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Out of Battery Power screws up Quicktime Video Recording: Nikon Coolpix L4 Photo/Video Camera

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Skybuck Flying, Jul 23, 2009.

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  1. Hello,

    Today there was a pretty heavy thunder/rain storm.

    I decided to film it, and to try and catch a lightning rod in action on
    camera !

    I life in an appartment next to another building that is often hit by
    lightning rods.

    Just as I placed the camera near the open window and walked away a lightning
    rod struck just meters away from me I think...

    I thought wow... gotta look at the playback later on ! ;)

    I left the camera running and recording as much as possible from the storm
    as possible.

    I got a little bit wet and then I had to close the window... then I let it
    run onwards.

    Until the battery ran out which was after a couple of minutes...

    I thought... oh to bad.. but ok I get the best parts...

    Then as I replaced the batteries I noticed the camera froze when trying to

    The "camera's operating system" complete froze...

    I was scared that the movie was lost...

    But examening it in windows via usb cable shows the movie is still there on
    the flash card.

    It's an apple quicktime movie... a format which always has problems on PC's
    as well as Mac's and I don't understand why it's used at all.

    It's not even open source ?!? And it produces crappy quality as well at
    least on the nikon but that might be a camera issue...

    Anyway trying to play back the *.mov on the pc results in nothing.

    The file cannot be opened because it is not recgonized ?!

    This sux bad ! There is 100 MB of recording but none of it can be played ?!

    Why the **** is that ?!? Weird/bad !

    Conclusion: apple's quicktime is not suited for digital camera's where
    batteries could run out at any moment.

    Only removing the batteries resetted the operating system of the camera
    thank god for that ! ;)

    So far I have tried the following programs on Windows XP x64:

    Quicktime Player
    VLC Media Player
    MKV Player
    Nero Show Time

    Possibily otherwise with little luck. I am now starting the Mac OS X
    operating system in a virtual machine...

    Maybe it has a better player... I doubt it though ;)

    Also there seem to be some mac quicktime repair tools out there.

    Sucks that I now have to spent so much time trying to get this video working


    Can we all please dumb this ridicilously bad format as a world ?!

    Thank you !

    And have a nice day because I am not having a nice day at the moment ! ;) :)
    because of this shit !

  2. "The movie could not be opened"

    It says on the Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.8 JaS ;)

    So much for that now I try a couple of those quicktime repair tools for the
    mac ;)

  3. Hmm not all hope is lost.

    I just found this quicktime file format specification:

    If necessary I might investigate with my programming skills ;) :)


    So far I haven't found any repair tool yet, most links are dead.

    Gonna try some converters maybe that gonna work...

  4. Well so far I tried AVS Converter for Windows XP, no luck.

    I tried Dumpster for Mac OS X... I don't know how to use it... it doesn't
    seem to do much except open a terminal window than nothing ?

    I also tried to download Dumpster for Windows XP but this requires a login
    and I forgot my password for the adc... so I resetted it...

    Now it says: "Can't login" "Experiencing technical difficulties".

    Maybe they secretly banned me from ADC... seems like it ;) :)

    Or maybe they a bunch of fucktards that can't even make a login work !

    So far I seem to be on my own...

    Now I go figure out if somebody wrote some nice Delphi unit/wrapper/source
    code for the file format.

    Ya never know !

    Besides apple/os used to be written in pascal.. so maybe there is some old
    quicktime source code out there but I doubt it...

    If all else fails I might have to give a try out trying to read quicktime
    crap ;)

  5. Ok,

    So far a little bit of luck:

    This tool is for windows and it allows to view the quicktime file/format in
    a more readable form...

    Now I can compare it to other mov files... and so far... for the corrupted
    file it only shows:


    While for other movies it would show:


    So at first glance it seems like the corrupted file lost the moov content.

    But maybe it's still there ?


    Quicktime also seems to be quite a complex file format... so I have little
    hope for now...

    ^ It seems to heavily depend on headers stored at the front of the file
    (containing indexes, counters, offsets) ?

    If those are lost then all is lost ? Hmm...

  6. (quicktime file format, first impression:)

    Significant difference in headers between two good mov files seem to start
    with the "stss" atom.

    Main problem is with the "Sync Sample Table".

    These will probably have different sizes for different movies.

    This will make it a bit harder to guess where the actually movie data
    starts... if I am to attempt a reconstruction of the headers
    with best guesses ;)

    I can imagine a program that quickly tries out all kinds of possibilities
    where the user will have to pay attention to when it's a bingo and a good
    image comes out...

    Even better would be a program/repair tool which saves the first image of
    each try to the harddisk... with the header information that was used.

    This way with window's icon view it should be possible to quickly figure out
    which image is good and has good header information to then
    quickly do a repair attempt with those settings and a full movie playback.

    Further similiar problems are with "stsz" atom. "Sample Size Table".

    This will make it more complex to try and repair...

    This also seems to use sizes which will be even more difficult to guess ;)
    Except maybe if the file does contain this data it might be easier to guess.

    It's kinda strange that this viewer doesn't recgonize any moov data... maybe
    it just needs a signature to be placed there ? Hmm... I will have to look
    into that a bit later on...

    Then the same kind of problem is with the "Chunk Offset Table".

    These three tables will have a different number of entries for each mov
    file... (thus a different table size) these tables seem to be located at the
    start of the file.

    Guessing the number of entries for these tables might get a bit tricky...
    also guessing the offsets might become a bit tricky.

    However there is also seems to be a "udta" "User Data" section at the end of
    the file. (actually not end of file... but end of header ;) See below ;))

    This seems to be a place where the manufacturer of the file can place it's

    It seems to say something like:

    "Digital Camera...=... some more crap followed by: "NIKON DIGITAL CAMERA".

    This seems to be the same for both good movie files so this could be a nice
    marker to find the end of the file...

    Or at least give a possibility to work backwards from the end.

    Another idea could be to simply search and try to find images or any other
    compressed data and try to extract
    this image by image... by simply trying out all offsets.

    To be able to do this I need more information than the atom viewer is
    currently providing.

    But the atom viewer does give me a chance to simply go to such an offset and
    attempt to decode it or so...

    Or maybe stuff it through some kind of windows decoder... to see how that
    works out.

    So not all hope is lost... technically it might be possible.

    Question is... is there actually any image content in the file ;)

    Time to start up Skybuck's homemade File Viewer ;) :) (unreleased ;))

    Actually now that I view it with Skybucks Viewer there is no signature to be
    found at the end of the file which is logical...

    Because the signature is not at the end of the file format specification lol
    ! Dumb me lol.

    It's at the end of the header... Which in itself is kinda interesting too...

    So now I travel back to the start of file to see if I can find it ?! ;)

    But maybe this camera only stores it there once it's done recording but I
    will see anyway... ;)

    There is no search functionality yet... actually I made this tool for 64 bit

    So instead because the file is only 100 MB I am gonna use textpad to view it
    maybe textpad can find this signature ;) First have to copy file and rename
    it to *.bin so it opens it in hex mode.

    Actually looking at it in textmode did reveal some stuff too..

    Ok so far I see "NIKO" but not "NIKON".

    This could be a left over of previous data...

    I am starting to see what the problem could be.

    The problem could be that the header is only written at the end of the
    recording ?!?!?

    But that doesn't seem to make much sense...

    Also how would this video file reserve space for such large headers ?!

    Doesn't seem to make much sense to me...

    Maybe the atom viewer is fooling me... and the data is maybe coming from
    across the file...

    I'll have to read the file specification to know for sure...

    Actually that's not necessary... the atom viewer shows the offset/location
    where the data is coming from at the start.

    pnot is located somewhere at offset hex 0
    pict is located somewhere at offset hex 10 (bit later on probably it's not
    super accurate)
    mdat is located somewhere at offset hex A70
    moov is located somewhere at offset hex EC68D0
    udta is located somewhere at offset hex ECB230

    In decimal this is:


    Which is no where near the end and also not really at the start unless the
    header is actually 15 MB big ?!?

    No way it could be 15 MB unless maybe this is "reserved space ?"

    Hard to tell if this is reserved space... could be garbage that's just
    skipped over...

    If it is reserved space it should have been cleared first or so for better
    compression later on... but ok... clearing costs time...

    I would be amazed if that is reserved space... because that's pretty
    wastefull ?! ;)

    Well so far lot's and lot's and lot's of speculations.

    This post could be full with errors so don't rely on it people.

    This just my first impression of things ;)

    Skybuck =D
  7. Further interesting information to read:

    MP4 format based on Quicktime format.

    This doc says apperently all video and audio data stored in MDAT atom...

    If so then I wonder wha the moov atom is... oh I see this is the meta data

    Maybe I don't need the meta data section and could attempt to decode some
    mdat stuff:

    Since the mdat stuff is available in the corrupted file... cool ! ;)

  8. Ok,

    After some further investigation of the quicktime file format and further
    examination of the website about file juicer... I believe that tool might
    just be the thing I am looking for.

    The only problem is the website is being a bitch about trying to download
    the dmg from the website via a windows computer ?!

    (How stupid !)

    Downloading actually requires clicking on some logo because the dude
    believes there are robots downloading shit/zip files ?

    Never heard of such a thing but ok.

    Turns out the zip is fucking corrupted ?!

    And all this time my virtualized OS Mac was fricking running and making my
    cpu hot for nothing... should have shut it down first but ok ;)

    Finally I decided to search for some other download mirror and fortunately I
    found one:

    Now I am gonna try this motherfucking piece of shit on the mothafucking Mac
    OS X LOL.

    Actually it could be quite a gem of a motherfucker if it fricking works LOL.

    Fingers crossed.

    If it works that would be awesome...

    Lucky me... the movie only contains video... and according to probably the
    author that's a good thing for repair.

    So now I am gonna fire up this motherfucking Mac OS X one more time and then
    try out this motha focking tool.

    Me getting a little bit excited.

    Also this tool is a little bit smarted then my idea... (Or at least
    faster/less intensive)

    My idea was to simply try out all offsets to see for a successfull decode.

    This tool is a bit smarter it simply checks for "known markers" of video
    codecs I presume...

    However it's not really that smart... because the video data might not
    contain any markers ?!

    But what do I know ;)

    So I say fingers crossed ! ;)

    I will let you know how it works out... Unfortunately I got a Tiger motha
    focking version of OS X HEHE and even other stuff but that probably don't
    work not sure though... Tiger should be enough ;) MRRRAAAOOOWW :)

    Skybuck ;) =D
  9. Ok,

    Very cool program it's working inside the virtual machine.

    It does like 3 to 5 pictures per second or so...

    (Turns out the video consists out of jpegs, this explains the bad quality...
    every picture has jpeg artifacts.. apperently the digital camera is just
    taking jpeg pictures in quick succession (?) <- smart use of a camera that's
    what I would have done ;))

    However there are probably many thousands of them so it's gonna take a

    The program is also adding water marks to the pictures apperently...

    I am not sure what it's exactly doing.. it has a display window where I can
    see that it has indeed found the pictures because it's showing them...

    but are the pictures being saved to some harddisk ? I don't know...

    Maybe it's just collecting information/offsets to later present them to me
    to save them to disk ?!?

    I hope it doesn't run out of memory or anything like that ?! ;)

    Well... I am gonna let it run some more... I hope the watermarks not to

    So far I am pretty impressed by the thunder lightning !

    It only lasts a fraction of a second but the camera picks it up nicely...
    and it makes the surroundings totally bright at the darkness of night !

    Quite impressive to look at it !

    Maybe I put a youtube video up later...

    Also I am not sure if I can just make a 30 fps movie out of this...
    probably... but not sure...

    The camera might have taken the pictures at a little bit iregular rate...
    but it's probably not to bad... and close to 30 fps or so ;)

  10. Wow...

    I pretty much spent all night trying to extract the images from the
    corrupted mov file..

    But with success ! :)

    I used Mac Os X Tiger's Apache Web Server / Personal Web Sharing to transfer
    the files over the "local host network" to my drive !

    (I first archived the 11.000 pictures in a zip file... which fortunately
    opens nicely in XP ;))

    So now I can finally go take a look at the pictures in sequential order...
    since the mac did something weird...

    Or maybe it's because xp hasn't sorted them yet... or maybe xp is smarter
    when it comes to pictures...

    The File Juicer wasn't too smart when it came to naming the files...

    The files look like:

    and so further... this screws the order on the mac ?! not sure about the

    Files should have looked something like:

    just to make sure the sort order is proper ?!

    Well anyway xp doesn't seem to have any problems with it for now ! ;) :)

    So now I am off examining the pictures !

    Kinda cool that's in picture format now... this allows me to close inspect
    every individual frame ! ;)

    Which is exactly what I need to examine the lightning stuff ! ;) :)

    And titties/nipple slips LOL. But that's for some other time LOL.

    Drewl Drewl LOL.

  11. Actually windows has troubles with the order as well... I just took a closer

    What happened is it jumped from 10, to 100, to 1000... and then went to
    1001, 1002, 1003 etc..

    That's why at first glance it looked ok...

    But it's not ok... proper order is not yet achieved...

    The most spectacular thing was at the start...

    So I guess I now have to write a special program to rename all these

    Kinda shitty but ok ?!

    All in all File Juicer did save me a shit load of time...

    If I had to write such a program myself could have cost me many days, weeks,
    maybe even months of programming ?!

    And with no garantuee of success...

    But now almost done ! ;)

  12. Oh boy !

    Windows does actually play it in the proper order it now seems !

    The inproper order was because the extractor was still extracting the files
    and meanwhile I was taking a sneak peak...

    Because of the strange order in the mac the archive apperently also had the
    strange order...

    So it's the fault of the mac and the archiver...

    Windows on the other hand seems to perform just fine !

    These are the little things I like about Windows and absolute hate about

    And the Mac has many many many many of these little flaws and thingies and
    gets annoying real fast.

    But heyyyyyy... that's what you pay for I guess when you get a MAC HAHAHAHA.

    Why would you pay for all that shit is beyond me ?!

    OH MY.

    Me so glad I am on windows... now I go finally view some more ! ;)

    Skybuck ;)
  13. Well,

    I examined the pictures of the first part or so...

    Unfortunately no lightning shaft is visible... at the time I was standing
    with my back against the window getting away from it all...

    But ofcourse there are many many many nice/interesting flashes.

    I does make me wonder where all the lightning strikes...

    1. Is it the lower building roof ? Was it just a few meters to the left ?

    2. Or am I being fooled and is the lightning actually striking on top of my
    "own" building ? (In that case I can't really film it... it would be too
    dangerous... ;) )


    Well next time I will try again to get a lightning shaft on film... like
    really close... like 3 meters away or so... if it does strike the lower
    building hihi.

    Also now I remember what I wanted to write about for you people interested
    in weather phenomenon.

    This was actually the weirdest storm I have ever seen so far:

    The weirdness started with lightning strikes very high up in the sky... the
    lightning never reached the earth...

    There was a huge cloud... and the lightning was inside the cloud only:

    Like a white cloud, with a dark cloud under it...

    That was during the evening...

    Then later that day at night, about 23:50 or so.. the big/hard hitting
    thunder storm started.

    Huge bangs/thunder... but the same thing happened:

    I almost didn't see any lightning rods... ?!?

    It was like the lightning rods were never touching the earth ? And were in
    the sky only ?!?!? Tucked away somewhere in the clouds ?!?!? (Not really
    visible ?!?)

    Or maybe all the rain was preventing the view ?!?!?

    Really strange.

    But there were a shit load of bright flashes !

    Really bright flashes !

    Like god was playing with a huge flashlight ?!

    Lightning up the whole sky ?!

    Maybe I should publish some pictures on my webdrive that would be easiest...

    However I have to go hit the sack and also still examine the rest...

    Later I might publish some pictures... but for me it's a little bit a
    privacy issue... but most people probably can't identify the buildings so I
    think it's gonna be ok ;) but I promise nothing...

    Maybe I make a short video of all the flash impacts... from darkness to full
    flash... to darkness and so forth...

  14. Ok,

    I just examined it some more...

    There is a picture of a lightning shaft far away hitting a building.

    The interesting thing is that the lightning shaft is really short !

    So this could be an indication that the clouds were really low !

    That could explain the tremendous thunder sound (and flashes) ?! ;)

    Pretty cool...

    I will definetly make a little video of that part.

  15. Also there is a pretty spectacular close up flash... maybe this was actually
    a lightning shaft hitting the lower building ?

    But because of all the light it's not visible ?!

    So maybe it's impossible to actually record a lightning strike from a few
    meters ?!?

    Except maybe if some kind of "sunglasses" are attached to the camera ?!?

    Maybe video image processing might reveal something but I doubt it ;)

    I will definetly make sure that close super flash is in the video too !

    I got a little bit scared there so it's the part were I backoff for safety
    reasons ! LOL.

    (I wonder if lightning strikes could shoot inside a window and kill me ?)

    I have heard of ball lightning... so it's probably a possibility ?! ;)

  16. qrk

    qrk Guest

    I'll venture to guess that the movie file is corrupted since it didn't
    close properly. Use ffmpeg to convert QT to MPEG1.
  17. Try VLC Media player.
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