How to Convert Video for Editing in Premiere Pro

Video can be captured in countless different formats depending on the source, type of device, capabilities, supported resolutions, and different settings.  Depending on what you use to record your video, you will typically end up with one of several commonly used file formats including MPEG, MP4, MOV, or many others.  Depending on the file type, these may or may not be usable for editing in Premiere Pro.

I have found through experience that the best format to have your source files in is AVI, an open-source codec that allows quick and useful editing without the need for constant rendering. 

I also found that the best utility to use is Quick Media Converter HD (QMC) created by CoCoon Software available here.  It is a free utility with endless support for input and output video file formats.  The most recent version can be downloaded for Windows here.

Open the ZIP archive and launch the installation file to start the guided wizard.  Follow the prompts and be sure to select a ‘Custom’ install in order to de-select the option toolbar and setting as your homepage.

Once installed, launch QuickMediaConverter.exe to open the application.  On the first launch, you will see a scary warning prompting you to install FFmpeg files.  If you check out the FFmpeg website, you quickly learn that most of the warnings are in regard to changing/modifying the source code, which is not something we will be doing.  We will simply be using the product for private/educational use.  As per the FAQ from their website:

Q: Bottom line: Should I be worried about patent issues if I use FFmpeg?
A: Are you a private user working with FFmpeg for your own personal purposes? If so, there is remarkably little reason to be concerned.

So, there should be little cause for concern by simply selecting Yes to download and install the required tools.  The application will automatically download and install the necessary tools.

The Add Files to Convert button

By pressing the Add Files to Convert button, highlighted in red, you will be prompted with a Browse dialog where only the supported file types are visible.  You can select one or multiple files to input into QMC.  Once opened, you can select which files you wish to actually convert using checkboxes as well as previewing the files using the playback controls in the bottom-right corner. 

Allows you to select which file format to convert your video to

 The top bar allows you to select the file format you want to convert your video to.  There are countless options, but for editing we want to select the DIVX button and then select the Avi DIVX codec format (.avi) followed by the aspect ratio of your video, either 4:3 (normal) or 16:9 (widescreen).  Once selected, you are ready to convert your files.

Select the output folder and then hit the Start Conversion button to begin the process

 Use highlighted button in red on the bottom of the window to select the desired output folder for your files.  Finally, using the highlighted button in the middle, begin the file conversion.  The process will depend on the size and length of your files, but QMC will keep you updated on the process of each individual file and the overall process of the group conversion.

Once completed, you can import your new AVI video files into Premiere Pro or any video editing software of your choice.

~Nick Marnik

~ by nkmhockey on March 21, 2011.

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