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Again, Paul, I'm with you on everything except your expectation that Premiere Elements will be able to handle MP4 video input. As I said, it's like trying to use a butterknife as a screwdriver. The tools may look similar, but one simply isn't designed to do the other's job.
Have you done a Google search on MP4 editors? It's the wild west out there, with everyone looking for a decent one. And Premiere Elements certainly doesn't claim to be able to any more than it claims to be able to edit Divx and Xvid. (Excepting AVCHD, of course -- but that's a whole different animal.)
Otherwise, feel free to rant away! ;)
Maybe I'm confused.... I thought that for all intents and purposes, AVCHD was h.264? For now, my two cameras produce AVIs and h.264 MP4 files. But I am looking at a Canon HF100 that is an AVCHD camera. I snagged a clip from a friend that has an HF100 and tried it in PE7. It has an MTS file extension and as-is, PE7 could import it and edit it. XP didn't know what to do with it until I told it to use Media Player (I have ffdshow installed). Then Media player could play it too. And when I changed the file extension from MTS to MP4, media player could still play it.
Turns out that my copy of PE7 just shipped from Amazon so I can't cancel it. When it arrives, I will probably go ahead and install it and struggle with it. But it is so danged frustrating to have this much trouble with what ends up being a simple series of still images... that is what video is after all. Seems to me like such a simple thing. If Media Player can play it, why the heck can't a program like PE edit it? Yes, I know many of the pitfalls of file formats and codecs. But again.... if Media Player can play it.....
Yes, I have looked on the web for other editors. I am playing with a trial version of Nero right now. I like PE7's interface VASTLY better but I have to say that Nero has so far done EXACTLY what I asked it to do, each and every time. The only caveat is that the trial version does not do h.264 so I cannot tell how well it would handle something like my "vacation video".
Overall, my impression of PE7 vs. PE3 is that it is improved and more stable. But it was VERY disappointing to feel my frustration level rising this morning watching it crash repeatedly as I tried to assemble my test "vacation video". I am rendering a shortened version (that did not crash PE7) right now. Let's see if it completes.
I would be a lot more willing to work around and through some of the "gotchas" and quirks if the program kept me better informed where and when those quirks and gotchas were. For a resource intensive application like this, it is simply inexcusable that it does not. I would think a simple resource feedback meter would cut their tech support load in half or more.
Is it still a "gotcha" if you were warned in advance and advised not to try to do what you're doing because it's not documented and the program isn't designed to do it?
It's a little like putting your shoes on backwards and them complaining because they make your feet hurt. After all, we're just talking about feet and shoes. Shouldn't they do what you want them to do?
It doesn't matter if they're the best shoes on the market -- they're not going to fit!
That's just it.... as far as I see, PE7 IS marketed as an AVCHD editor. So yes, it is a gotcha in my book. What did I miss? I don't see anywhere except this forum that PE7 is not intended for anything except DV-AVI.
From the PE7 PDF datasheet:
Adobe Premiere Elements supported import/
export formats include:
ASF (import only), AVI, AVCHD, SWF (import), Blu-ray
Disc (export only), DV, DVD, Dolby® Digital Stereo,
H.264, HDV, JPEG, PNG (import only), PSD (import
only), MOD and TOD (JVC Everio, import only),
MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MP3, WAV, QuickTime,
Windows Media, WMA (import only), 3GP.
Not trying to be argumentative.... just pointing out that Adobe seems to feel that PE7 IS appropriate for editing h.264.
True, marketing is a bit misleading -- since supporting import and export seems to imply that it can handle all of those files when, in fact, (like most video editors) it can export many more file formats that it can import.
And, yes, the program can certainly handle AVCHD very well. And, while all AVCHDs use the H.264 codec, not every MP4 is AVCHD.
Anyway, I hope I don't come off like an Adobe apologist or argumentative myself. As I said, the marketing folks are intentionally a bit ambiguous about the program's capabilities. But I do think it's a bit unfair to slam the program because it can't turn water into wine when it does what it can do very, very well.
But you can have the last word, Paul. I don't think either of us are going to convince the other.
I think it is ENTIRELY fair to slam the program if I buy it in good faith to do what Adobe seems to claim it does.... only to find it either can't do it or is buggy / unpredictable when it does.
Please remember that I LIKE PE. I WANT it to work. I BOUGHT a copy of PE7 (full version). I will probably install it when my copy arrives (and thereby disallow returning it) and try to make it work. In many areas it is heads and shoulders above the rest. But it is a consumer product aimed at consumers. And consumers are buying AVCHD and h.265 MP4 camcorders so if it isn't intended for that task, I think Adobe is on the wrong track.
Sorry for most of this.... it is not aimed at you and I am not trying to be a pr1ck. It should be aimed at Adobe but I don't have a direct line to them..... so I can only hope they monitor this forum. I would LOVE to be a beta tester.
OK, I'm home from work. I left for work with PE7 rendering a project consisting of 32 clips totaling 37 minutes. Of these, 15 were AVIs from my Canon S5 still camera (in video mode) and 17 were MP4s (h.264) from my Sanyo camcorder.
When I got home I found PE7 stuck at the 40% point with a "transcoding error". I take it that is the PE7 version of "The software used to decode....".
Consider this a report, not a debate. The only "fix" I can see is to either pre-convert the h.264 clips to DV-AVI or shorten the project further. And it is all a guessing game. We really don't know what is wrong, do we.
Sorry Adobe, I was really REALLY hoping for better than this. But at least in my situation, if anything this is WORSE than PE3.
Now to decide whether or not to keep the full version that is in transit to me from Amazon. Such a disappointment.
I am very interested to see this thread, as I just recently installed PE7 on a fairly strong computer with 4MB of ram. I have been using PE3 for a while now editing and burning DVD's from files shot on a Sanyo xacti 720 HD camcorder. These are MP4 files and I have never had any issues on this pc with PE3 and these files, nor have I had any issues with avi from another camera I shoot video with from time to time but PE7 gives me a memory warning just as soon as I "get media" before I even drop it on the timeline, and crashes repeatedly...haven't even had the chance to begin any rendering. I was fortunate enough to take a SDHC card from a buddy with new 1080 footage shot on a Canon HF10. I loaded the .mts files in PE7, added to timeline, edited and finally burned a DVD FLAWLESSLY! What gives?
There have been other threads where people who were using the default MJPEG codec that comes with Windows have experienced instability problems when using a Premiere Elements project with many MJPEG video clpis. And unless your camera is one of the 3Q 2008 new Canon cameras, your 640x480 AVIs are most probably MJPEG (motion jpeg) format in that .avi file.
What is MANY video clips? I don't have an answer.
There is a thread at
which then references other discussions where it was concluded that the problem was caused from the MJPEG codec included with Windows. Alternative solutions are to convert from MJPEG to DVI AVI before placing in Premiere Elements OR to download and install a different MJPEG codec.
I don't know if your MJPEG files are a factor in your current problems, but it might be worth trying with only one type (MJPEG or MP4) of video clip as a troubleshooting method. Then if the MJPEGs do have problems look at the thread I mentioned and others that are referenced.