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  • Media Composer Linking to wrong files after doing a consolidation on a drive

  • Hanqin Lin

    November 22, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Here is kind of a weird problem I encountered today. I was working on a low budget project with a couple other editors. Since it’s low budget we don’t have the luxury to be able to sit in an office and use a shared storage solution. So I decided to just give everyone an exact copy of all the MXF files on a drive to bring home and we work through sending bin files to each other via email and such.

    And everything’s been working perfectly at first. I know for a fact that Avid handles the media and metadata pretty well so a modified bin will directly relink to whatever media files was on my local drive.

    And usually I just copied the numbered folder under AvidMediaFiles/MXF, like 1, 2 and such, until one day I needed to copy several selected clips over and used the consolidate/transcode function inside Media Composer. (While kind of using it in the wrong way though) While having both drives plugged in and both bins opened. I first did a consolidate command on some selected audio master clips in my original bin but targeted the other drive, thus copying the mxf over and creating some .new01 clips in my original bin. I then just ignored and deleted the new master clips. And then I copied over my original .avb file to the other drive thinking that I will be able to relink to the newly created mxf files on there.

    Moved over to the other editor’s station, pulled up the project and opened said bin, all clips offline, did a relink command, and boom everything is brought back online without a single warning or failure, feeling like a pro.

    But the happy moment quickly faded away as I randomly go over the clips and check. And for some reason… 3-4 out of the 50 something clips were actually liked to completely wrong media files. For example I have a clip that’s labeled 44A-3 in my bin but avid links it with the audio file of 131C-2 or something. Using the reveal file command I was able to see that avid indeed linked those master clips to a wrong mxf file. I then proceed to manually making sure that the 44A-3.new01.wave01.(random number).mxf file was present in the media folder. And could never figure out what Avid ignores this file and think that the 131C-2.new01.wave01 file is to be linked with a master clip that clearly has a different name, length, and tape ID.

    Tried several methods of relinking, none worked. It appears that the only way I can force avid to relink to the correct file is to manually delete the wrong file from the media directory, and force avid to look for a “second best candidate”.

    This only happened to a few clips which is not a huge deal to fix. But it did start to make me wonder a bit about how bullet proof is Avid’s media management. Or did I do something wrong to cause this to happen? Looking for suggestions and theories. Thanks guys!

    TL;DR: Consolidated some audio clips to a new drive, copied bin file over, bring to new workstation, open said bin file in a different project, everything offline at first, proceed with relink, bring everything back, and a few clips appears to be linking to the wrong media files.

  • Glenn Sakatch

    November 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    You are coming up with a more difficult way of doing this I think. If you have new media you need to copy to a second drive…I’m assuming the audio files you were consolidating were newly created by you, and needed to be shared to everyone else…I would have simply gone into my Avid Mediafiles/mxf/1 folder where those files were created and copied them across to the new drive. Sort the folder by date modified, and you should be able to find your relevant media pretty easily. Yes some of those mxf names can be daunting, but for the most part transcodes are pretty obvious what they are.

    Another method is to rename your mxf folders each day so that the next days media I super easy to find…its the only stuff in the “1” folder. Copy it across to the transport drive, and then rename it with the project and the date.

    The process of creating new media, then deleting the clips for that media and having 1 project reference the original media, while the other version references new media is too confusing to keep track of…especially if there are 3 of you trying to use the same process.

    To check, I would always unplug one of the drives to ensure Avid isn’t being confused as to which drive it should be looking at.


  • Hanqin Lin

    November 23, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Yes! That’s exactly what we have been doing. We name our mxf folders by date, like 20161108, and put everything that was shot that day in it. So that I can easily move the entire folder over to another drive.

    And actually we have 4 guys working on it, one being a DIT/On-Set Editor. We receive newly shot materials pretty much daily. And everything was fine until one day the DIT guy messed up and put 600 or so clips from a different project that are totally irrelevant into the dated folder for this project. Thus, manually separating the files will take some effort. Yes I can just copy this folder over and leave those unreferenced files inside, but I don’t want to cluster the other editor’s drives with unnecessary clips (and the extra 20 mins or so of my life wasted on the copying process-_-). So I figured why not just use Avid’s always great media management tools and let Avid pick and copy the needed files. And that’s why everything happened.

    I always unplug the drives and only keep one drive mounted to ensure I don’t have duplicated clips confusing Avid, but still, the problem exists.

  • Glenn Sakatch

    November 23, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Yes the whole system becomes harder when the folders get the wrong media moved into it. It happens all the time. I’ve been naming my folders based on projects for years, but by working on several projects in one day, it is pretty easy to misplace a file or two.

    I still maintain, taking that folder with the incorrect media in it, sort it by date created or date modified, and a quick look at the file names, and i bet you would have figured out pretty easily which files didn’t belong.

    If the media you were looking at was a duplicate of a different shoot, you could also drag the database into a bin, and use that to either delete the media you didn’t want, or identify the range of clips and their names by sorting based on date, and using the “reveal file” function to locate one of those files in the mxf folder. The others were probably all right around the same area as far as date or naming convention.

    The media tool funtion may have also been helpful in this type of scenario, but i honestly hardly ever load it up.


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