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Correct Import method for MTS files (or media not linking correctly)

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Lance ClaytonCorrect Import method for MTS files (or media not linking correctly)
by on Aug 12, 2015 at 6:43:49 am

Hi All,

I have found AVCHD/MTS files to be a consistent problem in a Premiere workflow.

Either the cache database gets corrupt due to the masses of files named 00000.mts etc, or reconnecting media causes timecode slips where, once reconnected, an offline clip seems to reference the wrong section of the newly re-linked media.

I wanted to post something simply to inform others about what I feel is the correct MTS workflow for Premiere. I'd also like to hear what others find to work best in order to minimise errors.

Importing MTS files

Here's the problem:

There are at least three ways to 'bring' media into Premiere.

1. Dragging it into the project bin
2. File > Import
3. Media Browser

Adobe don't make it clear (unless you've read the Premiere User Manual) that the first of these 3 methods work okay 90% of the time, BUT only bringing media in via the Media Browser works 100% of the time and is the correct method to import media. Thus, I suggest making it a rule to live by that you only ever import media into Premiere via the Media Browser.

Not only that, when importing AVCHD type media, right click and select import at the top level of the folder ie on the 'private' folder, rather than digging down. This is so that all relevant metadata comes in too. Premiere does actually need those extra files because they contain the metadata that tells Premiere what to do with the clips where a single take has been split into two (or more) .MTS files (perhaps due to a file size limit characteristic of the camera).



You'll see that doing so brings up a result different to what importing .MTS files directly does. Importing the top level folder creates two files that have a total duration that is the combination of the split file (which is still confusing but you can basically just verify that they're the same and then delete one). However, importing just the .MTS files keeps them split, and if you add the numbers of each pair of boxed numbers on the right they add to the total file duration that is shown on the left. Hopefully that makes sense.



As you can see, importing the .MTS files still works, but if you ever move your project files to a new hard drive and media needs to be reconnected, you'll be in the same boat as us right now and that could mean days of meticulous editing dissolves into a mess of jumbled incorrect media which you'll need to rebuild from referencing your rendered/exported masters. We've been in this boat before so I'm explaining all this to hopefully save you from a tonne of stress in a future project.

Lance


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David Roth WeissRe: Correct Import method for MTS files (or media not linking correctly)
by on Aug 12, 2015 at 8:05:57 pm

[Lance Clayton] "Here's the problem:

There are at least three ways to 'bring' media into Premiere.

1. Dragging it into the project bin
2. File > Import
3. Media Browser

Adobe don't make it clear (unless you've read the Premiere User Manual) that the first of these 3 methods work okay 90% of the time, BUT only bringing media in via the Media Browser works 100% of the time and is the correct method to import media. Thus, I suggest making it a rule to live by that you only ever import media into Premiere via the Media Browser."


Clearly, the problem is not the fault of Adobe, it's that users don't read the manual or even bother taking a minute or two to watch the many very clear, concise, and free online tutorials Adobe has kindly spread all over the Web.

Unfortunately, for those of us who do know what we're doing, this is a business filled with many people who don't even know the most basic fundamentals of editing, but who nonetheless call themselves professionals. All we can do is hope that Darwin was correct and natural selection will give manual readers an evolutionary advantage.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Sylvia WrightRe: Correct Import method for MTS files (or media not linking correctly)
by on Oct 7, 2015 at 8:17:26 pm

Lance, thank you for this post. You were right -- others can benefit from this advice.

A friend has just shared MTS files w me (via a file-sharing drop box service). I have not used MTS files before in Premiere Pro CC 2015.

We are both unskilled amateurs.

Q's:

Should I ask him for higher-level folders rather than only files?

Will I have problems using the MTS files in a Pr project full of MOV files?


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Lance ClaytonRe: Correct Import method for MTS files (or media not linking correctly)
by on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:13:40 pm

Hi,

Glad it helps. I would suggest sourcing the higher level files if possible, and retaining the original file structure.

If you can't source them, at least bring in what you have via Media Browser. Sometimes where a single MTS take has spanned across two clips Premiere will import two files into the project that are the same exactly. Just double check they are they same and you could remove one if it bothered you.

Editing with MTS and movs will be fine, however to make Premiere work as smoothly as possible be sure to set your editing timeline to the format that the majority of the clips are in. For example, if 90% of the media is MOVS then grab one of the mov clips from the project bin and drop it onto the 'new sequence' button in you project panel and a new sequence will be created that will be set for optimized editing of MOVS.

Hope that makes sense. Happy editing!

Lance


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