Bad news for you: The bottleneck is the effect. Temporal effects always work linearly, chewing away one frame at a time while analysing strictly linear forward and backward. That being so, footage I/O is a neglectible factor. More RAM might allow the analysis to hold more frames in memory and thus be a bit more efficient, but it won't do miracles. You really only could improve this with a better processor, but even then, since most temporal effects cannot be parallelized and thus are not safe for multiprocessing, it might not make much of a difference if you have the latest 12 Core MacPro... It's really inherent in how this all works compounded by the fact that a G5 is underpowered by today's standards plus it cannot make use of accelerated processing by ways of graphics cards, too, which would also hugely help if you e.g. used Magic Bullet Denoiser. You're really a victim of circumstance. As for file corruption issues - render to image sequences and assemble them in a second pass (which would be reasonably fast after the initial processing)! The amount of footage you are processing in one go is quite huge and there is any number of things that can interfere. The status bar update is anotehr thing, but might simply be a glitch in the UI or the plug-in not correctly communicating its processing status to AE.
ok well, I guess thats not what I wanted to hear but as long as its not something Im doing wrong, I guess we just let it run its course. and its nice to hear that throwing more money at it will not really help.
I was worried that it was the output format that I selected. I chose Mp4 for DVD I hope thats a good enough output.
If you export to MP4, you may see a shift in color. H.264 seems to have an issue with color fidelity in a lot of situations, including when rendering from After Effects. Currently I am rendering to an intermediate format and then using a third party encoder to transcode to MPEG4.