By the way, sorry for nto saying, I need to convert up to 720 x 480, as the clips I have not yet converted are not on the timeline yet, while the others are.... if that makes since.
1 person found this helpful
Firstly I assume you are using a widescreen 16:9 project preset? If you change the aspect ratio of your 640x480 clips to 16:9 they will be distorted and stretched sideways. To do this right click on the clip in the Project Media Bin. Then select "Interpret Footage" and in "Conform To" select the widescreen format. The clip will be stretched to fit the screen.
If you do not want to stretch the clip you could Scale it so that it fits the screens at the sides... but this will chop off some of the top and bottom of the clip although you can move it up and down using Position so the part of interest is in the frame.
With 125 files, I would recommend that one invest in a good conversion program that does "batch processing." I'm not sure of which freeware programs allow this, but use DigitalMedia Converter (~US$50) and it works perfectly for almost anything to DV-AVI Type II (so long as one has the MS DV CODEC and nearly every Windows machine does). I do not think that I have ever batch converted 125 files at once, but have easliy done 50. One just loads the files, checks the settings, points to a destination folder, and hits OK. Now, my machines are fast, with tons of HDD real estate, and I can allocate an empty SATA II 1TB drive as my "scratch disk," so my times might not translate directly to someone else's, but 50 files of ~ 30 mins. Duration took about 1 hour, and these 50 files had several different CODEC's. If they were all the same, and I was only doing the scaling and any PAR corrections/changes, it should have been quicker. Just do it over lunch.
I also find that the scaling algorithms are as good, if not better than Scale in PrPro. Almost as good as those in Photoshop for stills.
Still, there could well be freeware programs that do as well, and allow for unattended batch processing. Load 'em up, make the settings, hit OK, and go to lunch. Depending on the computer, by the time you get back, they should be waiting for you to Import into Premiere.