Archive for February, 2014

Adobe Premiere: H264 Markers: Work in Quicktime but not MP4

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

(Updated as of 2014-03-20)

  • H264 supports chapter markers (in some form) in principle, but Adobe Premiere is unable to utilise this (at least as of 2012, and I can’t see a way of doing it in February 2014).
    • If the H264 is encoded into a QuickTime [.mov] wrapper/file (as opposed to a [.mp4] one), and that [.mov] file is played in a QuickTime player, then those chapter markers will appear in (the bottom-right corner) of that player.
  • Apparently FCP (both 7 and X ) can also do this.
    • Presumably


Premiere >AAF> Avid: Failed (though reverse works ok)

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Given a simple 3-minute dramatic scene with footage from BMCC (as DNxHD 185 of HD 1920×1080 at 25fps) and a Windows-7 system:

From Adobe Premiere CC (latest version) I exported AAF.  Then in AVid I imported that AAF.  Result: Bin created, containing what appeared to be (from brief glance) all relevant Media and Sequence objects (now in Avid’s representation), but the Media objects were offline/unlinked and various “cryptic” popup error messages appeared from Avid.

I had naively assumed that the Media objects would have been AMA-linked to the source footage, which by the way included DNxHD recorded by BlackMagic Cinema Camera.  However, not only were they not linked, but Avid’s Relink function failed to recognize them.

I had previously succeeded in exporting AAF from Avid to Adobe.

A forum post says Adobe can read Avid but not vice-versa – confirming my (limited) experience.  One can only guess at which company is at fault here, but one poster blames Adobe.  Regardless, I wasn’t impressed by Avid’s programmer-level “cryptic” error messages.

I tried Bin:[Select Clip > RightClick] but the [Relink to AMA File)s)] option was greyed-out.   So I tried the next-best (RightClick) option, namely [Import].  The Import process took significant time, because (as I later confirmed) it was doing a transcode (to DNxHD 120) rather than a re-wrap.  Surprising, given it was already DNxHD in the right format and better quality…  And this import didn’t replace the right-clicked clip, it just added the import to the bin as an additional clip.

Not an urgent project, so I give up for now…


iPad 2 and Macs/PCs as External Monitor (via AirDisplay for Mac & MaxiVista for Windows)

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

I just wondered if this were possible, for a Mac at least, and the answer is (apparently) Yes!, for Windows as well as Mac, and via WiFi.  That’s really useful, as I’m thinking of getting a new MacBook but their screens are currently only 15 inch and not DreamColor (as is my Windows laptop).

Connection via WiFi will be slow, but that shouldn’t be a barrier for things like static text or color grading (the latter is often based in practice around a succession of individual frames).

I’ll pause my enthusiasm to try it out until I have made a full system backup on my primary computer…

WebSearch Results:

  • Google:[ipad2 external monitor]
      • simple answer – YES
      • in depth answer
        • the only way this can be done as far as i know is by using one of two apps. one is for windows, the other is for Mac. this is done through a common wifi connection. this means that there is a very bad lag when dragging windows and watching movies and probably all other tasks. so basically yes it can, but quite poorly.
        • the only way that it could be done really well and smoothly is by using the HDMI connection to the computer. but i don’t think that it can be done yet. so when the IOS allows it (I HOPE) the ipad can be properly used as a secondary monitor.
        • but if you cannot wait for that (thats only if it happens) then here are the two apps necessary for this process.
          • for Mac – “Air display”.
          • for windows – “MaxiVista” (note the letter “i”)
        • both of these apps have sister software for your computer. the apps are kinda expensive at $9.99 for airdisplay and $12.99 for maxivista. they include instructions for the whole process.
      • enjoy your second monitor 🙂

Adobe Premiere: Unable to Export: “Reading XMP”

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

An existing project, just a 3-minute multi-angle (single camera) dramatic scene, used to export without problems, but following just the addition of some audio clips (as “patches” on additional tracks), export stalled on “Reading XMP”.

Previously in this project, when it still exported ok, there was an audio glitch which only happened when a crossfade transition was applied to the beginning of an isolated audio clip (to make it fade-in).  In this case the clip was for a short sound effect.  The glitch sounded like a woodpecker.  Removing the transition removed the “woodpecker”.  The reason I attempted that was that I had encountered transition-triggered audio issues in the past (on other projects, Adobe versions and machines).  It seems that Premiere gets confused/over-complicated over audio especially in the context of nested sequences.  That is a real pain, because nested sequences are really useful and I structure most of my projects that way.

Adobe Premiere seems to have some vulnerabilities with respect to audio and/or nested sequences, and these vulnerabilities seem to have been around for years.   Others have encountered similar or related issues, as listed below:

  • Google:[“reading xmp”]
      • Unable to Export a very important project.. “Reading XMP”
      • This has also happened to me but for a :60 spot. My workaround is just exporting right out of Premiere Pro and not going to AME. It worked fine for me.

Sequence Transfer from Avid (7.0.2) to Premiere (6.0.5)

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

I took an Avid Media Composer (7.0.2) Sequence built from AMA-linked XDCAM-EX footage and transferred that Sequence via AAF to Adobe Premiere (CC 7.2.1)

It worked, even for my AMA-linked footage (Sony XDCAM EX  / BPAV) – though  it wasn’t as straightforward as I expected – due to “a known issue with AAF in Premiere Pro CC (7.2.1)”.  It did succeed with Premiere CS6 (6.0.5), though even then some clunky wrangling was found necessary.  Thereafter I opened an existing Premiere CC project and Imported the CS6 sequence successfully.  Again I had to double-check the Sequence (this time in Premiere) matched the footage (clips).


Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Suppose you have timecoded footage etc. from an intermittent shoot of a long event.  Perhaps there were also multiple cameras, but for whatever reason (e.g. huge outdoor site) there is no common audio with which to synchronize them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the NLE (or whatever) could auto-populate a Sequence with clips placed appropriately in (timecode-) time on it?

As noted in an earlier post, Adobe Premiere can’t do this, but Avid and Edius can.  I already use Avid, so that will be my auto-arranging tool of choice.

In Avid (Media Composer 7.0.2):

  • Set Project Settings for media type as per source footage
    • Unlike Premiere, Avid doesn’t have such Sequence-specific settings.
  • Import the footage
    • I found it ok to use AMA – no need to Ingest to MXF etc.
    • And yes, at the end of all this, it transferred (by AAF) from Avid to Premiere ok.
  • Menu:[Windows > Workspaces > Source/Record Editing]
    • To reinstate the Timeline – after it closed when I deleted the bad seq
  • Bin:
    • Sort the clips into order by Timecod
      • Shouldn’t matter in principle but it did appear to in practice…
    • Select all required clips
    • Do [Bin > AutoSequence]
    • A new sequence gets created, with the clips placed in time.
      • The sequence gets auto-named as per the last clip in the selection.
      • The sequence’s starting-timecode is auto-set to that of the earliest clip in timecode-time (among the selection)
  • Tip:
    • Timeline Zoom in/out = Ctrl-] / Ctrl-[ respectively.

I will post separately on how to Export from Avid and Import to Premiere via AAF (Advanced Authoring Format).  It worked, even for my AMA-linked footage (Sony XDCAM EX  / BPAV) – though  it wasn’t as straightforward as I expected – due to “a known issue with AAF in Premiere Pro CC (7.2.1)“.  It did succeed with Premiere CS6 (6.0.5), though even then some clunky wrangling was found necessary.  Thereafter I opened an existing Premiere CC project and Imported the CS6 sequence successfully.  Again I had to double-check the Sequence (this time in Premiere) matched the footage (clips).

Adobe CC: Speech-to-Text: Language Modules

Sunday, February 9th, 2014


Adobe Premiere has a speech-to-text translator, as part of its content-analysis capability.  At best it is 80% or so correct in its interpretations, though in my experience only 20-30% reliable.  But to optimize its chances, one must select the (spoken) language appropriate to the media (content) being analyzed.  But by default, only one language, US-English is available.  So how do you get further options?


  • By default, the only language model (sic) installed is that for US-English.
  • Optionally, one can download (free) Installers for other language modules.
  • One can download the installer for International English language models (sic), from
    • These English-language models include: Australian, British, Canadian.
  • Run the Installer
    • Although intended for both CCand CS6,  it only installs to [C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\SpeechAnalysisModels\CS6]
  • Manually copy content from [C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\SpeechAnalysisModels\CS6]
    to [C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\SpeechAnalysisModels\4.0]

    • (sic)
  • Likewise, for Mac OS:
    • Copy all content of [/Library/Application Support/Adobe/SpeechAnalysisModels/CS6
    • to [/Library/Application Support/Adobe/SpeechAnalysisModels/4.0]
  • Incidentally, it is possible to inject (eg via C++ code) a text script directly into XMP metadata
    • See Details for a link and example code.