18 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2009 11:04 AM by NYCeWheels

    MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.

      I have a Sony DSC-T200 camera (still camera, but shoots crappy video too--Bonus!), and I've never had trouble cutting the MPEG files it produces in Premiere before. Now, with CS4, even playback of these files in Premiere doesn't work correctly; sometimes it jumps back to previous frames, sometimes it just goes totally crazy, and the audio and video get out of step. I have the latest updates installed.

      Rendering the timeline results in the same glitches being in the final product, too. This happens even without any cutting, effects, or anything. Just drag MPEG to timeline and it's already broken.

      The only solution I've found is to convert the MPEG first to AVI using, e.g., Corel Video Studio (or anything non-Adobe), which doesn't suffer from this bug. The resultant AVI then behaves well in Premiere.


        • 1. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          Different tools for different jobs. If the job is to tow a trailer from A to B you wouldn't use a Porsche to tow it, you would use the family car, even if it has less HP. To call this a bug on the Porsche is ludicrous.
          • 2. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
            Level 1
            Ummm... yeeeeaaaahhh...

            Let's not be spin doctors here, please, let's just be honest: A bug is a bug is a bug. If it doesn't say it's *not* going to work and then feeds you garbage, it's a bug. Of course, in this case, Premiere *is* billed as an editing solution for this kind of video; there's no fine print to hide behind. Humoring your analogy for a moment: Should I expect Elements (the "family car" of the Adobe product lineup) to do any better with my MPEGs? Of course not; it's based on the same code.


            Now with *that* out of the way:

            I didn't buy Premiere to edit this particular stuff, but it's served me well for many years cutting DV. I've paid the upgrade tax many times, so I think I've earned the right to complain! Support for the popular compressed formats is just plain bad. The marketing folks ran away with the AVCHD support thing; it's all but unusable thanks to the lack of smart rendering. And now it can't cut my MPEGs without Premiere going bananas? If this stuff isn't addressed in an update soon, I regret that I'll be forced to live with some less feature-rich but more reliable solution.

            • 3. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
              Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              What version of Premiere were you using before? What project settings? What project setting now? Your camera appears to use the "Sony MPEG VX Fine Movies: 640x480 w/audio at 30fps." This is a proprietary format, and I'm surprised you never had any problems.

              What does Gspot say is in the file? (Codec, gop type, etc)
              • 4. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                fuaho Level 1

                While this may not be the answer to your problem, one thing to try would be to check your project's Sequence\Settings. CS4 works a little differently and this change seems to be causing confusion. The other would be to use a program called GSpot to check your camera's MPEG codec against Premiere's MPEG codec.




                To call premiere Pro/AME CS4 a Porsche is even more ludicrous!!!

                Harm, why don't you get a life and stop posting here if you have nothing positive to contribute but can only put people down.

                There are numerous experienced people coming to this forum to voice their complaints and dissatisfaction with CS4 and all you do is naysay their experiences without giving any possible solutions to their problems.

                There are also inexperienced users who would appreciate some guidance as they wrestle with problems that do not make sense to them.

                Unless you are willing to actually attempt to give some assistance that is meaningful, try not to make everyone feel as though they are stupid and shouldn't bother coming to this forum, just keep your opinionated comments to yourself.

                I don't know you or your history here and perhaps you have been a solid contributor for a long time, but perhaps also you have grown tired of answering the same "stupid" OE questions again and again. If that's the case, then perhaps it's time for you to rethink your relationship with this forum as your present attitude of snide putdowns is, IMHO, tiresome, boring, ineffectual and inappropriate.
                • 5. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                  Level 1
                  Thanks Stanley, William:

                  I'll give these things a shot later tonight and report back. From what I've read, "VX" is all Sony marketing; it's just their way of saying "VGA" (probably wise, since "VGA" sounds soooo "yesterday" ;-)) I know Sony likes to be proprietary, however I doubt if this is a case of them being that way. I've never found anything (except CS4!) that won't play these correctly, and people naturally expect to be able to toss their cheesy point-and-shoot camera output into emails to friends running different OSes, upload them to YouTube, etc.

                  More details soon!

                  Thanks again,
                  • 6. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    >I regret that I'll be forced to live with some less feature-rich but more reliable solution.

                    I often recommend that very solution myself. Or it's corollary - use media better suited to editing.
                    • 7. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                      Level 1
                      >> Or it's corollary - use media better suited to editing.

                      When the marketing types release their strangle-hold on the "point-and-shoot pocket-sized digicam that also records full frame-rate DV AVI to FLASH", I'll be there! ;-)) The problem with digital cameras today is that the product lineups from most companies are very bi-modal; you have low-end stuff, high-end stuff, and nothing in the middle to speak of. For the "prosumer" who prizes quality, there are very difficult choices to be made. Hopefully, someday soon, we won't have this yawning chasm between "consumer" and "pro" video formats, and it'll be mainly about form factor and optics.

                      One can dream, anyway...

                      • 8. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                        Level 1
                        > What does Gspot say is in the file?

                        Well, GSpot claims that it doesn't support MPEG. D'oh! And sure enough, when I open the .MPG file, it shows almost no information. All it tells me is that it's an MPEG. News to me! ;-) The display is the same whether I load up one of my Sony MPEGs or an 640x480 MPEG-1 created by Media Encoder.

                        ...it remains a mystery...

                        • 9. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                          Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                          I now recall that someone said Gspot doesn't support mpeg, but doesn't it? I am using v2.70A. It reports gop m/n and a button to click to get a detailed display of P/B/I frames. Just curious, what version of Gspot did you use?

                          In any event, my thought was to get your project settings to match what you are bringing in to see if that gets any improvement. And the sony mpeg vx used an odd gop based on what the memory cards needed.

                          Getting it exported is another matter, but first things first.
                          • 10. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                            Level 1
                            Oh, poo! You're right, I had the wrong version. The GSpot site still has download links up for versions that are several years old, and I clicked the wrong thing.

                            Ok, so NOW I get a screenful of info :-) Trouble is, I'm not exactly sure how to articulate the frame type pattern that it's showing me. A visual aid (screenshot) might help:


                            Looks like it's saying that the frames go I-I-P-I-I-P...etc. If this were an MPEG-2 for a DVD, I'd say that seems pretty odd, but I don't know what to expect of an MPEG-1 from a camera like this. The rest of the info seems expected (to me).

                            The frame rate is 25fps. I'd originally been using the stock DV 29.97fps presets for my sequence, so I tried 25. It had no effect. Video still lurches backwards randomly, gets out of step with the audio, etc.

                            Hmmm... :-/

                            Thanks for bearing with me on this!
                            • 11. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                              Curt Wrigley Level 4
                              Can you post the original mpg file?
                              • 12. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                                Level 1
                                > Can you post the original mpg file?

                                How about a different original file? :-) Go to:


                                There will be an MPG file sitting there. It's a little bigger and has a little more motion than the one I took the GSpot screen capture from. Put it on a timeline in Premiere and then preview the timeline. If you're like me, you'll get a bunch of random jerkiness. It often seems concentrated at the beginning. It is random, though. If at first you don't see much, play it again. I get different bad results every time. Render, and you'll observe the same kind of stuff in the output. Or at least, I *hope* you do; I don't want it to be just me!

                                • 13. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                                  Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                  Plays as expected for me.

                                  I take that back. The rendered playback looked good. But I exported it to WMV and the export behaves as you described. Tested same file in CS3 and it does the same thing there. On the surface I say Pr doesnt like this mpg1 codec. But id like to try a few more things
                                  • 14. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                                    Level 1
                                    Thanks, Curt. Since the effect seems to be random, it may vary in severity from system to system as well. As I mentioned further up, I can preview two times back-to-back and get different glitches. They're actually never the same from one playback to the next (until exported from Premiere/AME, when they become a permanent part of the file :-().

                                    I don't have CS3 installed any longer, but never recall having this problem with it. I wonder: If you have CS3 and 4 on the same box, it seems reasonable to expect that CS3 would just start using the latest versions of the codecs registered by CS4. But maybe not.

                                    The Microsoft MPEG-1 codec seems to have no trouble with it. Interestingly, if I export a WMV from Premiere/AME, it's full of these hiccups and glitches. But if I fire up the standalone Windows Media Encoder app and just perform a straight-up conversion of the MPG to WMV, it looks great. Same (good) behavior in Video Studio.

                                    • 15. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                                      Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                      (FYI, CS3; I don't think it matters, but who knows.)

                                      Played in wmp; seems okay.

                                      Brought into project I had open (DV); plays jerky. Interpreted footage to 29.97, does the back and forth you described.

                                      Created new project in desktop mode with 25 fps, 640x480 square pixels, LFF (wondered about whether this was progressive), audio 32k, video rendering vfw uncompressed. Looks the same as wmp (i.e. okay).

                                      Exported a DV avi for fun; very nasty jumping. Exported ame mpeg2 using gop 3/15, cbr7, q5, 640x480 square, 25fps. Looked fine.

                                      So I say look at your project settings.

                                      FYI, my "fine" is based on my limited work with 25fps - definitely looks different!
                                      • 16. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                                        Level 1
                                        Hi Stanley:

                                        Your 25fps experiment sounds almost exactly like mine, but I'll give it another go tonight. It didn't help me, but I didn't mess with field order at all (or perhaps LFF was the default, so maybe I did do exactly what you did).

                                        Anyway, this doesn't throw off my groove too badly; I rarely edit this stuff except to trim the ends off before blogging it, and I have other programs that can do that. If I have to, I can AVI-ize this stuff before importing into Premiere. This is just one of those things where one [reasonably] expects Premiere to be one-stop shopping for his/her needs and then finds out it's not, without ever quite getting to "why." :-(

                                        • 17. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.
                                          Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                          My copy of CS3 is on a separate system. CS3 behaves the same way.

                                          I also setup the 25 f desktop mode dicussed ehre but get jerky playback on export.

                                          Since it is a format i dont think i would ever use, it doesnt bother me. If I had to use footage like this, I woul duse a utility to convert to a more convential editing format.
                                          • 18. Re: MPEG playback/editing in CS4 terribly broken.

                                            I had the same issue but just got it to work:

                                            I am running XP-SP3, Premiere Pro CS4


                                            Not sure if that works on any PC but try this: Open up a new sequence>general tab>


                                            editing mode: desktop

                                            timebase: 30.00 frames



                                            frame size: 640x480

                                            pixel aspect ratio: square pixels 1.0

                                            Fields: lower field first

                                            Display format: 30 fps timecode



                                            Sample rate: 32000Hz

                                            Display Format: Audio samples


                                            VIDEO PREVIEWS:

                                            Preview Format: I-Frame only MPEG


                                            Save the preset if you like to.

                                            Since I am a video editing rookie, most of these things do not mean anything to me but I somehow got it to work. I figured I post it here so I might save another rookie a couple of hours of research and trial and error.


                                            So now I can run my Nikon D300s HD 702p movies alongside with the crappy but convenient Sony DSC T200 point and shoot (the one that I actually have with me since it weights a bit less than my Nikon setup of 26 lbs with gear)


                                            bert, www.nycewheels.com