Issue with Video File

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    • #88999

      Hello guys,

      I’m new to videography and am having an issue with a video interview I did. I stored the interview on my external Laice hard drive for my Macbook. When I went to access it the file was changed, the file name became a random jumble of characters and trying to open the file brought up a bunch of random looking text. There was no file extension so I added a title and .mov but that didn’t help. Does anyone have any idea what happened to the video file and is there anything I can do restore the interview? I realize its not a lot of information to go on. Thanks!

    • #213287
      AvatarKevin Mc

      It sounds as though the file corrupted. As well, the hard drive is probably corrupt as well. After working as a net tech for 25 years, unless someone can chime in with a better answer, the file is gone. There is no restoring it.

      That said…

      One thing you might try is copying it to another drive (hard drive, flash drive, SD card – doesn’t matter which). “IF” it copies (if not – it’s completely corrupt), make sure the file is renamed (on the new drive) with the proper extension – same as original file (.mp4, .mts… etc.), and see if it plays. If so, copy it to a third drive as a backup.

      As a side note, always and often backup your files. When I first offload video files from my camcorder, they are “immediately” backed up to a second drive before I even touch them. Then I leave them on the camcorder sd card for a while – just in case. My $0.02

    • #213290

      Thanks for your reply Kevin.

      I copied the file over to my Mac from my external hard drive no problem but when I tried to open it the same issue came up. Quick Time says “QuickTime Player can’t open “Music” because the movie’s file format isn’t recognized.” Premiere Pro wont open it either. Is there a program that might help restore the file?

    • #213294

      If the file came from a camera, do you still have the card that it was originally recorded on?
      My rule of thumb is to back up all original media to at least two separate hard drives just in case of issues such as this. Also, I never delete/format the source media until I know that my copy/backup was successful.


    • #213295

      Hey Mike,

      The card that the video was originally on was formatted a long time ago, albeit after the file was copied onto my external hard drive. Its strange because I’ve never had this issue before and all the other video files on my hard drive are fine.

    • #213296

      Scott, I don’t know what to tell you. My experience is that Kevin is right and you’re unfortunately out of luck. It could be something as simple as a bad spot on that hard drive. I have a friend who used to swear by Lacie drives. After more than a few hard drive failures he now swears at them 🙁


    • #213304

      Hello Scott,

      There are many reasons why a file may be corrupted.

      Depending on the nature of the corruption, it *may* be theoretically possible to recover the file.

      I’d recommend contacting Lacie requesting if they have any freeware or shareware that may be able to recover a corrupted file.

      If Lacie doesn’t offer any software, you could ask if they can recommend any suitable software.

      Also, ask if Lacie can restore the file using their technical support and if they charge a fee for this service, including any freight charges to send the hard disk drive back to them.

      Another option may be to search for software that offers file recovery for video files. The ones I’d try first would be those offering a free 30 day trial period; I’d recommend using a back up of the corrupted file for the software to attempt a recovery on. There are many Internet forums in which people discuss different file recovery software and these may provide useful information on other people’s experiences with recovering corrupted video files.

      I have had personal experience with some file recovery software on video and non video corrupted files; some software works well with recovering non video files and fail with video files. The reason is that video files are compressed and if the key information is lost, it may not be possible to recover the video file.

      Nothing is lost by trying if you have the time or the money.

      When I back up video files I back them onto a laptop hard drive and an external archive drive, and I keep several SD cards on hand to avoid formatting SD cards too soon, so as to have the opportunity to recopy a corrupted video file, if I only do one back up and the file gets corrupted in the hard disk drive. I only reformat an SD card once I have checked all the back up copies play properly using two different video players one on, say Quicktime and the other in the video editing software.

      The last resort option, is to re-shoot the interview, if you’re not imposing too much on the interviewee’s time; one way to do this may be to think of new follow up questions based on your recollection of their answers and include them with the “old” questions. If the material needs to be updated due to changing circumstances this may provide a good reason to include the follow up questions. Rework the old questions to bring out fresh material.

      Sometimes people may be willing to re-do an interview if they felt the first time they answered questions they reflected on their answers afterwards and didn’t think they answered some questions too well.

      If you need to re-shoot the interview contact the interviewee and if you feel comfortable tell them you’ve had a technical glitch, most people are reasonable and those who use technology are well aware from their own experience of the problems. Ask them if they’d like to receive a copy of the questions, including the new follow up questions, to help them prepare their answers.

      If the interviewee agrees to re-shoot the interview at their convenience, mention that you’ve reviewed your file back up procedures to make sure your organization will do everything humanly possible this second time to make sure the video files are backed up and checked.

      If your organization’s resources allow, have a third camera running during the interview, to shoot from a third angle, to provide a back up file, in case a video file gets corrupted in one of the other cameras.

      Another idea, if you haven’t already done so, use a separate audio recorder and if the video file gets corrupted, you may at least use the audio with illustrative video footage and possibly still images of the interviewee shot at different times, as another interview salvaging option.

      The above measures would demonstrate to the interviewee, a good professional approach to re-shooting an interview, by helping them feel their time is valued.

      Best Regards,

    • #213308

      And very importantly, format the memory card in your camera, NOT in your computer.

    • #213311

      Hi you can try downloading if anything can open it and convert to a usable file this can its worth a try.
      Cheers Alan

    • #213316

      Well, that is odd. The only thing I can suggest is to match the file structure to whatever format your camera records to. Something must have happened to change the structure if you imported clips previously and it worked ok. Generally cameras don’t record to quicktime “.mov” format. Good Luck and let us know if you resolve it.

    • #213325

      John, I beg to differ re your comment about cameras not recording to .mov format. I use the JVC HM-750U series camera and it will record to either mp4 or mov format. I’ve also started using a DSLR (Rebel T5i) and it records in mov format. Most pro standalone recorders such as the Samurai, Ninja, etc. all record in ProRes mov format.


    • #213326

      Mike, thanks for setting me straight. I hesitated a bit before posting that comment and should have checked it out further. I operate in the PC world and working with .mov files usually does not occur to me. Thanks.

    • #213327

      John, no problem at all. I’m an old analog guy (started off with 1/2″ reel to reel B&W) and there are days that all the different codecs and permutations of codecs drive me crazy 🙂 I’m a PC guy too and prefer not to deal with mov files but am finding that flavour of video creeping more and more into my editing life so I just deal with it.


    • #213335

      Scott, would useful if you could tell us what camera and what file system it uses.
      Few ‘solid state’ cameras use just a single movie file, if it’s a non I frame, heavy compressed file format it could have been held in a folder along with other important sidecar files. For example XDCAM uses a BPAV folder, Panasonic a ‘PRIVATE’ folder. Its important that the folder with its contents is copied in its entirety.

      The Mac coming back at you with ”not recogized’ could just mean the codec is not in the QT plugins folder.

      Thats is where knowing the camera format will help.

      Meanwhile try Elgato Turbo h264 or mpegstreamclip, these usually operate without using the QT engine.

      FYI If you are no sure do not go renaming files.
      Can you recall what the original file name looked like?…actually the naming protocol given by some cameras are not that random, some may generate 01022016182526..? january 2nd 2016 etc. Some like the Panasonic HVX 200 do indeed generate a random file name XFT67YU, this so different movie clips with the same file name are not overwritten in error.

      A real pain are those that just use clip_0001…0002…so on..then regenerate when a new card is inserted.

      BTW LaCie are kind of OK ..its often the power supply that goes ever so slightly out of spec, all the lights come on, the drive spins but does not mount. Fix by using another PSU.

    • #213417

      Hi Scott, i think video file extension has been changed, would you remember how it happened and due this it might corrupted. Mov video file is unable to open. There are method which help you in fixing your problem. Use any reliable professional repair tool. The same situation i have experience before then my friend told me about this repair tool. It was very effective for me in repairing Mov video file.

    • #213510

      Hi Scott,
      Usually these kinds of issue happen due to some sort of malware infection. Let me imagine, your Lacie hard drive might have gone through this. Anyway by using an advanced MOV repair tool, you can fix this issue perfectly. Repair QuickTime is the tool I am suggesting here. Here’s it’s link

    • #215192

      Hello Scott. For your problem, as far as I am concerned, Data Recovery will be your ideal helper. I had retrieved my important but corrupted files on my computer. So here I recommend it for you. Hope you also can recover corrupted files as soon as possible.
      Just follow the guidance and have a try!

    • #215193

      Hello Scott. For your problem, as far as I am concerned, Data Recovery will be your ideal helper. I had retrieved my important but corrupted files on my computer. So here I recommend it for you. Hope you also can recover corrupted files as soon as possible.
      Just follow the guidance and have a try!

    • #72047802

      Hello, I suggest you try a third party to recover your video interview. I am using one called Bitwar Data Recovery, which helped me a lot when I encountered data loss issues. It’s safe and simple to use.

      You can also have a try if necessary.

      Good luck.

    • #72052132

      taking in consideration that i’m having a very similar issue, i am very thankful for all the posts i found here. will try it all tomorrow and might come with updates. can i ask additional questions in case i will have any? thanks

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