Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Digital Rebellion's Preference Manager's File Format

Digital Rebellion has three handy bits of software for various things regarding Final Cut Studio. One, called Compressor Repair, helps keep QMaster running, another, FCS Remover, is essentially an uninstaller for Final Cut and the third, called Preference Manager, backs up and restores your Final Cut preferences.

Today, I had a call to fix someone's badly behaving FCP install and since they weren't exactly savvy to the inner workings of the Mac when I suggested they trash FCP's prefs they had no idea what to do. So, I began to walk them through the process when I decided to just have them download and use Preference Manager. Playing along at home so I could tell them exactly what to do I noticed in Preference Manager's preferences that it allowed you to choose the directory where the backups were kept. But they were archived in a strange type of file called a .pmb.

Wonderful, I thought, another proprietary file format to worry about. Immediately I decided I didn't like this and lamented the day that FCP Rescue went away. I decided to find out exactly what these .pmb files are and see if they're useful on their own.

I fired up the Terminal, typed in File, hit spacebar and dragged in a newly created .pmb file and hit return to find out it's actually nothing more than a simple "Zip archive data, at least v1.0 to extract" .zip file.

So, to make these .pmb files useful when you need one and don't have or don't want to use Preference Manager, just append .zip to the end of one and then double click it to unzip it and there are all of your copies of your backed-up preferences.