Writing DCP drives

Anything and everything to do with DCP-o-matic.
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carl
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Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:53 pm

Writing DCP drives

Post by carl » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:16 pm

DCP-o-matic (currently) leaves you pretty much on your own when writing your DCP to a drive. Here are some notes on that thorny topic...
Do add a post to this thread if you have anything to offer.

Anders M Olsson
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:24 pm

Re: Writing DCP drives

Post by Anders M Olsson » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:42 pm

I think that one of the best resources is Knut Erik Evensen's page "The best common practice to deliver a Digital Cinema Package (DCP)":

http://www.knuterikevensen.com/?p=437

BenKingIV
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:19 pm

Re: Writing DCP drives

Post by BenKingIV » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:09 pm

Best and most compatible way to create DCP drives as EXT2/3 with inode size set to 128 bytes is (I've been told) on Linux - you can easily run Ubuntu as VM on Mac OS or Windows.

Here's an old video I used to refer to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6rGDYoNXi0

The process is the same albeit very slightly different on the VirtualBox and Ubuntu builds. Best part is that it's free and really not as difficult as it might seem.

Although I'm told by many people that NTFS is fine for the majority of modern servers although I cannot corroborate that so always ask who you are delivering to.
You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
~ Mark Twain

Carsten
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Location: Germany

Re: Writing DCP drives

Post by Carsten » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:59 am

One deeply depressing thing is that the combo of open source OSX Fuse and fuse-ext2 do not work in current OS X, and no one seems to be bothered to repair this. I was happy to have read-only support in snow leopard (and a format option), but for most recent OS X releases (El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra), the available binaries do not work. Weirdest thing is that OSX Fuse has a solid development and sees frequent updates, and people seem to develop all sorts of strange filesystem drivers for it - but nobody seems to care much about ext2/3 anymore.

Paragon ExtFS works as a commercial solution, but doesn't allow to format a drive to ext2/3.

DCP Transfer is certainly a nice tool, but the license model makes it unattractive for me.

As such, I can only recommend to Mac users to use NTFS/Tuxera currently, as it is the safest/non-hassle way to create a drive than can be read by all DCI servers.

Yes, of course, the virtual machine way is a good solution, though a bit complicated for the average film maker, and it needs hefty downloads.

Carl - wondering wether the format issue could be solved by simple imaging an empty 'standard' ext2 partition to a target drive. Imaging is supported on most OS's nowadays without problems. I guess an empty ext2 partition will compress very effectively. It will be limited to a fixed size, but who cares, one could make one or two typical sizes as compressed images.
Imaging/cloning could also be safer than writing individual files through a possibly wonky driver. It would also be very fast, and you always have a safe/clean start. Then would we find a way to write a DCP to an image directly from DCP-o-matic...?

- Carsten

Alex Asp
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Re: Writing DCP drives

Post by Alex Asp » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:31 am

Paragon ExtFS in its latest incarnations mounts extFS formatted disks and allows you to write data to them in MAC OS.
To format ExtFS you need Paragon Hard Disc Manager. I use it for two years in day-to-day operations. Very reliable and robust, current version is 1.3.873

Carsten
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Location: Germany

Re: Writing DCP drives

Post by Carsten » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:41 pm

We know that Paragon works 'in general', but, it is not open source, and, we have seen strange issues with it in the past when transfers failed or DCPs haven't been recognized by servers. As the price is not too high, no reason to stay away from it, but, be careful.

Also, once you go ext2/3, you should follow the full recommendations, which is e.g. an inode size of 128. Many non-Linux formatting tools do not support setting that parameter.



- Carsten

Alex Asp
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:59 am

Re: Writing DCP drives

Post by Alex Asp » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:04 pm

Well, I can wait for open-source DCP-O-Matic, especially when test software updates come every week.
But as for open source ExtFS utilities on Mac OS X , that's another story, and as shown above in the thread no-one seems to be interested.

My workflow includes eSata?Sata generic extension card connected via eSata to CRU enclosure with a SDD 240 GB drive formated ExtfS2. I never use USB drives, as most local servers have only USB1/2 connections, and I just don't like antagonizing the projectionists. So if the DCP size is around 100 Gb, it takes less than 20 minutes to copy the film to a server, even if another movie is running.

Never ever had a complaint.

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