Mod Notes: Branched. Re: the Unofficial Troubleshooting Guide
Thanks for writing this Jim, it's very thorough and useful.
What I'm about to say isn't aimed at you, but at Adobe.
I think it's a massive shame that this guide needs to be written. All the fixes you list are work-arounds to faults in Adobe's software. The problems aren't aren't caused by users making mistakes or not understanding things, they're down to bugs in the (expensive) Adobe product.
Adobe themselves could never write this guide, because it would have to start with, "We know our software is very buggy and often crashes. We're not going to fix it, but here are some ways to minimise the pain we're causing you..."
I think it's a massive shame that this guide needs to be written. All the fixes you list are work-arounds to faults in Adobe's software. The problems aren't aren't caused by users making mistakes or not understanding things, they're down to bugs in the (expensive) Adobe product
Actually, I do believe most troubleshooting issues are related to making errors, not understanding things, in addition to issues with the software. It's OK, because it can be a confusing combination of these things and it's a lot to know and process. Sorry about that.
I've been working on NLEs both as an editor and in NLE engineering before I worked at Adobe and I find that a lot of the troubleshooting listed here pertains to not only Premiere Pro, but all NLE editing systems. I agree that Premiere Pro is not perfect, but with such complicated applications, similar issues do crop up.
I feel that most of these are known issues to experienced video editors (reset prefs, try other media, remove plug-ins), however, I do feel the pain of users that are new to this kind of level of computer and NLE troubleshooting. It's a lot to know and be aware of!
I think that these are the things that make the video editing "job" of both the creative and the technical that much more challenging. I always expect the worst, prepare for that scenario, and then hope failure doesn't happen. With good training, you can overcome failures and experience them less often.
I apologize for the lack of an official troubleshooting guide. I'll continue to press for one.
Actually, Kevin, Mei is correct. Many times the software "breaks." This can happen after an update of either your product, or the OS. What usually happens when an update is created, is the install folder ends up with executable files, both .exe and .dll files that are from different batches of compile runs. An update comes out, and made a change in all an internal function call is handled, and that call is to a function in a .dll files that is either older, or newer than the file with the calling function. My installation of Premiere Pro 2017 currently has almost all of the files with the same creation dates. One is older, and one is newer. These could be the cause of some problems, however, I am not currently having any, as I didn't skip step one in this post!
Other times, problems are caused by Adobe getting tired of paying royalties. Recently, Adobe announced they were ending support fro Dolby audio, reverting the operating system's handling. Now, the executable files needed to be kept in sync will come from two different vendors: Adobe/Microsoft or Adobe/Apple. This will exacerbate the problem after Apple or Microsoft "update" their operating systems. It also takes the feature away from Windows 7 users such as my self. Adobe's idea of a 'fix' is for me to update to Windows 7. There is only one big problem with my downgrading my system to Windows 10: I neither drink, nor do drugs, both being operator requirements for this operator to install Windows 10 on any hardware I own, but I digress. (I also noticed that, although Adobe is now saving the cost of the Dolby royalties, my month subscription rate has not dropped a penny.)
In short, if Adobe is going to send out an update, or upgrade, be sure to check ALL of the dependencies, and to re-compile ALL of the .dll files, not just the ones that have had changes made to their code. Compilers get updates too, and might be generating assembly/machine code differently which may not be entirely compatible with the code in older .dll files. (Btw, Adobe seems to be a lot better about this than other software vendors.)
Me: I've been editing since film. I've been programming computers since punch cards. I currently provide in-house support for Adobe Premiere Pro in a Mac environment. I also produce and edit video on Premiere Pro as a freelancer. Due to my extensive experience with Macs, and OS X, I run my own editing system on a dedicated Windows PC.
Due to my extensive experience with Macs, and OS X, I run my own editing system on a dedicated Windows PC.
See Kevin, he get's it.
What a great piece of ego-driven drivel. The idea that someone needs to know how to, and actually do, build their own system is ridiculous.
As far as the RTFM idea, Adobe manuals are, essentially, useless. They tell you what things are. There is no how.
As far as professionalism goes, being a 'professional' is a mindset as much as it is a vocation, or more so. True professionals don't display this level of ego or condescension.
This is the kind of commentary one expects from those who lord knowledge over others as a way to make themselves seem superior. This is the sort of thing that's expected from someone who is incredibly insecure.
This 'guide' should be ignored. Adobe would be doing the community a favour by deleting this thread in its entirety.
Jeez, so much anger in this thread.
Jim and I don't always see eye-to-eye on these forums, but I think he's done a great job compiling all this information for everyone.
Yes, Premiere has issues. Yes, some of them are absurd, even inexcusable, and should be fixed as soon as possible. But UNTIL that happens, this sort of troubleshooting guide is the best chance you've got for getting things working again.
You don't have to like it, but becoming more familiar with your hardware and software WILL help you solve a huge number of your issues. Just yesterday I talked to a guy who didn't realize he shouldn't be editing footage off of an external HDD. Last week, I helped a guy figure out that he had accidentally put his sequence into 'Audio Time Units' mode.
This guide is HONEST. And the truth hurts. But don't attack Jim for being the messenger.
Without following the steps in Jim's guide, you will have no way to know for sure that a problem is being caused by Premiere, or your O.S.
Sorry, no. The idea that you must know how to assemble a computer and you must do it is not a consequential part of understanding how to use software. It simply isn't.
I don't recall anything about assembling it yourself? Understanding yes, but understanding the way the main systems function with a heavy app like NLE's, Fx, and grading is not nearly saying to build it.
That said, you have some very good clarification in your later posts.
" you do yourself a disservice if you are not an advanced computer user. Any editor using software at this level should be able to build and troubleshoot their own computer. " That statement is outright bovine excrement.
That from the author of the thread. He does include in pareths that a person could have access to someone with such knowledge, but it being in parenths it's a secondary consideration.
But even Adobe doesn't make it easy to spec a computer for their software. The last I looked, about 4 months ago, the list of GPUs for Pr was about 2 years out of date.
The comments about cell phone footage are, similarly, falderal. An Academy Award-winning documentary included iPhone footage. The film 'Tangerine', which has received wide praise, was made entirely with the iPhone. Comments such as those from the author of the original post are simply elitist and have no place in the pantheon of true professionalism.
I've been a professional making my living from my images for over 40 years now. Much of that as a portaitist in stills, now some years doing video work. I've been at NAB 5 times straight, been a TA at Adobe's MAX conference the last couple years.
I spend a good deal of time relating with friends in video post from all over the world,the people I've met at NAB or via online forums.
Good friends are also major opera performers and other music professionals. I've plenty of experience with top pros being everything from humble to arrogant ... um, well, this is a public forum.
They're all people. Many of the top editor types I've known have been like a lot of the old farmers I grew up around. Short of words, able to express a lot of criticism and correction in amazingly few words, also short on praise. But if you need help or to learn something, they can help.
Check your self awareness at the door, they don't give a rat's backsides for feelings, yours or theirs. I've learned a lot from such folk. By nature, I'm a gentler teacher.
But when I started in video post, a couple of the pithy crusty ones here (as I've heard them described) were quick to point out what I'd blown. And when asked, guided me to where I'd learn to be better. When I'd shown I was learning.
I'm very appreciative. They never got a dime, and their help was invaluable. I started looking for their questions and suggestions and from puzzling out their thought patterns, learned even more than just their words.
Do I agree with them on everything? Of course not. In some threads I've had rather a different viewpoint, including on the use of phone media of recent times.
But they're as welcome to their professional opinion as you and I to ours. And I don't begrudge their views, even in disagreement.
Having met a few of them in person has been a joy, but quite a few I may never get to meet. I would be richer for the experience.
Not really sure what the point of all that was except possibly self-aggrandizement.
There is a difference between being direct but helpful and being bluntly condescending. If you start out a message being bluntly condescending, generally the rest of the message, no matter how valuable it may be, will be ignored. Not really a good strategy if your goal is to truly try to help people.
I get emails all the time from people asking questions about something in one of my books. Some of the questions are pretty basic. Do I treat those people with arrogance and condescension? No. Why? Because I know at one time I was where they are.
Treating someone as lesser than because they have less knowledge is pathetic. Treating knowledge as something to guard, or horde is contemptible. It's the mark of a very small person. It's often the mark of someone who is fearful that sharing too much knowledge will lead the learner to surpass the teacher. Many can't handle that. Again, the hallmark of a small person.
Share knowledge openly and willingly. Don't belittle. Make the sharing fulsome so that there can be true understanding. If the learner takes that knowledge, builds on it, then surpasses the teacher, so be it. If that happens to me, and that person ends up beating me out on a job, so be it. That's my fault for not continually pressing myself to be better. Acknowledge when you may have made a mistake in the information you pass on. I was pointed to another thread by the author of this one wherein he described a method for doing something. It was incomplete. When that pointed out, he dismissed the commentary. 'I know all, you are fools,' is not a useful approach.
As I've said previously, being a professional is a mindset more than an activity. Treating people disrespectfully, being condescending, being arrogant (do you know there is a difference between confidence and arrogance) are not characteristics of a professional mindset.
I don't think Jim's comments that you do yourself a disservice if you are not an advanced computer user is intended to say "if you are not a power user, hang it up," but rather, simply become one. Anyone with the brain power to edit video has more than enough to become a power user. Sure Adobe makes it difficult to spec out a PC for Premiere, but so what? You really only need to know how to spec out a computer for video editing. If you do that, you will exceed Adobe's requirements anyway. I use multiple software titles on atypical project, so I have to spec to the greatest common denominator. (Adding a second and third hard drive will do more for your setup than adding memory, btw.)
If you do decide to become a power user, along the way, you will think of new ways to alter your editing workflow, much to your own delight. If you are in the middle of a project, you may say things to yourself like "Doh! If I only knew that before I ..."
As for Jim's comments about filming on cell phones, I don't think that was to be taken literally. Mine shoots 4K UHD. Too bad I can't put any good lenses in front of it. Of course, it wouldn't matter with such a small sensor. Sure a lot of documentaries use cell phone footage. And yes, I looked at Tangerine. It was shot entirely with the iPhone 5S, and looks like it. The director and DP did a pretty good job of designing the shoot around the iPhone's limitations, but it's still apparent that it was shot with a small sensor camera. It does get glowing reviews, but they're for the writing, acting, directing, Etc.
If anyone is feeling hurt by how "direct" some post here are, remember, a good director tries to read all of the bad reviews of his or her last work to be found. You won't learn anything from a good one. The good ones only tell you what you already know.
You can criticize Jim's guide all you want. Just make sure you follow it. His information really is all that important. If I find the time, I'll try to write a similar guide for OS X.
The fanboy sychophancy in here is amazing.
To disagree is to be a fanboy? Interesting.
Does Jim come across to some as rude at times? Sure. Not necessarily as tiring to me as people who worry about who's "fanboy" or not, but yep, he sure does.
I've seen enough of his posts to have a pretty good idea that he's just a "direct" person ... and is neither more "rude" to anyone at any level than anyone else at any level. It's Jim. If you didn't catch that in my previous post, well ...
I'm me. You're you. We all come across different. We all have different areas we know more or less about. And I don't give a rat's tail for rather limited views of "Professional". I've seen so many variants from very experienced and in their own ways helpful folk to simply laugh at it defined. And the most limited views of "Professional" I've run into tend to be from folk that well ... have their own issues.
I've had long disagreements ... pointedly so ... with Jim on say the VFR thing. A few others. But ... I also know his advice for many things is quick, spot-on, and very helpful especially for the noobs, that yes ... we all once were. But there's always someone for whom we are a noob in comparison.
And with his personality, there's always going to be some who find him rude. Fair enough. He's a big boy long time ago. Am I glad he's one of the helpers around here? Heck yea. And you ... you've got your own ways of looking at things, and could probably be just as useful. Maybe more so, no way to know.
We can always use other brains around here to pick, and to help. And having direct opinions is to me, useful. You have some. Good.
I'm amazed at this thread - people seem to be getting away from the fact that Adobe have produced software which we all pay a lot of money for that is for me at least currently unusable and what's more they seem to give fig all about it. If my TV doesn't work I can take it back to the shop and either get a replacement, a refund or it'll get fixed. But here we are expected to put up with it? What's more we get well meaning people producing "guides" which simply should not be needed.
This is a case of conflating one's own situation with all others. There are a small percentage of the users getting hammered by a few things, but most of us are running fine. Naturally, if you are one of the hammered folk, the whole program seems rather bleak. Been there myself several times over the years. I've posted a few choice rants here.
One of the things that you get from going through that un-official guide ... or "tuning" you computer as Bill Gehrke suggests ... is the elimination of many conflicting activities in your computer that slow and/or make problematic operation of an NLE. Most of those things are outside of the control of those running the development of the NLE. Such as many background operations, multiple browsers running 20+ windows and several other open programs while editing, that sort of thing.
The people that are the most stable with the fewest appearance of bugs & such tend to also be the people who know this kind of drill and abide by it. I know colorists who teach a lot, and they've got entire lists of apps to either close before firing up Resolve or at times eliminate from the machine. Oh wait, that's not an Adobe product, and there's lists of things to avoid there also! Think of that.
Could the app be better? Of course. So ... they've got a vastly improved service for bug reporting, history, and checking. Use it. Tell them you're screwed by X ... and look for other users with the same issue. Add on to their comments and postings on that service.
Adobe Bug /Feature Request form: https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911233-premiere-pro
It's more than a "small percentage" ... and that's the problem, Adobe seem to believe it is just a "small percentage" ... not really sure why given the volume of threads and youtube videos relating to this problem of performance. But the key being why is CC 2017 faster than CC 2018 and without these issues?
I've filed plenty of Bug/Feature using that URL, it's a complete waste of time and Adobe doesn't even "acknowledge"? There is no "official" bug track and/or case submission process in place at all? Every other company in this type of business provides at a minimum a "case" system for submitting problem tickets. Adobe has NONE, ZERO, NADA!
I'm baffled at the complete lack of support from Adobe considering the money I've spent with them over the years, it really does raze questions about Adobe business practice ... they report healthy financials so why aren't they supporting the user base that is helping them get those healthy financials? How about Adobe invest in a "real" ticket/case support tracking system?
I agree with Neil that unfortunately there's a small percentage of users who have a litany of problems but the majority of users have little or no problems.
At the same time though, It would be very helpful if Adobe was fully transparent and I agree that a real ticket/case support tracking system should be implemented.
Given the size of Adobe's customer base, a "small percentage" can add up to over a million affected users. So, while it may only be a small percentage, it's still enough people that Adobe has an obligation to chime in. And, as Neil as pointed out, Adobe does have a site for problems and feature requests. On the other hand, just how responsive are they to problem tickets? I don't know. I'm running CC on an system that is underpowered both in CPU and GPU. (My graphics card doesn't even make Adobe's list of minimum specs.) But, I have 24 GB RAM, and three hard drives. (Not configured as a RAID of any kind, just three separate disks. One for the OS (Windows 7), one for media,and one for output and scratch disks.) Yet, I still get better performance than people with tricked out high end systems, and I have yet, in just over a year, to have a problem requiring tech support. I nest a lot of clips from AE, and color grade a lot, and still get decent performance. Still, I have yet to need to create a trouble ticket for anything. So I don't know how responsive they are.
Now, I don't mean to just brag about how much bang I'm getting for my bucks regarding my system. I only mean to show that with the right setup, it can be done. I found years ago, with another NLE, that adding hard drives will improve performance far and above adding RAM, or CPU cores. Also, I run Adobe on a dedicated machine. It's does editing, and nothing else. Even Audition, and Pro Tools run on another machine dedicated to audio. I have the two towers next to each other, and call my setup "The Twins."
One key thing for many of the editors I've heard of running well ... consistently ... is a machine that is only for editing. So I'm not surprised.
Everyone has their own approach to setting up their systems but I think it bears mentioning that a dedicated edit machine is highly impractical and inefficient for many modern workflows and so I personally don't think it's necessary as a preventative step.
Also it's not just fast drives that will result in Premiere running optimally. I have two M.2 NVMe's in my system which give me transfer speeds of 2500 MB/s but I don't find Premiere runs significantly faster as a result of having my media on those drives.
Premiere uses both the CPU and the GPU in order to operate efficiently and so unless someone is only working with simple HD media it's unlikely that an older computer will run Premiere smoothly.
As to the last point ... I'm intrigued by something that always happens ... someone has a somewhat older or minimalist rig that flies through the same media/effects that has a newer & powerful rig stuttering.
In general, the newer more powerful rig will tend to be better. But sometimes older rigs still fly. Would love a good answer. One thing I've read is it might be things like where or what bus say the GPU and other resources are on. Bus an IRQ conflicts and/or just over-loading one while another sits idle. Could be ...
I've talked with folks from shops where they've their editing rigs for editing, with only a few apps loaded on them. All related to editing. And laptops or tablets or such for emails, calendars, that sort of thing. The tech guy sees you've got other things going on an editing machine, bad words may be uttered. From one shop, an editor just laughed ... in his shop, you put any app no matter how small on your editing machine, you just might have got yourself looking for work. They really lock those rigs down.
So ... different strokes, right? I think about every one out there does it at least a little differently than anyone else.
Like in most things, some of what you said I would agree with, some we have a difference of view.
These days, if you don't have a decent knowledge of your computer, and the specific needs of the main software you're using for post-production, it's difficult to even have the conversation with a good builder about what worked and didn't work so well in your last machine, and what you want/need in the next one. If you are in a big post-house where they have full-time people working that, great. If not ... and most of the people I know are actually in shops of 5 or fewer ... well, you just need to have some idea.
If you're working PrPro there's certain places to get info on the parts and "arrangement" that actually work, not what Dell wants to sell you. If you work with Resolve, well ... you have different needs. If you aren't aware of that, and even then work with others who know even more you can spend a ton of money on hardware and then scream here that your new spendy machine is running as fast as a brick.
Take the specs over to the Hardware forum, and you'll get some really mean and impolite people who'll tell you straight up that assemblage of parts you have made some folks a good paycheck, but wasn't suited for the job at hand.
I'd rather avoid being told that, so I've followed some of the threads especially when I'm coming up on needing a new machine.
The Adobe manuals are a mess. Yet even in that mess are some very useful tidbits, but they're on the pages that are shown as hyperlinks typically down two levels from the 'landing' help pages. Because that top level is as you say, simply a state of "this feature does X!". Wow. Incredibly non-useful. Why would I want to do X, and if I did, how would I do it? Well ... if you drill down, you can get some of that.
lynda-dot-com is in general better, but again ... takes some time to view through a video tut, and much of the time, I'd rather have the 900 page manual that Resolve has. Nicely laid out, very good contents & index lists.
JIm and I approach things from sometimes similar, sometimes disparate approaches. He's more "pithy" than I. Saves your eyeballs from all my words. I'll give more details which sometimes fills out the "how" a lot better.
He's helped a ton of people, as has that guide you so dislike.
But everyone's mileage always varies.