7 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2013 4:03 PM by A.T. Romano RSS

    Why do I get a 'generic error' when trying to add media files?


      On Premiere elements 11, when I try to add some clips to the video editing page it comes up with generic error. Some of them work whilst others don't. why is this and what can I do to fix it?

        • 1. Re: Why do I get a 'generic error' when trying to add media files?
          A.T. Romano Community Member



          Lots more questions to get an answers for.


          What are the properties of the clips that met up with the importer - generic error message? How are you importing these clips into Premiere Elements 11...Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Assets or other? What brand/model camera are this problem clips coming from? The MediaInfo properties readout should give us a lot of valable information, especially, the comparison between the good and the bad.



          What is your computer operating system...32 bit or 64 bit, Windows or Mac, edition?


          Do have this problem if you start a new project? Do you have this problem with formats other than what you are using now?


          Let us start here and then move forward on the troubleshooting based on your reply.





          • 2. Re: Why do I get a 'generic error' when trying to add media files?
            briano88 Community Member



            i've tried importing the clips from both the media/files and folders and from the elements orgainser.


            the camera is probably my phone camera which is a samsung galaxy s4. if not it's an olympus camera (not sure of the model) but it's likey to be my phone.


            I think my operating system is 64 bit and windows 8.


            Theres a problem with starting a new project, yes.


            I'm not entirely sure what you mean my the clips properties, but what was strange was some worked fine whilst others didn't.


            Also with the reply can you try not to be too 'techy' with the reply because I just wont understand.


            thanks for your help

            • 3. Re: Why do I get a 'generic error' when trying to add media files?
              John T Smith MVP

              >not to be too 'techy' with the reply because I just wont understand


              Unfortunately, video editing requires some technical knowledge

              Wrapper Codec & Format, with 2 links inside to read

              -read both links in reply #1 http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1270588

              Report back with the codec details of your file, use the programs below... A screen shot works well to SHOW people what you are doing


              For PC http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en or http://www.headbands.com/gspot/


              Problems with Samsung codec http://forums.adobe.com/thread/699493


              Help-and-Tutorials http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1275830 may also get you started

              • 4. Re: Why do I get a 'generic error' when trying to add media files?
                A.T. Romano Community Member



                Thanks for the follow up.


                Basically, we are not going to get too far on the troubleshooting without firm details. Maybe's are a complication.


                But, please read on. If there is anything in the following that needs clarification, please do not hesitate to let me know if and where I lost you. I will rewrite if necessary.


                When these import errors occur, one of the first things that we need to know in troubleshooting is what are the properties of your video that are causing Premiere Elements to give you that error. By properties we mean

                video compression

                audio compression

                file extension

                frame size

                frame rate (if cell phone, whether you have a fixed or valuable frame rate)

                aspect ratio


                techy as those details may be, still needed. Maybe from a Samsung Galaxy S4 or maybe from an Olympus camera (not sure of the model) information will tend to slow the communication process down. Typically users are asked to get a properties readout for the problem video from a free program such as MediaInfo


                I was hoping to get readouts for one of the videos that works for you and one that does not to see if we could pin point a difference between the two. That was because you say some work, some do not.


                If all of that is not possible, then let us proceed with assumptions. If you are using video from the Samsung Galaxy S4, I suspect it is what is referred to as 1080p. That has a frame size of 1920 x 1080 pixels, probably with AVCHD video compression. Depending on your location, that could be 25 progressive frames per second or 29.97 frames per second. Let us assume NTSC for now. Your project preset should be




                DSLR 1080p30 or DSLR 1080p30 @ 29.97

                With Premiere Elements 11, the program sets up the project preset for you. Some times it does it OK, sometimes not. When not, then you set up the project preset yourself via Edit Menu/Project Settings/General noting Editing Mode/Timebase/Frame Size.


                Setting up the project correctly contributes to the success or failure of a project. But that generic error typically goes to video properties. Some have reported problems with cell phone video related to the variable frame rates associated with cell phone video. You may have to change the frame rate from variable to constant. But, I am not sure if that fix fits your situation yet.


                I looked up your cell phone and saw something mentioned about "dual shot 1080p". Are you involved in that type of video taking with that cell phone?


                Another important question is how did you get these videos from your cell phone into Premiere Elements..each time, the same way or did it vary?

                a. Add Media/Files and Folder/


                b. Add Media/......USB connection from cell phone....finally Video Importer and then into the new project?


                Please review the above, see what additional details you can provide about your issue, and then we can decide what next.






                I might expect more problems from the Olympus. But you say that the video is more likely from the cell phone.

                • 5. Re: Why do I get a 'generic error' when trying to add media files?
                  A.T. Romano Community Member



                  I have been doing some homework on that Samsung cell phone.


                  Do you have a tool on that cell phone for creating animated gifs? If so, are any of your problem videos, animated gifs?


                  Is there any possibility that your 1080p videos got mixed in with animated gifs from the Samsung?


                  We can clear this up by just noting the file extension.





                  • 6. Re: Why do I get a 'generic error' when trying to add media files?
                    briano88 Community Member

                    Some of the clips are from my camera which is an Olympus sz-30mr


                    the properties of one of the clips that didn't work:


                    Type of file: MP4 file

                    opens with: Video


                    Size: 12.7 MB

                    Length: 00:00:05


                    Frame width 1920

                    Frame hight: 1080

                    Data rate: 20656kbps

                    Total bitrate: 20784kbps

                    Frame rate: 29 frames per second


                    Bit rate: 127kpbs

                    Channels: 2 (stereo)

                    Audio sample rate: 48 Khz

                    Oh, and no gifs no, just videos.



                    Hope this helps, if you need more then ask and i'll try find.


                    thanks again for your help

                    • 7. Re: Why do I get a 'generic error' when trying to add media files?
                      A.T. Romano Community Member



                      Thanks for the additional information.


                      Since my immediate prior post, I have done some more first hand work on your issue.


                      I found an online sample from your Olympus brand/model camera.

                      1920 x 1080 16:9 @ 29.97 progressive frames per second

                      Video Compression = AVCHD (MPEG4 AVC/H.2640, identified avc1 by MediaInfo

                      Audio Compression = AAC, 2 channel Stereo

                      File Extension = .mp4


                      I had no problems importing that sample into my Premiere Elements 11 on Windows 7 64 bit. I so see no overwhelming basic generic problem with regard to the codecs of that video source.


                      You could try to do more correlation between those that work and those that do not work...

                      a. among all the cell phone ones

                      b. among all the Olympus ones

                      to see if you can find a common factor for good vs bad


                      In the cell phone lineup, I would look at the MediaInfo properties readouts, to see if you see a trend between:

                      a. cell phones videos that are showing constant frame rate and whether bad or good


                      b. cell phone videos that are showing more than one frame rate value...minimum, average, and maximum...that is reflecting that the lighting condition are varying and the camera is making this adjustments...often seen with cell phone videos...no always....bad or good.


                      With these videos (wherever the source) are the same ones bad every time. Or is the video bad one day but not the next?


                      Please review the above and then we will decide further troubleshooting direction which may take us into your computer and project organizational factors.