Archive for the ‘oddness’ Category

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

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

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 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 [].
      • 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.


Adobe CS6 Encore (DVD-Constructor): Asset Replacement

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

In Adobe CS6 Encore, suppose you have a timeline containing a clip, then (maybe after having added Scene/Chapter markers there) for some reason you need to replace the clip, e.g. due to a slight re-edit or tweak.  All you want to do is substitute a new clip for the existing clip, one-for-one, keeping the markers (that you have only just added) in place (together with their links to DVD menu buttons you may also have just now created).

In Encore, media (“Asset”) replacement is not as straightforward or as flexible as in Premiere…

I discovered (the hard way) that:

  • You can’t replace an asset by another of different file extension.
    • e.g. It won’t let you replace an [.avi] file by a [.mpg] file.
  • If you manually delete an existing clip from a timeline, any chapter markers disappear along with it.
    • I guess therefore that such markers “belong” to the clip, not the timeline.
      • This is despite their superficial resemblance to markers appearing in a Premiere timeline, which do belong to the Sequence (of which the timeline is a view).
    • Consistency would be good to have among these suite products…
    • Also in Encore, it would help to have the ability to Copy/Paste markers from one asset to another.
      • Feature Request?


Adobe Premiere CS6: Nested Sequence Silence (& Fix)

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

A Sequence played with good audio, but when I nested it (inside another sequence), all went silent.  This turned out to be the latest incarnation of a crazy historical feature of Adobe Premiere.  It wasted a good part of an hour of my time experimenting and finally Googling to find the (simple, once you know) way out.

The problem:

  • A simple straightforward sequence consisting of video recordings from two cameras, each arranged in their own tracks, some audio tracks enabled, others disabled.
    • Audio plays ok
  • Embed (nest) that sequence in another sequence
    • No audio visible or heard.


  • Ensure all audio tracks are enabled in the nested sequence.
  • Don’t disable tracks, disable(audio elements of) clips.
    • Use Alt-Click to select just the required audio element(s).