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ProShow Video Importing Basics

Video importing tips for ProShow

ProShow Gold, ProShow Producer and ProShow Web support a wide array of video formats, as you can see from this list for Gold + Producer and this list for ProShow Web. Almost everything from 3GP to MPEG-4 can be dropped directly into a show, or added through the Wizard, without installing any additional software. It really makes working with video in ProShow a snap. An internal video decoding engine, leveraged against locally installed codecs, allows ProShow to greatly simplify the process of using videos in a slideshow.

Adding a video to a show is as easy as adding an image, albeit with a bit of additional overhead. Processing all that frame data takes time after all, especially with large or complex videos, so it’s important to remain patient. To keep on top of an import process, look to the progress meter located just under the File List. When that green bar disappears your video import is done. At that point you’re ready for playback and any additional editing you may want to apply.

Should you run into a video that ProShow cannot immediately import, here are some tips that may just save the day.

  1. Start by making sure ProShow is operating as expected. A good way to do this is to re-import videos you’ve previously used in ProShow. If ‘known good’ videos can still be imported properly then it’s a safe bet ProShow is working as intended and you can move onto other tests.
  2. Check the problematic video in other applications. If that video cannot be viewed in something like Windows Media Player, QuickTime, or VLC (a great little player) then the file might actually be corrupt. Try getting a new copy of the video file from its original source to rule out possible file transfer issues.
  3. Toggle the “Video Importing” option, located under the Playback section of the Preferences dialog within ProShow. This option controls the internal video decoding engine and should generally remain enabled. However, in some cases it’s necessary to disable this option so that ProShow is forced to use only locally installed codecs. If you’re unable to import any videos into ProShow with this “Video Importing” option in either state, it might be time to reboot your system or even look into reinstalling ProShow.
  4. Try importing other videos that use the same codec to see if the problematic video is an isolated case. There are a variety of programs out there that can tell you exactly what codec a given video is using. I prefer the lightweight application MediaInfo. When in doubt, look at videos from the same source (camera, video editor, etc.) to locate something with a matching codec. If other videos using the same codec can be imported properly, then you know ProShow has access to the necessary codec, which is most often the case.
  5. When all else fails consider re-encoding the problematic video to a standard format like MPEG-4, WMV, or something of that nature. Your favorite video conversion program should have plenty of options. It may even have the ability to rewrite just the video container, leaving the video data itself untouched. This type of conversion is a bit more advanced and doesn’t always resolve the problem. However, it’s also a lot faster and avoids the generational quality loss associated with re-encoding.

The one thing you don’t want to do when trying to resolve a video import problem is install a codec pack. This may seem like a great idea but it rarely helps and often leads to more trouble. Focus on the individual video causing the problem, rather than attempting system-wide changes that could have unforeseen results.

You may never run into a video that ProShow doesn’t like, but if you do just remember to stay calm and take it one step at a time. There is a solution out there for every problem. And don’t forget, we’re always here to help! Give us a ring at 1-800-377-4686 or email us.

Learn more about using video clips in your ProShow slideshows here >>

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As head of the Quality Assurance team at Photodex, Joshua oversees the process of making sure ProShow is fully operational. He enjoys sports, science fiction, spending time in Austin with his family and knows how to grow one heck of a beard!