A steak on the barbeque does not take as long as a stew dish in the oven. So what are you preparing? What source material and what destination with what settings on what hardware under what OS with which version, to name a few questions.
Thank You for your response and forgive me if I appear an amateur.. I'll try to answer some of your questions as best as possible.. My source material is shot on a Microsoft LifeCam - a HD webcam. The clips are between 2 and 4 minutes shot at the resolution size of 320 x 240.. Usually between 5 and 20Mb. I take them through a network and import them into my computer - I'm working at work for a big corporation - we have built a website and are trying to get these clips online within an hour. The actual edits are quite minimal, just trimming the beginning and end, addition of some cross-dissolves, and a couple titles. Nothing fancy..
I am working on Windows XP. Can you clarify your questions regarding hardware and destination?
The render is taking about 20 minutes and the export maybe 30... Yet, this was not always so... When I had the trial edition of APP, it all went smoothly. Perhaps my sequence settings are messed up now. I really don't know. I understand that it is best to use settings that match my source, but that was giving me issues so I had been using the Desktop feature, choosing 720 x 480, Square Pixels and in the end I would just crop the video to my 320 x 240 size during export. And it all seemed to work fine until I bought the full version of CS4. I'm really at a loss.
To make it worse.. after 30 minutes of exporting using AME, the WMV file does not work as there is an error message sayign that there was a delay...
Every pixel has to be recalculated with your workflow. That takes lots of time. The problem is that you start with 720 x 480 square pixels and export to 320 x 240. Try with a 320 x 240 preset for the sequence, so at least you avoid the cropping and recoding of every pixel.
Okay, lll set up a new sequence using the 320 x 240 under the 'Desktop' option. I suppose its best to stick with the 29.97 F?S. How about Pix. Espect Ratio? Square Pixels is okay? Im not too sure about Fields Settings.. What about Video Previews? I-Frame Only MPEG or Microsoft AVI? and the Codec?!? any thougts on what is best to use?
again, thanks for your time and help
Your webcam will probably record with square pixels and the frame rate and resolution are what you set it to. Ideally your sequence setting matches exactly what was recorded. Maybe is was 15 fps, but check that in the manual of your webcam.