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You can not open project files created in older versions of the software with newer versions of the software, Richard. Not without lots of problems.
Field reports on version 7 have been very positive, on a well equipped, well-maintained computer. Particularly with Vista, keeping the operating system updated and ensuring that you have the latest Quicktime is imperative.
If it is difficult to load old projects from previous versions of PE I will not be buying V7. I enjoy editing but I do not enjoy expensive upgrades which give hassle. Surely upgrading is meant to make the experience more enjoyable. Car makers would not sell many vehicles if each new model was more difficult to drive with less performance than the last. If I have to upgrade to software for HD I will definitely be looking for open source or another publisher.
No, but car manufacturers don't always make new cars backwards compatible either -- which you'd discover if you tried to drop a 1990 carburetor into a 2008 sedan.
I'd like to weigh in/vent on this subject, too!
Analogies aside, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask Adobe to support files that its own software created just 2 versions ago. The current version of MS Word will open files created in the prior decade.
I think this is especially true given that the project files (PREL) are really just instructions for the Premiere, not actual assets (e.g. video, JPGs, etc.). We're not asking V7 to decode obscure video formats from 1990, we're just asking it to handle instructions from V3 - proprietary instructions that Adobe itself has the spec to.
As a programmer myself, I understand that software changes, and that sometimes you get stuck between having to support the past and moving into the future... and sometimes doing one means you can't do the other for whatever reason.
However, if that's the case, then I think Adobe owes it to consumers to specifically say "Sorry, V7 will only support V4 and V7 projects", or whatever the case may be. People have come to expect at least *some* type of backwards compatibility, and my opinion, FWIW, is that only supporting 1 version prior - if that - is dropping the ball and kind of, I don't know, violating some sort of implicit trust on the part of the user.
Although frankly, I don't think that V4 or V7 reinvented the wheel, so I would suspect that any problems with V3 are due to sloppy coding or oversight, rather than some tacit non-support. That's understandable, and forgivable, as long as they made some sort of good-faith effort to fix the problems.
So... I guess the bottom line is that it's not unreasonable to expect Adobe to support V3. Adobe should either do that - and do it right! - or explicitly exclude support for V3 and make that fact very clear so the consumer isn't making a reasonable expectation only to be disappointed. Leaving people in the dark, e.g. "we're not saying whether we support it or not but (wink) it really doesn't work very well"... not cool.
Don't get me wrong, I love Premiere. And I'll upgrade to V7 because I like the new features. But I also think one of the V7 features should be the ability to at least successfully *OPEN* a V3 project.
OK, end of soapbox! :)
I only have PE4, so I cannot address PE's handling of previous versions' PREL files.
However, Pro is wonderfully backward compatible with older Projects into newer versions. Case in point:
I received a set of Project files from P6.5 Mac. This was the last version that was PC & Mac compatible, prior to CS3. I added the PRJ (now .Prproj) to the Mac Project files (no extension, only the Mac "finder files" in the same folder). I held my breath and hit Import>Project in my PP2. All 14 Project files came in perfectly. Now, I had to do some file linking, as the previous editor had not done a good job of housekeeping, but soon all 1400 JPGs, 30 MOV and about 300 Titles were all linked. In the process, I only lost 2 Transitions, but I found that one was no longer available in PP and that the other was a 3rd party Transition, that I did not have. PP2 even told me exactly where these Transitions went, so I knew exactly what needed to be fixed and where.
Everyone had said that these P6.5 Mac files would be impossible to open in anything but P6.5 running on a Mac. They said that even if I could get a copy of P6.5 for my PC, it wouldn't touch these older Projects. With research and a lot of old product reviews, I had tracked the backward compatibility back to just after P6.5 and no mention in these 100+ Web sites even listed compatibility with any of the old Mac products. Imagine my surprise and pleasure, when they opened just fine. Now, had the files been a few versions previous to P6.5, I do know that the Titles would not have worked, unless I had installed the old Title Deko program. Just before P6 (if I got the info right), Premiere added the first version of what we now know as Titler. Title Deko files just flat will not work, without a copy of that program.
Now, with regards to older PE Projects into PE7. Has anybody actually tried this? What problems were encountered?
I'd *guess* that some Effects and some Transitions would not exist from much older versions to newer ones, but I'd be curious as to what
translate and of any problems to be found.
I've also found that PREL files (PE4 in my test) will open in PP2, and only a very few things were lost from my rather sparse test Project. With that kind of compatibility, I'd be surprised if PE3's would not come into PE7 mostly intact - there will always be an Effect, or similar that just does not translate. This would be worth a test to document what does come over, and what is lost.
I will upgrading to PE7 very soon.
One of the first things I will do is open - and then save - all my existing projects.
I will report back on what I find, but I'm upgrading from PE4, not PE3. Also, my projects tend to be fairly simple - not a lot of complex effects and transitions.
I know in my last upgrade, from PE3 to PE4, I upgraded all my projects this way and did not have a single problem.
Thanks Ed for being our guinea pig , I will await your results before upgrading.
I have a fair number of PE 3.0 projects I would like to "port over" and it would be onerousness to recreate them from scratch. I could understand some transitions may have changed between 3 and 7 but surely doing a full render on each project before moving it to the new version would address that.
I'm not sure what ver 7 has to offer - that I would want - I am just looking for a version that is stable on Vista which PE 3.02 is definitely not.
About the only way to insure 100% compatibility (I'm talking about Transitions and Effects here), would be to Export from PE3 as DV-AVI, then Import that into PE7. Just doing a Preview Render will not guarantee that all Transitions, etc. come over.
Now, If I were doing the above, I'd probably remove all Transitions, before the Export. The reason for this is once the Project has been Exported as DV-AVI, it will be one file. If you need to do any additional editing, you want to be able to use the Razor to "cut" this one file into Clips. If you have Transitions, you will need to "cut" those out, just to shorten one Clip. Also, be aware that while you can Razor your file into Clips, they will no longer have the "Handles," so X-Dissolves will not function the same, as they would in the previous version's Project, where you Clips probably do have Handles.
Also, depending on what you will want to do in the newer version of PE, you might want to Export as elemental streams, i.e. Video only and Audio only files (non-mux'ed). The reason for this is that the Audio portion, especially with a music soundtrack, might well need to be edited at different spots, than the Video.
Best method would be to finish in previous version. Next, would be to try the Import route, that Ed is going to test for us. If that works, then my recommendation #1 might be moot.
Last would be to go the Export/Import route, but plan this one well in advance, as some things that are easy when working from your original footage, get complicated, when working with Exported footage.
If I had the earler versions and PE7, I'd see what happens with opening the older Project.
We'll all be waiting on Ed's progress report.
@Ed, if things look good with your older Projects, you might want to run a test, by taking one and adding a whole bunch of Effects and some of the more esoteric Transitions, just to see what might get lost in translation.
Also, while typing this, I did have a revelation of sorts. In PP, one is Importing the previous version's whole Project into a new Project. Same for the PE Project into PP. In the case of PE -> PE, one is trying to Open the earlier Project. This might make a world of difference that I had not considered with my earlier reply. With only one version of PE, I cannot test to see what the problems might be - sorry.
On a side note re your comments on separating audio.
I have a current project I'm working on ( tight deadline) where I was considering separating the audio ( its an interview) out and working on it externally with a audio editor, had some terrible background noise problems with a low voice level as well. Would that be possible, I'm thinking about lip sync probs when I import the modified audio file back into the project.
Should have done a separate post on this I guess
As long as you do not change the Audio, shorten, lengthen or change the speed, you should be perfectly fine. I doubt that there is an Audio file, that I do not run through Audition. In Pro, it's a rt-click>Edit in Audition, then from Audition, I hit Save and it comes back to the Project. It's not quite so dynamic in PE, but with the above caveats, processing the file will not change the sync.
I do not know what program you are planning on using, but just keep it to the dynamic processing to rid your file of the noise, and maybe boost the gain in the range of the human voice.
Personally, I'd stick to PCM/WAV 48KHz 16-bit going and coming.
If your Project is not going to DVD and say the Audio is PCM/WAV 44.1KHz 16-bit, keep it that way.
BTW, Adobe's Audition does a pretty fair job of noise removal. It takes a lot of listening and adjusting, but it can clean up a lot. If you are using Audition, let me know, and I'll go find a link to a wonderful Audition tutorial on just this.
It's been the concensus of most members of this forum that you should finish a project in the version it was created in, and not edit it in the later version.
I have always ignored this recomendation and have never had an issue. And my projects are usually very complicated.
Thanks Bill , I use Audacity for audio but will check out Audition.
JohnnyO thanks for ignoring the consensus you give me some hope,
As far as I'm aware there is no need to uninstall earlier version when installing new versions. So you can simply use the version that applies to the project. A few years back when 10GB drives were the order of the day having multiple versions installed might have been a concern, but not now, I would have thought.
I have now installed PRE7. I still have PRE4 on the same machine, and both work and co-exist without problems.
I am also happy to report that PRE7 appears to support PRE4 projects just fine.
The first project I opened, I got a few messages to the effect of "this project was created in a prior version of Premiere.. and if you convert it will not be readable by the prior version any more". I wish I had paid more attention to the message because I only got it once so I cannot report on the exact wording. Opening subsequent PRE4 projects did not give me the message for some reason.
In any event, PRE7 opened my PRE4 projects without complaint, hiccup, or blowing up.
FYI, here were the projects I opened:
113 AVI files, 3 mp3 files
44 video effects (mostly fades / cross-dissolves)
16 min long
91 AVI files, 2 mp3 files, 1 bmp
46 video effects
19 min long
3 AVI (total of 7.5GB), 1 MP3
0 video effects
35 min long
DVD menu with 29 second audio and video loops
The only thing to note was that in Project 3, the DVD menus did not show up. In opening the project, the video and audio loops for the menu were missing (my fault) and I told it to "skip" those assets - not sure if that had anything to do with the missing menu or not. This was a project originally created in PRE3, converted to PRE4, then converted to PRE7 - I cannot say for sure whether the missing menus were due to the PRE7 conversion.
I will continue converting my projects, but most of my remaining projects are simpler in nature than the ones I've already done....
Hay Ed thanks for the "report from the field" I might just give PE7 a shot now.
I am assuming PE 7 is much more stable on Vista than PE3
One more report, one good, one not so good.
Bad news first... there was one project I was unable to open. This was a project where one of the assets was a 97 minute AVI (approx 26GB, IIRC). The total project was over 2 hours, and included a DVD menu.
In PRE4, I would always get an error opening the project,
*Premiere Elements has encountered an error.
but the project would open and work correctly.
In PRE7, I get the following error
*Sorry, a serious error has occurred that requires APE to shut down. We will attempt to save your current project
The project is *NOT* saved. And subsequent attempts to open the project are met with the same error message. FWIW, I opened the project in XML Notepad, and there are no XML errors.
So, while there was obviously something wrong with the project, PRE4 was nevertheless able to open it and burn a DVD. PRE7 simply crashes, meaning the project is useless.
Now, the good news. I forgot about a project that, for me, was pretty complex, and PRE7 opened it perfectly. This was a project that had multiple AVI assets and a few Premiere assets (e.g. leader clip) playing in a reduced window (like a picture-in-picture effect) with a border, and 90 seconds of scrolling text superimposed over the video. I used 3 audio/video layers to do this, and rendering the project took over 6 minutes (on a pretty fast machine).
I think that's it for field reporting, unless I find something bad in converting the remainder of my project. Assume that no news is good news!
Going back to your "bad" Project - do you happen to have any AutoSave files of it? Default is 5, IIRC. Even if you do, it could well be possible that PE has overwritten these, as you edited. This is one reason, especially with larger Projects, that I always do a Save_As_a_Copy, as I go along. If I have completed a major edit, I'll do that, so I have a point to go back to, should any sort of corruption occur. At the end of all sessions, I do this and just increment the file name by 1. This gives me my AutoSaves from that/those session(s), plus a series of "copies" of my Project file.
Note: I use Save_As_a_Copy, so I am still editing in my original. If you do a Save_As, what happens is that once you have done the Save, you are then working in that "copy." May not be what you really wish to do. For really complex edits, I'll actually do a series of both Save_As functions, just making sure that I keep the file names incrementing and know which version I am working in. This takes some planning and file name convention forethought, so as to not get confused with what is the latest version, and also helps, should I have to go back to earlier versions.
Last note: in AutoSave, you will have [Project Name]AutoSave 01 thru 05 (if you left the default alone) and PE just cycles through these numbers. This means that for a Project that has been edited over several days, your 01 is not necessarily the oldest and 05 is not necessarily the newest - it could be 03, for instance. When looking in your AutoSave folder, set View to Details, and study the Date/Time carefully, before assuming that 01 is oldest and 05 newest.
No, I don't have any prior autosaves.
This was a project that I had archived, what, a year or two ago? So all I have is the 1 project with "trimmed" assets.
I follow Steve's advice, and divide a single project into many "subprojects"; the output of each subproject is an AVI. Then, the "final" project is simply all the subproject AVIs laid end-to-end, and a DVD menu added in. The project that's failing is the final project, so, in other words, I still have all of the pieces... to recreate the project, all I'd have to do is create a new project, put the subproject pieces on the timeline, and voila. The only thing I'd really lose is the DVD menu and markers... easy enough to recreate.
BTW, in case you're wondering why the "subproject" AVIs are so large, it's because it was one of my first projects and I didn't really grasp how small a subproject should be, and also the 97 min AVI is my wedding tape converted from a VHS tape to DV-AVI. I never thought to chop the 97 min AVI into smaller pieces.
In any event, it's all somewhat academic. I don't intend on making any futher changes to the project, and (as I do with all projects) I burned the DVD to a folder so if I need more DVDs I simply fire up Nero and burn a new copy from the folder. The only reason I converted at all is just because I like to keep all my older projects in the most recent version, so if I ever *do* want to make a change, I don't have to try to open a PRE2 file with PRE19.
Re: auto-saves. I do what you do, as well, occasionally saving one or more "Last Known Good" project... just in case. My autosave is set to save every 5 minutes, and I keep 99 copies. Disk space is cheap, time isn't! ;)
Gotcha' an archived Project.
OK, one last thing to try, before you do re-create your Project:
Go to the Adobe>Premiere Pro forum and do a search for XML Wrench. It's a freeware program, but is not the most intuitive application. There are several discussions on the use of this app. for Premiere Pro PRPROJ Project files. In your case, it'll be PREL files. Read over the articles on using XML Wrench to first "survey" you Project file and then to "repair" any errors in them. I've not used it enough to be any use to you, but several folk in the Pro forums are and have some step-by-step tips. You may need to review several article threads to get all of the info. Download/install the program, then run your PREL through it. Might well be some simple little argument line not being closed, or a missing tag. Even with the search and reading (with a little Copy/Paste into a TXT file) it'll possibly save you the time to recreate.