OT: Help with PlayMemories Home

PeterDuke wrote on 6/15/2014, 12:16 AM
My wife bought a Sony DSC-HX60V still camera while she was away, and now I am faced with getting the photos and videos she took transferred to a computer.

If I remove the SD card and place it in a card reader, Windows doesn't recognise the format and offers to format it. Ditto if I connect the camera via USB and search with Windows Explorer.

The "correct" way to transfer is apparently to use PlayMemories Home, the successor to PMB (Picture Motion Browser) with lots of cloud functionality. Both are primarily database programs with useful utilities.

The downloadable file is only a downloader, which downloads the real program and automatically installs and deletes the download, so if you want to reinstall you have a lengthy download all over again. (Fortunately I found where the temporary download was located and copied it once the download was finished and the install was still in progress.)

I used my XP machine first. At the end of the first install I got an error message (I forget what now). I connected my camera to the computer and it installed more functionallity (e.g. to handle progressive AVCHD). A window is supposed to pop up offering to do the transfers (as happens with PMB), but after a lengthy wait there was nothing.

I uninstalled PlayMem and reinstalled but still no go.

I then tried installing on my Win 7 machine from scratch, which was just as well because the saved downloaded program was different. It then removed PMB which I had installed, before installing itself. It crashed towards the end of the install. I reinstalled using my copied download and got an error message relating to GPS Assist, which I ignored. PlayMem now seemed installed but for the last few hours it has been updating its database (presumably all the video clips I have on my hard disks). It is currently on 70% with about an hour to go but it has been about an hour to go for a long while. There is no option to skip the database update. Luckily this program doesn't go through and try to recognise faces, as PMB did. The program doesn't respond with any other function, so I will have to wait for the updating to finish.

Does anybody have suggestions how I might get PlayMemories Home to work or otherwise how to transfer data from the SD card to the computer? I have now wasted a whole day with no light at the end of the tunnel. Sony seems to delight in torture. I don't even want the database, it is only the transfer that I want.

Is there a forum that deals with this program? I have come across a few old posts from other frustrated users on general purpose forums.

The camera manual is quite brief and not much help, but it is in 15 languages!


PeterDuke wrote on 6/15/2014, 1:39 AM
That last hour went very quickly! The database update ferreted out every video and image file in every nook and cranny on my computer.

I have now started the transfer, and I think that it will take at least an hour, but I am happy to wait this time. :)
ushere wrote on 6/15/2014, 1:49 AM
there wasn't any option to 'skip' database creation?

i really hate it when i have to use proprietary software to simply 'transfer' files... the last time i used some was nxview with my nikon. don't know what possessed me, but never again.

PeterDuke wrote on 6/15/2014, 6:04 AM
Yes, every database program thinks that it is the centre of the universe, and the reason for being. And they are all incompatible with one another.

I also once used ViewNX for transfers, but now I only use it to view the EXIF data of raw files.

I wonder what format the SD card uses. If I knew that then there may be an easier way to copy the files.
PeterDuke wrote on 6/15/2014, 6:26 AM
I realise now that the program is not all bad. It stitches 2GB/4GB chunks back into a single file per scene, and names the file according to shooting date and time, just as PMB does (did). I just don't need the overhead of the database, that's all. And a saveable download and painless bug free install.

On another note, I was also surprised that the camera records AVCHD in 50i, 50p and 25p plus MP4. Until then, all still cameras I had come across recorded MOV in 24p.
ECB wrote on 6/15/2014, 6:39 AM
I assume your camera uses the same interface as my Sony RX100M2. You can transfer your photos and videos with the USB using Windows or Vegas.. Windows will recognize the camera. but I prefer to use Device Explorer in VP (View > Window > Device Explorer). Yes, PlayMemories takes over everything.

Ed B
Rob Franks wrote on 6/15/2014, 6:51 AM
Strange. I have a Sony vid cam (PJ790) and it has no issues with Windows. Play memories came with the cam but I don't actually have to use it. In fact I didn't even install it.

I just connect via USB and it opens in terms of a folder and I drag/drop both the video and pictures. The cam itself seems to join the 2G/4G chunks back together automatically as the drag/drop is being done.
farss wrote on 6/15/2014, 8:39 AM
Same here, I've never struck a card from a camera that I cannot read using Windows. . I've memories of reading JPGs from the first Sony DSCs that recorded to floppy disk to PMW200s with cards formatted as UDF and cards from $30 Yum Cha cameras as FAT32.
Only caveat is the CF cards from the AJA recorders that use HFS+, even with MacDrive I do need a special card reader that forces Windows to see the cards as a HDD rather than as removable media.

PeterDuke wrote on 6/15/2014, 5:38 PM
Mystery solved. The card is formatted with exFAT file system and AVCHD disc file structure. (64 GB size.)

My XP machine does not recognise exFAT.
John_Cline wrote on 6/15/2014, 7:00 PM
One reason to use PlayMemories Home (PMH) is if you have a camera with GPS capabilities. When you connect the camera using the USB cable, PMH will download the current GPS assist data to the camera to help it lock on to the GPS satellites faster. The GPS assist data is typically valid for next thirty days, so it's a good idea to hook up the camera at least once a month even if you're not using PMH to move image files.
PeterDuke wrote on 6/15/2014, 7:31 PM
Thanks John. I will look into that.

At the moment I am struggling with such basic things as how to turn off burst shooting.

With few buttons having multiple functions, and many features available together with a slim user manual, it all takes time.
PeterDuke wrote on 6/16/2014, 1:18 AM
Thanks, Nick. Installed and working.
bleekerk wrote on 11/7/2014, 8:57 AM
This problem took me quite some time and irritation to find a solution. Even SonyNL didn't provide a single hint to solve it. My working solution (Windos 8.1): de-install PlayMemories Home, remove all the files and folders containing anything related to Sony PMB (also the hidden folders in the C:\Users\UserName\...\ AppData\Local and ...\Roaming part). Than clean up the registry manually by searching for PMB entries and deleting all the related keys. Then re-install the package, ...BUT! I have done this ceremony several times, and the last time I installed PlayMemories Home on another logical station (in my case D:\) and guess... the database is now rebuilding!