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Complex Edit List: What is it, and how can I modify or remove it?

New Here ,
Dec 18, 2018

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Hello, everyone.

While happily editing a number of corporate product videos, I stumbled upon an issue importing a .mov file recorded by a Mac laptop desktop recorder. On importing the .mov file, Premiere Pro CC reported that the file could not be imported because it "contains a complex edit list". This has not occurred previously with .mov files recorded on the same laptop.

There are other threads here that attempt to provide advice, but predictably devolve into pedantics, pseudophilosophy, pseudo-best practices, judgment, fanboyism, and juvenile vitriol, and anything that might be helpful is buried in pages of — (vulgar phrase removed). In this thread, I'd like to avoid this by posing the following conceptually simple questions:

  • What is a complex edit list?
  • Is the complex edit list of a file accessible, viewable, or editable?
  • If so, are there applications that can reveal the complex edit list in such a way that it can be modified?
  • If the complex edit list is editable or removable, what is the best way to edit or remove it so that PPCC can import the modified .mov file?

These are simple questions, but I suspect the answers are not nearly as simple. Kindly remain calm, level-headed, helpful, and respectful in the comments. No one is interested in anyone else's implied claims of superior knowledge or ability.

Attached is the tree view from MediaInfo (below).

Thank you all in advance for your kind help.

media-info-tree.png

Moderator warning: Please avoid vulgar language. We have minors reading here. Refer to our guidelines: Guidelines & Tips for the Adobe Forums

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Correct answer by Meg The Dog | Adobe Community Professional

Thanks for that info, Kevin.

Just as test, the OP might want to try and change the file extension from .mov to .mp4 and see if that circumvents the need to transcode. Just a guess.

MtD

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Complex Edit List: What is it, and how can I modify or remove it?

New Here ,
Dec 18, 2018

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Hello, everyone.

While happily editing a number of corporate product videos, I stumbled upon an issue importing a .mov file recorded by a Mac laptop desktop recorder. On importing the .mov file, Premiere Pro CC reported that the file could not be imported because it "contains a complex edit list". This has not occurred previously with .mov files recorded on the same laptop.

There are other threads here that attempt to provide advice, but predictably devolve into pedantics, pseudophilosophy, pseudo-best practices, judgment, fanboyism, and juvenile vitriol, and anything that might be helpful is buried in pages of — (vulgar phrase removed). In this thread, I'd like to avoid this by posing the following conceptually simple questions:

  • What is a complex edit list?
  • Is the complex edit list of a file accessible, viewable, or editable?
  • If so, are there applications that can reveal the complex edit list in such a way that it can be modified?
  • If the complex edit list is editable or removable, what is the best way to edit or remove it so that PPCC can import the modified .mov file?

These are simple questions, but I suspect the answers are not nearly as simple. Kindly remain calm, level-headed, helpful, and respectful in the comments. No one is interested in anyone else's implied claims of superior knowledge or ability.

Attached is the tree view from MediaInfo (below).

Thank you all in advance for your kind help.

media-info-tree.png

Moderator warning: Please avoid vulgar language. We have minors reading here. Refer to our guidelines: Guidelines & Tips for the Adobe Forums

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Meg The Dog | Adobe Community Professional

Thanks for that info, Kevin.

Just as test, the OP might want to try and change the file extension from .mov to .mp4 and see if that circumvents the need to transcode. Just a guess.

MtD

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Dec 18, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2018

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I'm not sure what the complex edit list is. I had thought it might be a sidecar file or a header to the file that contains information generated if the original file were edited or trimmed within QuickTime player - but I can't create a file that causes the warning box to appear.

If this file was recorded by a Mac, how was it converted to AVC?  And I am wondering  if that conversion process may acerbate the problem?

MtD

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Dec 18, 2018 2
New Here ,
Dec 18, 2018

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Thank you for your reply, Meg. I'll investigate how the file was created, and how that process might be different from other output files that imported properly. In the meantime, I will assemble the MediaInfo trees for several videos I've used recently that import without error so that they can be compared with the non-working report. Look for that tomorrow at the earliest.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2018

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Dec 18, 2018 2
New Here ,
Dec 18, 2018

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Hi, Ann--You are linking to the very topic that I referenced above in my original post. I didn't see any answers to my question in that thread, only competitions in —.

Moderator warning: Kindly avoid vulgar language. We have minors reading here. Guidelines & Tips for the Adobe Forums

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Dec 18, 2018 0
Adobe Employee ,
Dec 18, 2018

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Hi fadibitz,

Sorry for this error.

  • I stumbled upon an issue importing a .mov file recorded by a Mac laptop desktop recorder.
  • On importing the .mov file, Premiere Pro CC reported that the file could not be imported

Usually, warnings like this indicate that the file contains elements not supported in Adobe's custom-written 64-bit QuickTime codec for that file.

This may help: Dropped support for QuickTime 7 era formats and codecs

Quick Summary? If your files contain a QuickTime based 32-bit codec, you need to transcode it to a similar 64-bit version. Use either AME CC 2017 or something like Handbrake.

An Adobe Premiere Pro engineer, my colleague Trent, gave the same solution that was marked as correct: Re: Premiere Pro Import: File contains a complex edit list
Was there more info that you needed from us?

This has not occurred previously with .mov files recorded on the same laptop.

Were you previously using Premiere Pro CC 2017 with these files? Were these files created with a newer version of this application? Otherwise, I am not sure why other files worked. Feel free to upload files for inspection and file a bug here: https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911233-premiere-pro

I'd like to avoid this by posing the following conceptually simple questions:

  • What is a complex edit list?
  • Is the complex edit list of a file accessible, viewable, or editable?
  • If so, are there applications that can reveal the complex edit list in such a way that it can be modified?
  • If the complex edit list is editable or removable, what is the best way to edit or remove it so that PPCC can import the modified .mov file?

As I understand it, QuickTime can contain a good deal of data besides video. Likely, the screen capture utility placed this info into the header of the QuickTime file. Not sure that removing it or doing anything with it will help. If I were faced with this issue, I'd transcode the file and see if that works for you. If you happen upon other legacy QuickTime files like this, or a similar warning, I'd also advise you to transcode the file(s), as well. Sounds like Adobe engineering is suggesting the same.

I hope this info clears up some of your issues. Come back with any questions.

Thanks,
Kevin

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Dec 18, 2018 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2018

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Thanks for that info, Kevin.

Just as test, the OP might want to try and change the file extension from .mov to .mp4 and see if that circumvents the need to transcode. Just a guess.

MtD

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Dec 18, 2018 5
Adobe Employee ,
Dec 18, 2018

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Great idea, man. 😉

Kevin

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Dec 18, 2018 0
New Here ,
Feb 03, 2020

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I just tried this (thinking this obviously won't help, I'm getting desperate) and it worked.

 

More info: I had a quicktime screencast saved to a .mov file that Premiere 2020 wouldn't import (complaining abt complex edit list). Changing the extension to mp4 worked. God knows why Premiere pays any attention to the file extension at all, but for some reason they do.

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Feb 03, 2020 0
New Here ,
Feb 19, 2020

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Omg thank you this is the ONLY thing that worked!!

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Feb 19, 2020 0
Adobe Employee ,
Feb 19, 2020

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Hi MtD,

Thanks for providing an easy workaround. This is still an unsolved issue. We have a bug open right now. Please upvote the bug here.

 

One engineer found another workaround that you can perform during the screen recording.

 

  • When completing the recording, perform any kind of trim to the video prior to pressing Done.
  • You get a VFR video file without a complex edit list that does import.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Thanks,
Kevin

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Feb 19, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Apr 27, 2020

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Plus one. Easy solution!

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Apr 27, 2020 0
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2018

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I am unable to import my Pro Tools export .mov on windows into Premiere Pro because of the same issue. Is there any work around or should I just use Sony Vegas Pro? I ve tried importing it to Media Encoder first, can't.

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Dec 19, 2018 0
New Here ,
Dec 20, 2018

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To the moderator who removed my supposedly vulgar phrases. You have my email address. Kindly remind me how my phrases were vulgar. I direct you to the following phrase in the guidelines:

"If it would belong in a movie rated R (or higher), this isn't the right place for it."

I await your reply.

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Dec 20, 2018 0