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Tip for importing 'missing' GH2 clips in Final Cut Pro X
  • Often I find that when I go to import footage from an SD card I've shot on my GH2 (hacked, settings are Sanity 5.1 or Sanity X) Final Cut X's import window will not see some earlier video clips I'd shot (and not yet imported). I discovered after a recent shoot that if I turned the camera off, changed the battery, turned it back on and kept shooting, only the clips shot after the battery change were visible to FCPX. So, after cursing at FCPX as I am wont to do, I started copying the .MTS files (which thankfully are always still there on the card) and preparing for the annoying process of concatenating spanned clips by hand and re-wrapping them all, when I hit upon the idea of seeing if I could just repair the AVCHD file structure.

    Well, it turns out to be pretty simple. It seems that when the GH2 is power cycled, it makes a new playlist in the AVCHD structure (you can tell because there are multiple .MPL files in PRIVATE/AVCHD/BDMV/PLAYLIST/), and FCPX only sees clips from the most recent playlist with no way to switch to another playlist.

    After a little hunting with a hex editor, I found that PRIVATE/AVCHD/BDMV/INDEX.BDM tells the importing software (at least in the case of FCPX) which playlist to look at. There is a number at the end that matches the number of the most recent playlist file (eg 00001) for 00001.MPL. So if you import the visible footage, you can then backup INDEX.BDM and use a hex editor to change that last number in it to the number of the previous playlist. You're just changing a single byte! Save, then open the FCPX import window again (maybe you need to relaunch FCPX? - don't remember) and the clips that were missing will probably be there. I assume you could repeat the process if you had 3 or more AVCHD playlist files on the card.

    for a free hex editor on mac, I recommend Hex Fiend:

    Don't use a normal text editor – more than that single byte will probably change and you'll be sorry.

    So to summarize

    If missing clips in FCPX import:

    • import what you can see
    • check for the presence of multiple .MPL files
    • change the 5 digit number (eg 00001) in INDEX.BDM to refer to a different .MPL file
    • import again in FCPX - missing clips should show up

    attached are some screenshots of changing the contents of INDEX.BDM.

    Hope this tidbit of knowledge helps some people out. I wish I had discovered it a year ago – would have saved me some aggravation for sure.

    1006 x 1446 - 195K
    1006 x 1446 - 195K
    file location.png
    398 x 324 - 42K
  • 1 Reply sorted by
  • THANK YOU!Have had the same problem and was trying to Figure this out for 6 months...I was temporarily renaming the 00000.MPL to 00001.MPL to get the clips that were not seen in FCPX imported as a workaround--but could never understand why the clips were missing and if INDEX.BDM was the problem... Editing the Hex works... You can also use BDedit to change the Hex entry.