19 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2009 4:01 PM by the_wine_snob

    Codecs, please!

    Aidan Bell

      After a complete reinstall (operating system and upwards) I'm delighted with improved performance but some obscure .avi files won't play, or play sound-only. I'd like to get my system to a point where it has a good chance of playing anything that's not highly out of the ordinary. What are peoples' opinions nowadays on Codec Packs? Is there a good recommendation for PPCS4 users, or are "Packs" frowned upon in favour of "install codec by codec as needed"? Obviously a pack installation "one size fits all" would be convenient, but I'm happy to search our and download one by one if that's recommended. Any advice, please?
      Cheers,
      Aidan

        • 1. Re: Codecs, please!
          Eddie Lotter Level 4

          Avoid codec packs like the plague, they do more damage than good.

          Use a program like GSpot to determine what codecs the AVI file requires and only download those codecs if there is no alternative copy of the clip.

          Cheers
          Eddie

          • 2. Re: Codecs, please!
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            If you enjoy complete reformats and reinstalls, go ahead and install codec packs. If that is not your hobby/profession, stay away from codec packs. Just make sure that your source material is editable by converting before importing.

             

            I recently had some oranges and could not drink them, so I converted them to orange juice and, surprise, it was drinkable. Same with PR.

             

            General rule: Don't install codec packs. Convert that crappy material to editable format first.

            • 3. Re: Codecs, please!
              Aidan Bell Level 1

              Many thanks to you both. OK, but how do I convert, or more to the point, from what to what? I have, for example, an .avi file which plays audio-only. I know that there is picture content because before the reinatall when - shock horror - I had a codec pack installeed, it played audio and visual. Would this be a job, then, for GSpot (of which I have no past experience, sorry).

               

              Cheers,
              Aidan

              • 4. Re: Codecs, please!
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                First download GSpot http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ and then load the file you want to edit. Determine the codec in use and then use Google to find a converter to make that file into an editable one. One possible converter is here: http://www.ojosoft.com/video-converters/index.html

                • 5. Re: Codecs, please!
                  Aidan Bell Level 1

                  Very grateful. Thanks again.

                  • 6. Re: Codecs, please!
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    Hope you can find a solution with the links given. If it helps, express this by giving the points for a correct or helpful answer.

                    • 7. Re: Codecs, please!
                      the_wine_snob Level 9
                      What are peoples' opinions nowadays on Codec Packs? Is there a good recommendation for PPCS4 users, or are "Packs" frowned upon in favour of "install codec by codec as needed"?

                       

                      I strongly suggest only loading CODEC's that are specifically required. I also would suggest going as close to the "source," of the CODEC's, as is possible, even if it means paying for these. The chances of problems are far less this way. You may want to read this ARTICLE from the Encore DVD Lounge.

                       

                      If you do not have it, G-Spot will tell you exactly which CODEC you need.

                       

                      The only "pack" that I would recommend would be the Vista CODEC "pack," that seems to contain many CODEC's, that were once installed with Windows, but appear to have been pulled out.

                       

                      For your AVI's behavior, I'd guess DivX, or Xvid. G-Spot will tell you for sure.

                       

                      Good luck,

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 8. Re: Codecs, please!
                        Aidan Bell Level 1

                        All good stuff. Again my thanks. I think I'm on track now. Cheers.

                        • 9. Re: Codecs, please!
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          Good luck.

                           

                          I think that you are on the right track, and I am so glad that you asked before just downloading the CODEC packs. I feel that one can do so much better by getting ONLY what they need and WHEN they need it.

                           

                          On one other Adobe forum, there is a common suggestion to get one particular CODEC pack. Sometimes it works (after loading all sorts of "junk,"), but often it just messes up one's system.

                           

                          Again, it is very tempting to grab some "free" version of a particular CODEC. Many of these are hacked, or reverse-engineered, and may/maynot function with no problems. That is why I try to go to the source, if possible and do not mind spending the $'s 'cause I want them to ALWAYS work.

                           

                          I use a conversion program DigitalMedia Converter, that is ~ US$50. It only works with properly installed CODEC's, as it ships with none of its own. It has been perfect for 99% of my conversions. There are some good freeware converters out there, but I have not used most of them.

                           

                          Hunt

                          • 10. Re: Codecs, please!
                            Aidan Bell Level 1

                            I've been researching some more and clearly codecs have been and still are a topic of concern and discussion. I certainly agree with the ethos of paying for codecs and getting decent, legal versions (as with software). It makes one wonder why Adobe don't have their own certified codec pack (they'd have to call it something else, "Codec Suite" or such!), known to be of use and safe with their PPro.

                            • 11. Re: Codecs, please!
                              Aidan Bell Level 1

                              OK, my inexperience is coming out and I'm still stuck!
                              It's always been my understanding that with the right codec a file should be readable, no?
                              GSpot told me that the required codec for the .avi in question (XviD ISO MPEG-4) was not installed. So I installed it. GSpot now tells me that it is installed, yet I still can't play the avi. Harm seems to indicate that I must now convert, but from what to what? .avi (codec A) to  to .aiv (codec B)? Apologies for my ignorance here (I'm generally reasonably competent with these things).
                              Cheers.

                              • 12. Re: Codecs, please!
                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                Xvid is not an editable format, so you need to convert it to MS DV AVI type2.

                                • 13. Re: Codecs, please!
                                  Aidan Bell Level 1

                                  Thanks

                                  • 14. Re: Codecs, please!
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    Just as I suspected, Xvid. DivX is another similar one. Just because one has all of the proper CODEC's (Audio & Video) installed, unfortunately does not mean that any NLE can edit that footage - it can just be played. Xvid & DivX are two such, and there are many more.

                                     

                                    Adobe does have a CODEC "pack" that is installed with the full-paid version. I believe that these are all from MainConcept and handle things like MPEG-2 encoding. Most OS's also have many CODEC's, like the MS DV CODEC, installed. Vista now has a CODEC "pack" for missing COCEC's.

                                     

                                    Harm is correct. One must convert to an editable format/CODEC.

                                     

                                    That is the life with non-miniDV camera footage. One often must convert to edit it.

                                     

                                    Good luck,

                                     

                                    Hunt

                                    • 15. Re: Codecs, please!
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9
                                      Apologies for my ignorance here (I'm generally reasonably competent with these things).

                                       

                                      Don't worry about asking these questions. They are many of the "stepping stones" to learning NLE work.

                                       

                                      While the manuals and Help files cover some aspects of CODEC's and should not be missed, much of what you are asking are about why some CODEC's,etc. do not work in PrPro. The Help files and manual will not tell you much about why something will not work.

                                       

                                      That is where these fora come in.

                                       

                                      Good luck,

                                       

                                      Hunt

                                      • 16. Re: Codecs, please!
                                        Aidan Bell Level 1

                                        Thanks Hunt.
                                        Well this is certainly becoming weird!
                                        Dispite successful installation of the codec I couldn't even PLAY the avi files (there are in fact three files in question) in either PPro or Windows Media Player. I've just installed a trial version of Digital Media Converter Pro and that aborted and failed when trying to convert them to to uncompressed avi (it doesn't give the option for MS DV).
                                        Finally I managed to convert them to .wmv so at least they are viewable now. And indeed, viewing them confirms for certain that only last week, before my full re-installation, they were playing pefcectly in PPro. Can you posibly suggest what might be going on here?

                                         

                                        My Adobe is indeed the full paid-up legal version. I have the complete CS4 master suite so I shouldn't be missing anything, should I?

                                         

                                        Incidentally, the footage in question has been sent to me as part of a project. Of course I agree with your thoughts. I want to screem "Get a proper camara", but unfortunately that's not a practical option here!

                                        • 17. Re: Codecs, please!
                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                          First thing that I would do is go to DivX and download their CODEC. Xvid is open source of the DivX CODEC, which is free. When DivX is installed, I can play Xvid and DivX encoded files on WMP. You can see the DivX engine starting up in the Taskbar.

                                           

                                          As for the DigitalMedia Converter trial, I have to admit that it was years ago, since I did their trial. Back then, nothing was disabled, and use of the program was only time limited. That you do not have the MS DV CODEC available almost makes me think that you do not have it with your OS. It used to be installed with the OS, but it seems that later versions of Vista do not have these. The Vista CODEC pack might be needed. This, of course, depends on whether you have Vista. XP, through SP-3 came with all of the main MS CODEC's.

                                           

                                          Good luck,

                                           

                                          Hunt

                                          • 18. Re: Codecs, please!
                                            Aidan Bell Level 1

                                            OK, DivX duly installed .... and Voila! I can play the files!
                                            AND they play in PPro too. No conversion necessary.
                                            I was certainly surprised that DivX wasn't already on the system.
                                            So I think I'm there at last. Many thanks indeed.

                                            • 19. Re: Codecs, please!
                                              the_wine_snob Level 9
                                              AND they play in PPro too. No conversion necessary.

                                               

                                              That is a pleasent surprise. Most often either the Video or the Audio is missing with DivX files. Do check your sync, as that is the normal third problem often seen. If you have an OOS (Out Of Sync) problem, post, as this can be fixed, with a bit of hand-work and a lot of listening and close viewing. won't bore you, unless you find you have OOS.

                                               

                                              Good luck,

                                               

                                              Hunt