Salvaging an old Avid Xpress DV Project

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by kumquat, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. kumquat macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011

    I have an old project, a feature length film shot in '03, which was cut in Avid DV Xpress on a PPC G5. The G5 is still running, running Tiger and works, but is extremely slow and there is clearly something wrong with the graphics card.

    There were several disasters associated with this project including two huge LaCie drive failures which destroyed months and months of work. I have what remains of the .omf and .aiff project files that were able to be salvaged from the drive failures as well as a couple of extremely compressed .m2v mixdowns of the project and a good chunk of the corrected audio files. I, also, have access to the original DV tapes, assuming they haven't degraded to a non-usable state.

    What I would like to do is create a better copy of the full project. Final Cut won't let me import the raw project files I do have, there is no complete This Is An Avid Project folder with files left after the drive melts and my memory is that .m2v was the best option for exportation from that version of Avid anyway. I have been able to look at some of the raw project files using Handbrake, of all things, and it seems to me that I do have at least most of the files comprising the rough edit, pre-mixdown and credits.

    Do I have any options for making a few tweaks to this thing from the existing pre-mixdown files and exporting a better quality mixdown from my Mt. Lion Mac Mini Server? Is there any software (aside from Avid and Handbrake) which can work with these .OMF files? Is my best bet to try to get Avid Xpress DV up and running again despite the G5's issues? What about running it in a virtual machine on the Mini? Is there any way to just reencode the existing .m2v mixdowns so they look better? What would you do?

  2. nep61 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2007
    Wow, that's a bummer.
    The .omf files will most likely only work in AVID. Using handbreak, or any other application which converts the media will make it unable to be recognized by AVID without re-editing it into the project. You've already done the heavy lifting, you don't need to re-do all that work.

    You can download a 30 day trial of AVID on a Newer computer and copy the the old project to the new machine. It should update the project from XPress Pro to AVID MC 8.0...
    Then, you can batch import files which you've salvaged, and also batch digitize the DV tapes. The media should populate the sequence as it existed previously.... (10 year old DV tapes should still be good, provided they were stored properly.)

    That's what I'd try first... it's simple and cheap. Playing with the files on the old computer and trying to get the AVID XPress Pro to work might in some way, corrupt the .bin files or the project file.

    Hopefully some of this helps. Good luck!
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Yes. The above is the way to go. But. make a backup of EVERYTHING on the old computer. Make two copies and put one of them in some far away place on some other building. Make at least two backup copies before you start this project.

    You said your project was damaged by drive failures. That should NEVER happen. Your project should be able to survive a house fire or theft of al the equipment. Even AFTER the fire there should still be two copies of your work.
  4. kumquat thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011
    Oh, tell me about it! It was absolute madness. The guys at TekServe told me the drives had actually internally melted. Literally melted. The place I was using to edit had been recently rehabbed and rewired and I saw no evidence of electrical weirdness in any other instance so I can only assume the drives were just junk. I've refused to come anywhere near a LaCie drive since and get twinges of PTSD whenever I see an ad for them.
  5. kumquat thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011

    Thank you. I'll give it a go.

    Yeah, I can't even fathom going back in and recutting the whole thing (for a third time); we wound up with about 110 hours of raw footage.

    But so much work went into this thing that it seems insane that I don't even have my own copy of the thing on disc. I gave away the ones I made.

    And there are definitely spots that could use some color correction and a little audio sweetening. By the time I finally finished it, after the melts and a bunch of life altering personal **** that happened nearly simultaneously, I was just so over it and ready to move on to anything else that it didn't get the polish it deserved.

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