Adding visual timecode to audio-only media

New Here ,
Apr 27, 2017 Apr 27, 2017

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Hi all,

I have a bunch of old audio files of lectures that I need to send out for transcription, but the company is requiring visual timecode on the file itself. So, I figure that's easy enough to do in Media Encoder by checking the box for Timecode Overlay in the export setting. It shows that it will apply in the Output window when I'm adjusting the effect, but when I do the export, I get black video over the audio but no timecode overlaid.

Is there some checkbox I'm missing that will make this effect stick, or since there's no video am I not able to use this effect?

EDIT: This is weird, but a decent workaround (hoping for an actual answer). When I take the output file from the first attempt at adding timecode, and then run it through the exact settings again, it seems to work. I wonder if it has anything to do with there not being any video to attach it to in the first export.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Employee , May 01, 2017 May 01, 2017
Hi so I've done some digging and it seems like it's not a problem on your end – I was able to reproduce the issue on my end as well. I'm making a note of it so our team can look into it.In the mean time, I think your best workaround would be what you already said – processing the files again through AME. Or, doing them in Premiere like I mentioned.Thanks for letting us know about this issue!Matt

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Adobe Employee ,
May 01, 2017 May 01, 2017

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Hi, that's an interesting problem! I'm going to do some looking into the issue on my end but I would assume what is happening is that the timecode effect is expecting there to be some kind of input frame to put itself on, but since you are starting with audio only media there are no frames coming in. So, there is nothing for the timecode effect to be burned into, and after the effects stage of transcoding the system is creating black frames which is why when you run it again through Media Encoder it works – this time there are black frames already existing at the start.

So that I can test exactly as you are on my end could you tell me what kind of media the audio is? MP3/WAV/AAC for example? And also it would be great to know what format you are trying to export to.

Either way, I would approach a problem like this with Premiere Pro instead of Adobe Media Encoder. In Premiere you can create a new sequence, put your audio in it, and then create a Black Video clip to put in the timeline above your audio. Then you can apply a Timecode effect to the Black Video clip, and export from there.

Cheers,

Matt

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New Here ,
May 01, 2017 May 01, 2017

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Definitely a weird issue! The original audio files (oddly) are in AAC mono in an m4a wrapper, and I was trying to go to AVC MP4 (though it can really be any modern codec/wrapper).

As far as using Premiere to do this, it's still time-saving as far as actual man hours to go through Media Encoder twice than to manually make sequences and cut in black video over each file then send them to Media Encoder. So, even if there's not an actual answer, I at least have this workaround for now which does the trick.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 01, 2017 May 01, 2017

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Hi so I've done some digging and it seems like it's not a problem on your end – I was able to reproduce the issue on my end as well. I'm making a note of it so our team can look into it.

In the mean time, I think your best workaround would be what you already said – processing the files again through AME. Or, doing them in Premiere like I mentioned.

Thanks for letting us know about this issue!

Matt

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Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2017 Nov 01, 2017

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Old topic, but I wanted to add my related issue to this.  I'm trying to do a still image overlay to an audio only file and export as MP4.  It will add black video on the output, but ignore the image overlay.  If I try the same thing on the new exported file with black video, it will add it.  It seems encoder will have an issue with adding an overlay if there is no video present on the source file, but it will add black video.

Any file with video overlays properly.

Tested in both 2017 and 2018 versions.

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