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Waveforms Hardly Ever Work
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Elfgren [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 17, 2012 10:59 Messages: 13 Offline
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Quote That's valuable feedback.

Just to clarify: Are you saying that you see Remove All Unused Content from Library work everywhere except your big project, but Empty the Library does work there?



Hi optodata, everywhere except is strong since I just tested a few projects. I found one that did not work with Remove All Unused Content from Library but this one worked with Empty the Library so I will use this until Cyberlink fixes this once and for all.

It is a very simple and fast workaround.

Once again Thank You very much.smile

Sven Erik Elfgren
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All of a sudden, many replies apppear out of no-where.

Before I made any kind of reply, I decided to have a go of this myself and try out Optodata's proposed workarounds.

I was quite excited that it seemed as though a breakthrough have been made in forcing a waveform to generate in a project that would never display it.

So I went through several projects finding an older one that I knew never had a working waveform from the start. So I opened it, and kept an eye on the PDHanumanSVR service that is responsible for the generation of the waveforms.

No surprise then that service was at 0% CPU usage. This meant that PowerDirector was refusing to acknowledge the fact that a waveform was needed.

So I then right-clicked an empty part of the library and selected "Remove All Unused Content..." and re-saved the project. Closed PD17 then re-opened...

And... nothing. No PDHanumanSVR activity, no Wafevorm cache activity and no waveform after 10-15 minutes of waiting. So I currently have no conclusion. It works for some people but not everyone? It works with some projects but not all?

The only thing I have noticed, at least on my end, is that MP4 files tend to load waveforms a lot quicker, instead of the TS files I usually use. I only did one test with this, and recorded in MP4 format instead of TS, and the waveform appeared quicker... well, the fact it appeared at all was surprising.

I will test this more by capturing more footage in MP4 format and seeing how reliable the waveform generation is.

For now, I can't say that Optodata's and Svens findings DON'T work, is just that they just didn't work for me. But may still work flawlessly for others.

EDIT: It seems it may work to an extent. I opened a project without a waveform and saw no activity from anything. Then I tried the "Empty Library" option instead. Saved, exited, re-opened... and the PDHanumanSvr was active and a waveform appeared in less than a minute. So... maybe y'all are on to something.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Oct 25. 2018 12:53

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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5443 Online
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Quote Sven and Opto, many thanks for your research an work-around!

I had the same issues, but the "Remove all unused content" trick worked for me. That is to say: partly. The waveforms do load now, but soooooo slow.... . The project I tested it on is 38 min long, has some 150 clips and 5 mp3's as background music so no real big deal I guess.
That slow loading you saw was due to PD having to (finally) churn through the audio content of all those clips on the timeline and create the cached waveform files. It's a one-time task, and once that's done, your project should load as quickly as before but WITH waveforms showing from now on

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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5443 Online
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Quote All of a sudden, many replies apppear out of no-where.
...
EDIT: It seems it may work to an extent. I opened a project without a waveform and saw no activity from anything. Then I tried the "Empty Library" option instead. Saved, exited, re-opened... and the PDHanumanSvr was active and a waveform appeared in less than a minute. So... maybe y'all are on to something.
Yeah, in my testing I saw equal success with either of the library commands, but since we still don't know what the actual hangup is, I guess it isn't too surprising to find that there are differences between the two.

Empty is the most drastic, and it also seems to be more likely to succeed. Maybe that's another clue to what the underlying issue is, but for now, I'm happy that we finally have a couple of options for getting PD to do its job

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Elfgren [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 17, 2012 10:59 Messages: 13 Offline
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Quote



Hi optodata, everywhere except is strong since I just tested a few projects. I found one that did not work with Remove All Unused Content from Library but this one worked with Empty the Library so I will use this until Cyberlink fixes this once and for all.

It is a very simple and fast workaround.

Once again Thank You very much.smile

Sven Erik Elfgren




I have done some more tests as the support at Cyberlink cannot reproduce the error. I tried to use a big dirctory containing only .mp4 files from a gopro5. With only .mp4 files in the library the .mp3 waveform seems to work. The libraries that does not work contains mostly .mts files generated by my sony fdr-ax33. So can it be that there is something with the .mts files that causes the trouble?

Sven Erik
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5443 Online
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That's certainly possible. My Canons all record MTS so virtually all my projects have at least some MTS clips in the library and on the timeline. Those are also fairly complex projects, and they've been where I've had the waveform problems for years.

Both use the same video codec, but the 60p clips have PCM audio, while my older 30p cameras are AC-3.
 Filename
Canon 1080 60p MediaInfo.txt
[Disk]
 Description
Canon Vixia HF G30 media details
 Filesize
3 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
189 time(s)
 Filename
Canon 1080 30p MediaInfo.txt
[Disk]
 Description
Canon Vixia HF S200 media details
 Filesize
3 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
191 time(s)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Nov 07. 2018 11:24



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Quote
That actually isn't a bug. In my experience, I see PD constantly checking how many frames remain to be produced and using the current processing speed to estimate when it will be finished. It's very accurate if you have consistant media content, but any time you have a section with lots of transitions, FX, Color corrections, extra video tracks, etc, producing slows way down and the estimated time will start increasing. If the denser section isn't at the end, the estimated time will rapidly decrease once the quicker rendering begins.

ADDED: You can easily see this if you turn on previewing while producing. That way you can connect the slowest parts of production with specific edits in the timeline.


This isn't related to the waveform issue, as it seems that we have found a small workaround. This is instead related to the other issue I mentioned, in that the rendering time keeps increasing.

To what Optodata said in the quote, the render time can increase with transitions, F/X etc. I rendered a 48 minute MP4 into an MP4 file, it only took about 6 minutes. No transitions, text, FX or anything.

I then added a JPG image, lasting 5 seconds, with a crossfade transition of 0.40s into the video. This increased the render time to around 45 minutes!

That's a massive increase for a small image and a very short transition. Is that much of an increase normal behaviour? It honestly doesn't seem right. Windows 10 Pro x64
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JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 4403 Offline
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Quote
I then added a JPG image, lasting 5 seconds, with a crossfade transition of 0.40s into the video. This increased the render time to around 45 minutes!

That's a massive increase for a small image and a very short transition. Is that much of an increase normal behaviour? It honestly doesn't seem right.

More than likely you used SVRT to produce the file, which is broken in PD17, except beta release. Because of this, everything after the pic needed full CPU encoding, hence the big time requirement.

Jeff
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Elfgren [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 17, 2012 10:59 Messages: 13 Offline
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Seems as this bug is fixed in the latest patch although not mentioned in the patch enhancement list. cool
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ConnieZ [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Location: Kenner, Louisiana Joined: May 24, 2017 14:06 Messages: 8 Offline
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THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!! Oh my goodness, between you and Sven, you have worked a miracle. I am so grateful for a fix for this issue. This is a miserable glitch in the software. I just cannot believe that Cyberlink has allowed this issue to exist through at least two versions. Thank you again. You are a life-saver. smile

I just upgraded from 14 to 17 in order to resolve a glitch with the audio skipping anytime I added Fade transitions, and then I got hit with this suprize of the missing waveforms. Music is always an important part of my video projects, so this was a big, big issue. I use the waveforms to match up Titles to the right spots in the audio.




Quote Sven - you've done it! You've cracked the mystery here! You found consistancy, which had eluded the rest of us, and you found that the library was involved. Those two clues are critical to the workaround I've just found. Thank you so much for sharing your findings! cool

It turns out that it's not the size of the library or how many clips are inside - but something in the library code is absolutely key to triggering the waveform to be generated (or is preventing the waveforms from being generated).

I first tried doing your test (EDIT: using my own clips, NOT the ones in your Google Drive folder). I imported 224 media files (well over 100GB in total) and dragged four of the video clips to the timeline. In your video, the waveforms appeared and you only had trouble when you dragged an MP3 clip to the timeline from File Explorer.

On my system, none of the 4 clips had a waveform, and neither did an MP3 clip that I dragged onto the timeline. If I copied those four video clips to a new project and pasted them on the timeline, there still weren't any waveforms, even though the library was empty. Opening and closing PD had no effect for me, so there had to be something more than just library content or size.

As I was working on the library's possible role, I found that right-clicking in a blank section of the Media Library and choosing either of these commands would be the solution!



There are only 3 steps in my proposed workaround, but all are mandatory:

  1. Open a project that doesn't display audio waveforms, then right-click on an empty part of the Media Library and chose either Empty the Library or Remove All Unused Content from Library. It doesn't matter how many clips are there to start with or how many you end up with. Even if the library is already empty, or if its only contents are the clips on the timeline, chosing one of those commands is needed to trigger the waveforms.
    (EDIT #2: It seems like the Empty command works on more projects than Remove does, so try Remove first)

    (EDIT #3: If you do have to empty the library but don't want to lose the contents, right click in the library and choose Export Library. You will be prompted to save the library in a .pdl file, and then you can empty the library)

  2. Save the project (or Save As), and then close PD. This is required!

  3. Reopen the project in PD, then watch and wait while the waveforms are generated!
    (EDIT 3A: Remember to use Import Library to restore the original project contents (if needed)

The best news is that once these steps have been performed, my testing shows that the project will always generate waveforms EVEN if you manually delete any of the ~PD_xxxx.txt files from the waveform cache folder. In other words, PD should finally work as expected

I have tried this over a dozen times on several different projects, and it works every single time. If other people can confirm that this approach forces wavforms on their machine then we'll finally have a reliable workaround for this issue, and hopefully Cyberlink will be able to work out what's been going on all this time.

Please post back with your results. Again, a huge shout-out to Sven (Elfgren) for his detailed effort!
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5443 Online
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I'm so glad this worked for you! This was a real challenge to solve, and it was only through teamwork and collaboration that we managed to get this thing figured out.

It seems that Cyberlink has actually addressed the issue in the latest release of PD17, so run the App Manager (if you have the subscription version) or download and install v2314 from this page if you're at an earlier version.

Happy Editing cool

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Dec 14. 2018 18:52



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ConnieZ [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Location: Kenner, Louisiana Joined: May 24, 2017 14:06 Messages: 8 Offline
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Hi Optodata, thanks for the tip about the patch. I checked the version I am on and it is: 17.0.2314.1

Does that mean I'm on the most current version?

If so, then the problem isn't resolved. But YOUR workaround works for now. smile

This is what that page says, but I don't know if it is a patch to 2314, or if 2314 IS the patch to all earlier versions:

"The PowerDirector 17 patch update v.2314 is now available."

Thanks again!!



Quote I'm so glad this worked for you! This was a real challenge to solve, and it was only through teamwork and collaboration that we managed to get this thing figured out.

It seems that Cyberlink has actually addressed the issue in the latest release of PD17, so run the App Manager (if you have the subscription version) or download and install v2314 from this page if you're at an earlier version.

Happy Editing cool
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5443 Online
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Quote Hi Optodata, thanks for the tip about the patch. I checked the version I am on and it is: 17.0.2314.1

Does that mean I'm on the most current version?

If so, then the problem isn't resolved. But YOUR workaround works for now. smile

Yes, you have the latest patch, and thanks very much for letting us know the problem is still present even with the latest version. The patch came out after we came up with the workaround, and I actually haven't seen it happen in my projects since then so I wasn't sure if it had been fixed or not.

Now that I know it's still an issue, I will "officially" report it to Cyberlink. The ticket # is CS001965816

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Dec 15. 2018 02:22



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ConnieZ [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Location: Kenner, Louisiana Joined: May 24, 2017 14:06 Messages: 8 Offline
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Thank you for submitting the ticket Optodata, that saved me lots of time figuring out how to submit one!! It's a pleasure working on my project now that I have my waveforms back!!


Quote

Yes, you have the latest patch, and thanks very much for letting us know the problem is still present even with the latest version. The patch came out after we came up with the workaround, and I actually haven't seen it happen in my projects since then so I wasn't sure if it had been fixed or not.

Now that I know it's still an issue, I will "officially" report it to Cyberlink. The ticket # is CS001965816
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5443 Online
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Quote Thank you for submitting the ticket Optodata, that saved me lots of time figuring out how to submit one!! It's a pleasure working on my project now that I have my waveforms back!!

I just heard from tech support that they can see the issue on the project you PM'd me, and they've assigned an engineer to work on it.

Hopefully, we're now at the very end of the "missing waveforms era," and I'd be happy to let this hard-fought workaround thread fade into the sunset if new PD versions are able to reliably create the waveforms every time!

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pmikep [Avatar]
Senior Member Private Message Joined: Nov 26, 2016 22:51 Messages: 271 Offline
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It will be interesting to see if CL will also release a patch for this for PD15. (Or if CL is done supporting PD15.)
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5443 Online
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Quote It will be interesting to see if CL will also release a patch for this for PD15. (Or if CL is done supporting PD15.)

That's a good question. They did release an update to deal with the changed nVidia drivers last month, but it's fairly rare for them to go back two versions so my guess is no - but it's still a possibility.

Fortunately the workaround seems to be solid and pretty quick and easy to apply, and it will continue to work on all older PD versions.
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OptoData

Thank you sooo much for that post, I have just tried it on my PD15 "Remove all unused Content" and that worked the other one didn't work at all

I am so gratefull to You and Sven for sorting this age old problem !!

When I searched the forum it did not come up with the post that you sent to me strangely enough, but am glad that you took the time to reply to me, really appreciate it

Best Regards

Kay77
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Lol... OMG still happening in PowerDirector 17. Some MP3/M4A files will display waveform, others will not. Completely random, no rhyme or reason. Even removing all library items doesn't work as often.

Tried Audio Editor to force the waveform to be generated, thinking that might help... but of course not, how naive of me. The waveform is a VERY important part of my editing. Without a visible waveform, it makes editing nigh-on impossible. Which in turn makes PowerDirector useless to me as a functional product.

It's 2019, 17 versions of PowerDirector later and the simingly simplest task of displaying a visual representation of the audio is still eluding the CyberLink team.

On top of that, it took near as next to 10 minutes just for this webpage to fully load.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Oct 01. 2019 20:36

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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5443 Online
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You don't say if you've updated to the most recent version of PD17 - are you possibly still running an older version that doesn't have the waveform update?

If you do have the latest version and you're still not getting waveforms, please contact tech support with an update to your situation.

If you don't want to do that, it would be great if you could upload a short clip or two to a cloud folder and paste the link here so that other people can test them out. I'd be happy to report the issue to CL directly, but I need to have access to some of the clips that aren't working on your system.

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According to my PowerDirector, it's version 17.0.2307.0 Ultimate.

I've tried updating to the latest patch (3005) but it doesn't work, it just tells me I have the wrong version for the update. I know the updates on the CL website do NOT work with 365 versions, or bundled versions, Steam versions etc... but I do not know where I can find stand alone updates to these.

I purchased this off eBay as a lifde-time pre-activated version that was NOT eligiable for future updates. I couldn't really afford the £100 price tag at the moment, so I went with a cheaper approach for now, until I could afford it. I'm guessing the one I bought off eBay isn't exactly on the up and up?

While the Empty the Library option seems to no longer be reliable, I can sometimes... and only sometimes... get it to work if I save the project, exit then re-open. Somewhat hit asnd miss with that though. The MP4 video gets it's waveform faster than the M4A audio I work with, which is strange to me. Windows 10 Pro x64
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