3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 27, 2014 9:10 AM by philmodjunk

    QuickTime Movie Files, Excel Spreadsheet, and Container Fields



      QuickTime Movie Files, Excel Spreadsheet, and Container Fields


           I have searched the FMP forums and Google and know there are container fields, and how they are more useful in version 12, but I am still at a loss of how how to masterfully apply them to my situation.

      1) I am trying to create a database for an archive of QuickTime files, that currently has 1200 QT Files for about total size of 175 gigs.  The archive is slowly growing from there.
      2) Currently, I have all the data for each record in an excel spreadsheet and each record has about 20 fields (year film produced, description...HiDef, StanderDef) and of course one field for a Quicktime Filename. 
      3) Currently, I need only two users to access the database. 
      4) I am going to store the Quicktime files on an external 500 Gig hard drive.  And was going to buy 2 drives, name them the same, and put all the files on them.
      5) In the not too distant future, I am going to have all these same files posted on Amazon S3 and was hoping to publish the database so other users could preview the files as well.
      6) I am not overly concerned whether the Quicktime Plays inside filemaker or simply, the user clicks on a link/icon and the movie pops up in Quicktime Player.  Although it is nice to play inside FMP.
      Assumptions I am making that may be correct or incorrect:
      A) Storing 175 gigs in the actual Filemaker database will bog down opening and closing this database.
      B) Storing the files in Filemaker kind of locks me into a few things.  Like in the future if I want to replace all the movies with h265 smaller version, there is no simple way to replace all the movies at once.
      C) Storing all the files in FMP itself prevents me from easily adding a new Path name (Amazon S3), appending the file name, and then having users see the files online.
      Where I am really stuck
      1) How to get the Path names and file names into FMP so that each record has a link/container that can be played.  
      2) I can't seem to export a container field to see its format.  I am guessing this is the design of FMP, but then what is the workaround?
      3) Can I use a calculation field (or perhaps some other kind) to combine the Path name and the file name to make a link that will play?  Or am I off base on the way FMP works.

        • 1. Re: QuickTime Movie Files, Excel Spreadsheet, and Container Fields

               1) you can import the FIlePaths into text fields. Open URL can use those fields to open the files and a script can be created that uses the file paths in the text field to insert them into container fields.

               2) Export Field Contents can export the contents of a container field. This is both a menu option and a script step.

               3) yes

          • 2. Re: QuickTime Movie Files, Excel Spreadsheet, and Container Fields

                 Thanks Phil

                 I am glad to hear there are solutions.  I am little in over my head how to make this all work though.  Anybody care to walk me through the steps for point 3?

                 1) What should the format of the Path look like?  For an external hard drive named "Periscope" and folder named "Viewers" is this correct ?  "File://Volumes/PeriscopeViewers/"  

                 2)  So lets say I have 2 text fields "Path" and "Filename" in my database.  If I create a Calculation Field called "Movie" and in options box simply typed this operand  "'Path+Filename'" and made the result a container field, then this will create only a reference to the my actual quicktime and it will play?  (I would test this but need the correct pathname first.)





            • 3. Re: QuickTime Movie Files, Excel Spreadsheet, and Container Fields

                   1) What you show would be a typical file path to a folder on a Mac OS. In windows, it would be different. You need the name of the file as well.

                   2) Yes, a text calculation, with a container result type that returns a valid file path will work if you create it with the right format and it's a valid file path. I've used this method myself to set up a container field that uses one file path for the Mac OS and a different one for the Windows OS.

                   3) There are too many unknown details to provide an example. You can use text calculations to produce a URL that can be used with Open URL (and this can be a file path), The same can be used with a Web Viewer to open and view the file in the viewer, or as discussed in 2), it can be used to produce a calculated container field.

                   But note that you also have an option for external storage so you might choose to just insert a copy of the file into a container field with external storage specified. FileMaker then copies the file to the specified external storage location and refers to it by reference. This eliminates a a lot of file path issues such as differences in OS or when publishing to the web.

                   Here's a link on file paths and container fields that you may find useful: Exploring the use of a $Path Variable in Scripts

                   There's a download link to a demo file in that thread that can show you the actual file path text from a container field so you can insert a file into the field and then see what text a calculation might need to use to reproduce it.