3 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2012 5:57 PM by John T Smith

    mp4 Video Choppy Preview Playback

    gflare Level 1

      I feel as though I have read every single thread and webpage regarding this issue written since 2010, and I still haven't found any solution to this issue that doesn't include completely re-encoding all my clips prior to using Premiere Elements.  If anyone can provide me some help before I abandon Premire, it would be greatly appreciated.  I purchased Premiere just to do some editing with these clips, if it doesn't work properly for a simple smaller-size mp4 file, my confidence is pretty shattered on the product.


      The Issue:

      I have various small-size mp4 clips, 960x540 30fps that I would like to edit with Premiere Elements 10.  After reading many threads and articles about the video preview playback issues, I've made sure to try pre-rendering, and even using a project video type that is compatible (no red or green lines), all anti-virus is off, and I have nothing else running and no bloatware (I built this PC from parts for gaming years ago).  I find it hard to believe it's this resource intensive to preview this format (even in the extremely crappy quality it tries to).


      I record video from my computer using XFire's video recording tools (think of it like FRAPS, or any other screen-casting & recording program).  Once compressed, the end result are video clips in mp4 format.  Specifically,   960 x 540 , 30fps , 737kbps video with simple 95kbps 44kHz mono audio.  This is not a difficult codec & resolution to work with...  And of course works simple enough in Windows Live Movie Maker (a.k.a. Microsoft Windows Movie Maker - the dead-simple freebie product).  The exact same video, in wmv format output from windows live movie maker, works just fine in Premiere Elements.


      System Info:

      Premiere Elements 10 Retail 64-bit (fully updated)

      Latest version of Quicktime installed for compatibility

      Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

      Intel Core2Quad Q9300

      4GB Ram

      nVidia GeForce 9600 GSO (512MB)



      As I said earlier, any help at all would be great.  Even if you only reply to ask for more info, or to say you have a similar problem.  I have also uploaded one of the mp4 clips for you to try on your copy of PE if that would help troubleshoot this issue.

      Link to sample: http://unitedjs.net/sample.mp4 (and even though I joke about choppy frame-rate, the video is smooth 30fps, you can confirm it in VLC player or any other video player)



        • 1. Re: mp4 Video Choppy Preview Playback
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          General comments...


          Win7 64bit and only 4Gig Ram leaves very little for PreElements to use


          A core 2 CPU is "weak" for decoding highly compressed mp4 video


          You don't mention drives... the EFFECTIVE minimum for video editing is two 7200rpm drives


          So... 8-or-16 Gig Ram will help... a quad core or i7 CPU will help... 2 or 3 hard drives will help


          My 3 hard drives to edit AVCHD (similar compression to mp4) are configured as...


          1 - 320Gig Boot for Win7 64bit Pro and ALL program installs (2)


          2 - 320Gig data for Win7 paging swap file and video project files

          When I create a project on #2 drive, the various work files follow,

          so my boot drive is not used for the media cache folders and files


          3 - 1Terabyte data for all video files... input & output files (1)


          (1) for faster input/output with 4 drives

          - use drive 3 for all source files

          - use drive 4 for all output files


          (2) only 60Gig used, for Win7 & CS5 MC & MS Office & other smaller programs


          Search Microsoft to find out how to redirect your Windows paging swap file



          I do not use RAID... AVCHD is CPU intensive, not drive intensive like uncompressed, so I have no problems editing without RAID (but, this is for "simple" home videos)






          Trying to use only ONE Hard Drive for Video Editing


          You are a music conductor, with a baton that you use to point to various parts of the orchestra... this is like Windows pointing to various parts of the hard drive to do Windows housekeeping or to load program segments for various functions


          Now, at the same time and with the same hand... while still using the baton to conduct the orchestra... pick up a bow and play a fiddle... this would be doing something with your video file at the same time as all the other work


          You as a person cannot do both at the same time with the same hand


          A computer is a LITTLE better, in that it can switch from one kind of task to another very quickly... but not quickly enough for EASY video editing


          You need AT LEAST two hard drives (separate drives, never a partition http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708 for more) with Windows (or Mac OS) and software on your boot drive, and video files on a 2nd drive so the boot drive is not slowed down by trying to do everything


          Partition = Crash http://forums.adobe.com/thread/957286


          I find that the three drives I use work very well for me, for editing AVCHD video... some people use a 4th drive, so video INPUT files are on drive three and all OUTPUT files are on drive four... I only bought a mid-tower case instead of a full tower case (my bad... but had to fit in the space available on my office desk!) so I use the three drives that will fit


          Depending on your exact hardware (motherboard brand & model AND USB2 enclosure brand & model AND external hard drive brand & model) AND the type of video file, you may... or may NOT... be able to use an external USB2 hard drive for SD (Standard Definition) video editing


          Steve Grisetti in the Premiere Elements forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856208 and Jim Simon in the Premiere Pro forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856433 use USB externals for editing


          A USB3 hard drive connected to a motherboard with USB3 is supposed to be fast enough for video editing (I don't have such, so don't know) but eSata DOES have a fast enough data transfer for video editing... I have not used the eSata Dock below... for reference only, YMMV and all the usual disclaimers


          http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-BlacX-eSATA-Docking-Station/dp/B001A4HAFS/ref=cm_cmu_pg_ t

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: mp4 Video Choppy Preview Playback
            gflare Level 1

            Thank you very much for the reply John, it looks like I did accidentally forget some key information in my first post.


            As for hard drive, I'm running this off of an internal SSD on sata2, so there really shouldn't be any bottleneck happening there.  My Projects Drive is a WD Raptor 10,000rpm drive.  I do not use raid arrays at all either, since I'm against using raid with my SSD drives.  All 4 of my drives are internal, and each one is a single partition.


            How is my core2quad a weak CPU ?  I think you mistakenly thought it was an original core2duo, but I have a quad-core Q9300 - It's just the architecture prior to the i5/i7 series.  I know it's not as efficient as an i5 / i7 +, but I still don't quite believe it should have this much trouble with a rather simple mp4 decoding preview playback at low quality in premier.


            My OS install SSD has over 15GB free just in case premiere was some sort of page-file godzilla...


            Thank you for posting information about your current setup, it's very informative... Have you been able to test out my sample file I included in the post?  I'd like to hear whether your system renders the clip in preview smoothly, then I could mimic your project file settings just as an additional test.


            Additionally, I'll update my first post to be a bit more clear & include the hard drive information.

            Thanks, and please any additional help would be great...  I'll check out all the links now to see if that'll get me any closer to a solution.


            Edit: ah, it appears I cannot edit the opening post...  Only replies...   That's not as useful..


            Message was edited by: gflare

            • 3. Re: mp4 Video Choppy Preview Playback
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              >appears I cannot edit the opening post


              Once a post has a reply, it switches to read only mode... and, as far as I know, the 1st post in a thread is read only by default