Viewing Spanned Clips in the Browse Area

A spanned clip is created any time you record a single shot that is larger than the capacity of the current storage media unit or when the file size exceeds that allowed by the device’s file system. For example, when a file on a P2 card exceeds a 4 GB limit, a spanned clip is created. When this happens, the camcorder stops recording the current media file and begins recording a new media file on a new storage media unit. The result is a single shot that seamlessly comprises multiple media files.

Important: To transfer or retransfer a spanned clip as a single media file, you need to mount all the volumes necessary for the clip. Mounting separate volumes at different times may cause Final Cut Pro to capture only individual portions of a clip when other segments are missing.

The Browse area of the Log and Transfer window can display clips two ways: in Hierarchical List view and Flat List view. The following example shows how a spanned clip consisting of five clips (on five volumes) appears in both views.

In both views, segments of a spanned clip appear separately when the spanned clip is missing segments from other volumes. However, when a spanned clip is complete, it is displayed differently depending on the view you choose.

Figure. Illustrations of the Browse area showing an incomplete spanned clip in Hierarchical List view and Flat List view.

In Flat List view, a complete spanned clip appears as a single item in the Browse area. In Hierarchical List view, the same spanned clip appears within each volume that contains one of the spanned clip’s segments.

Figure. Illustrations of the Browse area showing multiple, identical spanned clips in Hierarchical List view and a single spanned clip in Flat List view.

To avoid confusion, it’s usually best to use Flat List view when transferring spanned clips.

When a spanned clip is incomplete, you can transfer each segment as an individual QuickTime media file and clip. However, when all segments of a spanned clip are available, you can transfer all of the spanned clip’s media to a single QuickTime file.

Tip: When logging spanned clips, assign reel names that indicate all volumes from which a clip originated. For more information, see Choosing Reel Names for Folders of File-based Media.