HD Writer vs copying files directly - AVS Forum
Camcorders > HD Writer vs copying files directly
davidwilp's Avatar davidwilp 09:10 PM 03-26-2011
New to HD. The more I search and read the more I get confused.

What is the difference between using HD Writer to "copy to PC" & just using windows explorer to copy all the folders and files to my hard drive?

I want to serve 2 purposes.
1) To create an archive of files for future us and just to have.
2) To burn DVD's to send to family.

Given the 2 above Can I accomplish both of them doing either way?

Thanks

ed lynn's Avatar ed lynn 09:38 PM 03-26-2011
When I got my sony hdr-XR550, I use the sony PMB to transfer camcorder files to computer. But when I bought the sony VG10, NEX5, and Panny TM700. I decided to use LuxZg advice(see below). Now I can play video taken from my sony VG10 and play it on XR550 camcorder. If you use Panny's HD writer or Sony PMB to tranfer files to computer. I am not sure, but I think once you converted the files to computer It cannot be transfered back to Camcorder.

I use the sony PMB software to play all videos (TM700, NEX5, VG10, XR550). Note: I shot all my TM700 video in HX mode. Don't know if HA mode plays on PMB.

from LuxZg's post....(see link below)

Ok, not directly related to your post, but it reminded me..

ALL YOU PEOPLE THAT COPY TO SD CARD THAN IN CARD READER TO PC etc, just to "preserve the files".. you're really complicating your own lives in the fear of the great unknown.

I've read people recording to built in memory, than copying to SD card, than going to card reader, than copying to PC so no files are missing, than just to make sure copying from TM700 using HD Writer once more, etc etc.

Here is what is way faster and easier:
- plug TM700 with it's own USB cable
- open newly connected external drive which represents cam's internal memory
- select all folders (should be just "AVCHD" and "DCIM")
- copy
- open any folder on your folder where you want to store those videos
- paste

That's it! I can make it shorter. Connect your cam to USB and than drag and drop all folders to your hard drive. Presto!

Questions and answers area:

Q) Oh my God! You'll never be able to play back those files from camera again!!
A) Yes I will. Put SD card to your computer (card reader etc), create folder called "PRIVATE", copy/paste those two folders (AVCHD and DCIM) with all files inside it. Put SD card to your camcorder, and play back

Q) But you'll never be able to use HD Writer with those files!
A) Yes, I will. Do same thing as for playback, connect camera to USB, and turn on HD Writer. It will see all files.

Q) But I'm certain you'll never be able to edit those files in HD Writer EVER EVER EVER AGAIN!
A) Yes I will. Do same as in previous step, select files, and edit.

Q) OK, maybe you got me there.. but if you just copy those two folders you won't be able to playback those files on PC, AHA! :P
A) Yes I will. Just open folder AVCHD, than BDMV, than STREAM, and play any of those files. I know your next question... Doesn't matter if they are MTS and not M2TS, that's same thing basically.

Q) Maybe it will play, but are you telling me I can edit those as well? No way! My Final Cut Pro won't accept those!
A) You're right. Final Cut Pro won't. But it won't accept M2TS files from TM700 either (if shot as 60p video). All other editors will accept MTS files. Powerpoint will accept MTS files (on Windows 7). Movie Maker will accept those files as well (on Windows 7). Relax.. And dual boot with Windows if you're on Mac if you don't how to do it otherwise, at least until new FCP is out.

Q) But... but...
A) Don't even bother. I've tested, and you can always return any of those files/folders to your camcorder, copy back to internal memory or keep on SD card, and once you're there, you can always just pretend they never left the camcorder.

Q) Will this save my time, and disk space?
A) It will save your time, that's certain. If you used to keep both copy that you made directly copying from SD card and one where you used HD Writer to do it, yes, you'll save 50% of your hard drive space.

So there.. I hope this puts your hearts to ease. You can test it yourselves, be my guest. If at least 2-3 people confirm this, perhaps 100 others will stop wasting their time, so please, try it and report if it worked.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...248284&page=24
davidwilp's Avatar davidwilp 06:49 AM 03-27-2011
Thanks for that info. Now I just have to confirm that it is all correct. If it matters at all, I shoot in HA mode. If shooting in HA mode would I have have to down convert for any reason?
Peter Riding's Avatar Peter Riding 01:53 PM 03-27-2011
A big advantage of using HD Writer is that you can chop out the bits that you don't want and the remaining will still be pristine and not a rerender to an alternative format.

So if you typically start recording before the real action and finish after it, and even if you have bits during the main recording that you'd rather not retain, you can chop out all this superflous footage and still download the net result in its original file and codec format. HD Writer creates a new file of your edit and you just download that.

HD Writer seems as quick as any way to download so I can't really see the point of not using it. OK its clunky but it works fine.

Pete
ed lynn's Avatar ed lynn 05:51 PM 03-27-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
A big advantage of using HD Writer is that you can chop out the bits that you don't want and the remaining will still be pristine and not a rerender to an alternative format.

So if you typically start recording before the real action and finish after it, and even if you have bits during the main recording that you'd rather not retain, you can chop out all this superflous footage and still download the net result in its original file and codec format. HD Writer creates a new file of your edit and you just download that.

HD Writer seems as quick as any way to download so I can't really see the point of not using it. OK its clunky but it works fine.

Pete
With Sony camcorder, if you copy entire SD files to the computer. And chop out video using the Sony PMB, then copy back the computer folder files to SD. The camcorder will register the chopped out video as 'X'. It's means the files in SD no longer in its original form.

So whenever I want to chop out video, I use the camcorder to delete the unwanted video. After I am done. I copy the SD folder to the computer and run PMB to watch the video.
Peter Riding's Avatar Peter Riding 04:23 AM 03-28-2011
My understanding is that HD Writer is a Panasonic only program. I received v2 free with a TM700 and v3 free with a TM900.

If you edit out unwanted parts in HD Writer it doesn't change the "original form", for example if you recorded using Panasonic's 1080 / 50 or 60p AVCHD (which is not actually within the AVCHD spec. as its beefier), then edit, your resulting file will be the same spec as the original. The software does not delete the original file or change it in any way - it creates a new version and leaves it to you to retain or delete the original one.

I prefer to do this using a big desktop screen rather than within the camcorder.

Pete
zapster's Avatar zapster 06:31 PM 03-28-2011
Double checking - Is HD Writer able to delete parts of the AVCHD stream without recompressing the saved file, so the edited clip is the same quality as the original footage?
Peter Riding's Avatar Peter Riding 01:38 AM 03-29-2011
Zapster, yes that is correct. Therefore its much more desirable than the alternative of bringing the file into an editing program and having to resave into an alternative format. Its also very quick whereas rerendering to e.g. AVI in Vegas could take a very long time.

Pete
christm's Avatar christm 07:38 AM 06-06-2012
Hi

I followed the advice here of copying items from SD card to PC and am now trying to copy the files back so HD Writer sees them however when I start HD Writer and look to the memory card, I just get a message saying there are no supported contents on the SD Card.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Martin
bsprague's Avatar bsprague 08:18 AM 06-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by christm View Post

Hi
I followed the advice here of copying items from SD card to PC and am now trying to copy the files back so HD Writer sees them however when I start HD Writer and look to the memory card, I just get a message saying there are no supported contents on the SD Card.
Any ideas?
Thanks
Martin
Martin,

I'm not sure I fully understand your question. You didn't say exactly how you copied the files from the SD card to the PC. Nor did you say which version you have. I think there are 4 or 5.

My HD Writer 2.6 is very particular. If it was not used to transfer the files from my Panasonic camcorder to my computer, it will forever ignore them. It does the same for videos shot on any other camera. It seems that HD Writer uses three tiny auxiliary files for each video file created by the camera to keep track of things that allow some of HD Writer's features to work. Without those files, HD Writer won't load the video.

Those three files are useless to any other editor from Windows Movie Maker to Adobe Premier. And, people with a Mac can't use them either. So, only the specific features of HD Writer are lost.

Since I like some of the features in HD Writer, I elect to use it as the first step in my work flow. My version lets you transfer the files from either the camera or the SD card from the camera inserted into the computer's card reader. So, AFAIK, there is no advantage to using any other way to move the files.

Bill
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