Adobe Encore (DVD Constructor): Error: “Encore failed to encode” & Limitations & Recommended Settings

In one Adobe CS6 Encore (a DVD constructor) project, the [Check Project…] feature found no problems, but on attempting to [Build] the project, the following error was reported: “Encore failed to encode”.

A web-search (further below) revealed that this error message could have reflected any of a number of potential problems.

In my specific project’s case, I found that shortening the filename name fixed the problem.  Possibly the filename length was the issue, but it could have been any of the following (experimentation is needed to confirm what it was). Possibly Encore doesn’t like one or more of the following, as regards either filenames or, possibly, the total text representing the volume, folder-chain and file-name.

  • Long filenames
    • Possibly the limit is 80 characters.
  • Specific kinds of character in the filename, such as:
    • Spaces (it’s safer to use underscores instead).
    • Unusual (legal but not popularly used) characters, such as “&” (ampersand).

It is possible to configure Encore to use Adobe Media Encoder (AME) instead of its own internal one.  Doesn’t work for Encore’s [Build] operation but does work for its [asset >RtClk> Transcode Now] operation.  The advantages I expect of of using AME in this way:

  • It has been said (as of CS5) that AME is faster, being 64-bit as opposed to 32-bit for the encoder in Encore of CS5.
  • I suspect/hope that AME might also be more robust than Encore’s internal encoder.
  • …and also higher quality; indeed one post implied this may be true for CS6.
  • Consistency is a great thing; having used AME from Premiere etc. I expect any lessons gained will apply here.
  • AME has some nicer usability-features than Encore, such as a Pause button and the ability to queue a number of jobs.
  • These features could be handy for encoding multiple assets for a DVD or Blu-Ray Disk (BD).

For me, the learning-points about Adobe are:

  • Potentially (to be tested) the best workflow for Encore is:
    • Encode via AME:
      • Preferably from Premiere.
      • Or via AME directly
      • Or, if Encore is so configured (away from its default) then via its [asset >RtClk> Transcode Now] option
        • (doesn’t happen if you instead use the [Build] option, which always employs Encore’s internal encoder).
        • At http://forums.adobe.com/message/5297248 one poster recommends: << it is a good idea to use “transcode now” before building to separate the (usually longer) transcode of assets step from building the disk.>>
    • I’m guessing that the only “cost” of not using Encore’s internal encoder might be the “fit to disk” aspect, and that might be helpful for quick turn-around jobs.
      • (Though on the other hand, if that encoder is less robust (I don’t know, only suspect), then that factor would constitute a risk to that quick turn-around…)
  • Encore’s error-reporting (error message) system should be more informative, the current “Encore failed to encode” message is too general.
    • According to Adobe Community forum posts identified in the Web-Search (further below):
      • Others make this same point.
      • One post explains that <<Encore uses Sonic parts for some (most?) of the work… and since Sonic does not communicate well with Encore when there are errors… bad or no error messages are simply a way of life when using Encore>>>
      • Another refers to an underpinning software component by Roxio, namely pxengine, which required to be updated for Windows 7 (from the previous XP).
        • The post states (correctly or otherwise – I don’t know) that the file is [PxHlpa64.sys], located in [C:\windows\System32\drivers] and (as of CS5) the version should be [3.0.90.2].
      • A further post alleges that the specific subsystem is called Sonic AuthorCore, which is also used by Sonic Scenarist.
      • It would be simple for Adobe to trap filename-type errors in the front-end part of Encore, prior to sending that data to its (alleged) sub-system that is maintained by Sonic.
      • In the long term, the preferred fix would of course be for the sub-system developer to update that system to remove the limitations.
  • Encore currently has some kind of (hidden) limitation on the kind or length of text representing the filename or file-path-and-name, ideally this limitation should be removed or at least the maximum allowed length should be increased.

Not directly relevant, but noticed in passing (while configuring Encore:[Edit > Preferences]):

  • Encore’s “Library” location is: [C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Encore CS6\Library]
  • It is possible to define which display (e.g. external display) gets used for Preview.  Useful for quality-checking.

Web-search:

  • Google:[adobe encore encode failed]
    • http://forums.adobe.com/message/4030662 (2011-11-16)
      • Using CS5 on iMac, I exported from Première to Encore.  The project failed to encode and Encore crashed.
        • {Unlike my case, this user was on Mac, I was using Windows}
      • How have you moved your video from Pr to En? with DynamicLink or as asset?  Often, importing as asset creates less “stomach pains”.  In this way it’s better to encode your video with Pr in advance.
      • John T. Smith, 2011-11-16
    • http://forums.adobe.com/thread/588273 (2010-03-02)
      • Title: “Long file name caused Encore to crash during transcoding”
      • Webshark2000:
        • Long file name caused EncorI’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but I had some video and audio clips that I had to run through a converter and it added to their file names with their encode settings, etc.  When I went to burn the clips to a DVD using Encore CS4, it kept crashing on me when it went to transcode the files.
        • At first I assumed the files were corrupted or had some sort of problem with the way they had been encoded, so I re-exported them out of the conversion software a number of times using different settings.  Each time Encore would crash when it went to transcode them.  I even tried restarting the computer in Windows XP mode (rather than Windows 7 64-bit) where I have Encore CS3 installed and it was crashing as well.
        • Finally, I shortened the file names (just a guess on my part) and they all worked without a problem.Has anyone else experienced this problem?
        • If Encore had an error message come up to indicate the file name were too long, that would have been helpful.e to crash during transcoding
      • Bill Hunt:
        • I have not seen it with long file names, but have with certain, seldom used characters (at least in file names), and also with spaces.
        • I’ve taken to using the underscore, instead of spaces, like it used to be. So far, no issues.
        • Now, I usually have rather short file names, so maybe I have just never exceeded some limit.
      • John T. Smith:
        • I … remember this being discussed on the old forum… along with what Hunt mentions about odd characters or spaces in the file names
        • Since Encore uses Sonic parts for some (most?) of the work… and since Sonic does not communicate well with Encore when there are errors… bad or no error messages are simply a way of life when using Encore
      • Webshark2000:
        • I had a video file with a semicolon in the title.  Encore kept giving me an error message saying the clip was only 4 seconds long (which it was actually about 10 minutes long).
        • As soon as I removed the semicolon, it worked without a problem.
      • Bill Hunt:
        • Three attributes that seem to get in the way for Paths and Project/Timeline names, seem to be:
          • Long Paths/file names
          • Spaces in these
          • Extended and even some regular, but uncommon ASCII characters
        • Much of this can probably traced to the Sonic Authorcore, that is the base of Encore (and almost every other authoring program).
        • These observations have come mostly from Neil Wilkes, and is based on his use of the larger Sonic Scenarist.
      • Stan Jones:
        • I recommend you avoid the ampersand; that’s one of those odd characters that Hunt mentions.  I do not believe the underscore causes problems, and would use that.
      • Stan Jones:
        • FYI, Adobe has refused to fix this elementary, long-known problem as of CS6.
      • Bill Hunt:
        • Not sure how much Adobe can do, until Sonic rewrites their code?
      • hpmoon:
        • Yes, we also file bug reports and yes, this bug was reported several times ever since at least CS5.  Also, no reasonable user is too stubborn to shorten source file names, and that bug isn’t the real issue — it’s that Adobe’s applications (like this Encore example) simply freak out and crash over a well-known, clearly identified bug and then give no guidance as to what happened, or how to resolve it.  So Adobe customers spend hours trying to find the answer
          • {Indeed, I have spent such hours…  More importantly, it became a risk-element in my timely delivery of product to client.}
      • hpmoon:
        • The file name that caused Encore to crash at the transcoding stage was not too far into the directories on my media drive, and named:
          “KIMIKO ISHIZAKA – Goldberg Variations BWV 988 – 16 – Variatio 15 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quinta__44k-16b (with leading silence).wav”
        • Once I halved the length of the filename (notably, while leaving in the spaces and dashes and underscores), it was smooth sailing.
      • Stan Jones: {I have re-structured / curtailed his original post}
        • This filename has 105 characters plus 20 spaces, with the .wav extension removed.
        • What failed to fix:
          • I renamed an existing SD AVI to that name (with .avi rather than .wav of course). Imported as timeline to Encore. Transcode now. “Encode failed.”
          • As expected, it makes no difference if you rename the timeline or the asset inside Encore – the real asset is still named as it was.
          • Remove spaces (and add characters to keep total at 105): encode failed.
          • Remove parentheses and add two charactger: failed.
          • Instead of this name, just use 1234567890, repeated without spaces: 125 – confirmed failed.
        • Filename length seems to be the issue:
          • Trial and error eventually shows that 80 works and 81 fails.
          • Add one space into a 79: works.
          • Add one space into an 80: fails.
          • Add 24 spaces scattered in, for a total of 80: works.
        • I did not test:
          • any odd symbols or characters.
          • path length. Both hpmoon and I were using relatively short paths.
      • Stan Jones:
        • Encore should inspect the file upon import, and raise the red flag then.
        • While Adobe bears the responsibility for its software, it is true that a variety of their products are based on code written for precursor products. Encore was provided “free” with Premiere, and we really don’t know how much of the current interface, abstraction layer, etc are now written by adobe and which are still original sonic or sonic revised code. As with any Adobe decisions, they weigh the cost of fixes/improvements against their priorities for lots of apps. And a rewrite of Encore from the ground up may just be too expensive in their view. And perhaps it would be in our view if we had to buy it separately.
        • So for those of you who feel passionately about this, file bug reports AND feature requests. I’ll try to get around filing something for better error messaging.
      • Jeff Bellune:
        • Unfortunately, that’s also been requested for years now, and never fully implemented by Adobe.
        • Some few messages have gotten better, but most remain as cryptic and unhelpful as ever.
      • warnergt:
        • Stan, when an application crashes because of a filename, it is a bug.  A correctly written application does not do this.
        • 80-character string limits disappeared in all good applications ten years ago.
        • You cannot get Encore for free.  This is not a free application.
        • A fix such as this does not require a rewrite of the software.
        • …The full blame for this rests with Adobe.  If they don’t have input or control of the software they sell, they shouldn’t be selling it.
      • hpmoon:
        • …at least parsing the filename upon import to prevent the crash, giving a proper error message, is the minimum and easiest solution that doesn’t fall into the sonic-whatever excuses.  Great idea!
      • ?
    • http://forums.adobe.com/thread/666558?tstart=0 (2010)
      • Jeff Bellune:
        • From the Encore FAQ: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/629151?tstart=0
          • Title: “I’m Using Windows 7.  Why Does Encore Crash?”, May 1, 2010 7:08 AM
          • Microsoft changed how programs interact with the pxengine component in Windows 7.  Encore needs an updated pxengine to function properly under Windows 7.
          • Roxio “owns” the pxengine component, so they have the fix here: Roxio pxengine fix
    • http://forums.adobe.com/thread/666558?tstart=0 (2010)
      • Title: “ENCORE CS5 ‘FREEZES’ WHEN TRANSCODING”
      • Matilda10:
        • I have built a project (3.75 minutes) in PremierePpro CS5, consisting of AVCHD, stills, and audio tracks. It plays correctly in that application.
        • I then use ‘dynamic link’ to send to Encore  CS5 – that seems Ok.
        • However, when building (for DVD) the project (and other similar) appear to get about 3/4 way through (according to the progress bar) then ‘freeze’. On cancelling, I get the message ‘encore not responsing’, followed by ‘premiere pro not responding’.
        • Ive tried other methods of getting the project into Encore, but the results are the same.
      • John T Smith:
        • Are you absolutely 100% sure you do not have a gap in the timeline?  I have read other messages that having a gap in the timeline… even just one frame… will cause problems
        • Are you using long file names, with spaces? I’ve also read that even though long file names with spaces are allowed in Windows… they can cause Encore problems
        • I never use long file names, so do not remember if it is the LENGTH that causes problems or the use of a SPACE between words
      • Jeff Bellune:
        • If you don’t mind, could you please tell me what version of [PxHlpa64.sys] is installed on your system?
        • The file is located in [C:\windows\System32\drivers] and the version should be [3.0.90.2].
        • The reason I ask is that this is supposed to be a CS4 and earlier issue; it shouldn’t happen with CS5.  If there is an older version on your system, this could be a bug.
      • hclmed1:
        • The version of PxHelp64 is indeed version 3.0.90.2, (dated 7/9/2009)
        • Just thought I’d check in to see if there have been any updates to what appears to be a fundemental flaw in Encore, (CS5 in this instance). As I’ve described, at random intervals, Encore will simply turn idle, on projects, but then work on the 4th or 5th try. Each time is terribly time consuming as it doesn’t even become apparent that it’s hung until an hour or more into the process, and it takes several tries. Again, the strangest part is, there’s no error, and not even a no response condition. All that happens is that all 8 cores just flatline, sitting practically at 0% while I’m tying to encode an hour long video. It seems that, at a minimum, until this bug can be identified, there could be a proofing pass that would at least validate that there are none of the conditions that have been listed as suspects by the above advisors. It appears to not be related to any data conditions however, as it will eventually work on the same project, after enough BD-ROM disable/enabling, and rebooting. How can professionals use this?
      • Stan Jones:
        • I have never experienced what you describe. CS5 (not CS5.5/5.1).I missed it somewhere as I read through:
        • …you experience this while transcoding, using transcode now, not while building, correct?
        • If you transcode prior to Encore what happens when you build?
        • Have you tried setting preferences so you transcode through AME rather than Encore?
          • {OOH! I didn’t know one could do that.  I wonder which one is better (I suspect the AME one is, and at least it’s the same “devil you know” as the rest of the suite uses}
      • hclmed1:
        • I can encode just fine in AME. The problem is clearly in Encore.
        • This problem has been around for years. If no one’s planning to fix this, Encore should come with a major disclaimer, or just get replaced by a partnership with Vegas or Nero, or some other package that works. I’m fed up with it.
      • ?
  • Google:[“transcode assets using adobe media encoder application”]
    • http://help.adobe.com/en_US/encore/cs/using/WSbaf9cd7d26a2eabfe807401038582db29-7fcfa.html
      • Out-of-process transcoding
        • Note: Out of process transcoding option is used only in the [Transcode Now] workflow, and not in the [Build] workflow.
        • Out of process transcoding enables you to transcode assets in the [Adobe Media Encoder] application in the [Transcode Now] workflow.
        • When you enable out-of-process transcoding, the Adobe Media Encoder (AME) is launched as a separate process.
        • Out-of-process transcoding runs independent of the Encore process. The memory in the Encore process is (then) not consumed when transcoding.
        • Out-of-process transcoding is disabled by default. To enable out-of-process transcoding, perform the following steps (in Encore):
          • Select [Edit > Preferences > General].
          • Select [Transcode Assets Using Adobe Media Encoder Application].
    • http://forums.adobe.com/thread/592355
      • Stan Jones:
        • Are you CS5? (If so, transcoding with AME can be much faster.  Not enough probably, but a consideration.)
        • To use Adobe Media Encoder rather than the Encore transcoder, go Encore:[Edit -> Preferences -> General] and check the box for [Transcode assets using Adobe Media Encoder application].
        • AME is 64 bit rather than Encore which is still 32. For this to work, you must select one or more assets that need to be transcoded, right click, and pick “Transcode Now.”
        • If you transcode assets when you ” build,” Encore will be used even if you have checked that box.
      • Kevon242:
        • Turns out Transcoding is alot faster using AME…
    • http://support.muse.adobe.com/message/5358266?tstart=30 (2012-12-23)
      • Title: “Poor DVD Quality”
      • fwhilton:
        • I created a MP2 video in Premiere Pro CS6 at 1280×768 (4:3).  I import into Encore CS6.I set the DVD to 9 mbps and check the option to render at highest quality…  However, after building the project onto the DVD, then playing it back from the DVD…The quality is poor (with jaggies etc)
      • (…various further posts…)
      • cfg_2451:
        • This (issue indicates) default transcoding from Encore.
        • Either transcode to the correct DVD settings directly out of PPro using AME, or set Encore to use AME when transcoding.
        • Results of this workflow should meet or exceed what you get from Corel.
        • Just to save you from looking that up, in Encore that’s Edit…Preferences…General, and check the tickbox for “Transcode assets using Adobe Media Encoder application”.
  • ?

One Response to “Adobe Encore (DVD Constructor): Error: “Encore failed to encode” & Limitations & Recommended Settings”

  1. […] Adobe Encore (DVD Constructor): Error: “Encore failed to … – In one Adobe CS6 Encore (a DVD constructor) project, the [Check Project…] feature found no problems, but on attempting to [Build] the project, the following error …… […]