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AE damaging WMV clip?

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Peter Burger
AE damaging WMV clip?
on Jan 31, 2011 at 2:22:05 pm

I encountered a strange problem lately, maybe someone can help me out.

Got a clip from a customer to colour correct and to put some titles in. Watched the clip with the Media Player (played without problems). Then I opened it in AE CS3 (Windows) natively (without transcoding it to a more workable format what I normally do).
During import AE froze. Had to shut it down with the taskmanager. After restart AE denied to open the clip ("unsupported file format").
I wasn't even able to play the clip with the Media Player anymore. VLC did play the clip, but when I tried to skip a few seconds, VLC crashed.

So it seems, AE damaged the clip during import. I wonder how this is possible? Wasn't able to recreate the problem with the backup of the clip. Played fine, imported without problems. But I fear this issue can show up any time again. Does anyone know if I can avoid it, if I set the file status of a clip to "read only"?

Any hint greatly appreciated!


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE damaging WMV clip?
on Jan 31, 2011 at 6:27:17 pm

[Peter Burger] "So it seems, AE damaged the clip during import. I wonder how this is possible? Wasn't able to recreate the problem with the backup of the clip. Played fine, imported without problems. But I fear this issue can show up any time again. Does anyone know if I can avoid it, if I set the file status of a clip to "read only"?"

I don't know for sure what has caused this issue, but I'd propose another theory for consideration: a disk or OS malfunction corrupted the file on read, which caused AE to crash.

Do you have any tool which can monitor the SMART status of your drives?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Peter Burger
Re: AE damaging WMV clip?
on Jan 31, 2011 at 8:01:55 pm

Thanks Walter for your reply! I don't have such a tool yet, but will get one today. Hope it's not the drive!
What I find strange is, that this happend only with a wmv. Once in a while AE freezes on my system during import of various files (from various drives), but they never went corrupt...

So, I'll get a SMART tool and monitor the drives.

Thanks again, Walter! Very much appreciated!


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE damaging WMV clip?
on Jan 31, 2011 at 8:05:54 pm

[Peter Burger] "What I find strange is, that this happend only with a wmv. Once in a while AE freezes on my system during import of various files (from various drives), but they never went corrupt..."

I don't know if I'm right to point to drive failure as a possibility or not -- but hey, now seems like a great time to back up your important data either way, right?

I'd probably stick with your transcoding workflow for intraframe-compressed media like WMV, anyway.

Good luck!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Peter Burger
Re: AE damaging WMV clip?
on Jan 31, 2011 at 8:12:35 pm

[Walter Soyka] "but hey, now seems like a great time to back up your important data either way, right?"

Jup! That went through my mind as well. If it's really the drive, I maybe was lucky to encounter the problem through my laziness of not transcoding and your theory before all the data on the drive goes *kaboom* ;)

So thanks again, Walter!


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Peter Burger
Re: AE damaging WMV clip?
on Feb 2, 2011 at 8:11:04 am

So, checked my HDDs with a SMART tool. Fortunately no problems with the drives displayed.
So the damaged file seems to be just an unlucky accident. Thought maybe someone had a similar problem (and solved it) or this issue is a known problem.


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