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The following program works well with youtube video:
This program works most of the time for grabbing streaming Flash videos that don't end up in your Browser cache:
Higher quality youtube versions are sometimes available:
Here's how to do it but there are sometimes flaws/catches to it. You begin with a basic YouTube URL, then you add the High Quality code at the end of it: &fmt=18. An example might look like:
If you compare, you'll get a much higher quality video through YouTube.
2 flaws or limitations, I'm aware of. The worst is, it won't work on videos that are encoded from .FLV files before they're uploaded to YouTube. The 2nd. flaw is, sometimes the audio will be out of sync.
If youre logged in to YouTube, go to your Account settings page. Near the bottom, youll find a Video Quality option. Click the link and youll hit a page where you can default to always see the higher quality videos.
I would just try grabbing the video different ways and see if any of the methods work.
What Charles said pretty much sums it up, but I'll add a little. If you're grabbing the flv file, whether from your cache or through a YT download site, then you're probably using the low quality version to begin with. If you type "download youtube videos" into Google you'll find tons of places that allow you to download YT videos at both high and low quality. And like Charles said, if the user uploaded an flv file to YT (seldom the case though) then you might not get a high quality version.
I generally use the following site to save YT videos:
You just paste in the url to the video you want in the box there, and it will then give you the choice of downloading a low quality flv or high quality mp4. (I haven't seen a place offer high def YT videos for download yet).
I think Premiere often doesn't seem to like either flv or mp4 files that much, so I generally will use a free program to change it to a standar mpg2 DVD file and bring that in instead. There are a couple of good free programs for this. I mean they offer other options than mpg2 to convert to such as avi, but I've not had good luck at getting those to look as good for some reason.
Winff is one: http://winff.org/html
Any Video Converter is the other: http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free
Lot's of luck.
Thanks Charles (& Charles).
All of your suggested workarounds worked great. I think what worked best for me was adding the "&fmt=18" to the end of the YouTube URL, which plays a .mp4 version of the video instead, and then after copying out of the interent cache and renaming, Premiere imports the video fine no problems.
That site: http://keepvid.com works great if you don't want to clear your internet cache (as finding specific videos can be a little difficult) although you would be effectively downloading the same file twice, once to view it, another to download.
If as you say the file was originally uploaded as a .flv file then those free converters do a great job at converting them to mpeg2's or other formats.
As it turned out, in testing the "Any Video Converter (Free Version)" I think I found the source of the original problem. When I added both of those aforementioned test .flv youtube videos, the "format" column identified the video that did import onto Premiere as "FLV1" format, and the other which did not as "H264". I then tested this with a few other youtube videos and sure enough all of the FLV1s format videos did import into Premiere but all of the H264 .flv videos would not. They all came up with the "The file appears to have no media data" error message.
So for future forum reference the simple definition of the problem appears to be that Premiere Pro CS4 (and After Effects CS4) will not import a flash video (.flv) that uses the H264 format.
Thanks again Charles(s) for all of your suggestions,
p.s. During my testing I also tried copying a YouTube HD video (1280x720 .mp4 - Premiere identified it as a XDCAM-EX Movie) out of my cache after playing, and Premiere accepted it no problems