i have a presentation tomorrow and a 1.5 hour movie
that is exporting for 7 hours and it says it has another 6 hours
i have to choose either to stop the exporting now and choose a smaller size to download or to trust it will take
the time he says
what do you think?
How and what are you exporting? Are you creating H.264 straight out of Media Composer? From the sounds of the required time to do so, this would seem to be the case. Avid still uses outdated 32bit QuickTime engines for export which don't have a lot of control and take forever to process. The best bet is to use third-party encoders like:
Sorenson (no longer developed but still works)
Adobe Media Encoder
MPEGSTreamclip (I've had problems with this one and has not been updated in years, but seems to work for some folks)
FFMPEG (find a nice GUI via a google search)
I use Adobe Media Encoder. In either case, you will want to export either a QuickTime using "Same as Source" or an MXF OP1a export. Both of these will be encoded into your deliverable from one of the apps above. Adobe, Apple, and Sorenson easily support the MXF OP1a export. The two-step process is still way faster than letting MC using QuickTime do the work.