First, convert them to DV-AVI Type II (or another editable format/CODEC). Also, be ready to live with the loss in quality of that delivery-only format.
PS - welcome to the forum!
I hate it when you run into limitations like this.
I really never know what a client is gonna give me as far as media goes, so I like to be able to just throw whatever it is onto my timeline and GO.
Sony Vegas is the only NLE that I've seen that truly doesn't care what size or type of file you feed it. As long as the CoDec is on your computer... 9 out of 10 times, Vegas will open it.
I keep Vegas close at since a lot of other NLE's require you to 'Conform' your media to some certain spec.
Maybe some day Adobe will truly be able to Open and Play more media types without first requiring you to reWrap it. Until then, you'll have to Transcode your file to something Premiere will Import & Edit.
I am with you, as I get handed all sorts of "stuff." I have a normal workflow, with about anything but DV-AVI (I only do SD for now), and that is do a batch conversion with DigitalMedia Converter. I have also found that some other NLE's are more lenient, regarding odd CODEC's. I have used PrElements, CyberLink PowerDirector (does DivX pretty well, with the CODEC installed) and Magix MovieProducer Pro.
Still, PrPro is my NLE of choice by a great stretch, and I just use the others as tools to get the media in the proper form. I have been amazed at the spectrum of formats/CODEC's that people come up with, but also by how well (when you factor out those heavily compressed deliver-only format/CODEC's and the quality loss) I can convert, and then edit some of this stuff.
It's just the way that it goes. It's like the client, who comes in with a DVD, created in some DVR unit, and wants it edited and shipped off on another DVD. Quality loss with 2x MPEG-2 Transcodes, and the first VOB is going to also have cr*p Menus and navigation, that I have to rip around. Still, the job gets done.
With the Moyea FLV Importer for Premiere, I can even edit that junk, when they pull something off of YouTube (only if the © issues can be handled).
Good luck, and sorry for the bad news. PrPro is very sensitive to the CODEC's that it will edit with. Others, well not so much, but who would want to edit with them?
[Edit] PS - I have never been able to Export to Xvid, though I can Export to DivX just fine. Xvid hangs PrPro, and PrE too.
Message was edited by: Bill Hunt - Added [Edit]