First of all, this is what I'm using:
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU
8 gigs of RAM
External 2TB drive, internal 1TB drive (for media only)
Windows Vista, 64-bit
Adobe Premiere Pro CS4
First question, what is a good media player to play back MTS and M2TS files? I know there are several of them that come recommended on various sites, but I'm interested in knowing which ones to trust, which ones have the best options, and which ones some of you have had good luck with.
But my biggest problem is that a recent client gave me some very large files with which to work, and it's been like trying to shove an elephant through a drinking straw. They gave me an external hard drive with a ton of AVCHD footage on it (1440 x 1080, 29.97). No problem...I thought. They wanted to use the footage for a time lapse sequence of a big construction job of a unique dome they're building. The way they had described it to me, they were going to record the site over a long period of time, programming the camera to capture a few seconds every few hours.
Well, someone screwed the pooch. The camera was turned on almost every day, but they let the thing run all day! So, some of these files are over 30 gigs, and it's been murder trying to import them and get them to play. As I expected, it was pointless to try to use the external hard drive as a source since it's not even firewire but USB, and getting the files to play back in PP was not a good experience; I could practically hear the drive choking to death. But even when I transferred a couple of large files to my internal terabyte, they still played back terribly in PP, in both the viewer and on the timeline. When I moved the sequence marker, it would hang up the system for long periods of time, and then playback was choppy at best.
I imagine it could be processor speed - or lack thereof. I know a quad would be better, but I've played back smaller MTS files with no problem, and right now getting more processor speed isn't an option - if that's even the main problem. The thing that adds insult to injury is that this project is going to mix SD (DVCAM, I think) with this AVCHD, so I don't even think shooting the timelapse stuff in HD was even necessary (they had a small Sony camera they wanted to use). I know I could convert the m2ts files to AVIs or something like that, but that would take forever since I'm going to need to use a little chunk of each file (to edit the time lapse).
So, my second question is, is it possible to carve up these large files somehow, so that I can import smaller files into PP and use the (source) viewer in PP to scan the footage more easily? Like I said, it's been difficult to scan a 7-hour, 35 gig clip without missing something and/or hanging up the system. I don't have that problem with smaller source files. Unfortunately, I have a feeling carving up these m2ts isn't possible without converting the files to another format....?
I don't know, maybe it isn't the files and it has something else to do with my computer. But I've been editing SD without much trouble at all, and also some HD (with smaller files), so something tells me these files are just too big. My drive is 7200 rpm, and I don't have anything else on this computer except some other Adobe stuff (PowerPoint, Reader; the "garbage" is minimal. Anybody have any ideas? Thanks in advance.