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New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost

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Chris Blair
New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost
on Oct 20, 2011 at 2:57:45 pm

I'm new to Episode but have been encoding videos for nearly a decade. We currently use a variety of encoding tools, from Carbon Coder on the high-end, to Flash Video Studio on the low-end. I've also used a slew of other products, including Pro-Coder, MPEG Streamclip, Handbrake, Quicktime Pro, Windows Media Encoder etc.

For the life of me I haven't been able to get Episode to make it through one workflow without failing. A dialogue pops up every time I open Episode that mentions "cluster found" or something like that. At one time I had Episode installed on a different machine, but I've since uninstalled it and installed it on a new system. When I submit a workflow, it usually fails upon initialization. I've tried loading and saving from the local system, from network drives....you name it...nothing works. I'm using all the default install settings and I've worked through every tutorial in both their Quickstart and Full Manuals (which are awful by the way, lacking search capability & not covering many prominment functions at all).

But I had the exact same problem on the first machine. I've literally never gotten through an encode without it failing. I've called Telestream support, and while they're very responsive and courteous, I've gotten zero answers.

I bought 2 licenses so I know that I can have the software on 2 systems at one time, but I cannot even get it to run on one! Any help is appreciated. I mentioned the other encoding software I've used because I've figured ALL of those out without so much as crakcking open the manual. I find Episode byzantine in it's operation and terminology compared to every other encoding tool I've used.

But I'd at least like be able to be able to see how it works before giving up on it (and the $1000 I dropped on it).

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


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Craig Seeman
Re: New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost
on Oct 20, 2011 at 3:15:04 pm

I'd need more detailed error messages to troubleshoot this.

You may be beyond these tutorials but again it's unclear how you've set things up so these might help.
http://www.telestream.net/episode/demos.htm



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Chris Blair
Re: New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost
on Oct 20, 2011 at 3:42:11 pm

That's the thing...there aren't really any detailed error messages. When I submit, it goes through the stages below:

Localize: Successful
Encode: Initialization Failed
Upload: Pre-Start Fails

There are no other error messages or dialog boxes anywhere. Like I said I've used their tutorials (to the letter), created my own workflows using their present encoders, created custom encoders, loaded source files from the local system drive, loaded source files from our network, specified the destination to the local drive, specificed the destination (or Deployment) to a network drive, used Same as Source, Used Desktop....whew....that's everything I can think of.

Spent nearly half an hour on the phone with Telestream a couple months back with no resolution and no suggestions for how to fix. Got busy and never had a chance to troubleshoot again...but now have a project that I'd like to setup with Episode but have the same issues.

I've never seen software that's this difficult to get to work out of the box. I've googled and googled and haven't found anything to help with the issues although I did find a few other people on various forums with similar problems and also no solutions.

I've installed, uninstalled, reinstalled...once on a brand-new PC with a clean, factory installed version of Windows 7. It still doesn't work.

I'm sure it's something simple, but it sure isn't simple or clear from their help files, manuals or phone support what it is.

Thanks

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


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Craig Seeman
Re: New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost
on Oct 20, 2011 at 4:01:54 pm

I assume you've updated to Episode 6.2.
Test with an unaltered template. That will determine if you have a settings issue.
Test with a simple source such as DV.mov with your modified template. That will determine if you have a source file issue.



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Chris Blair
Re: New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost
on Oct 20, 2011 at 4:44:50 pm

Haven't updated to 6.2 yet. Just got the notice yesterday in my email. But I've tried unaltered templates and tried many very simple source files, .mov, wmv, MPEG2, DV using AVI and MOV wrappers etc.

I'll update and see if that helps, but I cannot imagine that this is a version problem when I can't get even one encode to finish.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


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Craig Seeman
Re: New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost
on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:32:33 pm

Sometimes an update will overwrite "problem" components just as a reinstall might.



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Cris Daniels
Re: New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost
on Oct 25, 2011 at 12:22:13 am

My advice if you haven't already done so would be do do a complete manual uninstall as shown in the end of the product manual.

Then repair permissions (or run a program like Cocktail for OSX), reboot, reinstall.

Forget the cluster. Get one machine going correctly at this point. Use a pre-built template and pass it a known good file.

Do everything locally, start with the source file on your desktop and drop the encoded file back on the desktop. No network mounts, XSAN, etc...

If you are still crapping out then see if the same exact things happen on that second machine.

Even the 6.2 beta was stable, I hardly ever had a encoding failure and the ones that did fail were corrupt source files.


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Chris Blair
Re: New To Episode but not Encoding and I'm totally lost
on Oct 25, 2011 at 1:08:19 am

That's basically what I did. I finally have at least basic encodes working on one machine. But strangely, version 6.2 keeps failing on encoding very basic hi-resolution WMV files. It will load and play them from the Episode explorer window just fine, but if I load them as a source file and try to right-click and play from the source icon, it says "no encoder available" or something like that. Of course that encode fails because it thinks it can't read the WMV file. I don't understand why it will load and play the files from one part of the program, but then the encoding engine fails to load it for encoding?

This happens on two completely different Windows boxes (one with Windows 7, the other WinXP); so it seems to be an Episode issue. We export to high-rez WMV quite a lot out of our editing systems, then re-encode to various web formats from those files. I find it odd that it has trouble with these files when every other Windows based encoding tool we own (freebies included) have always loaded them without issue. I loaded these same files into 3 other encoding apps just to check them, including Carbon Coder, Squeeze, Expression Encoder as well as a couple of freebie encoding apps (MediaCoder and Quick Media Converter).

Anyway...I've made progress, but I can't believe this software gets such high marks when a basic install is this troublesome and time-consuming. Remember...my initial installs were on a brand-new PC with a clean install of Windows 7 on it...so there was literally nothing to conflict with the program. Hopefully I can find a solution to the Windows Media issue.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


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