DCP Transfer is a mac OS application used for easily and reliably creating Digital Cinema Industry complient DCP copies. DCP Transfer software allows the user to format any hard drive to the Digital Cinema Industry standard specs (Linux EXT2), create unlimited copies of DCPs that have already been created, and run important validation checks on each new DCP copy. DCP Transfer also allows the user to view important DCP metadata such as frame size, frame rate, screen aspect ratio, duration, content type, encryption status, and audio format.
DCP Transfer's user interface has three sections: Source, Destination, and Inspector.
The Source Area displays the following info:
The top section of the UI is the Source Area. This is where existing DCP folders are added to the queue for verification and copy to a destination drive. DCPs can be added to the Source Area in one of five ways:
A DCP can be removed from the Source Area by selecting it and using the Delete key on the keyboard, or clicking the minus button at the bottom left corner of the Source Area.
Errors adding DCPs to the Source Area are sometimes encountered when critical DCP component files are missing from the ASSETMAP document (located within the DCP folder) cannot be read. If this occurs, please check to make sure that all DCP component files are present and have read permissions.
The bottom section of the UI is the Destination Drive Area. This is where DCPs that exist on the selected destination drive are shown. DCPs can only be added to the destination drive via the Transfer DCPs button at the bottom of the interface. Similar to the Source Area, the Destination Area contains:
A DCP cannot be removed from the Destination Drive from within DCP Transfer. If you desire to remove a DCP from a drive, it will need to be manually deleted from the drive in the Finder.
The Package Inspector is a pop-out window that can be assessed by clicking on the blue "i" button in the bottom right hand corner of the window. This window shows information about the currently selected package from either the Source Panel or the Destination Panel. Clicking the button again will hide the inspector.
The Inspector Panel shows key information about the DCP including: Content type (Feature, short, or trailer), encryption status (encrypted DCPs are marked with a "lock" icon), duration, audio format (stereo, surround sound), frame rate (24fps, 25fps, 30fps), Conformity (InterOp, SMPTE)
The "Validate" buttons at the bottom right hand corner of both the source and destination areas can be used to validate DCPs which have the "Validate?" box checked. You can check all the boxes at once by right clicking in the appropriate Area and selecting Validate All.
The validate button calculates a special number called a "hash", based on the number of bytes in each file. This function checks the hash for the new DCP copy against the hash calculated when the DCP was originally created. If the calculated hash and the stored hash are the same, then the DCP has not been altered since it’s creation and is marked with a green OK. If the calculated hash does not match the stored hash, a red Error appears. DCPs or elements of DCPs which have not been validated are marked with a "Not Yet Checked" status.
Common reasons that a file or package would fail validation are:
The File menu contains an option called "Verify Drive Format". When chosen, this feature will check the formatting of the current drive selected in the Destination Drive Selector. The verification results are displayed including information about the partition map, filesystem, and inode size (if appropriate). This operation requires that the drive be unmounted and re-mounted.
Once the format of the drive has been verified, a green checkmark will appear next to the drive name in the Destination Panel if the drive adheres to the Digital Cinema Industry Standards. If the drive is not properly formatted, a red X will appear next to the drive selector.
To copy a DCP from a source drive (either an existing USB drive, or the internal drive of your Mac) to a new drive suitable for delivery, follow these steps:
If the destination drive has been verified, the following transfer options will be displayed:
If the destination drive is not properly formatted, the drive MUST be formatted as part of the transfer operation. You’ll be asked to name the drive before the transfer operation begins. We recommend naming the drive something identifiable to your film.
Note: It is best practice to keep the DCP folder name (The top level DCP folder, not the hard drive) within the standard DCP naming conventions.
DCP Transfer does not currently allow you to playback your DCP for you to view on your home computer. In order to play your DCP, a DCP specific player from providers like Easy DCP is needed.
When adding a DCP to the source panel, DCP transfer looks for references in the asset map, CPL (Composition Playlist), and PKL (Packing List) files within your DCP folder. If components of the DCP that are listed in those files are not present in the DCP folder, DCP Transfer will return an error message and not allow that folder to be added to the Source Panel. This will prevent you from copying an incomplete DCP and sending it off for exhibition. If you downloaded your DCP from a service provider, attempt to download the full package again to see if all of the DCP components are present. If you're still receiving that error message, contact your DCP provider to verify the DCP and resend the package.
This error message is returned when any of a variety of general errors are detected when inspecting your DCP folder. All of the components of the DCP may be present, but something may be wrong with one of the DCP components in the folder. DCP Transfer will not allow that folder to be added to the Source Panel. This will prevent you from copying an incomplete or corrupt DCP and sending it off for exhibition. If you downloaded your DCP from a service provider, attempt to download the full package again to see if the error occurred during download. If you're still receiving that error message, contact your DCP provider to verify the DCP and resend the package.
DCP Transfer can only format external hard drives connected to your mac over USB. When formatting a new drive, ALL DATA CURRENTLY ON THAT DRIVE WILL BE DELETED. After DCP Transfer formats your drive as a Digital Cinema Standard Linux EXT2 drive, the hard drive will no longer be visible on computer systems without the use of DCP Transfer or similar software.
DCP Transfer can only read drives that appear in the finder. If your drive is a new drive and does not appear in the finder, but is present in mac Disk Utility, you may need use Disk Utility to format the drive for mac before using it in DCP transfer. After formatting the drive in Disk Utility, your drive should appear in both the finder and in DCP Transfer.
If your drive is already formatted for Linux EXT2, you may need to go to the Paragon EXTFS System Preferences to mount or verify the drive.
Note: Internal system drives should not appear to DCP Transfer to prevent accidental formatting of crucial system drives.
DCP Transfer will not selectively delete DCPs from your drive. If you wish to delete DCPs from a drive to free up space or for any other reason, you must delete selected files using the Finder. Reformatting a drive in DCP Transfer WILL delete every file currently on the drive during that process.
Paragon software is installed along with DCP Transfer to allow read/write access to EXT2 file systems. Paragon is a crucial component of successfully creating EXT2 drives for digital cinema delivery.
DCP Transfer is set up to provide one license per computer system. One license of DCP Transfer can only be installed on one computer at a time. If you install DCP Transfer using the same license on a second computer, you will no longer be able to use DCP Transfer on the first system. Each license key only allows two system transfers per 30-day period. If a license exceeds two system transfers in a 30-day period, that license will be locked for the remainder of the 30-days, and no users will be able to access DCP Transfer until the end of the period. It is recommended to purchase a unique license of DCP Transfer for each system that will be used to transfer DCPs.