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In my opinion, the best new feature and most useful feature of Premiere Pro CS4 is this new Media Browser tab. You'll find this tab typically grouped with Info, Effects and History, in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. It might be little bit more collapsed, like this. But this is a Browser panel. It allows us to navigate through files. It's kind of like a built-in Adobe Bridge, which doesn't seem all that impressive. However, for those of us that work with P2 Media, the Media Browser is nothing short of amazing.
As we saw in the last movie, we know that P2 file structure can be really complex. Inside this P2 Media folder, inside the Media folder of the Exercise Files, we know that we have this 0024EU folder and inside of that we have CONTENTS and then a bunch of folders and then the VIDEO file. Well, you can imagine if you have a big old shoot and you have tons of different folders of MXF files, this can be very time-consuming to navigate through all the various sub-folders and to actually find the video clip to import.
So, the Media Browser actually makes that very easy. Here, I've navigated, on the left-hand side, to this folder. You can navigate to stuff with this dropdown menu. Navigate through your hard drive. I have already taken the time to do that here with the arrows. It's the same way you'd navigate through anything else on your hard drive. But when I open up this 0024EU folder, instead of seeing the CONTENTS folder and all those other folders, Premiere just digs deep and finds that file and it's just right here. It gives us all the information about it, the Start Timecode, the Frame Rate, the Duration and from here, I can double-click it to open up in the Source Monitor to preview it, or I can just drag- and-drop to the Project panel to import it.
So, if I double-click it to open it up in the Source Monitor, there it is and I can play this back. (firework sounds) A little firework action, with a little piccolo pete here, but another cool thing about this is not only does it dig through all of that file structure and get straight to the good stuff, but also it's a great way to preview MXF files. Currently, it's very challenging to be able to do this. Both Windows and Mac provide no native way to preview these files.
So oftentimes, even if I don't plan on using the footage that I have shot on my P2 card in Premiere, I will use Premiere just this Media Browser panel, just to see what I've shot and to go through my footage. And because P2 Media is really very large, I can't include tons of P2 files with the Exercise Files with this training, because it would just be too much for you to download. I do want to show you one other thing. I have a folder here of this FIREWORKS FOOTAGE folder. Again, you will not have access to this is as it will not be a part of the Exercise Files.
It's just on my hard drive. But I want to show you what this typically looks, when you are working with this, in a real-world situation. So, I have this folder full of FIREWORKS FOOTAGE, so I can click on this, and this is typically what a shot might look like. This last 4th of July, 2009, I went out and I shot a bunch of different footage, and so I have a bunch of different clips, and that created a bunch of different folders. So as you could imagine, on my hard drive, every time you open up one of these folders, it goes to its own CONTENTS folder. Open up that folder and it goes to all those P2 sub-folders that we were looking at earlier. But this is so much easier to use this Media Browser than to use your hard drive.
But I wanted to show you one other trick here. Once you navigate inside of a folder, I can click the Up Arrows here to navigate, but watch this. When I click this Up Arrow, I have been already talking for a few seconds here and it's not going there yet, and so we are just waiting and waiting and then finally, it goes back to the main directory. It goes up a folder. That's really slow. But if you use this left navigation panel, it goes way faster. So, I can just click here and I could see a thumbnail of a clip. Click here, see a thumbnail of that clip, and I can just browse through these clips, very, very quickly by using this left navigation panel to see a little icon, and to get some basic data about this particular file.
And of course, as before, if I want to import anything I just drag-and-drop in my Project panel and there it is. Note that the file that actually comes with the Exercise Files, this Piccolo Pete file that we opened up and we double-clicked it, it opened up in the Source Monitor but it did not import in the Project panel, so be very aware, just by double- clicking it, it opens up so you can preview it, but it doesn't bring it into your project. Now, one other thing that I should probably point out here that's pretty awesome with Premiere is that Premiere only needs the MXF file in order to do its work.
So, if you just have the MXF file, you can bring that into Premiere. This is different than a lot of other, even really high-end video editing programs. A lot of video editing programs need the entire file structure in order to understand the actual video, so they need their CONTENTS folder intact, and all those sub-folders with that complicated hierarchy we looked at earlier. It needs all of that stuff. But again, Premiere only needs the video file, the MXF file. It doesn't need the folder structure to work its magic. So, as somebody that uses P2 Media professionally, I can tell you that that's one of the things I really love about Premier.
It handles P2 Media great. You could bring in just the MXF files. You don't need the whole file structure and the Media Browser makes it so easy to navigate through, sort through, and preview MXF footage from P2 Media.
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