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till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello forum,

 

I have DV AVIs which were captured on a Windows XP PC with the Miro DV500 capture card (with OpenDML option, PAL format, interlaced). When trying to import a given AVI file into Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1 (latest available update) I get an error message:

 

"No importable media - None of the selected files or folders could be imported. Change your selection and try again"

 

(I have the german version, so the above is just a rough translation)

 

I tried also with unchecking all import dialog checkboxes, to no avail. The same import failure happens on an iMac running 10.6.8 Snow Leopard and FCP X 10.0.1 (latest update) and on a MacBook Pro running 10.7.1 Lion with the original FCP X 10.0.

 

 

 

I copied the files onto the Mac harddisk. The size is nothing extraordinary, the smallest file is just about 172 MBytes.

 

The files import just fine into my Final Cut Express 4.0 version! They also play fine with QuickTime or any other application such as VLC on my Mac.

 

I found this entry here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3152268?start=0&tstart=0 which talks about (large) MJPEG AVIS from a Pentax K-7 camera. The same workaround described there works with my DV AVI files as well: I open the AVI with Quick Time 7 Player (on my Snow Leopard), "Save as" and then "Save as reference" ("Als Referenz sichern" in my german QT). This produces a very small *.mov file which I then can import into FCP X!

 

(Unfortunatelly I haven't figured out yet how that works on Lion with QT 10.1, since the "Save as" has gone (bummer!) and the Export doesn't seem to provide a "Save as reference" anymore - unlike the original post claims: "...and save the file as a movie with the media in the same format." - how?)

 

 

Anyone else is having trouble importing DV AVIs into FCP X?


Final Cut Pro X, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,705 points)

    Use MPEG Streamclip or Compressor to convert the media.

  • till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    By the way I also have Compressor installed (which by the way can read those DV AVI files just fine).

     

    I am quite new to Compressor: any setting which would allow me to simply copy the stream content into a new container (AVI or MOV), that is without actually re-compressing the movie?

     

    I just tried "compressing" it into another DV MOV file, but a) that takes ages and b) will yield a quality loss (since it recompresses every frame).

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,705 points)

    FCP Is not QuickTime based as such the way other versions were. It's based on AV Foundation, which I don't believe supports AVI files.

  • till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So the good news: with those "quick'n'dirty" settings in Compressor:

     

    Name: Ohne Titel DV-Stream

    Beschreibung: Keine Beschreibung

    Suffix: dv

    Geschätzte Größe: 1.44 GB

    Audio-Codierer

        16 Bit Integer (Big Endian), Stereo (L R), 48.000 kHz

    Video-Codierer

        Breite und Höhe: Automatisch

            Ausgewählt: 720 x 576

        Pixel Seitenverhältnis: PAL CCIR 601

        Beschneiden: Ohne

        Padding: Ohne

        Bildrate: (100% des Originals)

            Ausgewählt: 25

        Frame-Steuerungen: Automatisch ausgewählt: Aus

        Codec-Typ: DV - PAL

        Mehrere Durchgänge: Aus, Frame neu anordnen: Aus

        Scan-Modus: Interlaced

    Seitenverhältnis: 4:3

        Pixel-Tiefe: 32

        Qualität (spationale Komprimierung): 75

        Min. Qualität (spationale Komprimierung): 75

        Temporäre Qualität: 75

        Min. Qualität (temporäre Komprimierung): 75

     

     

    I got a slightly smaller file than the original (quality loss!), with a *.dv suffix, and then I was able to import this into FCP X.

     

    Still not an optimal workflow, since time-consuming and quality loss (unless I find that "Don't recompress" option in Compressor)...

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,705 points)

    NO. Do not convert to DV Stream. This is a muxed audio format used in iMovie. Convert to QuickTime using the DV PAL codec.

  • till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Are you sure? "DV" is a common video compression format (more specific: "DV PAL" or "DV NTSC") and Compressor did render the movie in the expected format and FCP X was able to import that file.

     

    And as you can see the "DV PAL" codec was chosen. But next time I will pay attention and see whether QuickTime container would be better, thanks for the hint!

     

    Anyway, in the meantime I found a "lossless" way with http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-mac.html

     

    MPEG Streamclip let me "Save as" into another file, and when I choose "AVI" as the container this renders a slightly larger file (a few KBytes) which I then can import into FCP X! Seems like no recompression is done, however "copying" a few GBytes this way is a somewhat tedious operation.

     

     

    So yes, it must be an AVI container/header issue with the files as produced by the DV500 capture card/software, but heck I wish FCP X could just import that file, just like any other program is able to read it, including FCP Express 4.0 *sigh*...

  • till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, that's correct: FCP X uses the new AV Foundation under the hood. That explains probably why it trips over these DV AVI files of mine, whereas all other applications based on QuickTime (7 or X) or anything else (e.g. VLC) do just fine.

     

    However FCP X is supposed to import DV AVI (OpenDML only, which I specifically checked when capturing) as per its format specifications (see Help documentation) and proven by the fact that it DOES import the DV AVIs written by MPEG StreamClip, as mentioned above.

     

    So this is either a bug in FCP X or AV Foundation.

     

    Anyone familiar with AV Foundation? Are there any command line tools I could use to analyse a given video?

     

    Thanks, Oliver

  • till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Nick wrote (in reply to my initial question which was posted in the wrong Final Cut Studio forum):

     

    FCP has always been hit or miss with .avi. after all it is an obsolete and proprietary Microsoft format for display on computers and was never an industry standard in Pro video production.

     

    You can use Compressor to transcode to ProRes, which will better retain the quality. I know you said you don't want to transcode, but this will work, be painless and probably save time in the long run. Better than faffing about rewriting headers anyway.

     

    AVI being an (Microsoft) standard or not, that's what my DV 500 capture card produces and I have to live with it. I still have plenty of VHS tapes lying around, and the Miro DV 500 (inside an old Windows XP PC) still does an excellent job in digitizing them . As I do new video material digital from the beginning there is no need for me to buy an extra capture card for my Mac. But this just as a side-note.

     

    You mean, "ProRes will better retain the quality" as in "it produces better quality than any other lossy codec such as DV or anything else", right? Because re-coding (with a lossy compression) always implies a loss of quality! And that is the main reason I am very reluctant in re-coding my AVI files. The second being the time it takes to recode hours of footage (not all in one go, off course, but I have several VHS tapes I want to rescue).

     

    So re-coding is always a worse option than "faffing about rewriting (AVI) headers": and indeed, I managed to simply "Save as" my AVIs with MPEG Streamclip, again into an AVI container ("re-writting the AVI format headers") and the result was an almost 1:1 copy (the resulting file was a few KBytes larger, but not due to recompression - good). Those "rewritten" files I was able to import with FCP X.

     

    However, still time-consuming and workaround-ish. I'd prefer if FCP X/AV Foundation would simply import my files in the first place. If there was at least an error log of some sort which would tell me why FCP X trips over these files. Anyone knows?

     

    For me this is a clear regression from QuickTime to AV Foundation which needs to be addressed by Apple.

  • Ron Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    Dunno whether this is what you would want but . . . I use ClipWrap to get stuff into FCPX that otherwise is too 'buggy' and you can download the free version which will allow you to use the first minute of all clips in a film.   Now, as most of us wouldn't be filming constantly for over a minute, it's a 'good-un' and worth trying out.   I boought the complete version quite a while ago and use it whenver I get a film by someone that normally isn't acceptable for FCPX.   My other tool of course is Clipstream for much transfer work.

     

    If you try it, don't forget to select Prores 422 or Prores 422HQ within the ClipWrap programme before using 'converting.'

     

    Ron

  • till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your suggestion, but as you see I already wrote that I managed to get these DV AVI clips into FCPX by simply "re-saving" (not converting!) those AVI with MPEG StreamClip, again into the same DV AVI format. The file size then differs slightly by a few KBytes due to different AVI Headers (I strongly guess) and FCP X then happily imports these clips.

     

    But this is just a workaround since time-consuming and unnecessary (unnecessary for me wasting my time, that is).

     

    I send feedback to Apple (via the "Feedback" option in FCP X) and as a matter of fact Apple Support got back to me. I sent them some sample AVI clips for analysis. Let's hope for the FCP X 10.0.2

     

    Cheers, Oliver

  • till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh, talking of which: http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/16/apple-releases-final-cut-pro-10-0-2-update/

     

     

     

    Going to see whether that fixes my DV AVI (Pinnacle DV 500 generated) import problem...

     

    Cheers

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,705 points)

    I doubt FCP will ever properly support AVI files. No previous version did, and the AV Foundation FCP is based on doesn't. If you work in AVI you will be endlessly rendering in FCP.

  • Ron Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    Absolutey, Tom.   The reason I put forward the try at Clipwrap was to suitably convert to FCPX codec.   A try is better than simply not  . . . !

  • till213 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Now, Tom and Ron, you two seem to be very on the bright side of life: just accepting the fact that there are bugs and just put up with them by "Thinking different" - or you're just accepting the fact that "You're holding it wrong" or whatever.

     

    It's funny, this seems to be a very common attitude among some Apple "lovers".

     

    @Tom: Now your statement is wrong in at least a couple of things: first DV AVI actually is on the list of supported import formats. Second, "no previous version did" is clearly disproven by the very fact that even FCP Express 4 is able to import this very same AVI clip. Let alone QuickTime being able to play it and iMovie also imports it just fine.

     

    Now I cannot talk about FCP before FCP X as I have never used those, but FCP Express being a downsized version of the very same product  and being able to import DV AVI I can't believe FCP would not.

     

    Finally your statement that the new "AV Foundation" doesn't import (DV) AVI clips is also wrong: again as disproven by the fact that the very same DV video clip, with a modified/corrected AVI header by MPEG StreamClip (a simple "Save-As" does it!), is successfully imported into FCP X!

     

    So yes, it's most probably an AVI header bug, and that bug is in the new AV Foundation.

     

    And there's something else you get confused about: AVI is NOT a video format! It is a container! So even if that is not the native (or preferred) container for FCP X there would be absolutely no reason why FCP X should do any other thing than decompress the format (DV in this case, which is a very common format!) and convert it to my target format (H264 or whatever, and into whatever container I would choose, say MP4). There would be absolutely no rendering involved (assuming off ourse that the only editing would be cuts and no fades or the like), except maybe converting DV into the "native" format which would be used internally. But that would be comparable effort to converting any other format into the FCP internal format. So I don't see your "endlessly rendering in FCP" (compared to when I would import say a DV video clip in a QuickTime container).

     

     

    And to Tom: No, this is not a viable solution for me to use a converter to work around a bug! And I don't understand why you insist on your suggestion being a genuine solution, as I already wrote in the first 3 posts or so that I figured out that myself already (and actually without converting to any "FCPX codec" - whatever that would be, but I figure you mean something like "ProRes 422"). But it's just no fun to first copy hours of digitised VHS tapes into almost identical files, just to be able to import them! Yes, it would work, yes I might even have to revert to that "solution" - but I still consider it not a real solution.

     

     

    And again, I am not saying that Apple cares enough about eventually fixing that issue, but they did get in contact in me after me sending an issue. Also just recently after I complained that 10.0.2 did not fix it (uh well, yes, with no concrete indications of whether that would get fixed, just along the lines like "I have to get in contact with our engineers again")...

     

    So no, 10.0.2 did not fix it - so I'm still holding my breath...

     

     

    Thanks anyway for your help so far - just don't try to convince me of what I'm trying to do is wrong (as I get the feeling).

     

    Cheers, Oliver

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