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Quote Yes. Those steps and the pack project materials step in the next paragraph. All are simple and should be quick to do, and hopefully we'll have more insight into what's going on afterwards.


OK, I did what I think you asked. I created two versions of the project, using the audio file directly downloaded from google drive. In one, I kept the data (where I stretched the audio). In the other, I deleted everything.

I then changed the audio file by pasting in a longer version and changing the name.

Then I re-loaded the (now messed up) with-data project file and write it out from Pack Project Directory.

I recorded all of this, so you can see what I did (it only took a few minutes). Those videos are in the uploaded zip file as well:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GjiSJTRejURQm4EjSLKPB1yaP2LWf3mJ

Thanks,
Paul
Sorry, I got busy finishing a promo video I was doing for someone, and fell behind on this thread. Were you referring to this paragraph?

Now instead of avoiding the issue you'd actually rather pursue the root cause(s), be sure to take things in small steps and see where they lead. For instance, save 2 copies of a test project, one with the library contents saved and one without. If you're using the sample clips you've already shared, you can simply attach the projects here, and we can quickly check the PDS files for consitency and content.

Quote

OK. That was a single idea and now we know it's not the solution.

What happens if you try the steps I suggested starting in the 3rd paragraph of this earlier post? Even though PD14 won't ever be updated again, I think it would still help to understand what's going on.

If the issue might be present in current versions, the problem can be reported and addressed by Cyberlink. If the problem turns out to be with your workflow, steps can be taken to avoid encountering the elephant, or at least reducing the likelihood of it appearing.
Hey optodata,

Thanks for helping (I'm sure it took some time to put that together). Unfortunately, it didn't work. I did all the deletes, then started PD and went into one of the test directories that has the 24 sec clip. Loaded it - 48 seconds (silence at end).

Paul

Quote I've been working with Cyberlink tech support on a couple of issues recently, and I wonder if something I've learned might apply here.

Open up regedit and go to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\CyberLink\MediaCache5 (if that key is present) and delete all the subkeys. Do the same thing for Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\CyberLink\PowerDirector14\MediaObj\MediaCache5 and then see if the elephant is no longer in the room...

(PD will regenerate the cache files whenever you import clips, so there's no damage from deleting these)

Oh, and before you all conclude that PD simply caches based on path+filename - it's not that simple.

This morning I created a brand-new directory, copied the 24-sec mp3 into it, started PD, and it showed up as 19 sec long. I didn't have screen recorder running, and I haven't been able to reproduce it (this problem is squirrely).

When I get back from dance practice tonight, I'm just going to let the screen recorder run while I play around and see if I can catch it in the act. Then I'll pull the video into PD and cut down to just the problem.

Thanks,
Paul
My apologies if this ends up being a duplicate, but I submitted it and, after several minutes, it hasn't shown up. Fortunately for me, I'm paranoid, and I did a ctl-a ctl-c before I hit the submit button...

Quote
Unfortunately I think you're creating headaches for yourself by contining to reuse file and folder names.



But that takes us back to the subject of my original post - data management. It's hard to believe that a program that's been around as long as PD actually requires SYSTEM-WIDE uniqueness of file and directory names! Loads of new users are going to create a directory called, "Birthday Party", then move it to "Birthday Party - old" so they can create a new "Birthday Party". And loads of users are going to use the same background music in multiple videos. The only thing that makes sense, it seems to me, is to keep all project-specific data in a project-specific directory - and store that directory IN the project file. I'm still baffled. How do the rest of you structure your data? Do you really do all your work in a single directory? If not, do you change the preferences > files setting every time you switch projects? If not, don't you find it confusing to have your snapshots for all videos jumbled together in a single "export" directory? How do you clean out the unused ones? How do you FIND anything?

How do other people work with this tool?

In my particular case, I'm not free to name the directories and files any way I like. I create dance videos. Besides going to youtube, they're uploaded to a server - and that server has very specific naming conventions. I have scripts to build the data structure with all the correct naming. If I have to rename a file just to make PD happy, it creates a lot of headaches.

I know most people don't have this problem, but new users are NOT going to expect to have to use globally unique file and directory names. No other piece of software I've ever used has ever had that requirement.

Quote

There are several ways that practice can come back and bite you unless you know where every possible cached copy resides, and it won't matter how many times you delete the original, because as soon as PD sees the same file name in the same folder, it will access the cached version.



A fundamental rule of caching is that it must be transparent to the layer above (in this case, the user). Most users don't even know what a cache is. It's the tool's responsibility to make the cache transparent to users. Your OS is caching your data at half a dozen different levels, but you don't have to worry about them. Cache coherency must be managed by the entity doing the caching.

I'm back to my original question: how have generations of users dealt with this? What am I missing? Surely there are other people with multiple projects who move back and forth between them. How could the tool STILL not save the relevant (local) directory information in the project file?

Thanks,
Paul
Quote

To understand what's going on when you delete the files from the disk that are in your project's media library, and they somehow reappear when you reopen PD, please use this command to find out where the files really are located:



That's not what's happening. I haven't tampered with files that are IN a project file, I've tampered with files that were ONCE in a project file, but have since been deleted.

It's odd that, if the file is still in its original location, PD puts it BACK in the library, even though it was deleted from the library before the project was written. But that's just an annoyance (or maybe a clue as to what's really going on).

What I did was:

Read the file into the library, drag it to the timeline, modify it, then write out the project
Delete the file from the timeline and the library, and WRITE OUT THE PROJECT.
(project should no longer have any reference to the file)
Start PD again, and, poof, the file is back in the library.

I then exited PD, deleted the file and replaced it with another file of the same name with different content. That's when all hell breaks loose...

Paul
Quote A

I just tried the simple part of your test, importing an MP3 file into PD14 (14.0.4207.0) and using ctrl+shift to increase the duration/slow the playback speed. I tried it without saving the project, then again and saving the project, and again after adding it to the library, and I didn't see anything unusual. If I deleted the file, PD would prompt me to locate it. If I left the files intact, it always had the correct length.



Was this on PD14 or PD17?

Also, I assume you re-used the file name (which had been deleted from the project and so should be free for future use).

Thanks,
Paul
Quote Another way to see if there's something odd about your MP3 clips is to upload one to your Google Drive folder so other people can examine the details and test it on their systems.


That's easily done: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bg1GkJ-GqBgMNULhsO8-PyQFRBZDOF0E

You'll obviously have to rename the "slowed down" one to match the original name to reproduce.

Paul
Quote

Not generically, but mp3's have various flavors, some encoding settings have made some more challenging for use in PD and display symptoms as you observed, wrong duration. WAV usually very safe.

Try the suggestion as see if your "elephant" bug persists.

Jeff


wav seems to work. I did it twice, and it worked both times. This might be better than the convoluted workarounds I've been using so far.

My flow (more details in a later post) involves mp3's with a specific naming convention. But using wav as the "exception" case is simpler than my current workarounds (which, maddeningly, don't always seem to work).

Thanks!
Paul Zimmer
Quote I'd suggest not using mp3 with variable bitrate settings as you saved, or better yet, simply use wav with PD for a lot less headache.

Jeff


Thanks for helping.

Does that imply that PD has known issues with mp3s?

Paul
I mentioned in an earlier posting about what I call the elephant bug (because, like an elephant, PD never forgets). I made a video of the bug in action. I wasn't aware that the screen capture tool doesn't capture mouse-overs, but you can still figure out what's going on - just look at the lengths of the clips on the timeline.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Huf6fWZOKnSeOMp1CfvlCIBGPUduprno

I ran this on the latest update of PD 14. It would be interesting to know if this is reproducible on newer versions of the tool. It isn't difficult - just do ctl-drag on an audio clip once, and you'll never, ever, be able to able to edit a clip by that name (and sometimes by any other name) in that directory (and sometimes in other directories) again.


Thanks,
Paul Zimmer
Good news! Support got back to me with a link for updating the software. When I updated on the laptop, the "silent change" problems seems to have gone away.

It's still a bug that the tool fails to warn you when you load a different AR project, but I can live with that.

Note that I have "Automatically check for updates" turned on, and it never made a peep about there being an update available.

Ha ha. How do you fix THAT bug? With an update that no one will ever see? :

Thanks for your help, Sir Optodata!

Paul Zimmer
Optodata,

Thanks so much for your help. I initiated a service request as you suggested, and gave them the link to this thread as well as the testcase.

I'm pretty sure I never got that question box about keeping my personal settings when I did the uninstall.

Thanks again!

Paul Zimmer



Quote

Hmm, you should have been prompted to delete or keep your "personalized settings" when you uninstalled PD. Myabe you clicked Yes on screen and didn't think about it, or maybe for some reason it wasn't displayed; either way it appears that Windows didn't delete those items.



If you want to ensure that everything is gone, you can use RevoUninstaller and do a thorough scan. Even the free version does that.


That's what I saw when I opened your projects, but it didn't happen every time. Here's a screen recording of me opening your 2 projects and a recent one from my PC:



Although it might appear that the problems are in your project files, I did some more checking after I made the recording and I found that several of my own projects silently overrode the existing AR as well. As far as I can tell, the AR conflict message isn't 100% reliable, and it may even be sensitive to the existing setting and or what the new setting is.

I think you should report this to Cyberlink via the support request page, and be sure to link the URL of this thread in your description. Be sure to follow the requested steps, then post the tickect number (CS...) back here to close the loop.

Please be aptient, as they are required to ask you to do several steps that you might think are irrelevent, but hopefully they will be able to confirm this issue.
Here are the results of the experiment you suggested. Both projects were created with AR set to 16:9 in brand-new, clean directories with both the default input and output dirs (edit > preferences > files) pointing to this clean directory.

Project When loaded on desktop When loaded on laptop
-------- ---------------------------- --------------------------
created_on_desktop 16:9 4:3
created_on_laptop 16:9 16:9

The directories were created on a drive on the desktop that is shared on the network. So, they're both loading from exactly the same place (not a copy).

Weird, huh?

Quote I did the uninstall/reinstall. No effect. I noticed that my preferences survived the process - so uninstall (W10 central remove programs) doesn't COMPLETELY uninstall everything about PD.

I noticed that the problem exists with every project I've tried it on. Since the original project had a complicated history (because it was once 4:3), and because it uses 4 large source videos, I upload a different, smaller, simpler project here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RpVDkD8zIag0laNVFbwEPWJsh0qfdAzp

There are two zip files - one from Pack Project on the desktop, and one from Pack Project on the laptop. The pds files differ (according to cygwin cmp), but, as they're binary files, I can't tell how.

By the way, PD doesn't "give the AR conflict message". It just silently switches to 4:3, "adjusting" as though I had manually told it to switch from 16:9 to 4:3. I have the switch for "Always prompt me when aspect ratios conflict" turned on, but it doesn't issue any warning.

I'll try your experiment with creating 2 different projects from scratch and let you know what happens.


I did the uninstall/reinstall. No effect. I noticed that my preferences survived the process - so uninstall (W10 central remove programs) doesn't COMPLETELY uninstall everything about PD.

I noticed that the problem exists with every project I've tried it on. Since the original project had a complicated history (because it was once 4:3), and because it uses 4 large source videos, I upload a different, smaller, simpler project here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RpVDkD8zIag0laNVFbwEPWJsh0qfdAzp

There are two zip files - one from Pack Project on the desktop, and one from Pack Project on the laptop. The pds files differ (according to cygwin cmp), but, as they're binary files, I can't tell how.

By the way, PD doesn't "give the AR conflict message". It just silently switches to 4:3, "adjusting" as though I had manually told it to switch from 16:9 to 4:3. I have the switch for "Always prompt me when aspect ratios conflict" turned on, but it doesn't issue any warning.

I'll try your experiment with creating 2 different projects from scratch and let you know what happens.

Quote

Two things. Can you pack one of the problematic projects to a cloud folder and post the link to it here? Obviously, only do that if you're comfortable sharing the library contents on the forum. If you can do that, it will let us test it and see if there's anything unusual about it. You could then delete the project as soon as we have the answer(s).

For the syncing, there are files scattered over several directories, and there are also dozens of registry settings that would need to be tracked and checked before blindly applying them to another Windows version. You also run the risk of a probelm with one project on one machine disabling related features on the other - which is definitely not what you want.

I also can't imagine that any of those files/registry keys are the cause of (or the solution to) this issue, and I really think that a full uninstall/reinstall on the problem machine is the simplest way to fix the problem, or at least rule out a bad install as the culprit. Examing a project is the other highest probability step.

I guess a 3rd item to try is to create 2 new projects, one on each machine, and set them both to a project AR that the laptop doesn't "like" and see if there's any difference when loading them. In other words, does one give you the AR conflict message but not the other...
Autostart previous project is already off. I set AR to 16:9, and I can open and close PD all I want and it stays 16:9... until I load the project file.

I'll try reinstalling. If that doesn't work, the next step might be to have Syncplicity synchronize every file PD knows about, using the desktop as the source of the files.

Where does PD dump its junk (in Windows 7/10)? I've read it keeps stuff in Users/<username>/Cyberlink. Anywhere else?

Oh, I guess that's another difference. The desktop is W7, the laptop is W10.

Thanks,
Paul

Quote

Sounds like you might have a corrupted installation on your laptop, then.

Try this: make sure that PD is set to not open the previous project when it starts, then set the AR to 360 or 9:16 then close and reopen PD. If it comes up as 4:3, uninstall PD and then reinstall it and try this simple test again.
I tried packing the project to another directory and loading it from there. That didn't help, either.

On the trouble machine (the laptop), PD always starts in 4:3. The desktop starts (now) in 16:9, although it must not have done that when I first started working on the project.

Is there some system-wide preferences that controls this?
Optodata,

Thanks for responding. This checkbox was already checked. It still changes the AR, but it doesn't prompt. Weird.



Quote The aspect ratio is stored in every project. If that conflicts with PD's current setting you will see the AR conflict message, unless that setting has been disabled.

Chances are, if you go to Preferences (the gear icon) and look at the first setting in Confirmation on your laptop, that box will be unchecked. Enable it, and your problem should vanish because you'll always have a say in which AR to keep:

I usually start projects from a template. This time, I forgot. I started a new project and forgot to set the AR. It defaulted to 4:3. Partway through, I realized my mistake. I changed the AR to 16:9, which messed up the keyframe stuff on the stills. I manually fixed all of that and saved as a new project name. Exit, re-start, all OK. AR still 16:9.

I normally run PD on my desktop, but I need to go out of town, so I installed PD (version 14 - same in both cases) on the laptop. I use syncplicity (like dropbox) to keep the directories sync'ed between the machines.

The project loads fine on the desktop, but no matter what I do, it reverts to 4:3 every time I load it on the laptop. It's maddening. I can start PD, set the aspect ratio to 16:9, load the project (that loads at 16:9 on the desktop), and, boom, it's 4:3 and all the stills are messed up. I set it to 16:9 - stills are still messed up.

What the heck is going on here? Is the AR stored in the project file or not? How can a tool set to 16:9, loading a project set to 16:9, end up at 4:3??

Thanks in advance,
Paul Zimmer
I got the keyframe thing to work! Thanks, optodata! And thanks to Hankster65 for trying it out. His screenshot was very helpful in getting me pointed in the right direction.

Something odd happened when I was working with the transitions. I somehow ended up with two clips on top of each other, in the same "row" (timeline, or whatever the name is). If you click on one, you can see it extends beyond the other, and vice-versa.

Sort of like this (but all on the same row):

-------------------------------------------------------------+
| -------------------------------------------------------|----- |
| |
__________________________________________________________ |

How did that happen? I've tried all sorts of ways to create it, but can't reproduce the effect.

It's the only place where the transition effect worked (shove). Anyplace else I put shove, it just slides in a black screen.

Thanks,
Paul
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