Time code info on DV_AVI files?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by WannaSwitch, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. WannaSwitch macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Hi, all, new to the Mac and iMovie application and trying to edit some old home movies. Last year, my wife got me a new hard-drive based camcorder and we offloaded our old Sony Digital8. Before we sold that, I imported all the tapes we had into DV-AVI on my old Vista laptop and did some editing using Pinnacle software. I only did maybe two of the tapes before the laptop died, starting my path to my new MBP, so now I was going to start the editing again using iMovie. One thing I haven't been able to replicate, though, is grabbing the original time code information out of the DV-AVI file on the Mac.

    Using Pinnacle Studio, when I imported a DV-AVI file, it would automatically create scenes based on when the time-code changed. So, I recorded my kid doing something cute on 3/25/02, stopped the camera, then did another recording two days later. The Pinnacle software would not only split this big hour-long DV-AVI file into parts based on the camera start-stop points, but it would also tell me what that time code was so I could see now when I recorded it. Important for doing a DVD and saying, "See, Alex was walking when he was 6 months old!", hard to remember the dates without being able to see that meta-data.

    That being said, I've only opened iMovie once and tried to import one of the DV-AVI files, and it created scenes about every minute or so (a lot of scenes for an hour long AVI). Is there a way to have it look at that time code, and at least be able to tell me when a segment was recorded?

  2. SHOlover macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2007
    So Cal
    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it looks to me like the TC and UB info has been stripped off the AVI Files :(. For most (read all that I know) NLEs to use Scene Detect/Scene Extract, you have to do this within the brand of system you captured your footage. So only AVID will detect TC information on other AVID systems using OMF files. Same thing with FCP...You cannot bring a MOV file into an AVID or Pinnacle system and expect to get the tape information and the TC breaks, etc...It just is a movie file, not a stream, tape or batch list. You can switch different MOV files between FCP systems and retain that information, and if you bring the project file along with it you will have all of your IO points, etc... :apple:

    So just import the AVIs into your mac and struggle through it using subclips or just different IO points. :mad:

    Hope that helps...:cool:


    The Creative Video Group
  3. WannaSwitch thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Well, I actually imported the video using the Vista movie import thingy, not the Pinnacle software. I couldn't get the Pinnacle software to work right, so I just used what was native in Windows. The Pinnacle Studio software would recognize the TC info off the AVI file, though, and I used a demo once of the Adobe Premier Elements software on Windows that could see the TC data but was very limited in how I could access it. I thought that information was stored within the DV_AVI metadata, but maybe since it was captured on a Windows system the TC data can only be read by a Windows app? Wow, that would really stink...

    Now, that being said, if I were to import those Digital8 tapes into the Macbook Pro / iMovie directly, should I be able to see the metadata on when they were recorded? If so, then I'm off to eBay to buy a cheap Digital8 camcorder and re-import those old tapes.
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I know that programs like Final Cut Express/Pro embed tape timecode in captured files, not sure about iMovie though as I've never used it. I'd imagine it would though, but I'd agree it seems the only way to do it would be to recapture said tapes.

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