Are you talking about when you choose the option to Share to Personal Computer? Yes, it does default to My Documents and you must browse to a different location. I don't think there's anything you can do about it though. Sorry.
<<Are you talking about when you choose the option to Share to Personal Computer?..>> No just when I open up a new project. Some programs allow you to specify where files will be saved.
When you open Premiere Elements 4 and get to the new project dialog, besides designating the project preset (Change Settings), there is a Save In: area including a Browse button. You can browse to your external hard drive and save your project (.prel file) there. In addition, if you have your Scratch Disks (Edit Menu/Preferences/Scratch Disks) directed to the same folder with "Same As Project" set in Preferences/Scratch Disks, you will end up with the project (.prel file) plus all the scratch files all in the same folder on the external hard drive.
I have always found that, after I save, close, and reopen Premiere Elements 4 or 7 or 8, that new project dialog has retained the previous project Save In: setting.
Does all that not happen when you are working with Premiere Elements 4? Or, have I also mistargeted your question?
Thank you ATR, that's basically what I do. I wasw wondering if there was a simpler way, apparently there is not.
My personal workflow, with new Projects, is as follows:
1.) Create new Project folder (in many cases on one of my FW-800 external HDD's to allow for working on them on several computers).
2.) Create new sub-folders for Video, Audio, Stills, Finished AVI's, Finished Audio, etc. below that Project folder.
3.) Locate all Scratch Disks to "Same as Project." [Default in Edit>Preferences]
This structure then allows me to manage each Project from its root folder.
There is a bit of pre-planning, and manual work, but it has worked fine for me.
Thanks Hunt. I generally set up a new project folder on my external hard drive using the "Save In" window. I can browse over to the external hard drive and use the New Diretory feature. I'll have to try the sub directories you suggested.
I just thought it would be a nice feature for the program to default to the external hard drive.
Unfortunately, I do not know of a way to "lock" the New Project's location to a particular HDD. One reason for this is that most will want to locate the Project to a Project root folder, or maybe even to a sub-folder of, say a Premiere_Projects root folder.
Now, a couple of considerations with external HDD's:
1.) if you have almost any other peripherals, that could be assigned a drive letter, you would be well-served to set the drive letter for your external(s) in the OS, so that it always shows with the same drive letter, regardless of what else might be plugged-in. If you shuttle your Projects between machines, as I do, then you will want to set the same exact drive letter in the OS of each computer. I put a removable label on each external, so I always know if I am hooking up my Z:\ drive, or my Y:\ drive.
2.) USB 2.0 connections have been problematic for many. I had tons of Delayed Write Failures with those, plus their speed is horribly slow. Now, I use these only for archival storage and not really for editing. I moved to FW-400, but still found these to be too slow for me to edit to/from. With FW-800 (using a multi-chip ExpressCard), I could at last fluidly edit to/from the external. Using eSATA would be even faster.
Thanks. Based on your comments I will try creating he directory on my c: drive. I will do all my editing there and see how the speed goes. When finished I will move the directory to the external drive for storage. Since I only work on one program at a time this should work.
One consideration is that if one has all things on the C:\, OS, Page File, programs, media and Project, then the computer is working overtime to get all the data read and written. This is one big reason to have multiple internal HDD's (or very fast externals).
In an ideal world, I'd suggest similar to the following for allocation of internal HDD's:
C:\ OS, programs and maybe Page File*
D:\ media files
E:\ Project files
* Some will find an improvement in performance if they have a dedicated HDD (maybe even a RAID) for the Page File, meaning four internal HDD's and more if one is in any zero version of RAID.
On my workstation, I also have separate internal HDD's for all Audio and for Exports too.
Now, I give up some performance, when I use FW-800 externals, because I have all media, Projects, Render files, etc., on the external, but this allows me to move my entire Projects between computers. I can detect the slowdown, but can live with it in the name of portability.