drop a VOB file into the timeline. It seemed like such a basic file format
It is a pretty standard delivery format. Few professionals will use it as source, however. Mostly consumers do this, for which there is a plethora of consumer software up to the task.
Adobe's pitch for CS4 said it handles almost all video formats
You kind of have to look at Adobe's intended market, here. Specifically video professionals who have some formal training and decent understanding of video production. That market will by and large use professional cameras as their source media. From that viewpoint, the claim may make more sense. Premiere now does work with many standard camera formats - DV, HDV, DVCPRO HD, AVCHD, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD, RED, and I understand AVC-I support is on the way.
It is true that Premiere has a hard time working with many final delivery formats - DVD, Divx, .flv to name a few. But then again, those are final delivery formats.
Hmmm, that somewhat condescending response leads me to believe that you don't know the solution to my problem. That's OK, I don't know it either, that is why I posted the question here.
I worked in TV as news photographer, reporter and producer for many years and have a "decent understanding of video production." But today I work in a communications shop with a limited budget, we already had a license and it was a good deal cheaper to simply upgrade to CS4 than it was to buy a new software package. I would have rather bought a Mac and used Final Cut, but there it is, we are limited by the conditions we have to work under.
I will just accept the premise that I am not working under ideal conditions. With that in mind, does anyone know what might be causing my sync problem, or are there any good suggestions for a piece of software that can convert a VOB file to a format that can be used in CS4.
VOB files have their own issues.
To start, they usually are just one part of a video program that contains several .vob files. Any video program on DVD longer than about 30 minutes will usually be made up of multiple .vob files.
Then there is the issue of the file structure itself. VOB files don't just contain the video and audio content - they also contain lots of non-media data that provide instructions to the DVD player on how to deal with the media content contained in the file. The best solution is to strip away that extra data before working with the file(s) by ripping the DVD. Otherwise, you are relying on your editing software to properly ignore the extra data. Even dedicated MPEG2/DVD/DVDR editing programs like VideoReDo and Womble have trouble with some .vob files from time to time.
So the bottom line with .vob files is that they sometimes work, sometimes they only work after a file extension change, and sometimes they won't work at all. Your best bet when re-purposing DVD video is to rip the DVD into usable, editable files.
Hmmm, that somewhat condescending response leads me to believe that you don't know the solution to my problem.
My apologies. I thought you might be able to infer from my post.
The solution would be to shoot your boss with a more professional camera. For standard definition, a tape based MiniDV is the best choice. For HD, DVCPRO HD is the best choice.
One day later and I am unable to replicate the error that led mo to posting my question. I am now of two minds:
First, Jeff suggested that VOB files are inherently problematic and prone to random errors. Seems like a good explanation.
Second, when the the car wouldn't turn over my Dad always told me to check the simple things first. Are the battery terminals corrosion free, did you leave your lights on etc. Well, in this case I realized I was using a DVD-RW disk with several passes on it. Seems like a good formula for creating a corrupted file.
I have actually had very good luck with MPEG Streamclip to convert files to a format that Premiere will accept, and it's free.
Thanks for all of your help.