I am strictly an Elements Window user, but let us see if we can get the information exchange started.
Is your Premiere Elements 11 Mac from Adobe or the Mac App Store (Adobe Premiere Elements 11 Editor or Adobe Premiere Elements Quick Editor)? Is your Mac 32 or 64 bit system?
What are the properties of your AVCHD beside this video compression, such as frame size, frame rate, file extension? You say the duration is about 2 minutes. What brand/model camera is it coming from?
How much free hard drive space goes along with the 4 GB RAM and 2.7 GHz? How do you have the Scratch Disks set up, and are they directed to a location with enough hard drive space to accept them?
The typical question...is your computer optimized?
I do not recommend switching between the Expert and Quick workspaces. Expert offers more in the way of features and you can see what is going on better which gives you more control. But, the important point is that there are instances where things seen in one workspace will not be the same in the other. More details on that another time if necessary.
The software crashes or freezes when I switch from Expert to Quick.
What happens when you stick to one or the other rather than toggling back and forth? Is the issue the same, lesser, greater?
Please take a look at the following Adobe document on "Troubleshoot system errors, freezes I Mac OS 10.x I Adobe software"
and determine if any of that suggested systematic troubleshooting works for you.
Please update us on your progress.
Also, what model of camcorder is your video coming from and what format and resolution is it? How did you get the video from the camcorder to your computer?
When you look under the Edit menu, what project settings are listed?
OK, this is a tall order for a beginner Mac user, but let me see if I can find some of this info before I head off to work.
My PE11 is from the Apple Store. My Mac is a Core i5, which is a 64-bit processor.
The file I'm trying to edit is from a Canon Vixia HF R400, which is set to record at 60P. I'm not sure about the frame rate. The file type is .mov and it's 485 MB. The strange thing is when I go back and look at the SD card with Finder (file explorer for Mac), there's only one file, "Private" and it's 3.64 GB. The Mac seems to know this is video content because if I double-click it, Quicktime comes up asking me to select one of the videos on the card for playback. I seem to recall that other videos I shot were recorded with the extension "MTS". I messed around with some conversions (through Quicktime) because I tried to export the movie to iMovie, which never worked. Anyway, now that the file is MOV, PE11 seems to recognize it. I can see the preview and occasionally have PE11 play it back.
I have over 800 GB free on a one TB drive. Scratch disks are set up to use "same as project" for each field and a Path underneath PE11.
Switching from Quick to Expert and back is a quicker way to induce a freeze. Simply leaving the program in Quick and attempting to trim yields the same results eventually, although things do seem to work slowly at first. Then Preview won't ever catch up to my new trim point. The Play button stops doing anything. I'm not sure Render does anything, although if I wait a few minutes I can sometimes see the image move (jerkily)in the timeline.
I'll try to find more info this evening. Thanks for your help!
Steve, to get the video from the camcorder to the computer, I took the SDHC card out, plugged it into the Mac's SD port, and copied the file to the hard drive. Then I dragged this into PE11. The format is set to AVHCD and 60P. I think this means 1080p, 60 Hz frame rate, but I'm not sure.
Most likely there's a mismatch between your source footage and your project settings, Michael.
When you say "the format is set to AVCHD 60p", do you mean that these are the project settings listed under the Edit menu in Premiere Elements?
Normally, Premiere Elements 11 will automatically set up your project settings based on your video specs -- but it can have trouble reading the video specs of MOV files.
I would recommend that, rather than moving the SD card to your computer and copying the video files over using Finder, you leave the card in your camcorder, connect your camcorder to your computer via USB and set your camcorder to play. Then use Premiere Elements' Add Media/From Flip or Camera to move the files from the camcorder to your computer. This will allow Premiere Elements to read the video specs and properly set up your project to match them. I show you this in part 2 of my free 8 part Basic Training tutorials for Premiere Elements.
There is also the possibility that your i5 isn't quite powerful enough to edit at 60p and you'll need to shoot in 60i instead. But first let's see what happens when your project is properly set up for your video.
OK, sorry for the confusion. When I said the format was set to AVCHD and 60P I meant the camera setup.
I took Steve's advice about not moving the SD card around but connecting via USB instead. Canon has made this diffuclt because their transfer utiility is only for Windows, however I was able to use Quicktime to select the proper file and save it to a directory as a .mov file. Then I added it to a new project in PE11. Things worked OK at first - I could see the Render was going through the file. I coiuld move the marker to different spots and at first nothing happened - the preview was all black. But after a few minutes a frame would appear. Very slow! So I checked the task manager (whcih is called Activity Monitor on Macs) and, sure enough, PE11 was somehow consuming over 300% of my CPU! Evntually, when the preview can find and display the right frame after I've moved the marker, CPU usage dwindles to 1%. As I test I just moved the marker to a random spot and sure enough CPU usage went up to 361%! (How that's possible I'm not sure.)
So I think the problem is my computer is too slow and I'm too impatient. It does look like it will work now if I take my time.
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions!