always a trail of breadcrumbs to follow, but as many of you will know that's next to useless when all Premiere throws up is a 'Where is file 00000.mts' with no context of which bin, card or day it's referring to. I had nine 00000.mts files on the project I'm currently proofing for backup. While I admire the Premiere dev teams commitment to bleeding edge 90's project management it is a little annoying to have to relink manually once in the project or take a guess on opening and then unpick all the wrong guesses.

                                                   

                                                  I've altered our workflow now so that when new footage comes in it gets copied to the appropriate project capture directory, then using a freeware batch renamer (BatchName in this case) every shot is given a card and day reference in addition to the xxxxx digits. That way we'll force Premiere in the future to identify more location specifics. The renaming doesn't appear to mess with any AVCHD indexing or referencing.

                                                   

                                                  Whatever way I go about it the process of checking and backing up a project now takes 30 - 60 minutes each and every time, up from about 3 mintues with FCP, so hopefully this issue will all be fixed come Premiere CC next month, but for now that's our cobbled together solution. Anyone got any other workarounds? I don't want to transcode our MTS material because that negates one of the major benefits of working in Premiere on longform projects - keeping the project size down!

                                                  • 22. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8

                                                    The renaming doesn't appear to mess with any AVCHD indexing or referencing.

                                                     

                                                    On shorter clips it may not.  On spanned clips it will.

                                                    • 23. Re: Link Media without losing Metadata ?
                                                      Fuzzy Barsik Level 4
                                                      Anyone got any other workarounds?

                                                      Right in this thread, in the comment #4.

                                                      hopefully this issue will all be fixed come Premiere CC next month

                                                      Watch this on new Linking Media feature: