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 name of the DCP as it appears in the CPL file's ContentTitleText field
- If the DCP is encrypted, a padlock icon will appear next to the DCP name
- The combined size of all of the files in the package
- A "Validate?" checkbox and "Validate Source" button (For optional DCP hash check verification)
- The current DCP validation status of each DCP
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:
- By choosing Add DCPs... from the File dropdown menu
- By right clicking or control clicking in the source area and choosing Add DCPs… from the contextual menu
- By clicking the plus button in the lower left hand corner of the source area and choosing the DCP folder
- By dragging and dropping a DCP folder into the source area from the Finder
- By double clicking the background of the source area and choosing the DCP folder
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 destination drive selector dropdown which displays all non-system disks available to the operating system
- A disk capacity gauge that displays the current disk usage (blue) and projected usage after transfer (yellow/red)
- The name of the DCP as it appears in the CPL file's ContentTitleText field (located within DCP folder)
- The combined size of all of the files in the package
- A "Validate?" checkbox and "Validate Destination" button (For optional DCP hash check verification)
- The current validation status of each DCP
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:
- An error occurred during a copy operation somewhere in the life of this DCP. This occurs most often with internet transfers via services like Google Drive or Dropbox, but can also take place whenever a DCP is copied from one place to another.
- Someone may have tried to alter the contents of the XML files after the package has been created. Changing the text contents of any element in the DCP after it has been created will cause the validation process to fail and is not allowed. If you desire to change the name or any attribute of a DCP, you’ll need to use a DCP authoring tool such as DCP-O-Matic, Open DCP, or easyDCP Creator to modify the package and re-generate the stored hash.
VERIFY DRIVE FORMAT
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 not already connected, connect the source drive to the computer.
- Once it mounts, add the desired DCP(s) from the source drive to the Source Area in DCP Transfer.
- Proceed to connect the destination drive to the computer.
- Once the volume is recognized by the computer select the desired drive in the Destination Drive Selector dropdown.
- Use the capacity gauges to be sure there is enough space on the destination drive before starting the transfer process.
- Click the Transfer DCPs button at the bottom of the screen.
If the destination drive has been verified, the following transfer options will be displayed:
- Re-format your destination drive (as a safety measure)
- Validate source DCPs before transfer
- Validate DCP copies after transfer
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.
CAN I PLAY MY DCP ON MY HOME COMPUTER?
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.
ERROR MESSAGE: FILE MISSING
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.
ERROR MESSAGE: PACKAGE CANNOT BE READ
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.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I FORMAT MY DRIVE?
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.
I DON'T SEE MY DRIVE IN THE DRIVE SELECTOR
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.
- Navigate to system preferences and find Paragon EXTFS for Mac
- Locate the desired drive on the left hand panel
- If there is a green cirlce next to the desired drive, the drive is mounted. If the drive name is greyed out with a grey cirlce it means the drive is not mounted to the system and might need to be verified before it can be mounted.
- Click the "Verify" button. The system will attempt to verify and mount the drive
- If the drive still remains unmounted, click the mount button to attempt to mount the drive.
- If these steps do not cause the drive to be mounted, the drive may be damaged.
- If the drive remains unmounted, attempt to format the drive for mac using the Disk Utility. Note: This will result in erasing data from the drive.
Note: Internal system drives should not appear to DCP Transfer to prevent accidental formatting of crucial system drives.
REMOVING DCPS FROM A DRIVE
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.
WHAT IS PARAGON EXTFS?
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.
CAN I USE MY LICENSE KEY ON MULTIPLE COMPUTERS?
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.
WHY IS MY DRIVE READ-ONLY / WRITE PROTECTED?
This is a known issue that has popped up with a small percentage of users, and occurs when a drive is mounted read-only. We're still in the process of trying to figure out why drives mount as read-only, and will be fixing this in a future update.
In the meantime, here's a workaround that should enable you to use DCP Transfer:
If a drive mounts read only (DCP Transfer throws “Formatting Canceled” error after formatting/before file copy), you can use the following steps to change the permissions:
1. Launch terminal
2. Navigate to the Volumes folder with the following command: cd /Volumes
3. Show the permissions with the following command: ls -l
4. Change the ownership of the drive using the following command:
sudo chown <name of user>:<name of group> <name of drive/drive path>
Example: sudo chown currentuser:staff /Volumes/DESTINATION-DRIVE
5. Change the permissions of the drive using the following command:
sudo chmod -R 777 <name of drive/drive path>
Example: sudo chmod -R 777 /Volumes/DESTINATION-DRIVE
This should allow DCP Transfer to copy files to the drive. Please email support if you need additional assistance on this issue.