All software updates have been previously run and the Sony Plug-in installed. AVCHD imports OK and ProRes runs just fine. I'd try reinstalling the Quicktime Pro Codecs, however the only version I've found is v1.0.1. When I run that installer, it reports a newer version is already installed. Still, the black screen playback suggests the the XDCam EX codec isn't installed.
http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-xdcam/resource.downloads.bbsccms-assets-micro -xdcam-downloads-XDCAMSoftwareDownload.shtml <<< click here and download/install the appropriate plugin/firmware.
If that doesn't work, you will have to convert the video to Apple ProRes, using any of the following applications...
Pavtube MXF Converter
Free MTS M2TS Converter
Pavtube iMedia Converter
Thanks for the alternative utilities, however I'd like to resolve the issue within FCP X. I have a total of 5 test clips. They all play correctly with VLC Media Player, so I think I can rule out corrupt clips. How can I make sure the Pro Apps Codec has been installed properly? Is there a way to force the Pro Apps Codec from apple to re-installed?
Hang on lets keep FCPX out of the equation for a moment.
You say you have a 'test' clp from Lens Rentals. In what form is this?
Is it a BPAV folder with with a heap of other folders nested in it?
A XXX_xxx_000.mov XDCAM EX 720/1080 etc single movie file?
If its a BPAV, use XDCAM Transfer (v2.12.0) to 'unwrap' the .mp4 file and place it on your desktop as a destination.
Open it with something like QT or Mpegstream Clip, hit cmd i and check the stream info window.
should be something like:
Path: /Volumes/MyBook/••PROJECTS/B4B_81_12/HEV VAULT/BAE_HYBRID_0016_01.mov
Data Size: 36.76 MB
Bit Rate: 36.36 Mbps
XDCAM EX 720p50 (35 Mb/s VBR), 1280 × 720, 50 fps, 34.83 Mbps
(lpcm), 768 kbps
BAE_HYBRID_0016_01.mov (36.76 MB)
...does the file play?
If its already an 'unwrapped' .mov check that in QT or Mpegstream Clip
Do you have much the same in the stream info window? Does it play?
If the answer is yes to both:
go througn the usual 'Import File' for FCPX.
Does it play?
If not then something wrong deep in FCPX and not the 'QuickTime engine maybe.
Sorry to be so pendantic but its good to eliminate the varibles.
btw another great little utility for getting into BPAV .mp4s is ElegatoTurbo HD.
The test clip LensRentals offers is the XDCam EX .mp4 file itself with no overlying file structure. The other clips I have are from someone who was unaware of the difficulties created by taking the .mp4 files out of their folder structure. He copied four .mp4 files out of the BPAV from the SxS cards to a flash drive. None of these clips play in Quicktime 7 or in MPEG streamclip. Both apps report the file as being incomplete or invalid. So, going with dsimagry's suggestion, I decided to try Pavtube Video Converter. That plays these files and has succesfully converted them to ProRes which now makes them useable.
So, could it be that the normal behavior of FCP X is to not work with a bare .mp4 created by XDCam EX? Or is there something corrupt in Quicktime/FCP X which is preventing these clips from being played?
Yep that's right mate, as it has been always so.
take the .mp4 out of their little cocoon and they are lost. It's the QT engine that does not play them. Not so much as corrupt just lacking a bit of extra coding. Now this is not a bad thing, I believe the BPAV overcoat is there to retain all the associated metadata. The same apllies for the folders of, AVCAMs 'PRIVATE' , BluRays BDMVand our old friend the VIDEO_TS. Ah did'nt we have fun with the .vobs?
QT is fine as long as you keep feeding new plugins into the QT folder.
How the likes of Elgato Turboh264 HD can do it I dont know, guess its not using the QT engine.
Tip: On a shoot in the field, I use Elagto to batch generate small iPhone (h264) movies rushes for the client to review, just throw the BPAV folder at the Elgato window and away you go.
I use two Sony EX1 cameras - and because of the nature of my subject, there is always a lot of wasted footage but this is no problem because I have a workflow which copes extremely well. It involves the use of a HD partition or drive which is dedicated for the purpose of import. Mine happens to be 500 GB but it can be much smaller.
I use Sony's free application XDCAM Browser to select the footage on my SxS cards and "Register" them for Final Cut Pro. The destination disk is the HD partition mentioned above - unfortunately, they get put into a folder (I have not yet worked out how to avoid this - the must be in the root of the drive - not in any folder).
I then eject the SxS and quit XDCAM Browser.
Using Finder, I drag the .mov files from the folder into the root of the partition. There must be no other folders on the partition for this to work.
I then launch FCP X and press Cmd+i to use the camera import facility. Using this, I can import the precise clips I need. Later, I use finder to discard the unwanted footage from the partition.