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Well, the reason the program went from version 4 to 7 is explained in the FAQs to the right of this forum.
So are recommendations for keeping your system stable.
On a well-maintained computer, the program is very stable.
I'm sorry you're having so many problems -- though, as you know, those JVC Everio files cause everybody problems (as a Google search will show). But 8 crashes in half an hour while using XP? There's definitely something up with your system.
Also, you say you want to process "holiday pictures". Are you talking about photos rather than video? If so, have you optimized those photos to no larger than 1000x750 pixels in size?
BTW, how large is your C drive? If your scratch disks and paging files aren't properly configured, you may not be taking full advantage of that external drive, and that could be one of the things choking the program. Particularly if your C drive is full of old temp files and spyware and is heavily fragmented.
Steve, thanks for the pointers - though I have to say this seems to be just Premiere/MOD file compatibility.
My system is actually pretty stable. Defragged regularly, CClean run etc. The C: drive has 92GB free but the scratch disk is pointed at F: which has a mere 590GB left... should be enough . Over the last several months there have been no crashes on the machine, no problems at all. Only when I first installed Premiere did I hit any issues as it killed my Bridge licence. Other than that, if I don't run Premiere my machine is solid, no issues.
When I clicked for more info on the error (when the error dialogue did show) it repeatedly said "ippmpegdecoder.dll" was in error. The more I read on that the more it seems that Premiere doesn't support MPEG-2 at all well. Which I find odd.
I'm not a video guy. I only wanted to use it simply, nothing complex. I'm far happier with stills!
One recommendation was to convert to AVI files... I was doing that using a conversion tool when I read elsewhere that I could convert to AVI by simply re-naming the files! I've just tried that once and the file came through and Premiere didn't crash. I am just burning a test DVD from Premiere as I type this. Indeed Premiere with MOD renamed as AVI seems to have been running with no crashes for... oooh... maybe 20 minutes! Wow. (sorry... too sarky?)
So this looks like a complete incompatibility between Premiere and MOD files or MOD renamed as MPG. But it might just work with MOD renamed as AVI?! How strange.
The frustrating thing is I didn't like the software that came with the Everio and specifically purchased Premiere because the info online said that MOD was supported - indeed the settings specifically mention JVC Everio for file setup. Why mention them if it doesn't handle them?!
So instead of "just working" I'm going to have to rename the files each time (no biggie... bulk command line rename in a few keystrokes) but that's daft.
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MarkItVision, when attempting to use Mpeg files, I get the "ippmpegdecoder.dll" error (on a pretty consistant basis).
I searched on this error (Forum and Google), but never did find any clear answer or solution.
Even a post to this Forum didn't turn up much regarding the error.
As my Handycam only downloads to my PC as Mpeg I was kind of in a bind.
The workaround for me was to convert to DV-AVI which is very stable (relatively speaking) with all versions of PE. I'm not thrilled about the conversion step, or the very large files for DV-AVI, but that's what works for me with minimum hassles...
Kodebuster, yes, that's what I'm trying to do at the moment (at least I think so!)
I spoke too soon about a straight re-name. With the single file it worked and I got a DVD that played on my TV!!! But when I added a few more it blew up. Over and over. I was only adding them one at a time and it would freeze and "program not responding". I have 19 in total to add for this particular holiday. I figure rename to AVI was not the right answer after all.
I found a tool called HandBrake on another forum and am just now converting to AVI: quite if there is a difference between that and DV-AVI I don't know as I'm a newbie at this... I figured it would be simple... like downloading JPG files from a camera and making a screen-show. Silly me! Wrong
Anyway, the AVI conversion is going on so hopefully that will help me to get around it too.
In case I am wrong with the AVI vs DV-AVI... what are you using to convert to DV-AVI?
As Steve points out, the .MOD files pose a problem, when editing, and not just for PrE, but for almost any NLE (Non Linear Editor). They are basically delivery format, and not really intended for editing - yeah, who would want to screen tons of raw footage, with no editing? The FAQ sections that Steve listed will be a help. Within the FAQ's are also suggestions for optimizing one's computer for NLE work. It appears that you are already doing most things right, already.
In addition to those tips, you might want to consider taking it to the next level, but shutting down other programs and Processes, before any editing session. My workstation is pretty clean, in that I only have the various programs that I use for video production. Still, there are a lot of those, from the complete Adobe suites to 3D creation programs, and word processing programs, for complex Titles and the like. I'll have many of these all open at the same time as PrPro, Photoshop, Illustrator and Encore. The same for my laptop, but it does a lot more, like typing this.
Before I begin editing, I close all anti-virus, pop-up blocking and spyware programs with a simple Exit on the Taskbar. Next, I run a little program, EndItAll2, which eliminates all running Processes, that are non-essential. [Just noticed that EndItAll2 will soon be shareware, and not freeware.[ The reason to Exit from the mentioned programs, is that they will lie to EndItAll2, and say that they ARE essential - that's part of their function. I also have Windows Indexing turned off for all of my HDD's, both internal and external. All auto-updaters for all programs are turned off too. All messaging programs are shut down (everything, including MSN's Messenger, were removed via MSCONFIG). Screensaver is set to None. I want nothing doing anything, while I am editing. I also have my Page File (Windows Virtual Memory) set to static at 10GB (as I have 4GB RAM), and found the best performance to spread it over two physical HDD's. This last part takes experimentation, as what is best for one person, might not be the best for another, even on similar computers and OS's. It is amazing how resources are freed up for the taxing NLE programs, by doing this. Other than 3 clicks (in my case), and then running EndItAll2, it happens in but a moment. The other setup (mostly with MSCONFIG) was done, when I set up the computer. Takes far less time to do, than to type it up.
Now, I am ready to edit. I've had PE4 (laptop only) for over a year, and while I use PrPro much more, I do a fair amount of work in PE4. Only crash that I have ever had was with a modestly sized Project, while I had my mailwashing program and Outlook going, as I was expecting an important e-mail. I'd guess that this was the cause of the crash, but have never been able to reproduce it, so will never know for sure. One crash in that time is pretty good by my standards. I've actually crashed PrPro, but this was with monster Projects: 30 Sequences, some nested, up to 20 Video Tracks and 28 Audio Tracks, with hours of DV-AVI files, hundreds of Titles and even Dynamic Links to AfterEffects. Not your normal Projects, but what I find I do a lot of.
I too edit to/from large externals, though mine are connected by FW-800, not your faster eSATA configuration. That should not be an issue, so long as Windows Indexing is turned off for the externals, along with the internal HDD's. Remember, we want nothing using ANY resources, while editing. I also direct all Scratch Disc files to the externals, to keep all of a Project complete and in one place. [On the workstation, I spread things a bit to utilize 5 large, fast SATA II's for performance.]
I'd say that you are pretty close, with just some tweaks left to do. You might look into freeing up a bit more space on your C:\ to provide more "breathing room" for your Page File and similar.
With regards to your .MOD files, I cannot help you, but I think that between you and Steve, you're probably as close as you'll likely get. I am surprised that renaming these to .AVI even works. I thought that they were modifications of MPEG-2 files in a .MOD wrapper. Learned something new today. As I get handed all sorts of file formats (no .MOD's yet), my first action is to convert everything to DV-AVI Type II with 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio, before I Import. BTW, that is what is happening when PE does its "Conforming" - conforming your Audio to 48KHz 16-bit and generating the .PEK (Audio Waveform Display) files. Always let this process complete. If working with still images, Steve's suggestions are perfect.
As you did, I ran afoul of the PE installation killing Bridge, PS and PrPro on my laptop. My first visit to this particular Adobe forum was to find out what had happened, and it was covered in the FAQ. Adobe just never anticipated someone with the Production Studio installing PE later. The fix was just a Repair Install of each of the Production Studio programs.
Good luck, and thanks for teaching me something regarding the .MOD files.
In this article, I mention the conversion program that I always use. Over the years, it has been almost always perfect.
Hope that it helps,
[Edit] The file extension .AVI is but a wrapper. There can be a lot of different formats and CODEC's inside it. DV-AVI Type II is but one CODEC, and is what you want. Think of .AVI as the foil wrapper on a stick of gum. Inside can be Spearmint, Double-mint, Juicy Fruit, etc. DV-AVI Type II is "Spearmint." If you ever need to "peek" inside the .AVI wrapper, G-Spot will do this for you, plus tell you everthing you are likely to need to know, and tell you if your system has every needed CODEC and if they are properly installed.
Hunt, thanks for the comments - particularly the last few paragraphs.
With regards what is open... I tend to run with very little else up (in this case I put up a browser but that was all). I don't kill off my antivirus/firewall etc. That's a risk I won't take, but I don't let much more than what I consider essentials start in the first place.
To me it is rather insane that it doesn't just "work". This is not a "pro" tool it is "elements" intended for people who don't know what they are doing and probably don't want to get deep into the nitty gritty understanding formats and so on.
I'm a pro photographer so what "needs" to be open may be quite a bit. I'm used to working with RAW files and the CS suite so I might have Photoshop open and InDesign or Illustrator too, plus my mail program or a browser if some batch job is running. I know these are big files but I'm not asking them to all be processed at once. When I did web design or Flash work I could have quite a bit open too but that's what a multi-tasking operating system is meant to be able to handle.
All I want to do is the photographic equivalent of an amateur photographer downloading their JPGs and making a CD to show their family... but with my video. How complex is that? Open 20 clips, some shorter, some longer. Add them to a timeline. Edit where I want each to start and stop (cut out the junk), probably fade from one to the next, and publish. I'm not trying to be the next Oscar winning producer.
If it wasn't for the fact that there are shots of our holiday on there and the family want to see them, at this point I'm so fed up with it all that I'd just put the video in the cupboard and never get it out again.
I *hope* that when I get it to DV-AVI format it will be plain sailing... but I am not holding my breath.
I'm not sure changing the suffix of the Everio MOD files is a good solution. It just tricks the program into thinking it regonizes the files. But the files are still JVC's uniquely coded MPEG, which Premiere Elements has to digest and convert on the fly and which is why, if you stick enough in the program, it still chokes.
This program claims to be able to convert MODs to DV-AVIs. It might be worth test-driving.
Hunt the wrapper analogy I understand. DNG is a wrapper for RAW files which are themselves "custom wrappers" for what is essentially a TIFF.
I'm just downloading the conversion tool you mention to give it a whirl.
Steve, cheers. Between your suggestion and Hunt's one of those converters has got to be the fix.
Again, I understand what you say about re-naming. I was entirely dubious of it for the reason you give. It was something advised in many places but seemed kinda odd to me. It worked with one file... but not with more. I would rather have a solid conversion and then a solid workflow than messing around and getting into trouble.
I just hope that once I've got the conversion to the right DV-AVI format I'll be a happy sparrow!
We come from similar backgrounds, as I've been a print advertising photograhper for the last 30 years.
You might be surprised at what all is loaded and running on your system. Open up Task Manager, and go to the Processes tab. On an editing machine, you'd like to have the Processes at about 20-30. I'll bet that you have over 60, unless you've done some major cleaning.
I also strongly recommend not having any online presence, when editing. Then you can close down all of the AV stuff. Though I have a connection, I am behind some major hardware firewalls. Still, if I need to go online, say to get a stock image, or the proper caption for an image, I'll do it on another machine, not my editing machine, while editing. "Lean and mean" goes a very long way towards a satisfactory editing experience. This is especially true if working with Assets that have to be "converted" within the NLE. Most commercial editors have but the barest of programs: no Outlook, no e-mail, no Internet connection, etc. Most of us cannot afford that, especially if they are like you and me, doing print graphics work plus video editing. That is why I do the little tweaks, when starting an editing session. I want the other things, like AV protection, for all other times, so MSCONFIG is not the option, but stopping all unnecessary Processes works just fine. When I'm done, I can either relaunch those programs, or just re-boot. General optimizing is great, and then on-the-spot final optimizing is but a few mouse clicks away.
Most NLE's are designed around a DV-AVI Type II workflow (Windows Movie Maker is a bit of an exception, as it is DV-AVI Type I). Anything that you feed into the NLE, that is NOT DV-AVI Type II, will essentially be converted to that format within the program. This takes resources, and a lot of them. Some HD formats are a bit different, but for SD material, it's DV-AVI Type II. That is why I do all necessary conversions outside of my NLE. Yes, it's an extra step, but with batch processing, an easy one. As most of my Assets are in the proper format already, and all that I shoot are on miniDV tape, I'm mostly home free. It's when the client hands me something else, that I have to do the extra work, for a nominal fee. Same thing as handing off a Photoshop job in both RGB and CMYK. I charge for those extra conversions.
For what you are describing, PE should work just fine, with but a few considerations. The file format being one and the freeing up of resources another.
I'm still following the .MOD part of the thread, as I just know that some client will bring in some JVC material and I'll someday have to tackle it too. That is where all of the info in this thread will go - the "nominal conversion fee!"
Ok chaps, I was 20 years as a tecchie and never did video... not my thing... I'm utterly stumped. I don't know the lingo!!
Hunt, you said "my first action is to convert everything to DV-AVI Type II with 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio"
I've downloaded both Digital Media Converter Pro 2.4 and AVS4You AVS Video Converter 6. And just "loading up a set of files" and pressing "convert" looks easy... (certainly easier than HandBrake) but working out how to do "DV-AVI Type II with 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio" is beyond me.
On Digital Media Converter Pro, for example I can see "AVI". In the settings for that I can see "PCM 16-bit little endian" and 48KHz. But under video I can't see "DV-AVI Type II" or anything like it.
Similarly with AVS I can see a bunch of "standard" settings... though none of them look right. But if I go in to edit profiles I can see a PCM Audio Codec tha tI can set 16 bit and 48KHz but the Video Codec I can't see anything like "DV-AVI Type II"
HandBrake is even less clear. PCM doesn't appear in Audio (AAC, MP3, Vorbis or AC3) and Video (MPEG-4 (FFmpeg), MPEG-4 (XviD), H.264 (x264) or VP3 (Theora)). Nothing in that lot matches what you said at all.
I'm sure that it must be there - after all you use these programs (well two of them). But I guess it is called something else and you know it as that without thinking about it. Either that or I am missing what you mean completely! It's all Greek to me .
What settings should I be using on the tools you said to get the right file for Premiere to ingest and not feel queasy with?
Good luck with that. Obviously, as I've never encountered a .MOD file, I cannot vouch for how well it will work with that format. Still, I've used it for a ton of other formats, most of which were never intended to be edited.
Only little glitch has been that with a few DV-AVI Type II conversions, PrPro will see the file with only about 10% of the real Duration. This is obviously a problem. I have found that I can load these "truncated" files into PE4, and Export to DV-AVI Type II (yes, I know, that is what they were in already) and then PrPro sees the full Duration. This happens with some DivX and Xvid conversions, and I do not know exactly why. When it does, PE4 comes to my rescue. Why/how it sees the files perfectly, and PrPro will not, is a mystery. Some day I'll tear one of these files apart and try to get to the bottom of that issue. Until then, PE4 is waiting patiently to do "its thing."
As for the renaming, I've only heard of that with some .VOB's (DVD-video Video Object files), working with a simple rename to .MPEG. It works for some, but not all, depending on what else is in that .VOB.
Please report on DigitalMedia Converter, and how well it works for you with your particular files. As I recommend it so often, I need to know where it might not be applicable, so I do not steer folk in the wrong direction. You are my "point-man" with the .MOD files and are "taking one for the team."
LOL. Well I've spent such a long time on it now that spending a little more time seems more sane than walking away.
Once I know the settings that mean "DV-AVI Type II" then I can give it a whirl. I'll be sure to tell you what happens when I have done the conversion.
Once you convert to DV-AVI, you can use GSpot for gathering details on the file.
It is freeware and can be found here:
Gspot is quite robust on file details, and for showing what system wide Codec's are installed
I've got DMC 2.78 on this laptop. Here are my settings:
Convert to Format - AVI
Destination - set as necessary
Temporary working folder - E:\Temp (empty internal SATA II drive in my case)
Video Dimensions - 720x480 (I'm in NTSC land. Will differ for PAL)
Change frame rate - 30fps
Auto select settings based on - Best Quality
Video Compressor - DV Video Encoder
Audio Compressor - PCM
Frequency - 48.000 KHz
There are about 30 Compatibility possibilities and all are checked, including the Adobe2 MainConcept CODEC's
My obvious intention is to get as close to the DVD-spec. files, as I can. As stated, I'm in the US, so NTSC is my goal. PAL will differ slightly.
This last will differ by machine. You may have more, or fewer, depending on the CODEC's loaded onto the machine.
Attached is a screen-cap from DMC. I hope that this helps,
Hunt, the screen cap is "queued" at the moment so I can't see it. Here's my equivalent. I'm running the evaluation of DMC Pro 2.41. I've gone for 720x576 as that is the PAL dimensions (even if it is a 16:9 video I believe that is correct).
Under "compressors" for video the options are:
Microsoft MPEG-4 Video Codec V2
DivX 3 (MS-MPEG-4 V3 Coded)
Windows Media Video 7
Windows Media Video 8
Intel(4) H.264 (AVC)
Huffman Lossless Compressor
The "DV Video Encoder" that you've said (which I would have gone for in desparandum but not known if it was type I or II) doesn't exist.
PS: Curiousity drove me to check current processes - 50 but I start things like a desktop picture changer and a backup tool for a forum... I use Startup Inspector for Windows to keep it down a bit but if I wasn't network connected you're right I could cull that further - still... for an "end user" tool... shouldn't need to do that really.
According to PrEl the DV PAL standard is
Frame size: 720h 576v (1.422)
Frame rate: 25.00 frames/second
Pixel Aspect Ratio: D1/DV PAL Widescreen 16:9 (1.422)
Fields: Upper Field First
Sample rate: 48000 samples/second
Maximum Bit Depth: Off
Preview File Format: DV PAL
Compressor: DV PAL
Color depth: Millions of colors
Video tracks: 3
Stereo tracks: 3
So 25 not 30 for framerate but sample is still 48k and size is as I have given 720x576.
OK, there is a version difference, and the NTSC/PAL difference, but I am puzzled by the lack of the DV AVI Compressor, as it's a MS CODEC. Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to it being missing from your drop-down. I'll look on my workstation, when a Render is complete, since I think that machine has an earlier version of DMC, than does the laptop. If I find anything of use there, I'll post it.
As far as running Processes, I'd look at stopping the Wallpaper switcher for any editing. While I do not know it, I would assume that it's changing out .BMP's for your Desktop.
Also, most NLE's will stress almost every computer, even the latest, greatest, fastest. This is especially true with any file format, that does not meet the "native" specs for Assets of the particular NLE. That is one reason why most of the equipment testers, who do not use something like Premiere to generate real-world benchmarks are suspect in my book. Crunching a big database is not even close to editing a 1 hour video.
I'm going to knock off for the night - it is 8pm here and I've been at this for 10 hours today (such dedication just for the family holiday!!!).
You're right about the background switcher (though it is 1024x768 JPGs it is still consuming memory and I turn it off most of the time if I am doing more than email and browsing or simple Photoshop work - I'd just done a clean re-boot to see quite how many load as default on my box).
Well a few months ago I said I wanted to learn more about video (because all the SLRs are now coming with HD video capabilities). I guess I'm learning
You say about 1 hour of video - I spent the last few days working out how to make a useable FLV that would stream over the web and it was only 10 seconds long. I made it way to big or way to lossy in the compression (and had all the problems with MOD files etc to boot but persevered through hitting save regularly! (very regularly!)). Looking at the holida video times in DMC Pro, I can add up all 19 files to only about 55 minutes - and I want to get to a 10 minute snapshot of the holiday.
So much for easy.
It makes me wonder how people buying these hard disk cameras do anything with them at all. I'm technical. I know plenty of people who are scared of computers and wouldn't know where to start with this stuff.
I am though one of those who live to learn, so I'm getting that in spades. I'll be in a much better position to use the new feature on my SLR when I have done - then I can focus on different types of shots and putting the thing together as an entity. Silver lining in every cloud!
Good night! See you anon.
Have a good night.
If you do consider one of the newer DSLR's with HD movie capabilities, like the Canon 5D MK II, or the Nikon D-90, stop by the Adobe Premiere Pro fora. There is much discussion on these two cameras (more to follow) and their file formats. Lot of good discussion there.
I also agree about the HDD cameras, and both the mfgr's and retailers are pushing them. Each year there are more and each poses a new set of problems, should one wish to edit the footage. I always brace for a rash of questions/problems about Christmas time, as I know many will receive the latest ones, being pushed by salesmen, who have only seen demo footage, and never even considered editing the material. Sony's Vegas NLE is probably leading the way with these MPEG-2 cameras, but then they are also producing a lot of those same types of cameras. The development centers for both the cameras and the NLE communicate very often. Adobe, and the rest, have to play catch-up, after the formats come out.
You could also give MPEG_Streamclip a try for converting MOD files to DV-AVI. MPEG_Streamclip supports .MOD files it also has a batch conversion facility and is free. It will also install a PAL DV-AVI codec. Once converted the files will be fully compatible with Premiere Elements. See this FAQ for details:
Other thing to you could use is PowerDirector that comes with the camcorder to convert to DV-AVI. Not sure if it has a batch convert feature though.
Paul, thanks for that - I didn't want to replace my QuickTime with some "non-Apple" thing in case it caused me grief later on. But I've found a way forwards...
Hunt, Steve, Kodebuster, well I'm making good progress. Honestly! Thanks to your advice yesterday and a bit of research today I am working with several programs open and nothing is crashing. And I've changed none of my settings!!!
Here's the latest on how I'm doing it - so that anyone coming behind me and reading this thread has a fighting chance. For the record (and the search engine!) I am using a JVC Everio GZ-MG334.
With your kind assistance I have managed to understand enough to output AVI files of the right type from the supplied software with the camera. It comes with CyberLink Power Director Express - which is something like Premiere but without so much potential function (unless you upgrade). I started a new project in there. I had copied (using Windows Explorer) the MOD files from the camera onto my hard drive. I opened these into the folder (import media). I am dealing with them one at a time (particularly because these files are going to get large when I convert them. So I take the MOD file, drag it to the timeline. I will do basic trimming if it is obvious in there just to "top and tail" the thing. Then I go to File>Produce Movie and at "step 1" select "create a file"
I change the settings as shown to Type II and High Quality 48k. The profile type is DV-AVI and PAL you change settings by clicking on the button two over from the one labeled CLVS and you can confirm the audio is PCM using the button to the right of it.
(And to give you an idea how much more stable this setup is I got that screenshot with Snagit, I have Firefox open, Premiere and PowerDirector plus my wallpaper changer and antivirus/firewall and still going strong, no abends at all!).
Ok, following the arrow "right" and then giving a file name and location it will output the AVI as a DV-AVI Type II 48kHz PCM. Brilliant.
Finally I can open Premiere and import this new file to the project, drag it to the timeline, set it to "interpret footage as D1/DV PAL Widescreen 16:9 (1.422)" - for European PAL 16:9 and it will work. At this point, because I topped-and-tailed the file previously I only need to cut out junk from the middle by splitting the file at marker points that I put in when playing through. Much easier than yesterday.
Ok, so I still have to produce the file to a DVD but I did that yesterday with a single file so I am hopeful.
Success, I suspect. (I'll confirm that when I have the DVD cut .)
Real progress, in my mind.
Now, I want to just get my mental model a little tighter than it is. Hunt, I'm aiming this question at you with your spearmint gum analogy knowing that you know the kind of stuff I edit this model should make sense to you too.
From my reading today (particularly) I believe I am right in saying that, as you say AVI wraps the DV-AVI II codec (type 2 being the older one and type 1 the newer one but type 2 being the one that Premiere uses) and type 2 means the audio and video are handled separately (effectively).
The AVI wrapper could wrap other codecs such as MPEG4 codecs like Xvid and DivX or the one that people seem to rave about and seems to be new and shiny Mpeg4 Part 10/Mpeg4 AVC aka H.264. But then MPEG4 doesn't need to be wrapped in an AVI wrapper it could just be an MPEG file.
It makes sense that I was told "not to convert" because it's the equivalent of multiple editing of JPGs but if I save as a TIFF *once* and edit that before finally saving to JPG the "problem" goes away.
So my question... if I have understood the above correctly this is akin to RAW/TIFF/JPG (ignoring DNG for the moment)
I get a RAW file from my camera and I could save it out as a TIFF (lossless) which will be huge and then edit/adjust it before saving as another format such as a PNG or a lossy JPG file.
So RAW>huge/lossless TIFF>small/lossy JPG.
But I could also have got a JPG from my camera, opened it and saved it out as a TIFF giving JPG>TIF>JPG in the same sequence.
Were I to be playing with a "proper" video-camera I'd be getting the RAW equivalent and then read that into Premiere (converting to AVI DV-AVI if it wasn't already in that format) before going to something else (for example MPEG4 or FLV or whatever).
So RAW>huge/lossless TIFF>small/lossy JPG becomes "input file type">AVI DV-AVI>MPEG4 or DVD version.
But in my case it is like starting the the lossy JPG as the MOD is like MPEG2 a lossy video format good for size but less good for quality. In other words converting it to AVI DV-AVI is similar to saving out to TIFF.
So small/lossy JPG>large editable/losslessTIF> small/lossy JPG output becomes "MOD lossy/MPEG2 > large editable AVI DV-AVI > MPEG4 (or whatever) output that is smaller and lossy.
Is that mental model correct? I hope it is, because it will mean I have got my head around this stuff yesterday/today.
Now enough typing... I've got a holiday to edit. I'll post when I'm done to confirm that it all worked. (or earlier if it all goes horribly wrong!!!).
I think that you have it very close. The DV-AVI Type II is the newer version, though it's very similar to the DV-AVI Type I. I have the exact spec. differences, just not handy. The majority of NLE's (Non Linear Editors) work best with the Type II variation. The most common complaint, when using the Type I in these is that Audio sync is often off (seems to be about 6 frames in most cases), but this OOS (Out Of Sync) issues is usually constant. It can be "fixed" with a bit of tweaking in the Timeline. Usually, it does not drift, or if it does, the drift is so little that one would not notice it with a typical Duration (say 20 mins.). Why Windows Movie Maker (WMM) still Exports to DV-AVI Type I is a mystery to me, especially when almost every other program uses the Type II, and the CODEC for it is from Microsoft (MS), after all. I suppose that it's a case of "that's the way that it's always been," and no one at MS wants to change a program that is basically free with the OS, or via download from the MS site. [Just a guess here.]
While one could have any file type listed as an AVI, including WMV and MPEG, it's most common to find other CODEC's inside, such as the Xvid and DivX, that you mention. Note: you will see the .DIVX extension for files using one of the various DivX CODEC's too. For the WMV's (many flavors), it's most often .WMV, or .ASF. For the MPEG variants, the extension (wrapper) is most often .MPEG/.MPG. For the Apple CODEC's, including the H-263 & H-264, one most often sees .MOV, or MP4 (MPEG-4). Some people, and programs, play fast-n-loose with the file extensions. I see all sorts of files listed as one type, and Windows Media Player (WMP) will often throw the message, "The file type listed is not correct... Do you wish to play the file anyway?" [Or similar syntax.] Other players, like VLC and Media Player Classic, usually do not bother with any error message, and just go about playing the file, regardless of how well the file extension matches the actual CODEC and content. These players just read the file header info and use that. The extension is only to show all AV files, as you browse from either of these two players - it's ONLY the header info, that they care about. Now, we've left out a bunch of other CODEC's that one often encounters, but most are older, not often used nowadays, and are most often found in a .AVI, .MPEG or .MOV wrapper. While not dead, we'll not concern ourselves with any of these, until the day that some client walks in with one, and then we just run it through G-Spot to find out the CODEC and get busy with Google trying to find it. Note that Motion JPEG (MJPEG) is showing up more often now (think Nikon D-90) and is often in a .MPEG wrapper.
The main difference between DV-AVI (either type) is that it's an I-Frame format, meaning that each "frame" is fully described - hence the file size difference. Most of the other formats use only one I-Frame at the start of a Group of Pictures (GOP), and then only contain data that is different for the next, say 15 frames. This yields smaller files, as only every 15, or so, frames is fully described - good compression, when the CODEC does a good job of it. However, you cannot effectively edit these in most programs. Think about it for a moment. You have a 15 frame GOP. Only the first (the I-Frame) is described, and the next 14 frames tie back to it for most of their info, only showing the difference. You cut out the I-Frame, and there is nothing to define the frame that is now the head of your Clip. That detail only existed in the I-Frame and it's no longer there. Converting to DV-AVI (or any I-Frame format) converts all difference frames into I-Frames. Now, you can cut. Different lossy CODEC's do this I-Frame/Difference-Frame (several different schemes and also different names for the non I-Frames) compression differently and with different numbers of frames in the GOP. Some are much better than are others. Their compression allows us to fit 1.5 hrs. of Video onto a 4.7GB DVD.
It's like Opening a JPEG in Photoshop (PS). The program rebulds the image to the best of its ability. Notice that the file size reported in PS is much larger than the JPEG appears in Windows Explorer. If we do a Save now, in either TIFF, or PSD, the size will be much larger than that original JPEG.
Using our less-than-perfect JPEG analogy, what one has with any HDD camera is: RAW (can't get it, or see it, as the camera makes the conversion inside) to JPEG. We then convert (inside the NLE, or via a 3rd party program) to TIFF. If we're going to DVD-Video (or any streaming format) to JPEG again. If we're using SD material, that is as good as it gets, which is more than tolerable. If we start with HD material, it's a bit better, but only slightly, until we output to BD for delivery. If we output that HD material to DVD-Video, we still have to use our old friend, MPEG-2. To distill, MPEG=JPG, DV-AVI=TIFF. In nearly all video cameras, we never get to see the RAW, as some form of compression usually takes place before the data is put onto a tape, or other media.
With MPEG output from the camera, we start with that JPEG, go to the TIFF and then back to JPEG. There will be quality hits initially, and when we output (unless we plan on watching only the DV-AVI). Usually, this will still be fine on a TV, though if we watch on a high-rez computer monitor, we will see the quality loss.
I also use CyberLink PowerDirector, when I need both conversion and light editing. Same for Magix, and a few others. They are but tools in my toolbox. You can never have too many. One can do a lot of work with one adjustable spanner. However, having a full set of tools is better. You can drive a nail with that spanner, but a hammer works so very much better.
I've glossed over a lot and omitted some more, like NLE's which work in native MPEG-2 and do not need to Transcode (for everything) to get to a DVD-Video.
Thanks for taking the time to list your workarounds. These WILL benefit others with .MOD files.
PS the forum lost the second half of this post, so there might well be more "glossing over," than I intended. Please excuse those.
Hunt, thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed answer (even if glossed in your terms ). You will have no idea how helpful that has been in crystallising my understanding of what is happening and, ultimately, why I might be having problems or not having problems in future.
Everyone that has posted on this one, thanks to you too because as of last week video was a complete mystery to me and now I actually have a clue! (ok, only a small clue )
I aim to finish the family holiday movie today. When it is published I'll confirm AOK in this thread and print it off for future reference.
Thank you so much for sharing your success, Mark!
May I use your workflow as a FAQ for other Everio users?
Steve, absolutely you can. I put it here so that anyone following behind might find the info for themselves too.
And just to confirm the last 20 minutes I have been sitting in front of a large plasma TV watching holiday footage off a DVD. The quality was great (and I'm talking 42" TV) and it was easy to add my own pictures as backgrounds on a scene selection menu too.
I'm still disappointed that Premiere says it can handle the Everio but that I have to convert it first... and that it crashes gracelessly. But I am ultimately happy that I now have a solid work-flow to convert files from it into useable DVDs.
My wife now wants to do another trip and convert that .
All I need now is to learn how to use the camcorder better - but I've LOTS of ideas on that having watched chunks of footage that we should never have shot!!
Thanks so much to everyone that helped me get my head around this stuff.
I hear you regarding what Adobe says. All too often, Marketing does not communicate well with Development, and often Marketing doesn't even touch the actual programs, let alone test them with all sorts of footage. It happens all of the time, and Adobe is usually better than most companies in this respect.
As for the use of the camera, Steve (and others) has a lot of great tips on general shooting, that appear in the Muvipix "Articles." Just those are well worth the price of a subscription, and many are free with just a sign-up.
"Happy Editing®" [Eddie Lotter]