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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #1
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problem in Encore

I've been able to build/burn DVDs with my MBookPro up until a week ago. I haven't made any changes that I'm aware of and the machine is used just for editing (so it only visits the internet for Mac/Adobe upgrades. Now I can't build DVDs at all. In fact, I have a clip(s) on the desktop that plays fine. When I import into Encore it will sometimes play the audio in the project preview window. Sometimes audio will play on the timeline but not when previewing the project. The problem appears to be with encoding. Any help is MUCH appreciated. I've been on the phone with Adobe and Apple for a wekk and no one seems to be able to help.

I even re-installed Mac OS Leopard. That seemed to fix things for a brief time then in about an hour I started having the same issues. ?


-Don B.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #2
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Believe it or not, I've had a few emails about this very problem although I've not yet experienced it on our MacBook Pro yet.

The issue is more PC-like than Apple would like to admit and much to do with the firmware of the SuperDrive. Some units - series numbers I don't have - have reported issues with Encore where after a time the API simply stops communicating - a software bug. When the SuperDrive was replaced with a newer unit or a different brand the issue cleared and wasn't repeated.

This may or may not be the problem you're experiencing however all indications are that Adobe has solved this issue with CS4.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Robert. You are the first that seems to understand my issue. I'm guessing this is what the problem is. Now I'm going between Apple and Adobe with each one saying it is the other's fault (hardware vs. software). This has gotten progressively worse. Now Premier will only export stills when I try to export a movie and it won't allow me to build from Adobe Media Encoder at all. Everything else seems to work on the Mac fine but as the Adobe tech pointed out, there's nothing else on my Mac that would tax the system like CS3.

Do you see this as a hardware issue or software. From reading your reply it sounds like hardware. I've been losing about $1000/day for a week with this problem and it is REALLY driving me crazy (pulling my hair out as I type). Any input/ideas are greatly appreciated. I've made an appointment to drive an hour to visit the Mac store in Syracuse tonight. I hope they can do something. With each hour I'm getting further behind in my work.

Any thoughts? I wonder if I just get CS4 if that will solve the problem or if I need a new superdrive.

Thanks.

-Don

BTW: Why the 'Go Go Godzilla' under your name? Is that a reference to BOC? Two of those guys used to live here in Ithaca. I know the bass player's (Joe) daughter who still lives here.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #4
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Hi Don,

It would be impossible to tell without physically being at the affected system first-hand but there is a relatively quick and easy way to test the hardware theory:

Built into the Xcode bundle of programs available from the Mac OSX install disk are 3 utilities that can help diagnose memory/system related hangs or problems:

1. Spin Control
2. Instruments and;
3. Thread Viewer

When loaded they can be found in DEVELOPER/APPLICATIONS/UTILITIES folder.

Read the instructions for each app and you can self-diagnose which application is causing the hangs/failures/memory leaks etc and send this info to either Apple, Adobe or both. These apps will clearly define whether or not the issue IS hardware or software - or both.

If it is hardware/SuperDrive related do this:

Goto "ifixit.com" and download the guide on how to replace the SuperDrive yourself. Pick up another SuperDrive from OWC or another supplier of MacBook Pro-compatible DVD burners ( Find the latest Performance Upgrades, Firewire and USB Hard Drives, SATA, Memory, Laptop Battery, and more at OWC ) and try the newer burner. You might also look at your RAM and see if there any memory hangs or program halts causing the issue.

About the "Godzilla" reference:

I self-published a DVD about photography recently, Photos in a Flash. A few years ago I made a demo for proof of concept to show investors (which I never found). I made a revised version of the demo reel with bloopers; in one scene I was walking behind a jet model while wearing a green shirt. The camera angle was low and accentuated how grossly overweight I was at the time. During my post-production discussions (which we recorded) with my best friend who helped shoot the demo I was making a lot of self-deprecating jokes about how the low-angle/fat gut shot made me appear very Godzilla-like attacking the little jet. The resemblance was so strong I couldn't help but use BOC's hit song as the sound-bed for the self-ripping session.

I met Chris Hurd, the owner of this forum right after I had created the demo w/bloopers and sent him a copy. Obviously he thought my Godzilla reference was spot-on and assigned the moniker to my name. I happily accepted it as a reminder of just how bad being overweight on-camera actually looks. One day I'll get brave and careless enough and I'll post the demo-blooper here on the forum. Maybe.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 05:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bazley View Post
Thanks for the reply Robert. You are the first that seems to understand my issue. I'm guessing this is what the problem is. Now I'm going between Apple and Adobe with each one saying it is the other's fault (hardware vs. software). This has gotten progressively worse. Now Premier will only export stills when I try to export a movie and it won't allow me to build from Adobe Media Encoder at all. Everything else seems to work on the Mac fine but as the Adobe tech pointed out, there's nothing else on my Mac that would tax the system like CS3.

Do you see this as a hardware issue or software. From reading your reply it sounds like hardware. I've been losing about $1000/day for a week with this problem and it is REALLY driving me crazy (pulling my hair out as I type). Any input/ideas are greatly appreciated. I've made an appointment to drive an hour to visit the Mac store in Syracuse tonight. I hope they can do something. With each hour I'm getting further behind in my work.

Any thoughts? I wonder if I just get CS4 if that will solve the problem or if I need a new superdrive.

Thanks.
Do you have any other DVD authoring programs? iDVD or Toast come to mind. You can export a full resolution QuickTime from Premier and import it into one of these programs to make a test DVD. This should test if the SuperDrive is the problem.

If these programs are not available, you can use Apple's Disk Utility program to make a disk image of an old DVD that works and then burn a new one. If the SuperDrive is bad you should get some sort of failure.

If the drive works then I suspect a corruption in Premier. Re-install Premier. It might be sensible to remove the old version first and any preference files that Premier puts in the Library folders.

Before you do it, I recommend booting off the Leopard install disk, run Drive Utility and verify your main drive. If you have AppleCare (recommended), boot off the TechTool disk that came with the plan and run it.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 11:16 PM   #6
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Replaced Superdrive on my MBP

A few months ago I had what sounds like a very similar problem with Encore and my MBP. Apple said Adobe, Adobe said Apple. I had the drive replaced twice from Apple and it works fine now. Apple had me go through a couple simple tests with Toast and said the drive works fine. So when I called back I played iggorant and they replaced the drive.... I don't know for sure but, like I said, no more problems.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the input. I am going to try everything that has been mentioned.

Last night I went to the Apple store and they did a hardware test and they say there is absolutely no problem with the hardware. This has been a long process...um, nightmare. At one point I did use iDVD and that burned a DVD fine. It doesn't have menu options I need but it did burn. Does that rule out the hardware? If it is a software issue, I don't know where I'll turn. I think that if Adobe GIVES me CS4 it may clear up the problem, but I doubt they will do that even though I've lost thousands of $$$ from this. I guess I should have gone with FCP. If Adobe can't help me resolve this (no tech has been able to solve it) then I will be a loud voice bashing Adobe (even though up until now I have been a big promoter of their products).

Thanks everyone. I'll be doing some more tests and post whatever I find.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 08:04 AM   #8
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I should add that I cannot build a DVD disc image or folder either, so I don't think it is the disc drive. (?)
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Old October 9th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #9
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This sounds like a programming issue on Adobe's part. In defense of Adobe, there are little weird things that pop up in hardware's firmware that may only affect one or two programs but no other. Your drive might have an older version that Adobe never tested or encountered. Adobe might not feel that it's worth updating the version of Encore you have.

That said, I still feel that you should reinstall your Adobe video package since you can't even make a VideoTS folder. That should not be dependent on a working DVD drive.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #10
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Don,

Use the built-in tools that come with OSX that I mentioned above which will test and report any issues; if they weren't installed by default then use your install disk and go into Optional Installs and get them.

Using these tools will prove beyond any doubt where the issue lies, whether it's hardware or software. You can save and email or print out the results from all the tools results and send them to either Apple or Adobe. Once they have the "smoking gun" they can offer whatever fix is required.

Keep in mind that just because one app works fine with any piece of hardware doesn't guarantee they all will. Every app has to have an API and other code-monkey bits that tells it how to address and communicate with all the hardware properly.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #11
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Thanks again everyone. You've all been a big help. Even though I had already uninstalled and re-installed a few times I tried it again and (for now) it is working. Throughout this issue I've had it working again a couple of times but it seemed to quickly degrade back to not being able to play audio in the timeline etc. For now it is working. I'm doing a test build right now.

If I continue to have issues I am surely going to take Robert's advice. I'll post to let you know how things are going. Thanks again.

Robert: I enjoyed the story behind Go Go Godzilla. :)
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Old October 9th, 2008, 01:54 PM   #12
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Well, I knew better than to get too excited. While trying my test build it returned with the same error message that this whole mess started with. I guess now I will go ahead and use the tools Robert has suggested.

The error I get (again, this is how the entire issue started) is:

"Scrumpy/Main/MediaLayerFacade/build/mac/.../.../source/BEUtilities.cpp-254"

Has anyone ever heard of this error?

After I close that error message window I get:

"An input contract violation has occured!"


As always, any input is appreciated. Like I said, I will not try what Robert suggested (as soon as I get a chance)
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Old October 9th, 2008, 05:59 PM   #13
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Those are some very odd error messages.

After the tests are completed, you might consider an external DVD burner. They usually burn faster than laptop internal burners anyway.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #14
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Let us know what the diagnostic tools tell you, Don, and by all means push it in the face of both Apple and Adobe when you get it.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #15
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Update

Since you all have been supportive to offer advice and ideas I figured I'd post on the latest regarding my tech saga.

On Friday I spent a couple of hours on the phone with a senior vid tech from Adobe. We shared desktops and he walked me through the process I had been following. When it came time to add a second clip to the Encore timeline and the audio wouldn't follow the video into the time line he said "Hmmm, that's wierd". He then tried the same thing on his MacBook and had the same issue. Bottom line is that, according to this tech, I discovered a bug in Encore. I have often built DVDs with multilple clips in the timeline and had no problem until about 2 weeks ago. Bottom line is that I have it working now by just creating one large file including all my clips in Premier and build a DVD from that one file (adding chapter points in the appropriate places). I guess that is how it is actually supposed to be done. I never realized that because I never had a problem building a DVD with several clips in the Encore timeline.

So, I'm happy to say that I have found a way to do what I need to do. At this point that is all I really care about. Thanks for the input everyone.
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