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25 Jan 2021
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Extremely long Import Times 10.4.5 and 10.5.3 29 Jun 2021 02:54 #115264

So at my day job we've got an older computer that's maxed out at 10.4.5, and a brand new Mac mini with M1 that's running 10.5.3

I've got an SDHC card that's got a 3 hour and 50 minute recording in AVCHD. I went to import it at 6pm, it's been almost 5 hours later and it's at 88% complete. I'm doing this on the 10.4.5 computer. I stopped the import on the 10.5.3 computer because after 2 hours I was around 40% and I felt like something wasn't right.

It's only around 30GB's of stuff. But I have noticed that when I import an SD card that has like up to a full 64GB card full of clips, it imports perfectly fine. usually takes around 10 minutes or less. But in that case, it's a bunch of smaller clips, nothing longer than 20 minutes on it, all .mp4 h.264 files. But when I'm bringing in one long clip in AVCHD that's about the same amount of space, it takes forever to import.

is there a work around for this? should I just be importing the card as an archive on the computer first and then import and leave in place instead of importing into the library? is this a known issue?

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Extremely long Import Times 10.4.5 and 10.5.3 29 Jun 2021 04:14 #115265

Have you checked the activity window, Command 9, to see why is happening to the files? FCP does a lot of background tasks to get the files imported. Click the disclosure arrow on each of the line items to see what is going on. I always copy the files off the SD card to a drive first. That way the card can act as a backup in case there is a problem with the copy. Then in FCP I use leave files in place.

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Extremely long Import Times 10.4.5 and 10.5.3 30 Jun 2021 03:13 #115276

I did, it just says importing like usual.

And I actually did that today. I imported the entire SD card off onto the drive first. I did it on one computer like that, and on the other I used FCP to make a Card Archive. Either way, when I went to import the footage from the Archive or the folder with the footage on it, it still ended up taking about just as long.

I wanted to use 'leave files in place', but since it's AVCHD, every time I go to bring it in it won't let me do that. I have to manually break the architecture of the folders and move the .MTS files out into a random folder so that I can import all of those clips at once, and THEN it lets me leave them in place. But now I'm working with like 16-20 something files instead of one file (since it's a one long clip in AVCHD). I guess that's the best weird work around for now.

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Extremely long Import Times 10.4.5 and 10.5.3 30 Jun 2021 11:15 #115279

  • joema
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.. I have to manually break the architecture of the folders and move the .MTS files out into a random folder so that I can import all of those clips at once, and THEN it lets me leave them in place...

Never do this on AVCHD files. The metadata within the AVCHD bundle contains info about clip spanning and other thing, which is likely why you see continuous clips split into fragments. But most importantly, importing AVCHD .mts files "in place" creates a *lasting* severe I/O bottleneck due to small random I/Os.

You can manually re-wrap them externally using the 3rd-party tool EditReady2 before import. The re-wrap process is very fast since it doesn't transcode. That also enables fast import using "leave files in place", without incurring additional I/O performance problems: www.divergentmedia.com/editready

The IO perf. problem with bare .mts files is so severe that even a small % of those can slow down an entire library that has 95% non-AVCHD files. This might show up as low CPU, low GPU and low-to-moderate IO data rates. The IO per sec rate (vs the data rate) shown in Activity Monitor might be fairly high.

Here is an IO histogram captured with DTrace showing FCPX behavior when processing bare .mts files. Note the high number of IOs in the 16k to 32k size: joema.smugmug.com/Computers/FCPX-Event-B...n-M7bG7L/i-bCH2XFX/A

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Last edit: by joema.
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