6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2008 10:26 PM by (editmachine)

    PE7 Playback is slow

      I am editing a source file that is 1hr 15minutes long. I am experiencing inconsistency in playback speed. Some clips play back fine, some are choppy. I have gone through the troubleshooting guide, tuned all project options, checked defragmentation on disk, checked minimum reqmts for RAM, etc.

      Im using Windows XP SP3, 2GB RAM.

      I wonder if the sheer size of the source file is an issue?

        • 1. Re: PE7 Playback is slow
          Paul_LS Level 4
          What video format is the source file? Is there a red line above any of the clips in the timeline? If so the clips need rendering, make sure the work bar area is over the clips and hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
          • 2. Re: PE7 Playback is slow
            Level 1
            The source file is .avi,
            size: 1.9GB
            image size:640X480
            pixel depth: 640
            frame rate: 29.97
            source audio format: 44100 Hz - 16 bit stereo
            project audio format: 48000 Hz - 32 bit floating point - stereo
            duration: 01:15
            average data rate: 440/KB
            pixel aspect ratio: 1.0

            Yes, there is a red line over the clips in the timeline. I did follow your instructions to render the clips and the playback is now fine on that rendered clip. That definitely helps.

            But once the clip is rendered I can't edit. I was planning on editing the entire video and then rendering, but it looks like that is not possible.

            What it looks like is I should edit by sections and then render the whole clip, then edit, then render. Is that the best approach?

            Thx for the tips!
            • 3. Re: PE7 Playback is slow
              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
              A 2 gig AVI that is 75 minutes is definitely not a DV-AVI, Tom.

              It's an AVI -- but it likely uses a codec like Divx, which does not jibe well at all with Premiere Elements.

              I'd definitely recommend converting it to a DV-AVI (which will be more like 15 gigabytes in size). Then you'll see a real jump in Premiere Elements' performance. Otherwise, it's likely that file will give you continual challenges.
              • 4. Re: PE7 Playback is slow
                Level 1
                THanks. Do you have a recommendation for software to use to convert the source file? I used a program called Handbrake originally and there is no option for codec = DV-AVI.
                • 5. Re: PE7 Playback is slow
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  As Steve comments, your AVI (just a wrapper which can contain all sorts of different CODECs - it is an acronym for AudioVideo Interleave), though Rendered, can still be edited, though that process might not be what you wish to do.

                  With compressed formats, there will be reference frames, followed by a number of "difference frames." The number of these difference frames will vary. What this means is that if you wish to do a Cut on one of these difference frames, you will not be able to do it properly, since that frame's major info is back some frames.

                  All that your Render did was basically give PE a reference that is actually being played. It does not affect your original file in the least.

                  Better workflows would be:

                  1.) go back to the original material, before this footage was "converted" to whatever your AVI is - before it was compressed.

                  2.) convert your AVI to a DV-AVI file and work from that.

                  In #2, note, as Steve says, the file size will increase. This is because each frame will be contained in its full form in that file. You can cut wherever you like. Also note that PE will work much more quickly, even though the source file is much, much larger. Last, since your AVI most likely contains heavily compressed data, that compression has cost quality. Sometimes a lot of quality. While converting (3rd party conversion program) will create a full frame for each frame in the AV file, it will NOT put the quality back in. It is lost, and gone forever. That is why I listed #1 above. It is usually better to go back to the original source, or as close as you can get, and then edit from there.

                  As a tip, you can download and install the freeware program G-Spot (www.headbands.com/gspot) and it will tell you a bunch of things about your file. The most useful will be the CODECs used to create the file, and also whether you have them installed properly on your system. Note: there can be different CODECs within the same AV file: one for Audio and one for Video. This little program is invaluable to me. It is fabulous for AVIs and MPEGs, does well with most WMVs and MOVs, but does not handle some less-common formats like RAM and FLV very well.

                  • 6. Re: PE7 Playback is slow
                    Level 1
                    Also i would like to point here that , when i am working on lengthy projects, i would take a small portion at given time and then proceed. I might do a scene detect and start putting only some clips (say 3) on the timeline and perform the necessary cuts or trimming and then proceed by putting in some more and so on.
                    This surely works.