You are in dire need of some new disks. Get an eSATA disk, copy your media to that new disk, delete the media on your current disk, point PR to the copied files when asked for (it will find the other files automatically) and proceed from there. Removing the media cache files will not solve your problem. Get additional disk space.
As explained in my first post: my projects are *not* on this drive. I already have two eSATA drives which I use (and Premiere already point there). I really do not understand how my C drive became that crowded - all I have done lately was with Adobe Premiere (and the two CS3 and CS4 suites), which lead me to look for culprit ''dual files'' (such as the Microsoft Office suite which crowd the C no matter if you have ppinted to default folders on other drives...)
I just installed a 1 TB external (eSATA) drive 2 weeks ago and Premiere is pointing for all its projects to another eSATA HDD.
I really cannot see what else may have crowded my C drive - no new programs installed, no heavy downloads...
Are your media by any chance on the C drive? How big is your C drive?
I think that the AME (Media Encoder ) uses the C: Drive ( Docs Folder) to store its projects.
Never been able to correctly identify the path because it is so truncated in the AME window but there certainly are tons of them in my system and I would not know how to delete them safely.
My C Drive is also reducing in free space at an alarming rate and I need to address the issue as well.
To answer the original question, you can safely delete Media Cache files. They will be rebuilt when needed.
Having said that, I second the call for a bigger drive. (Or clear off more stuff. The C: drive should have only Windows and Programs. Your My Documents folder should be fairly empty on an edit rig.)
There is an option in Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, and Media Encoder called "Save Media Cache files next to originals when possible," which means that the various files that these applications create when source files are imported are stored in the same location as those source files. If this is unchecked, there is an option to set the directory to which those various files--like conformed audio and indexed MPEG files--are saved. I believe the default directory is "C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common", but this could be set differently for each application, and make managing these "helper" files more difficult. Check out what each application has this preference set to (it's under the Media tab in most of the apps' preferences), and perhaps set this to a common directory for all of the apps. Likewise, you might want to enable the "Save Media Cache files next to originals when possible" option, though I've noticed that you'll still occasionally get files thrown into the directory that's set in the options.
Note that you can purge these files at any time without creating any problems, so long as the applications are closed when you do. The applications will recreate any files that they need, so the only thing you'll lose is a bit of time as they're recreated (for example, conformed audio or CFA files). You can also try using the "Clean" button, again located in the Media options of each respective program, though that's for purging the (much smaller) database files that track where cached files are located. Still, it's a good idea to do this now and then. After Effects has a "Clean Database and Cache" button that will presumably do both--any cached files created by After Effects will be deleted, as will their database references.
Finally, in any Explorer window, type in (without the quotes) "%tmp%". This will navigate to your Windows temp folder, that can be full to varying degrees of all kinds of detritus. Simply use Edit > Select All (Ctrl + A) to select all of the files contained therein, and then delete them (be sure to use the Empty Recycle Bin command afterward, or use Shift + Delete to permanently purge the files). This is safe--that's why it's the temp folder. If you get a warning that you can't delete a file, just hit Skip; it's currently in use by Windows and can't be deleted. Note that this is the directory into which Premiere Pro sequences that are sent to AME are copied. If you do a good deal of exporting, you'll definitely want to clean this folder out on a somewhat regular basis.
Hopefully, that'll get you started. This is good maintenance to do on a weekly basis.
They're in your Windows temp directory. Into an Explorer windows location bar, type (without quotes) "%tmp%" and delete everything you find there.
Confirm that I can delete absolutely EVERY FILE in that Temp folder that "%temp%" finds please.... and I will hit the Big Red X
I do it daily
Here goes then...and I will blame you if it goes pear shaped.
Man there are a lot of files and folders in the TEMP FOLDER
Well, it's nothing revolutionary. You have the same option if you use the Disk Cleanup Wizard in Windows. However, this is a lot faster than waiting for that tool to scan a whole bunch of folder locations and files.
I assure you, it's 98.9% safe.
That's as good a guarantee as you can get anywhere, these days.