12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 4, 2008 6:36 AM by (lori99320)

    avi file video

      I am new to Elements, just got it yesterday. I have a number of .avi files saved on my Vista machine from my Flip Video. So far the first clip I imported into Elements views and plays back just fine. Any other clip I import shows up almost completely black with a little line of video playing on the bottom of the clip. I looked at the clip properties and they all seem to be the same, they were saved in the same way. I've shut down and rebooted, still just the one clip shows up. Any help would be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: avi file video
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          AVI is but a wrapper. It can contain a lot of different files, using different CODEC's. It is like saying, "I have a car." AVI is the equivilant of "car." What kind of car, which model, which engine, etc.?

          My first stop would be to www.headbands.com/gspot and download and install G-Spot. It's a freeware program, that will tell you all sorts of info about your different AVI files. It will let you know if you have the CODEC's necessary to work with each, on your system. If not, it will give you the name and other details about it. Then, you'll need to grab Google and go find that particular CODEC. One word of warning: only install the CODEC's, that you need, one at a time. The various CODEC "packs," are notorious for doing less than a good job, and filling your computer with all sorts of trash, or even malware. Be careful of CODEC packs. Most are not good implementations of real CODECs and cause more problems, than they fix.

          When someone tells me that they are getting no Audio, or no Video, from an AVI, I usually deduce that the AVI is encoded with DivX, or Xvid. These are delivery formats, and are not meant to be edited at all. They are heavily compressed, so quality is poor. When one re-compresses for delivery, the quality suffers another hit.

          Still, editing can be done. Just expect poor quality. If G-Spot tells you that your AVI's are DivX, or Xvid, you can download the CODEC's from www.divx.com. The CODEC's are free, but if you handle a lot of these types of files, you might want to consider buying the full package of players, CODEC's and utilities. Seems that it's about US$45 for the full package.

          Remember, "AVI" is but a "car." If your "car" is a Mercedes-Benz S-550, the alternator from a Yugo will not work. You need to find out what sort of "car" is inside your AVI.

          Good luck,

          • 2. Re: avi file video
            Level 1
            I have dozens of AVI files on my PC that are from the same Flip Video Camcorder, saved with the same Flip Video software. The first clip I randomly picked to import yesterday is the only clip I can still import and view. All of the other clips I can import but only see a small band of video at the bottom. As I said, all of my AVI are from the same source. I keep thinking I have hit some setting in Elements that is covering up the other clips video with black or the aspect ratio weird. Is there any "reset preferences" for this program? I've looked but have not run across any.

            • 3. Re: avi file video
              Paul_LS Level 4
              Also see this FAQ for a solution:
              • 4. Re: avi file video
                Level 1
                Thanks, I tried that but still no luck. I keep going back to the one AVI clip, the first clip I imported in to Elements works great and still does. I just can't get a good import of any of the others. Since they were all saved the same way from the same source they should play too. I am able to play all of these clips in Movie Maker and Vaio Video. I'm thinking of uninstalling and reinstalling Elements.
                • 5. Re: avi file video
                  Bruce Chastain Level 1
                  Lori, I have the same problem with my Flip Camera.

                  "ny other clip I import shows up almost completely black with a little line of video playing on the bottom of the clip."

                  Exactly. I have also seen Flip clips that work, but most do not. I do not know why. As you've experienced, the camera videos play fine in every other player, just not Premiere Elements (I have version 4). Only PE has trouble with them.

                  I've had to resort to using VirtualDub to recode the files using a different CODEC that the 3ivx one that comes with the camera.

                  What I do is use VirtualDub (it has a learning curve) to batch convert the AVIs from the 3ivx CODEC AVIs to the Microsoft MPEG-4 V3 CODEC AVIs. PE has no trouble handling those and the resulting files are almost as small the originals.

                  • 6. Re: avi file video
                    Level 1
                    Bruce - Thanks!! I'm sorry you too have this issue but am glad I am not the only one! I will look into VirtualDub and see what I can do. Thanks again.

                    • 7. Re: avi file video
                      Level 1
                      If it will play in Movie Maker why not convert the files to DV-AVI from there?
                      • 8. Re: avi file video
                        Level 1
                        The converting works, either with VirtualDub or Movie Maker. Thanks for the suggestions. Due to the frustration with the program recognizing some AVI clips and not others I didn't think of the obvious convert with Movie Maker! Oh well, now I have options. I have converted some files with both and have been able to make a little movie with Elements. Thanks again!
                        • 9. Re: avi file video
                          I'm a "newbie" to movie making and had been using Windows and Nero but today we purchased the Adobe Premere Elements 7 Movie Making and PhotoShop. I use my Flip Camera now for everything. I was able to watch them in the Photoshop but not in Premere Movie Maker. The thumbnails showed up great then when I went to drag into my movie or watch I got the BLACK SCREEN with audio only and a line acoss the bottom where video would be. I've read some solutions above but do not understand. I was able to watch, make movies in all other programs but not in the Movie Maker. It dosn't make sense. I'm still unclear on what I need to do...any sugguestions or help? Thank you so much.
                          • 10. Re: avi file video
                            Level 1
                            Kristie, That is exactly what happened to me. I don't really understand all the "whys" but it has something to do with the type of .avi file the Flip creates. I now open my Flip movies into Virtualdub (get program at Virtualdub.org), save it as an .avi, Premier Elements will then play it just fine. It is an extra step, but it worked for me and doesn't take that much time to do. It's possible you could do the same thing with Nero (I've never used Nero), open your Flip movie in Nero and then save it using Nero, then open it with Premier.

                            Hope this helps
                            • 11. Re: avi file video
                              Level 1
                              THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking time to share this other way to open it. I just couldn't figure it out without help and I tried different ways over and over. Seems to be common with the FlIP... I'm fumbling along trying to figure this stuff out..I know it's not rocket science but it sure isn't that user friendly for the technical stuff. Thanks AGAIN. The answer I was looking for.....
                              • 12. Re: avi file video
                                Level 1
                                Glad it helped. I love my little Flip and was so glad to find this fix so I could use it with Premier.