The P2 Store.

This is the P2 store:

EDIT: This blog was fixed. Earlier I had incorrectly stated which buttons to press to make the P2 Store mount on a MAC. Sorry that this took so long to fix. Here is the link to the P2 Store manual, which goes into greater detail:

P2 Store Manual

This is a card reader and hard drive in one. And dumping your P2 footage to it couldn’t be simplier.

On the second shoot, we had one of these on hand. It arrived at the dealer a few days before the shoot, and my producer jumped on it.

This time, when the cards filled up, they were brought to this device and inserted into the P2 card slot. To dump the footage onto the internal 60GB hard drive, all my producer had to do was press one button…START:

Indicator lights would light up and display the progress of the download. When the card was fully downloaded, a green indicator lit up saying it was complete. Now the card could be erased for use again. So the WRITE PROTECT switch was flipped off and this button was pressed:

This process was repeated until the drive was full. When the drive was full, another set of lights indicated so. Now the footage needed to be copied off the drive to external backup drives (this time Acomdata 60GB drives were utilized). Again the PC laptop was used to connect the P2 Store to offload the data. The drive mounted as 16 separate drives, labelled with letters of the alphabet (our letters started with F and went to Z). My producer then dragged these folders onto the backup drive and a new folder with the letter as its name was created, complete with the CONTENTS folder and LASTCLIP.TXT file. He did this for all the drives and then unmounted the P2 Store and hard drive. Again, with the P2 reader software available only for the PC, my producer could play the footage and see what he had.

When the P2 store was successfully backed up, he erased it by pressing this button:

This button can only be pressed with a pen or paperclip, making it very difficult to accidentally press the button. Now, those buttons themselves did not automatically start the erase process. No. You had to first press those buttons, then press the Start button, again protecting against accidental erasure.

Getting the P2 Store to mount on a PC is as simple as plugging it in. Getting it to mount on a Mac is a bit more difficult. And copying the footage off is more of a task as well.

First, you connect the drive to the Mac via a USB 2.0 connection…the same way you connect it to the PC. But it won’t mount until you press these three buttons simultaneously for 3-5 seconds:

Now the drives will mount. Only this time, instead of nice drive names, you get 16 NO_NAME drives. And dragging these drive onto the backup drive doesn’t automatically create a new folder containing the contents, it just dumps the contents onto the drive. So now you have to manually create and name the folders on the backup drive and copy the NO_NAME drives onto them. In a way this might be slightly better, as you can then include in the folder’s names the camera the card came from. This way you might be able to track down what camera shot what, in case you had a problem with the footage.

Once the backup drive is full you repeat the process. On our shoot, this process was repeated three times.

Now I want to mention a little tip on organization in your edit system when you import these files. The first time I imported the footage from the P2 cards, I dumped all the clips from each day into one dailies bin…so I had two bins, one for each day. This was a nightmare. Not only did I have 1088 clips in one bin, and 1123 in another, but it made sorting my footage VERY difficult. This time I did things very differently, and how I generally organize footage I capture from tape.

I create a new bin with the same name as the P2 folder. I then set this as my logging bin by CONTROL-Clicking or right-clicking on it and selecting SET LOGGING BIN. I then import all the footage from one folder into that bin. I then make a new bin and repeat the process. Once I have all the footage in the system, I then go into each bin and OPTION-DRAG it into separate scene bins. So now the footage is in the dailies bin, and the scene bin. This way I can find it by scene, as I am accustomed to when I edit…and I can find it by date, in case my producer says “I know we shot that on Saturday, Jan 25 in the afternoon.”

I have an online video tutorial on importing P2 footage on It can be found here:

P2 Workflow Tutorial

Now, I really have to get back to editing. I am behind as it is.