How To Use Silverstack’s Smart File Size Calculation To Double Check Copy Completeness 5 min read

One of the crucial use-cases of Silverstack is the secure copy of camera cards and the assurance of completeness for each copy job. While the software itself is tailored to fulfill this requirement with excellence, as a professional you are naturally looking for ways to double check your work. In the end it is your duty to make sure your delivered package is complete. And of course you want to be confident about that.

In this blog article we will demonstrate how to double check copy completeness using Silverstack’s smart file size calculation. We will also dig into some of the related underlying concepts.

Comparing File Sizes with Finder Info

One basic way for double checking the completeness of copy jobs is the file size comparison of the files registered in Silverstack with the Finder info.

The Data Wrangler Summary (DW) above the library in Silverstack automatically calculates the data size for the selected files. Simply choose a folder or bin and select all the clips and files in the table view. You will then receive various information on the chosen items, including the total size.

The Data Wrangler Summary

The Data Wrangler Summary.

For example you can select one bin – which often reflects one camera reel – and let Silverstack calculate the file size of all included clips and files. Simultaneously open up the reel that has been copied from the camera card in its location on the storage medium in Finder. Then press “Cmd+I” or select “Get info” from the context menu of the folder.

How to open the Get Info panel for a folder in Finder.

Open the “Get Info” panel in Finder.

You can now manually compare the calculated file size from Silverstack with the folder size of the Finder info panel. By hovering over the file size in Silverstack you get a tooltip with the exact amount of bytes. This makes the comparison even more precise and easy.

Comparing file sizes from Silverstack with the Finder info panel

Comparing file sizes from Silverstack with the Finder info panel.

Note: In Finder the value for “Size” is not necessarily the same value as in “(27,74 GB on disk)” info. The value “on disk” is calculated by rounding up the size of each file to the next multiple of the file system block size. What this means is that for technical reasons a file might use more space on a certain disk than the size of its actual content would indicate. In certain cases (like e.g. storing image sequences in file systems with larger block sizes) this can sum up to significant deviations.

Just like Finder, Silverstack calculates and shows sizes in MB (megabyte, power of ten) and not in MiB (mebibyte, power of two). This makes the numbers comparable one by one.

Clips, Documents and Sidecars

Besides calculating file sizes, Silverstack also structures different file types. This becomes important in order to understand the displayed file sizes that are used for the manual comparison with the finder value. So let’s dig a bit deeper into the concept of clips, documents and sidecars in Silverstack.

Besides handling movie clips of different kinds, Silverstack also takes care of other files coming from the offload medium. These can either be sidecars that have a special relation to the movie clips, such as e.g. providing metadata (like ALE files on ARRI camera cards). It can also be other documents (which sums up all other types of files). Sidecars as well as other documents are part of the secure copy from the camera cards along with the actual clips.

To be able to only show clips in the library Silverstack offers the option to “Show Clips only” in the Main Menu under “View”. Though this provides a clean way to work with clips and not get distracted by sidecar files and documents, it can mess with the file size comparison. This is because not all files from the secure copy show up in the library.

Therefore when comparing file sizes with Finder always make sure that “Show Clips and Documents” is active in the “View” menu.

Show Clips and Documents in the Silverstack library.

Show Clips and Documents in the library.

Additionally we would like to mention the Clips table in the Project Overview. It gives a comprehensive summary of all the different file types Silverstack handles. The “All files” entry sums up the size for all files in the selection.

The clips table in the project overview.

The clips table in the project overview.

File Size Calculation, Decimal Places and Rounding

Silverstack generally displays the file sizes in a meaningful unit, automatically shifting from KB to MB and so on. By default Silverstack rounds the sizes to two decimal places. Though mathematical rounding takes place for display reasons, it is important to understand that all internal calculations are made with exact byte sizes to always secure accuracy.

To enable more flexibility, since Silverstack 6.3 you can change the display of decimal places (and therefore the rounding) to three decimal places for file size values. You can do this in the application’s preferences:

The "General" preferences with the decimal places selection.

The “General” preferences with the decimal places selection.

With these insights you can always be confident to fulfill one of your most essential tasks as a DIT – the complete and secure copy of camera cards – with excellence at the end of each production day.

To get familiar with these concepts just download the trial of Silverstack below and try them out yourself.

Clever Media Management for Film Productions

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About the Author
Samuel is a product manager for Pomfort's on-set applications. Usually you can catch him working on new specs for the software products, writing documentation and shooting videos for our products – and sometimes writing blog posts about workflows and equipment.