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My experience is with PE3, not PE4. But in PE3, this seems to be a sign of a resource issue. If I open Task Manager and watch memory usage, on my system (XP Pro, C2Duo, 4GB RAM) when the total memory in use rises to between 1.4 and 1.5GB, PE will become unstable and do things like you describe.
I have found that PE3 has a nearly constant memory leak. It will chew up more and more memory until it either freezes, crashes or errors out. I can sometimes reverse this temporarily by opening another program and allowing it to run full screen. When the second program opens, PE sometimes releases a significant amount of memory. If that doesn't work, closing PE and re-opening is the only other way I have found.
Try opening Task Manager and see what your memory usage is when PE freezes playback.
Also, as has been mentioned here in other threads, if your source video is anything other than DV-AVI, PE can use a LOT of resources just holding it all on the timeline. I have one large project consisting of lots of h.264 clips that I had to render out as DV-AVI before PE could work with it without crashing every other time I looked at it sideways. And PE came bundled with the h.264 camera :(
Oops, I forgot to mention... yes, my source video is DV-AVI.
The tape itself is 8mm analog, but my (old) Sony Handycam does the analog-digital conversion and exports it as DV-AVI (nice feature!).
Last night when I was watching the process monitor, I want to say my memory usage was only around 800MB (I have 2GB installed).
FWIW, in the past, I've seen memory usage crawl to 1.1GB and didn't have this problem.
Well.... that was the only suggestion I had ;)
Unless PE is seeing less memory on your 2GB machine than on my 4GB machine (with 3+ available to Windows), you are not using enough memory to cause the problems I have seen. As I understand it, regardless of the amount of physical memory, Windows allocates 4GB of memory to each program, with 2GB available to the application and 2GB reserved for system processes. So having less RAM than my machine shouldn't affect the point where PE gets in trouble.
But PE does a lot of stuff under the hood that you can't see, so it is possible that all your markers and/or clips are consuming enough resources that PE chokes. Freezing the video with the audio still running is a classic case of running out of resources in my limited experience with PE3. It is often a precursor to a more serious problem like a crash or sudden program shutdown. Save often....
OK, thanks for the thoughts!
Yeah, there definitely seems to be enough memory, CPU, and fast HD space. I can't really think of any system constraint that would be causing a problem.
I don't think it's lots of markers and stuff, either. I've had it happen when I open an empty project and pull up a clip in the monitor. Oddly, I don't have any subsequent system crashes, BSOD's, etc. (knock wood)
I, do, though save often! I have autosave set up for every 5 minutes and keep 50 versions. Although I (again, knock wood) have never had a project get corrupted or anything.....
Anybody else have any ideas here?
I'm really, really getting frustrated, as APE is virtually unusable at this point. Once it a while, it will actually play video in the clip or timeline monitor... almost consistently it won't.
Simply closing and re-opening the app doesn't work. The only recourse is to reboot. After rebooting, everything is fine for about 5 minutes... and after it happens once, that's it... I'm dead.
I'll spend money to make this problem go away. If it's APE, I'll but the new version (7) on the hopes that'll fix it.
If it's my video card, I'll buy a new one (my current is the standard Dell ATI Radeon X600 w/ 256MB shared memory).
Have you contacted Adobe Tech Support?
They offer free help on these types of issues on current versions of the program.
Thanks for the link, Steve.
No, no tech support, yet. That experience usually ranks right up there with my semi-annual dentist visits! :) I'm speaking in generalities, not about Adobe specifically (I've never used their tech support).
Actually, (cross your fingers), I think I may have gotten it working. I just started deleting every non-critical process that was running, and the last couple of days have been trouble-free.
My current theory is that it was Webroot Spysweeper causing the problem. I tried its "Shut Down", I tried its "Game Mode", and nothing, but after physically uninstalling the software, everything in APE seemed to work as normal (even on my final project whose source video is (3) 2-hour AVI files divided into about 600 clips)
I haven't definitely nailed it down, since I also installed some other software. After I finish my current project, I'm going to start re-installing some software to see if I can figure out what the conflict it is.
Again, thanks again for the link... that's really good info to know.
With my systems, I do the manual shutdown of things like SpySweeper, Norton, StopZilla, etc., then run a little freeware program, EndItAll2. It installs and does a "smart query" of your system. Then, after you have manually stopped the above (they will all lie to EIA2 and say that they cannot be shutdown), chose Actions>Close All. Do NOT use "Kill All," or your system will become unstable. The smart query is pretty good on default, but you can tweak the running processes to include/exclude those that you do not wish.
This program saves a lot of time with MSCONFIG, or having different Boot.INI's. I would not be without it, even on my workstation.
I will definitely check that out (pcmag.com says KillItAll been superceded by TaskPower 3???).
I can't nail it down, but I just have this sneaking suspicion that it's some other process that's causing an issue, so this tool would definitely help.
Update: It isn't SpySweeper as I initially thought. SpySweeper is uninstalled, but the problem popped up again last night. Dang.
Then, I thought I had it narrowed down to Apple's Mobile Device Support service - when I killed it everything worked fine, but when it magically respawned itself (within a minute or so), the video started freezing again. A few times the video froze when the service was supposedly stopped, but it could have been in the process of respawning.
Seems a little odd though, not sure what that service would be doing that would cause video lockup. It's not even really using any memory, CPU, or GDI objects...?
The hunt continues...
There are a couple "usual suspects," and your reference to Apple's Mobile Device Support triggered my mind. Apple's Bonjour Services and iTunes Helper (think that's the name) are two really nasty little guys with regards to NLE's. I don't have, or know, Apples's MDS. Seems that everything Apple wants to "phone home," repeatedly. All of their programs also want to automatically update constantly. I turn all auto-updating off, but the Apple stuff sneaks in and turns itself back on all of the time. "I hate when that happens!" When I am editing, I do not want anything stealing CPU cycles, writing to RAM, HDD or Page File, and
pop-ups of any sort to steal focus!!! I will not have it. All "messengers" are off.
Also in your OS, make sure that you turn off Indexing. Rt-click on your individual HDDs and choose Propterties. Look at the bottom of that pane. Uncheck Indexing. Next pop-up will be to eliminate its service for the HDD and all of its folders. That is what you want to do. It might take 10 minutes to make this change. Get a cup of coffee and be patient. It might appear to be hung. Be patient. Usually, this service will just "lock" files, etc., and cause other grief, but it also takes a lot of CPU cycles and also takes authority over any program. Yes, your Searches might take a moment longer, but that is easy to live with. Indexing stealing control is not, at least for me.
Thanks for the tip on a replacement for EIA2. Had not seen that. Right now, EIA2 works fine, so I may stick with it. My guess is that the replacement is ported for Vista and I have not left XP-Pro.
Yeah, I noticed all those Apple services. I was able to kill most of them, but Mobile Device Support was like a cockroach... I'd kill it dead and it would be back alive within a minute. Uninstalling it worked, but then my iTunes wouldn't function.
In any event, it the course of my debugging, I ran across this site which had all sort of Windows tweaks to make it run better for Premiere. Your indexing tip was one of them!
It's a bit old (2002) and only for Win XP, but I'm betting much of the info would apply to Vista as well. Link: http://www.slashcam.de/artikel/Tips/Windows-XP-TWEAKS---Optimization-for-Video-Editing-Sy stems---PART-II.html#T0
While I did most of the tips, including the de-indexing, it was this tip that ultimately solved my problem...
i Open up Task Manager, go to the "Processes" tab and right click on the Premiere task. Select "Set Priority" and "Above Normal" or "High". Presto!!
The upgraded priority will only last for as long as APE is running, i.e. if you close it and re-open it, you'll have to set the priority again. Not a biggie, since it's literally 4 easy mouse clicks.
I was tempted to set the priority to the highest, "Real Time", but "High" seemed to work like a charm, so....
Dealing with NLE softwares has a whole lot of dependency. i was going through your posts and i could understand your pain. Agreeably DV_AVI is not the best format if you wish to do some editing in Premiere Elements, however the consistent problem of your system hanging up to add on to your frustration is simply because of other apps eating up the memory. Agreeably 2Gigs is sufficient for Editing in premiere 4.0 , but when you are dealing with a 2 hour footage, you got to be a little careful. Shortlisting and un-installing app every time might just not be a very good thing or required. All you need to do is close the memory intensive redundent processes just before you begin working on the app. Also as far as my experience goes, being a little patient has always worked for me.
Best of luck with your editing!!