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The deadline looms. Here's a probable workaround: using something OTHER than AE, export that video to a lossless codec. Personally, I like Quicktime movies in the PNG codec.
The worst that will happen is that you will have lost a few minutes.
So... this MP4 is being generated by a separate AE file—essentially, I'm flattening a bunch of content to then include as a background in a templatized AE file. I'm exporting the MP4 from AE CC, and then putting it onto an AE CS6 project file...
There is a bunch of complicated reasons why we're doing this... none of which falls under my expertise, but it shouldn't really have anything to do with why/how the audio is spontaneously limiting it to a 15 second loop. We've tried creating a new AE CS6 project and the audio does the same thing. So... our next step is to try re-exporting the MP4 from the source project file, and then see what happens...
I'd post project files, but we're dealing with NDA's etc. I wish I could.
I hear you on the NDA stuff, but I am ALWAYS leery about using mp4's anywhere in the process with AE. It used to be a lot worse than now, but I still hold that weird things can happen. I prefer to go for the much larger file sizes of lossless video myself and just sidestep the issue.
The reason we are using MP4 is because our project targets delivery to mobile devices, and we send the master .aep to an AE Render Engine to produce multiple versions... MP4 speeds up the render process.
Any ideas on a file type that is similar in size to mp4? (That's the only one we've ever used, not sure why/how this problem is cropping up now.)
The target size (achieved via MP4) is ~40MB. We tried the Quicktime with PNG codec... result: 347.2 MB file. That will definitely bottleneck the batch render process.
(Also, the .mov file produced had to be converted for playback on OS Maverick.)
I was thinking: someone who knows more than I, ought to make a huge Render map... showing a mashup of the container and codec options and the corresponding results when processing the same source file.