I'm using Premiere Elements 2019 to process video files from a Sony HXR-NX100 camcorder. This camera saves video as a series of 10-minute-long .MTS files, and my videos are 30 to 70 minutes long (therefore several .MTS files). The objective is to edit and post the videos to our YouTube channel in a 1080p format.
When I import the files into Premiere Elements, the program hangs part way through "conforming" the files -- it gets through maybe the first 10-minute segment or so, and then freezes in "conforming" at some percent of a later segment. This happens when I let Premiere Elements import the video from the SD card (it copies them to my hard drive), use Organizer to copy the files into an album on the hard drive, or manually copy the entire SD file structure to the hard drive and have PrE pull it from there.
This problem only started happening about a month ago, after a Premiere Elements patch (not an update to 2020). Before that, once I had learned to import from a file structure that reproduces the SD card's metadata and folder structure, it all worked OK.
After the problem started, my work-around has been to convert the .MTS segment files to .mp4 files with Handbrake and then import those. Once the segments are assembled in Premiere Elements, it is necessary at each join point to delete about 17 to 20 frames of silent audio, and a like number of black (or frozen-image) video frames but with the start of the video deletion offset about 15 frames past the start of the silent audio. I must usually unlink the audio and video tracks to make the necessary cuts, but this operation, combined with some delete-with-merge, gives appropriate continuity of the subject matter.
But we have more problems: A video file prepared in this way and then exported as an .mp4 file, seems to be corrupted in some way that causes YouTube uploads to stall at a particular percent uploaded (sey, 44%) and start the upload over again from the beginning. YouTube will do this any number of times with the file.
Running the Premiere Elements final .mp4 file through VLC gives a much smaller (and, I assume, lower-fidelity) .mp4 file which does upload to YouTube -- but this is a piss-poor solution. In fact, the need to render the .MTS files to .mp4 (Handbrake, requiring 2.5x the recording time to complete the job; doing all the cleanup at the join points; and re-rendering Premiere Elements' .mp4 file with VLC) turns editing a 1-hour video into an all-day ordeal.
Uninstalling Premiere Elements and reinstalling the original software download from a year ago also did not fix the problem.
(I was ready to punt Premiere Elements and give Corel VideoStudio Pro [$39.99] a try, but its install file rejected the furnished license key in a was that three separate Corel techs could not explain or fix after remoting in.)
Any advice on this? I could go ahead and spend the money for Premiere Elements 2020, but I am reluctant to throw close to $100 at an update of the same program in hopes that the problem will disappear. Jumping up to Premiere Pro and paying close to a thousand dollars for a year-long "real" support package is out of the question.
I am thoroughly frustrated with Adobe's product, and I don't see any good alternatives. Any effective help would be greatly appreciated.
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SD cards have a format limitation of 4GB files. My Sony and Panasonic AVCHD cameras are forced to record in multiple files when recording long video clips. With both there are a lot of "support" files on the cards beyond the primary MTS files. Software was provided with my cameras that was designed to do many things unique to the cameras including seamless joining of the 4GB into a larger, editable file. I presume the support files were part of the process.
When I bought my Sony camera, the software to do this was called "Play Memories". Try using it, or whatever Sony gave you with the NX100, to move files from your SD card to your computer. If it works like mine did, you will get a single, large file that is editable in any video software.
Unfortunately, although the PlayMemories Home software on my PC recognizes
that an SD card is present, it does not recognize anything on the card,
either with the card in the camera with a USB connection, or in the SD slot
of the PC itself. Windows 10 can see the files, but not PMHOME.
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".....the PlayMemories Home software on my PC ....does not recognize anything on the card"
Sony does not intentionally deliver a camera that can't record a seamless "30 to 70 minute" video. There are too many school concerts and grandkid piano recitels for that. If it is not PlayMemories, it is something else. A workflow through Handbrake, VLC or whatever is not it! If it were me with an (amazing!) NX-100, I would be reading the Sony books or cruising the Sony websites. There needs to be a Sony way of knitting the recorded chunks together before the video goes into a third party editor like Premiere Elements.
Well, we have won half the battle -- thank you, whsprague, for pointing me to Sony-related sites. I found out that our HXR-NX100 can record in XAVC-S format, which generates a single MP4-compatible file. This file imported directly into Premiere Elements without problems.
BUT -- the rendered H.264 output still will not upload to YouTube. As it did before, the upload progress goes OK up to a point, and then starts over, and on and on. So as a work-around to meet my deadlines, I am re-rendering the video through VLC to another H.264 file. So far, this step has consistently produced uploadable output from un-uploadable Premiere Elements renders.
However, it would be nice to avoid this step. The time needed for the VLC re-rendering process is about 2.5 times the original video length on my i5-equipped laptop -- a significant impairment to next-morning turnaround of hour-long videos.
Is there a render setting in Premiere Elements that may have changed with the November program update (which is when the problems started), that could be causing this?
"BUT -- the rendered H.264 output still will not upload to YouTube."
The easy way should be to upload directly from within Premiere Elements. However that is not the most reliable. There is too much hidden from the user and the engineers writing the Premiere Elements code can't predict protocol changes at YouTube.
The reliable way is to output a common MP4 file that uses the H.264 codec. Review that file and then use YouTube's standard uploader as a separate function. Total time may even be less due to YouTube efficiencies.
If you are already outputing a finished file, can play it and it gets stuck, there is a YouTube or Internet connection issue.