Sunday, February 28, 2016

Incomplete, or unfinalized GoPro Videos

The GoPro camera is very popular for activities that involve action.  At times these can go wrong and the camera can be thrown off, and sometimes stop recording.

The latest version of GoPro recovery (V1.25) can recover these partial files for Hero 3 camera.

When a camera is stopped from recording video data is normally left on the memory chip in an unplayable format.  It is this data that the GoPro recovery software will find and reconstruct into a playable video file.  GoPro recovery software goes much further than most packages as it will demultiplex the low and high resolution video and audio streams.  Thus a new file might be created out of maybe 100 separate fragments.

How much data will be recovered.  This is a slightly harder question.  When the camera records, obviously at first the video is saved in memory, and then written to the memory chip.  The unknown question is how quickly is data written to the memory chip, ie how much data up to the point of failure will be saved.  The answer is probably up to the final few seconds.

On some recent examples recovered using GoPro Recovery, the saved data seems to have stopped between 1 and 3 seconds before the critical event.  On one occasion this was made worse beacue the police, thinking nothing further could be recovered, told the owner to use the memory chip again.  On this occasion, the saved data was set by the file system, which is almost certainly updated after the data has been written to the memory chip.  ie there would have been more video data saved in unallocated memory which was then overwritten.

The new version of V1.25 works for just Hero 3 cameras, it has a very good reponse to low res videos, but can be slightly mixed with high res video.  This problem will be resolved very soon, and support for Hero 4 cameras will be added next

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