Solved Evil file naming system in GoPro

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I am just sharing knowledge here.

The way GoPro names their video files tells me that some boss there issued a decree how file names should be named without having knowledge in how files are sorted, played, or managed.

Generally speaking, SD cards can be formatted in FAT32 or ExFAT. Older and smaller SD cards are formatted FAT32 where each file cannot exceed 4GB. Newer and larger SD cards are (or) can be formatted to ExFAT that can accomodate files that are larger than 4GB.

Therefore, if you are using a 128GB SD card that is ExFAT-formatted, your video file does not need to end at 4GB and continue on to a second file. However, GoPro makes no distinction whether you are using FAT32 or ExFAT. They always end your long video file at 3.99GB and starts another file. There is no problem with this practice.

But, the problem is how GoPro names the second file, third file, fourth file and so on and so forth. They are NOT in mathematical order as we know it. Therefore, it creates a big problem in playback in a player, or file administration in your workflow. I shall explain.

If you are splitting a large 12GB video file GH010230 into three 4GB files, here are sensible ways to do it:

Method 1
File 1: GH010230
File 2: GH010231
File 3: GH010232

Method 2
File 1: GH010230-1
File 2: GH010230-2
File 3: GH010230-3

Method 3
File 1: GH010230-A
File 2: GH010230-B
File 3: GH010230-C

I understand GoPro does not want to use Method 1 because they want each main filename to be unique to each video clip. So, they won't split the file GH010230 into GH010231 and GH010232. Totally understandable.

But, here is their crime and stupidity. Instead, they split the file GH010230 like this:
File 1: GH010230
File 2: GH020230
File 3: GH030230

Then, this video clip ends. When the camera starts a new clip, the new clip is named GH010231. Now this is messed up. When you line up files in filename order, they are no longer in chronological order. Look at these files in filename order and chronological order.

GoPro files in filename order:
File 1: GH010230
File 2: GH010231
File 3: GH020230
File 4: GH030230
Do you see that the last file is now sandwiched as #2 file.

GoPro files sorted in correct chronological order but they are no longer in ascending/descending filename order:
File 1: GH010230
File 2: GH020230
File 3: GH030230
File 4: GH010231

It's laughable that such a big company makes a such a stupid mistake. I tried very hard to understand if there could be an advantage to their naming system. There is none. They are just stupid. I thought about writing to the United Nations about this. But, this bad file naming system is just too small of a crime from GoPro compared to their blatant disregard of overheating Hero cameras one generation after another. So, I gave up any hope on them.

Example files attached.

-Slim
04 May 2020 07:29 #1
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Hi MeSlim

Yes I am aware that videos larger than 4GBs are split into 4GB segments.
I don't have enough technical knowledge to comment on file systems, because I'm not a programmer.

I have a recommendation for you, if you are not already aware of this !!!
You can use the Device Explorer app in Vegas Pro and Vegas Movie Studio, to import all your GoPro videos direct from the SD card.
The Device Explorer import function will automatically join all the 4GB segments together and create a new single video.
Once all the segments are joined back together, you will have nothing to worry about.

Turn on Device Explorer by going to View/Window/Device Explorer
Before you do this, make sure to have your SD card already connected.

Right-click No Device Connected and select Browse.


Navigate to This PC and find the USB port your SD card reader is connected to OR a dedicated SD slot.
Open folder, then find and select PRIVATE - then press OK.


Before you import the files, make sure to set the Capture Folder - this is the place the GoPro videos will be imported into.
Select all the videos you want to import. If any of them are 4GB segments, they will be automatically joined back together.


Tip: A lot of professional video editors & film makers, actually import their entire SD card structure onto their storage and backup Hard Drives. If you do this and need to create a project years from now, you can use Device Explorer to import all the files, as if they were still on the SD card. I hope that makes sense ?
Device Explorer only works with the proper SD card structure - you can't use it to import videos outside of an SD card file structure.


Regards
Derek
:idea: Remember to turn everything off at least once a week, including your brain, then sit somewhere quiet and just chill out.
Unplugging is the best way to find solutions to your problems. If you would like to share some love, post a customer testimonial or make a donation.
Peace :)
04 May 2020 16:01 #2
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DoctorZen, I fully concur about the EVIL naming system for my GoPro 4 Session.  BUT, I'm finding myself unable to follow your example above.  I certainly wished it worked, because it's exactly what I'm looking for!

I'm reporting this issue while using Vegas Movie Studio 17.0 Platinum, Build 204

I use Device Explorer successfully for auto-joining continuously-recorded files without gaps from my decade-old Sony camera using AVCHD structure, and it works great.  BUT, the GoPro SD card import just isn't working for me.  Device Explorer does NOT see the SD card like your example shown above, and interestingly, my SD file structure is even different.  
Notice how the "OK" button in the below examples are all greyed out, as if they are not valid selections.



And instead of having a "Private" folder, I have a DCIM folder on the root of the card.

 
 

All of the video files are in that folder structure, as shown above.
If I must import the video files individually, the audio drop-out between the clips really makes my production feel unprofessional, especially since they are so often at a crucial part of the video presentation...as they happen every 12 minutes with this GoPro.

This topic was disussed over on the vegascreativesoftware forum as well, and the best answer reported over there was to first join the files together in a separate program called Avidemux and then import the results of that into Vegas Studio.

I plan on doing a LOT of work with my GoPro, and already have a ton of footage to edit, so I hope not to have to use all of these "other tools" to get Vegas Studio to do things like this smoothly.

As always, I really appreciate the help and insight!
Best always,
AJ

 
29 Jan 2021 17:02 #3
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Following up, after trying avidemux as a work-around for this.
1) It appears that the MP4v2 muxer output option in the original suggestion, has now been removed as an option, because it is now obsolete, replaced by just MP4 muxer.  Good.
avidemux.org/smif/index.php?topic=18733.0#:~:text=The%20MP4v2%20muxer%20is%20obsolete,3%20release%2C%20however.

2) What on earth is this warning telling me?  Is it warning me that the same problem I went here to solve will still persist?

 

That's what I wondered, but I just clicked "yes" and crossed my fingers, and the output was perfect!  It went right through the 12:00 mark where the original files were divided, and there was no indication whatsoever of an audio drop-out, or any skipped video frames.  Smooth as glass.  Excellent suggestion and work-around!

NOW, if we can just get these features installed directly into Vegas Movie Studio or Pro...hmmmm

Anyway, thanks all for your feedback, and hopefully this will also help someone!

Best,
AJ
29 Jan 2021 18:01 #4
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Replying to @ForgottenMachines
GoPro has been continually changing the file structure protocol they use, depending on which GoPro camera you are using.
Basically, they are using their own system and NOT using the universal protocol that other major brands use.
Vegas Pro and Vegas Movie Studio only use the universal file system protocols - as is correct.

I found an excellent post on the official GoPro forums, which explains how their file system works.
If you are using a Hero 4, scoll down to the very bottom of this article.
community.gopro.com/t5/en/GoPro-Camera-File-Naming-Convention/ta-p/390220#
When a video file exceeeds a particular file size, it will be split into smaller file segments.
GoPro calls this Chaptered Video
GPzzxxxx.mp4
  • ‘xxxx’ = file number
  • ‘zz’ = chapter number
GOPR1234.mp4 (first video)
GP011234.mp4 (1st chapter of the original video)
GP021234.mp4 (2nd chapter of the same video)

Solution
I think there is a very simply solution that should fix your problem !
Download GoPro's Quik | Desktop v2.7.0 software application and use this to import all your GoPro videos, before you start editing with Vegas.
This should work with your older Hero 4 camera and will stitch everything together for you.
community.gopro.com/t5/en/GoPro-legacy-software/ta-p/595533#
:idea: Remember to turn everything off at least once a week, including your brain, then sit somewhere quiet and just chill out.
Unplugging is the best way to find solutions to your problems. If you would like to share some love, post a customer testimonial or make a donation.
Peace :)
30 Jan 2021 12:35 #5

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Thanks, @DoctorZen, much appreciated! It helps that you point out that it's GoPro that is refusing to use a standard here, and in doing so are refusing to "Play nicely with other", as I would say.

As far as GoPro's Quik, I downloaded it and tried to use it before posting here. It is completely useless, and unfortunately, I have nothing good to say about it. Suffice it to say, not only can't it do any "joining" of separated files in the same recording session, it doesn't even let you produce with your own audio (it makes you choose from canned music), and you only can produce segments of 30, 60, or 90-second segments. Nothing more. And it sees each file just as separately as windows explorer. Not only that, it makes you create some online account just to use it.
Again, totally useless, and may I recommend, if anyone else feels led to try this to join separated GoPro files seamlessly, that they just do not waste their time on it.

All that said, the suggestion of avidemux worked extremely well! In my update above, I discuss my experience, and results even with a cryptic warning message. So, I would highly recommend avidemux, and to avoid GoPro's Quik at all cost.

Thanks again @DoctorZen and all here!

Best,
AJ
30 Jan 2021 14:20 #6

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Thanks for reporting back :)

I haven't used my old GoPro for a long time.
I just assumed that the GoPro software would stitch the video segments back together again.
I did some research on the GoPro forum and was shocked to discover that none of their software apps can join the videos back together again.
community.gopro.com/t5/GoPro-Apps-for-Desktop/How-do-I-simply-join-all-the-split-up-video-clips/td-p/565396
GoPro has become a joke of a company.
 
:idea: Remember to turn everything off at least once a week, including your brain, then sit somewhere quiet and just chill out.
Unplugging is the best way to find solutions to your problems. If you would like to share some love, post a customer testimonial or make a donation.
Peace :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: ForgottenMachines
01 Feb 2021 15:02 #7

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