Many times the problems with audio and vidoe with MPEGs you output from Premiere Elements are related to our source files. What did you use for source files when you created your Premiere Elements project?
MPEGs make some of the worst source file, since they sometimes contain audio codecs that Premiere Elements doesn't transcode well.
But in your case it sounds like something else may be at work. The fact that the files play well on some computers and not on others may well be related to the codecs you have installed on your machine. It's less likely to be that Premiere Elements produced flawed MPEGs.
BTW, in most cases you won't want to output MPEGs if you plan to use them later in a Premiere Elements project. As I say in my books, the best file format for outputting files that you will later use in a Premiere Elements project is the DV-AVI (Share/Personal Computer/AVI), since the program works with this file format natively.
There is a great, free utility, G-SPOT, that will give you a lot of info on your files. I would run one of the problem MPEG's, through G-Spot and post a screen-cap of the screen. This ARTICLE will give you some background.
What settings were used to create those MPEG's?
I am with Steve, that it sounds like a CODEC is missing on some machines. At one time, MS shipped and installed most of the common CODEC's with the OS. With Vista, MS cut way back on those, and for some flavors of Vista, one had to download the MS Vista CODEC pack.* Not sure exactly how things are working in Win7, but I believe that MS also has a Win7 CODEC pack for download and installation. I would go to the MS site, and see what is available for each OS version that you have.
For some general info on CODEC's, this ARTICLE might be useful.
I am also in agreement with Steve, that if one is doing an Export/Share, with the intention of doing more editing with files, MPEG is a poor choice of format, as the files will be heavily compressed, loosing quality. If one then produces a DVD from those files, there will be a second compression, loosing even more quality. Better choices would be DV-AVI Type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio for SD material, or perhaps the Lagarith Lossless CODEC (free) for either SD, or HD material. These will produce files that are easy to edit, and with the DV-AVI, only slightly compressed with minimal loss in quality, and with Lagarith, minimally compressed, with zero loss in quality.
* I am not a fan of various CODEC "packs," and the only ones that I would install would be from MS. With others, there are usually hacked, or reverse-engineered CODEC's, and often they will overwrite commercial CODEC's, that the user has purchased. Also, most will also install other elements, like FFDShow, which can cause real issues with Adobe programs, and are tough to completely remove. I only will install CODEC's, that are needed, when needed, and then will try to go to the source for those. Free is nice, but often comes at a great price on the other end. I buy my CODEC's for the creators and install those, as is needed.
My sources are DVDs, from which I had only the VOB files. Some of the problem DVDs had a brief message about indexing and conforming audio. These DVDs were made by my son-in-law on some machine that made DVDs from tapes played on his camcorders. I would normally use the original or an AVI copy of it. The analog tape data is now only available from the VOB files. Some of the later digital data, I can go back and get from the tapes. My real worry is about ongoing problems. I have had no problems with the AVIs, but the are 4 times the size. I had thought to end up with mpgs on files that I never plan to edit again. My longer goal is to put copies on removeable drives like 1TB WD passport, which I can put in the safety depoist box.
In terms of being sure that these files can be played, does Adobe have download for codec that work with the files PRE8 generates?
I have just upgraded from PSE 8 to CS5 and am thinking to buy a new box. I am not a big video user, but am upgrading my Nikon D80 to a D90, which can take HD vid. I am thinking I will get an Intel I7, Win7-64. I think I can afford 8-12GB ram. I guess for the video , should think about at least two HDs. Is a stand alone NVIDIA needed for Photoshop, or mainly for the video? That seems to bump up the size of the power supply.
This is tough on an old guy, so any help would be great.
OK, this ARTICLE will give you some background on MPEG-2's from VOB's.
Now, the Conforming is a necessary step to allow for very accurate editing. This is a two-part process, with the CFA (Conformed Audio) files being created, and then the PEK (Waveform Display) files being created. One must wait for this to complete, prior to doing any editing, especially with those particular files. The Indexing is a process to get the MPEG-2 files ready for Frame-accurate editing, and also needs to be allowed to complete. The MPEG-2 files are in GOP format, and this ARTICLE will give more details on what that means.
If one begins editing these Assets, prior to the completion of the Indexing and Conforming, then issues will arise. On some computers, it is best to Import, and then just take a break, until the progress bar has disappeared from the lower-right of the GUI. I recommend not even touching the computer, until this completes. For me, it's just a cup of coffee (decaf when I am editing, of course... ).
Once you have Imported these MPEG-2's, if you do intend to ever edit with them again, I would choose either the DV-AVI, or the Lagarith. The files WILL be larger at ~ 13GB/hour, but that will save a compression step later on.
With the problem files, it might be easiest to just Import those VOB's again, make sure that all Indexing and Conforming is complete, and then edit them again. Troubleshooting those 3 files might well take much more time, than just redoing the work.
So you are saying I shouldnt be doing online Suduku's while I am loading the VOBs? Sigh. Well I did run Gspot on the failing files and it said all the codec are there. I am redoing them on another box as we speak. Thanks for the help.
So you are saying I shouldnt be doing online Suduku's while I am loading the VOBs?
Only if you are good at Suduku! Actually, depending on the number of Imported VOB's, their Duration, and the speed of your computer, it should not take that long, but do be patient. I'd Import all three, go get that cup of coffee, and check on the dog, then when I returned, they would be complete and ready to go. While I do not work with MPEG-2's as source files that often, last time I did similar, it was about 3 mins. to complete the Indexing and the Conforming for 4 ~ 1GB VOB's. Again, some of that will depend on the speed of the computer, and I was on my workstation, so it's still pretty quick with plenty of HDD's, spreading the workload well. Just a guess, but I'd speculate that my laptop would have taken less than 5 mins., so the time is not that bad.
Good luck, and hope that this fixes those problem files.
This is Microsoft's warning, concerning codec packs, from their Codecs FAQ:
Use caution when installing codecs that you find on the Internet, particularly some of the free codec packs that claim to include codecs from a wide variety of companies or organizations. Incompatibilities are known to exist with some of the components in these codec packs that can cause serious playback issues in the Player and other players, lead to system corruption, and make it difficult for Microsoft Support to diagnose and troubleshoot playback issues. For these reasons, we strongly discourage you from installing these codec packs, and recommend that you remove them if you have installed them and you are having problems with the Player. Install only codecs, filters, or plug-ins from trusted, authorized sources, such as the website of the official supplier. Even then, use caution: some codec suppliers offer minimal customer support. Before installing any digital media components, set a system restore point. The restore point enables you to return to your original system configuration, if necessary.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
Glad that MS has gotten on board with this. While some users seem to have good luck with certain CODEC packs, like K-Lite, others have had nothing but issues. That is why I shy from any/all such CODEC packs (except the ones from MS), and only buy the CODEC's that I need, when I need them.
Thanks for that MS document,
So if the raw video footage I transfer from my DVD camera to my laptop are in mpg format, do you recommend I convert all of them to DV-AVI first before I do any editing in PrE8 to optimize final video quality after burning? If yes, do I use PrE8 to convert each file to DV-AVI format (I assume Organize/GetMedia/PC Files and Folders/drag to timeline/Share/AVI/Save)?
Thanks for any direction...