34 Replies Latest reply on Oct 22, 2009 4:47 PM by Bill Gehrke

    CS4 Unusable in a professional setup

    Rod Power

      I just failed to meet yet another important deadline. I have been struggling with CS4 since it first came out and in my opinion the software is just not stable or reliable.. We are principally independent film makers but do documentary work too. We use the entire suite in our studios. We have had more downtime because of it than any other release of anything that I have ever used and my time dates back to DOS. I have been patient and my investment in the upgrade has made me reluctant to give up on it but quite frankly I have had enough. Even if it does work Premier in particular is far too slow. It is not that I have been trying to use it on an inadequate system my specs are higher than Adobe recommends and the systems are purpose built by professionals. The much vaunted new features just don’t work reliably if at all and it’s a liability to use in a professional capacity. I am looking to replace the entire suite but until then I have reverted to CS3 which although it has its problems at least it performs. This is only my opinion but it is based on experience. The reason I post this is to let Adobe know they have lost yet another customer and perhaps to warn other users what they could be letting themselves in for.

        • 1. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          >post this is to let Adobe know

           

           

          Adobe is not here... this is a USER space provided by Adobe

           

           

          To talk to Adobe go to http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

          do be sure to include all information, so they may reproduce the problem


          Also, work through all of the steps here http://ppro.wikia.com/wiki/Troubleshooting


          If your problem isn't fixed after you follow all of the steps, report back with the DETAILS asked for in the questions at the end of that link

          • 2. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

            Why don't you try running my Adobe Premiere Pro 4.1 benchmark (PPBM) and see if I can spot any problems in your system.  A vast majority of regulars here are not having those kind of problems. Some "systems are purpose built by professionals" are not necessarily truely able to architect Premiere capable systems. .

            • 3. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
              Rod Power Level 1

              I am perfectly aware that this is a user group. That is one of the reasons I have posted here.

              Adobe should be embarrassed in public.

              We spent hours on the phone to tech support and followed every bit of advice they gave us. My equipment is always the first thing that Adobe blamed. It was built by a specialist company who only supply the pros. It also conforms to Adobe's own recommendations. That company who supplied it are just as frustrated as I am. They have stopped using PC's and now supply Mac based broadcast quality solutions. That is the route we will take once we have recouped some of our losses.

              • 4. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                Rod wrote:

                 

                "I just failed to meet yet another important deadline."

                 

                We also use CS4 Production Premium to earn a living. We've had some close calls with deadlines. The kind we can't afford to miss are deadlines related to videos for live meetings. If we missed one of those, we could possibly lose an account. We have a deadline this Wednesday for a corporate marketing video. For this video, I copied a fairly large project to a new hard drive last night using Premiere's Project Manager so that our producer could do some editing on his laptop from home today (Saturday). The project is standard def widescreen with some P2 1080i (MXF crapola) footage mixed in. The project opened once on his laptop, then just spun its wheels when he attempted to open it a second time. I think it may have something to do with the ridiculously long cryptic (program generated) file names given to P2 MXF files by Premiere's Project Manager. I think the creation of peak files adds more characters than Windows allows. Just a guess, who knows. I spent part of my day off today doing over the phone tech support.

                 

                Things can always be worse though. One of the independent film makers who works out of our office told me about the time he was getting some b-roll in a parking lot of an event. One of his crew left his $70,000 camera behind a car. This was the only car that left the lot. The camera was crushed to pieces. The same guy told me of the time he accidentally knocked over an external hard drive that had all of the show masters on it the day before a live staging event. The drive was toast. He had to rebuild everything.

                 

                A producer who works with us told me of the time a cameraman dropped his $80,000 camera off of a bridge into the Detroit river.

                 

                A staging guy told me of the time he was leaving a hotel when a bus ran over a box of beta tapes he borrowed from a major studio.

                 

                Yesterday the owner of the company I work for and I were watching a render take about 30 seconds. He told me about the stress of having a deadline 10 years ago when an Avid would take all night to render, get 98% through the process, then crash. Macs back then would do the same thing. Take forever to render then crash at the end of a 12 hour render.

                 

                Adobe has 4.2 coming out soon.  I hope this update makes our lives a little easier. We're also switching to Windows 7 Professional in a few weeks.

                 

                There seems to always be one challenge or another. I do think things will be getting better. Next time I may wait before jumping into CS5, unless of course it's like going from Vista to Windows 7. We'll wait and see.

                 

                Lastly, we can be thankful we aren't Website designers. I'm currently learning CSS and Website editing in Fireworks and Dreamweaver. You have to enjoy solving mysteries to get into Web Design these days using CSS. The rules, alignment issues, code interaction details and browser compatibility work-arounds get downright ugly.

                 

                • 5. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                  Rod Power Level 1

                  Amusing anecdotes but I just lost that client...

                  • 6. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                    Jim_Simon Level 8

                    The much vaunted new features just don’t work reliably if at all

                     

                    Just out of curiosity, what new features?

                    • 7. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                      genoism Level 1

                      dynamic link probably....it crashes me a lot...

                      • 8. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                        That's not so much a 'new' feature, though.  And you can work around that by using traditional export methods, so even if DL doesn't work, it's hardly a show stopper as Rod claims.  I think it's probably something else he's referring to.

                        • 9. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                          Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                          Back in 2003, we relied on a "hardware expert" because my knowledge of computer components and configuration was very limited back then. I remember watching this so-called computer hardware/system builder expert working on one of our systems on our office carpet, handling static sensitive components without any regard for the fact that even an imperceptible static jolt can ruin a video card, ram, motherboard or hard drive. I also remember an "expert" at the now, out of business, Monarch Computer in Tucker Georgia pulling ram out of our computer without taking any static precautions.

                           

                          Once I realized that there is a huge difference between the quality of components such as power supplies, and discovered our "hardware expert" charged us $100 for a new power supply that was available for purchase online for $19, I decided it was time for me to learn hardware and system building. I have learned in life there is truth to the phrase; "If you want something done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself.

                           

                          As I mentioned earlier in this thread, we are working with a Wednesday deadline for a 20 minute marketing video.  Premiere has crashed continuously throughout the editing process. Premiere CS4 has issues. Since these issues have grown worse over time, I suspect Windows updates could be the culprit.

                           

                          I share some of your frustration. This won't get the client back, but try downloading the trial of Iolo's System Mechanic. It will correct a lot of errors and clean junk files that collect over time. Having our systems properly "tuned" and knowing what's best not to try with the Premiere creative suite has made the difference for us.

                          • 10. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                            the_wine_snob Level 9
                            Amusing anecdotes but I just lost that client...

                             

                            I am not at all sure what you are looking for here.

                             

                            We all understand the missing of deadlines, and the loss of a client.

                             

                            Still, all we have to go on is that you are having unknown problems, with unknown source material, on an unknown system. Not much to work with there.

                             

                            Ditching PC's for Mac's and PrPro for FCP has been a good move for some - not so good for others. It just depends, and I hope that it works for you. You might want to check out the FCP fora, and look at the number of users, who threaten to ditch all things Mac, and move to PrPro. As is often said, "the grass ain't necessarily greener, on the other side of the fence (the Mac-side)."

                             

                            If you're looking for all Adobe users to follow suit, I do not think that you'll get that many takers here, but could be wrong.

                             

                            I wish you luck, but without some real details, no one here can help you.

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                              genoism Level 1

                              I agree with wine sob, I've worked with FCP and despite all of adobes quirks I still prefer it over some really stupid things on the apple side of things.

                              Both programs have issues, to me it seems like premiere is more tolerable.

                              • 12. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                There is one thing with Rod's methodology that is suspicious.  His system was "built by experts" but he refuses to check it out with free help with my offer to check his system with my PPBM benchmark.  It sounds to me like he had his mind made up before posting his gripe.

                                • 13. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                  genoism Level 1

                                  well he kinda stated that from the start. Usually customers that disgruntled just want to vent.

                                  • 14. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                    Rod Power Level 1

                                    I don't have time right now to mess with benchmark tests but will get around to it eventually. If I just wanted to vent I would do it with expletives in the privacy of my own studio. I am in the middle of editing a small feature film have an urgent documentary on the go and several other projects. Having just lost a big client too I am not in the position to sit around complaining. I have looked at Apple and Vegas and even Avid and as stated they are not problem free either. We now have very fast hardware but unfortunately the software can't keep up. Adobe released CS4 prematurely in my opinion. I may get around to listing all its problems - we keep a log of downtime but its not happy reading.

                                    • 15. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                                      I may get around to listing all its problems

                                       

                                      I'd be curious with just a quick overview.  It would take less time than the post from which I quoted.

                                       

                                      Which new features do you find not working?

                                      • 16. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                        tclark513 Level 3

                                        Out of curiosity...what is your hardware setup?

                                        • 17. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                          Were I in the OP's position, if reading the documentation, and then the forum, I would have posted my issues with full disclosure of all specs., in hopes that someone here could help. I probably missed it, but do not recall such.

                                           

                                          Maybe I just go about solving problems differently,

                                           

                                          Hunt

                                          • 18. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                            dradeke Adobe Employee

                                            Rod,

                                             

                                            I'd like to get to the bottom of your problem.  You obviously have had some bad experiences but they're not typical of what most users experience.  Nevertheless, Adobe's goal is to publish the best software possible and you're not seeing it - so let's work on it together.

                                             

                                            As I've stated previously, Adobe tech support is clearly a work in progress right now.  We know it and we're working on it.  I'm sure others can reference my previous post on this.

                                             

                                            Two quick points and I'll leave it at that.

                                             

                                            • If time permits (and it may not) you should lean on several of the users here and heed their suggestions and offers of help.
                                            • Please send me a private message with your contact info and I will either contact you myself or get one of my guys to reach out to you directly. 

                                             

                                            In the meantime, it would be great if you could give more details about the exact problems you're having and what kind of system you are currently using.

                                             

                                            (Hoping for the...) Best,

                                            Dennis

                                            • 19. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                              jabloomf1230 Level 1

                                              Bill,

                                               

                                              Your benchmark link is mistyped (It's got an extra "]" in it by mistake). It should be:

                                               

                                              http://www.ppbm4.com/

                                              • 20. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                Kona Bob Level 2

                                                I've used all the versions of Premiere for the last 10 years.

                                                Countless times I have had it "just not work" and been on the verge of concluding that either the software, or my system was simply fatally flawed in some way. Every single time, with the help available on the forums & elsewhere, it has been sorted out- and usually has come down to something fairly simple: a setting, driver update, a software conflict, etc.

                                                I'm currently using CS4 with an off the shelf Dell, & Cineform Prospect HD. Early on there were nusiance problems with both PP 4.0 and Cineform for CS4. Now, with PP 4.1 & the latest Cineform, it's all magic. I couldn't be more pleased.

                                                I mean, really, it does work!

                                                • 21. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                  Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                  Thank you very much but it is to late for me to edit item 2 above.

                                                  • 22. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                    jabloomf1230 Level 1

                                                    Well, thank you. I've used your benchmark  and I have found it very helpful.

                                                     

                                                    I have to also add here that the vast majority of problems with PP are usually traced back to ill-behaved 3rd party codecs and plug-ins. For me, PP CS3 is rock solid and lightning fast under Vista x64 with Cineform Propect HD. There is no Cineform real time preview engine yet for CS4, but PP CS4 + Cineform is also very usuable. The RT engine for CS4 is epected to be out next month, so with the updates to Windows 7 and PP CS4 4.2, I suspect that things will get even better.

                                                    • 24. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                      Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                      Thank you Jeff, I rely heavily on the spell checker (except some times you can not turn it off) of course it does no good on URL's

                                                      • 25. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                        Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                                        I was up and at the office till 1:00 AM this morning, but did make the Wednesday deadline I mentioned in an earlier post. At 10:00 PM last night I had already made the DVD master for duplication. While in the middle of watching the 20 minute long presentation for problems, I received a call from our producer, letting me know that the client emailed him with a minor change that needed to be made. So back to editing and exporting from Premiere. The first try with video master-phase two, Media Encoder cut off about 30 seconds at the beginning of the video for some unknown reason. At first I thought I had the work area improperly defined. It turns out to be a computer/software error. I shut the system down and restarted.  This time the export went fine.

                                                         

                                                        Our systems aren't perfect by any means. The system the Marketing video is on is XP Pro with 4GB ram and a Q6600 processor. Our editing systems are constantly used, so a pretty good deal of maintenence details slip through the cracks. Even with a less than optimal system, using a little good-sense workflow practice, we manage to squeak by.

                                                         

                                                        One good thing that has come out of this is, I got the OK to design and build two new systems. I want to use very fast SSD's for the system drives in these two new machines. I get home last night at around 1:30AM to find a copy of Maximum PC on the kitchen table that arrived in the mail. I read an article related to a new WD Caviar Black 2TB. According to Maximum PC this Drive is faster than their Raptor.

                                                         

                                                        I'm not sure who besides Kingston has 4GB DDR3 modules. They are currently way too expensive, so we will probably stick with 8GB ram (4, 2GB) in the new computers.

                                                        • 26. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                                                          we will probably stick with 8GB ram (4, 2GB) in the new computers.

                                                           

                                                          If you're going to build new, definitely go with an i7, which uses triple channel memory - 3GB, 6GB, 12GB, etc.

                                                          • 27. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                            Charles,  we are getting off subject here but I have found less than 1% performance improvement with my Win7 PPBM benchmark over a Velociraptor using a Patriot Torx M28 128 GB SSD which is in the very high performance category.

                                                            • 28. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                              Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                                              My less expensive Gigabyte board on my home system has an odd 4 slots. Four slots on the brain...For the systems at work, we will definitely go with a board that has 6 slots. 12GB of Ram should make a huge difference. We'll most likely go with Intel. Supposedly the 32nm "Westmere" processor is due out at the end of the year. I might be smart to wait on that.

                                                               

                                                              Dennis has mentioned an AMD solution that works well with Premiere.  I know AMD is struggling for its life. The recent release of the Nvidia killer; Radeon HD 5870 is a good example of their determination. It would be nice if they put some focus on us Premiere video editors. I have always felt that a good graphics processor could some way be leveraged to our advantage. I think currently, it still holds true for the most part that the graphics card has little positive impact upon Premiere video editing speed.

                                                              • 29. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                                Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                                                Bill:

                                                                 

                                                                I thought it would be better than that. I was encouraged by an article I read in the last issue of Maximum PC that reported a fairly substantial speed improvement in Premiere Pro CS3. From the reports I have read, supposedly the computer boots faster anyway. These drives are still fairly expensive, but there is a lot of competition and the prices are falling.

                                                                • 30. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                                  Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                                                  Here is a quote from the ssd review I referred to in my previous post:

                                                                   

                                                                  "The Patriot Torqx is a standard 2.5-inch drive, but an included adapter helps it fit into 3.5-inch desktop drive bays.

                                                                  Once we got the drive into our test system, it performed like a dream, with average sustained read speeds of 205.4MB/s—virtually identical to our champion, the Intel X25-M. But the Torqx really brings home the bacon in the write speed test: Sustained write transfer speeds were a whopping 175MB/s, 16 percent faster than the previous champ, the Samsung 256GB MLC SSD (reviewed in August, retailing as the Corsair P256) and nearly three times as fast as the Intel X-25M’s 64MB/s. And although average random-write response times were slightly slower than the Samsung or Intel drives, we’re talking a few tenths of a millisecond here—still an order of magnitude faster than the Western Digital VelociRaptor, our magnetic-drive speed champion. The Torqx also proved superior in our Premiere Pro CS3 encoding test, beating the Samsung by nearly five minutes, and the Intel by one minute."

                                                                   

                                                                  Full Article at MaximumPC.com

                                                                  • 31. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                                    I am a Maximum PC subscriber.  And while they are a reliable source, if you wanted to build a machine running XP and Adobe CS3 it might be valid data (as Harm has said previously).  My benchmarking is with Win7 64, and CS4.  Incidently, their HDtach Average Sustained Transfer Rate Read (MB/s) for the Patriot is 205.4, if you put it on a real controller (Areca) this is what you get:

                                                                    Win7-SSD.jpg

                                                                    I stand by my less than 1% performance improvement on my PPBM benchmark with this SSD as the OS device. for about half the price of a 150 GB Velociraptor.

                                                                     

                                                                    I have found 2 each 1 TB drives in RAID 0 to be faster on my PPBM benchmark than the SSD for the project disk.

                                                                    • 32. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                                      Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                                                      Bill wrote:

                                                                       

                                                                      "I stand by my less than 1% performance improvement on my PPBM benchmark with this SSD as the OS device."

                                                                       

                                                                      I'm not questioning your results with Windows 7 - 64. You make a valid point... Is it worth the extra cost of an SSD for a 1% performance gain in Premiere CS4?

                                                                       

                                                                      Out of the gate, maybe not. As updates improve the performance of this new OS release as they did with Vista, benchmarks should impove. I believe solid state, is the future of hard drives. In the near future, perhaps only cost effective for system drives.

                                                                       

                                                                      I read in various places in forums of people comparing Windows start-up times... 2 Raptors on Raid 0 vs SSD. I commonly read of boot times cut by better than half.

                                                                       

                                                                      I appreciate you posting the benchmark. I 'm glad to receive additional information.

                                                                      • 33. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                                                                        I stand by my less than 1% performance improvement on my PPBM benchmark with this SSD as the OS device.

                                                                         

                                                                        I haven't tried the benchmark yet, but assuming it follows good editing practice and doesn't use the OS drive for anything, your results aren't surprising.  However, the purpose of a really fast OS drive would be to boot up and start programs faster, not to improve Premiere's performance.  If the SSD outperforms in those areas, and the funds are available, why the hell not get one?

                                                                        • 34. Re: CS4 Unusable in a professional setup
                                                                          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                                          Jim, I completely agree.  I just want people to be fully aware that it does not appear to be cost effective today for either speeding up Adobe Premiere processing when they are used for the OS or for the project.

                                                                           

                                                                          Incidentally, and Harm can confirm this, booting up the computer with an Areca controller--the OS boot time is much less than the Areca initialization.