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Forums Avid Media Composer Understanding MXF files at Finder level ?

  • Understanding MXF files at Finder level ?

  • Rosie Walunas

    August 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I’m transitioning/learning AMC and want to get a solid grasp of MXF files at the Finder level. I hope this isn’t too tall of an order, but here’s what I’m interested in knowing more about.

    I understand that I can consolidate/transcode or link AMA and then consolidate/transcode to an External drive, which is how I am working. I understand I can also use the Media Creation tool in Setttings to manage where things get saved.

    I see that when MXF files are made they can only be set to a drive in general and not a folder on a drive. An “Avid MediaFiles” folder is created and all the media goes there; this is similar to a Capture scratch in FCP; this folder cannot be moved into another folder or file path. Is this correct? If so, how do I separate the media of multiple projects stored on one drive? What if I want to move projects and media to other drives? I noticed when I move this MXF media folder and opened my project, the media went offline and relinking would not occur until I moved the folder back to the main portion of the drive, I thought Avid always knew where the media is.

    What do each of the MXF files break down to and look like? I see that video material includes an original file name and a ‘V’, while audio material includes an ‘A.’ What about Titles, Render files, and Sequences on the backend? Bins are obviously .avb and live in the project folder.

    Also, what are “msmFMID.pmr” and “msmMMOB.mdb,” and the “Creating” folder referenced to?

    Any and all applicable information is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you kindly!

  • Richard Sanchez

    August 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    The MDB and PMR files are your Avid Database files. MDB (Media Database) not sure what the PMR acronym is. The creating folder is where media will live while it is being actively captured or transcoded. Once that process is done, it is moved into the numbered folder where it lives. So, your Avid Media files is as is VolumesAvid MediaFilesMXF1 (Unless you’re on a Unity In which case it will be VolumesAvid MediaFilesMXF1ComputerName.1)

    If you want to separate media, you can import or capture and immediately create a “2” folder and or any numbered folder to move media into. Keep in mind, the 1 folder will always be where the newest media will be transcoded to. Sometimes I’m importing large amounts of media, I’ll import it to the 1 folder and create a folder 100 and move the media into there. The reason the folders are numbered is that Avid will manage your file counts in your folders. After 5000 files, it will create a new numbered folder to keep the overall file counts in each folder down. The fact is, I try to keep my file counts under 2000 especially on large projects with massive amounts of media. At a certain point, it seems that file counts become less of a problem with the Avid, and more of a problem on the operating systems. You’ll notice when you click on folders with large amounts of files, it takes a while for it to resolve itself. Keep in mind, every time you move media between numbered folders, you should delete the MDB and PMR files and allow Avid to rebuilt those database files.

    As far as moving media around, Automatic Duck’s Media Copy is fantastic.

    This can move media by bin, or by project. You hit it right on the head, as far as V1 being video track one, and A1 and A2 being audio tracks.

    Richard Sanchez
    Los Angeles, CA

    “We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.” – Bill Hicks

  • Rosie Walunas

    August 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I see. Great. Good tip about creating a new numbered folders to keep track of the media. But as a follow up question to “delete the MDB and PMR files and allow Avid to rebuilt those database files,” from which folder do I delete the MDB and PMR? Do I delete this from the “1” folder in general? Should these be carried over to the new numbered folder I make weather it be “9” or “100” like you say? You said Avid starts with the “1” folder and fills up numerically, so does it start there with those files regardless?

    Thank you!

  • Richard Sanchez

    August 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    For example, if you import a quicktime, it will convert it to MXF media and place it in a folder Avid MediaFiles\MXF\1 but you choose to separate it into Avid MediaFiles\MXF\100. Copy only the MXF files. Don’t copy the creating folder, or the PMR or MDB files. However, since you’ve modified the “1” directory, you should delete the PMR and MDB files. Avid will see those are missing and it would rebuild those database files and it indexes everything. It will also notice that you moved footage into the 100 folder, and index those files, creating an MDB and PMR in that folder. If you later decide to move more media into that 100 folder, you should delete the MDB and PMR in the 100 folder and let Avid rebuild again so that it always has updated database files. In general, it will catch when the contents of that folder change, but sometimes it doesn’t or doesn’t index properly until you delete those files and let it rebuild.

    Richard Sanchez
    Los Angeles, CA

    “We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.” – Bill Hicks

  • Rosie Walunas

    August 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Cool. Thanks for being so clear about this. It’s very helpful.

    Thank you!

  • Richard Sanchez

    August 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm


    Richard Sanchez
    Los Angeles, CA

    “We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.” – Bill Hicks

  • Eric Santiago

    August 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I suggest Media Mover to all newcomers.
    It helps you manage the MXF folders.
    It was great when we use to have 4 to 8 mounted drives but now we only use one.
    Still a great addition to your workflow.

  • Rosie Walunas

    August 8, 2012 at 12:55 am

    How do you get into/use Media Mover? Any suggested tutorials?

    Thank you.

  • Glenn Sakatch

    August 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    If you are constantly switching back and forth between a couple of major projects, and want to keep them separated, you can also rename the numbered folders to anything else you want…after the database has been built. If all your media for job1 has been captured to a “1” folder, and you are about to start capturing for job2…take the “1” folder and rename it job1. then start capturing for job 2. A new “1” folder will then be created. At the end of that process, change that folder to job2. The databases can be read by Avid in a folder with letters…but Avid can’t write anything new to that folder…including updating the database. It is a great way to keep media organized for all to see what is in the folder. All renders and such you do will go into a “1” folder. I don’t usually worry about splitting renders into separate named folders…they can always be recreated if deleted accidentally.

    Also, with the mxf file structure, if you capture from tape, you will notice not only the A and V representing audio and video, but the first set of numbers on the file are your clip names…or part of your clip names. Not sure offhand if this is the case for imported files. After a while, it is possible to look through that maze of numbers and find individual shots.


  • Rosie Walunas

    August 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Okay, great. All this makes sense.

    Is there any risk to renaming those numbered folders. You did mention that new footage or material would be an issue. What if you brought in that new material, Avid created it’s database, and then I transferred those files to the renamed folder? Shouldn’t be a reconnecting issue, no?

    Totally get what you mean about renders. But, actually how do you locate all your renders in general – so that one can delete them to save space? Say I have many different sequences I’ve rendered and have ‘left behind’ in the edit process, and I want to get rid of their renders to save space.

    So many details, but I like to have a good understanding of this stuff as I’m doing assisting stuff.

    Thank you!

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