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Weekend Aantel’s Blog » KDE

Archive for the 'KDE' Category

Sony’s hi-def camcorder - Handycam HDR-XR500E plays nicely with Fedora 10

Monday, December 28th, 2009

I had borrowed my friend John Bose’s expensive new toy, the Sony Handycam HDR-XR500E to record Devdas “f3ew” Bhagat’s lecture at WBSU (Barasat) on the 26th of December, 2009.

HDR-XR500E. Image Copyright Sony
The specs of the device was *nice* - 1080i, 120GB HDD, 5.1 Dolby recording etc. It was a last minute arrangement. I didn’t like this! There was no time to tinker and see if the device was compatible with Linux and Kino for post-recording stuff.

It was set for 1080HD AVCHD or Advanced Video Codec High Definition. The camcorder was easy enough to handle. Most of the controls being easily accessible via the touchscreen. After coming back home that night, I was eager to see the results. So, with some trepidation I decided to plug in the mini-USB cable (that had came with my trusty old Canon PowerShot A610) into the mini-USB slot on the side of the HDR XR-500E.

Immediately the standard tail -f /var/log/messages routine threw up the following details:

Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 5
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: New USB device found, idVendor=054c, idProduct=0346
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: Product: HDR-XR500E
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: Manufacturer: Sony
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: SerialNumber: 0C59300C6CC1
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: Initializing USB Mass Storage driver…
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: scsi6 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usbcore: registered new interface driver usb-storage
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: USB Mass Storage support registered.
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: scsi 6:0:0:0: Direct-Access Sony Camcorder 1.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] 234413857 512-byte hardware sectors (120020 MB)
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] 234413857 512-byte hardware sectors (120020 MB)
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
Dec 27 00:24:55 localhost kernel: sdb: sdb1
Dec 27 00:24:55 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk
Dec 27 00:24:55 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
Dec 27 00:25:24 localhost hald: mounted /dev/sdb1 on behalf of uid 500
Dec 27 00:25:24 localhost gnome-keyring-daemon[3043]: adding removable location: volume_part1_size_120019828736 at /media/disk

Sweet!!! Camcorder’s being correctly auto-detected with it’s 120GB HDD storage being propering mounted and being made accessible. Going by the AVCHD file / directory structure, using Dolphin, I browsed to the STREAM folder and found the video recordings from the day, present in MTS format. The files opened nicely using the VideoLAN client (vlc) on Linux, except for the some spots of interlace combing (for an example, see this link). Oh well! we *are* working with 1080i here.

AVCHD file/directory structure. Courtesy Wikipedia

Right now, I’m using Kino 1.3.3 to import the .MTS file by converting them to raw DV files needed by Kino for its own workflow. So far, FFMpeg seems to be working nicely.

Input #0, mpegts, from ‘/home/stephanie/Desktop/wbsub-vid-raw/00017.MTS’:
Duration: 01:09:09.0, start: 1.040000, bitrate: 4096 kb/s
Program 1
Stream #0.0[0×1011]: Video: h264, yuv420p, 1440×1080 [PAR 4:3 DAR 16:9], 25.00 tb(r)
Stream #0.1[0×1100]: Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5:1, 448 kb/s
Output #0, dv, to ‘/home/stephanie/Desktop/wbsub-vid-raw/00017.MTS.dv’:
Stream #0.0: Video: dvvideo, yuv420p, 720×576 [PAR 16:15 DAR 4:3], q=2-31, 200 kb/s, 25.00 tb(c)
Stream #0.1: Audio: pcm_s16le, 48000 Hz, stereo, 1536 kb/s
Stream mapping:
Stream #0.0 -> #0.0
Stream #0.1 -> #0.1

Right now FFMpeg is about half way through conversion process. I’m already looking at a ~7 GB file. Let’s hope I do not run out of space! :)

Playing with The Potato Guy! (aka KTuberling)

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

A group of semi-literate (and *totally* computer illiterate) Group D (or Class IV i.e. the lowest grade of employees in governmental employment) staff at an University near Kolkata amusing themselves playingThe Potato Guy“. The pertinent fact is that they have never used Linux on the Desktop and here they are completely at ease with it!

Linux is supposed to be tough! Linux on the Desktop is “Orrey baba!” (a Bengali expression that basically says “Wow! that’s not my cup of tea!“)… yet all of my experiences from the last 6 years of working with people on the ground has been otherwise, this is the latest case in point. Almost all first-time users adapt to Linux pretty fast. It’s the so called “computer literate” that have problems galore.

For what it’s worth, it was their fifth day on a computer.