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When you use the Hard Disk/Flash Memory project setting all video clips will have the field order switched, this can be good or bad.
In general MPEG2 files will work fine in Premiere Elements, but sometimes do need to have the fields reversed, some do and some don't.
What project setting are you using now and have you applied the Reverse Field Dominance to the clips?
Joanne, I have the Sony DCR-DVD305 and here's my process for smooth sailing with PE:
~ Use the Sony supplied software to download Mpeg to your PC.
~ Using Sony software, convert the audio, PE doesn't like Dolby.
~ Import Mpeg's to Windows Movie Maker (WMM).
~ Export from WMM to DV-AVI, just take defaul settings.
~ Import this DVI-AVI to PE, and your on your way.
WMM comes standard with WinXP and Vista. Also, you can download WMM from the Microsoft website (it's free).
Downside to this process, it takes a few extra steps (and time), and converted files to DV-AVI are VERY large.
Upside is that PE works VERY well with DV-AVI via this process.
Stay away from using large Mpegs, with complex projects and PE, it will only break your heart and make you depressed...
>Using Sony software, convert the audio, PE doesn't like Dolby.
This is interesting.
My son has a Sony HDD camcorder (DCR-SR100) that produces .mpg (MPEG2) files with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Mulitple people with the Sony HDD camcorders have posted on forums that because of the 5.1 audio, Premiere Elements 7 is placing the audio on a higher numbered track and it is not possible to move that audio to track 1. This makes it more confusing and more difficult for Premiere Elements beginners.
If there is a Sony program that I (and others) can use to convert the Dolby 5.1 audio, that would make a workflow easier whether we add the audio converted mpeg2 directly to PE 7 or whether we do the intermediate step of converting to a DV-AVI in WMM.
Since I am really a novice with audio, please tell me the specific name of the Sony program that you use to convert the audio and tell me exactly what format you specify for the output. Thanks.
This is the software that came with my Sony Handycam:
~ Picture Package Version 1.8.1
~ It includes the USB Driver for the camera, and associated software for downloading from camera and converting the Mpeg files from Dolby 5.1 to standard Mpeg audio.
~ To run the software, it requires Macromedia Flash, if you don't have, it can be gotten at the Macromedia website (or just Google "Macromedia Flash").
~ If it doesn't detect at least DirectX 9.0, it will ask to intall it.
~ It will only run on WinXP, no go for Vista, (believe me I tried).
I believe you can download this software from sony.com.
If you can't find it, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can burn and ship you a copy via land mail.
Regarding PE7 and placing Audio on a higher track, I'm running PE4 and have never witnessed this particular event.
It does seem that the Sony software with your DVD camcorder is different than what came with my family's HDD camcorder. Ours has software from Pixela, which I do have installed on a Windows XP machine (it also seems to be XP but not Vista).
So far I have not found any conversion function for the audio in the Pixela software I have. I will investigate the Picture Package software on the Sony site. Thanks for your offer of assistance: I will reply to you after looking at the Sony site.
>Regarding PE7 and placing Audio on a higher track, I'm running PE4 and have never witnessed this particular event.
I believe that it only happens in PE7 and my guess is that it is a result of how the AVCHD support was implemented (perhaps unintentionally) impacting video from those cameras which record standard definition mpeg2 and Dolby 5.1.
Thanks for your replies. So Chuck, to answer your question, I haven't actually started the Premiere project yet so I haven't chosen any settings- I'm just in the process of setting up the mpeg2 files on my computer and wondering what the best route is. It's actually my friend's camera- I had used footage from her camera before and I know the final output was bad as it jumped around but I don't rememember if I had converted the footage or not back then. So are you saying you don't necessarily have to convert to avi first?
And kodebuster, thanks for your recommendations on converting to avi first. I'm just unsure what you mean by converting the audio before you bring it in to Moviemaker. Do I need the Sony program that came with the camera? I'm just using a friend's camera so I was going to try to get away with not installing her software. (I do have a program that came with my JVC Evrio that might work though)
From the Handycam model you indicate (Sony DCR-DVD108) I'm under the impression this unit burns video directly to a mini-DVD, versus a mini-hard drive, or to tape.
If that's the case, after you Finalize the mini-DVD for use on a video player, or PC, all video files are in a .VOB format.
These type of cameras usually include software from Sony that allows you to download directly from the unit to a PC via a USB cable and the supplied Sony software. In my case for the Sony DCR-DVD305, that software was Picture Package v1.8.1. The video files when downloaded to PC by this method are in the Mpeg format.
My camera also supports Dolby 5.1 audio, so my Sony software includes an option to convert these Mpeg files from Dolby 5.1, to standard Mpeg audio.
Again with my camera and software, what I found was that if I didn't convert the audio from Dolby 5.1 to standard, when I moved the Mpeg (or converted DV-AVI) files to PE4, only the Video would play with NO Audio.
As per posts on this forum and elsewhere, PE any version, does not support Dolby 5.1, thus the extra step for Audio conversion.
So, if your downloading Mpeg's from this camera by some method, then you import to PE and the Video and Audio play okay, you don't need any Audio conversion step.
In either case, I would convert to DV-AVI for use with PE and stay away from Mpeg's. They are just not worth the grief as PE has a habit of becoming very unstable with large (and complex) Mpeg projects.
Hope this helps...
Thanks for taking the time to explain that. You were very helpful!