If you are working with SD material, I would suggest one of the two following workflows:
1.) Capture in PrPro CS3
2.) Capture in iMovie as MOV. using the Animation CODEC.
There is nothing to be gained, and much to be lost using MP4. It is highly compressed and will require much to decode it for editing.
I am assuming that you are on a Mac, hence my lack of reference to DV-AVI Type II. Now, if you ARE on a PC, then definitely Capture to CS3, and use DV-AVI Type II.
Thanks for the quick reply.
I am actually using a PC. The files were delivered to me from imovie in MPEG from the mac.
So at this point I have the files and no access to re-do things. So the question is where do I go from here.
Since this is what I have.
OK, not my choice of workflows, but... I assume that the MP4's are H.264 encoded. There are many of these. Three common ones are Lead, MainConcept and Apple. Some find that one works better than the others. These are not the ONLY versions, but are common. You might want to explore others, depending on which one you have installed. G-Spot can tell you which you have.
Next, you can Render your Timeline, to get things as smooth as possible.
Note that the MP4 files are heavily compressed already. Quality has been lost, and there is nothing that can be done about that. When you Export to, say DVD, you will recompress that material, and loose even more.
In the future, have your Mac-person do the Capture to .MOV [Animation CODEC]. Or, do it yourself to DV-AVI Type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio.
Not sure of any other ways to get the MP4's playing more smoothly. Much will depend on both your CPU and on your system's I/O sub-system, i.e. your HDD's, their size, speed, controller type and how they are utilized.
The files were delivered to me from imovie in MPEG from the mac.
Tell the client you need the original tapes. What they gave you is simply unworkable.