Day 33: Mdat.mov, Corrupt Video Files, and Keywords

If you’ve been following my blog for sometime, you’ll know that over the weekend I lost all of the video I shot on my DSLR because the SD card became corrupt. Well… I’m sitting here at a Starbucks fixing my corrupted files slowly but surely, and I’ve learned some thing that every person, who’s involved in todays tech sector, needs to know. Keywords.

What Are Keywords

Keywords are, well… the keywords you use in order to place searches in either online databases, search engines like Google, or even a help file built into an application. I have a pretty well rounded understanding of how to utilize the functionality of keyword searches, but today has reminded me how important they really are.

Diagnosing The Problem

You see, after recovering my SD card’s corrupted data, I found that my .MOV files were actually separated into two separate files. Ones that had the extension of ftyp.mov, and the others that had an extension of mdat.mov. Each file consists of certain unique elements that when the two files are combined, create the on .MOV file we are so used to clicking on, and playing on our computers.

After hours of searching online for a program that could help me to combine these files, and recover my shots, I came up empty handed… until today. A few hours ago, I decided to give it one last shot. I began searching in Google for “fragmented .mov files”, and then “corrupt .mov files” and then “mdat.mov” and “recover mdat.mov files” etc. Until finally, I found one forum where a user mentioned the word “truncated”. He specifically said “truncated mp4”. I then decided to google “repair truncated mp4”, and I finally found relevant content. Multiple companies offering different programs to repair .mp4 and .mov files.

It turns out, I’m missing the moov.mov files, which need to be combined with my mdat.mov, and ftyp.mov files. Now, if this all sounds gibberish, that’s fine. It was all gibberish to me too. To sum it all up, I found a program that someone released which would repair 50% of your videos for free. The program would take a .mov file which is fully functioning, and shot from your type of camera, and mesh it with your corrupt files, so as to recreate the metadata that was lost. The program is called Video Repair by Grau GmbH.

The Right Keywords

Now what does this all have to do with keywords? Because, typing “how do i repair my corrupt .mov file” in google, really doesn’t help you at all.

  1. That statement isn’t unique at all. “Repair” can be replaced with “recover”, “.mov” can be replaced with “.mp4”, “corrupt” can be replaced with “fragmented” or “truncated” or “deleted”.
  2. Filler words like “do” and “i” and “my” are pointless. These words really don’t help Google at all. If anything they could help deter you from what you actually need to find. You can test it…

“How Do I Repair My Corrupt .MOV files” vs “Repair Corrupt .MOV” will show different results based off of Google’s keyword algorithm.

I see friends do it every now and then, and I always give a little chuckle. The key to keyword searches is consolidating your keywords. What are the most important words that you feel other people have used in the same scenario? Are you looking for a program? Or a forum that would most likely have sentences that start with how? Or are you Googling an error code? Most likely, it’s best to Google your error code as it is fully displayed, because that most likely what everyone else has Googled.

In the end, my day was saved because I thought a little harder on my keyword searches. If you do the same, the next time you’re in a rut, you could end up saving a couple of hours that could better be spent on something else.

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