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it’s not me, premiere pro. it’s you.


I’ve experienced some stuttering playback issues inside Premiere Pro for a while now.
Ever since I started using my new Nikon D7000, as a matter of fact.

When playing my D7000 footage inside PP, the audio plays fine but the video playback becomes choppy after a few seconds of play.

I put up with it for a while.

But while editing my latest project, it became a real annoyance.

I just attended an Adobe “Tips and Flicks” workshop in DC where I heard over and over again: “With Premiere Pro, it can handle any footage you throw at it! No need to transcode before you edit like you have to do in Final Cut. Just pull your footage in and Premiere Pro can handle it!”

Um, yeah. This footage is nothing strange. And Premiere Pro is acting like a fat kid trying to keep up with a track athlete.

I surfed around on the Adobe help forums. Some other people had posted similar problems. This guy responded to many of those by basically saying “you have a crappy computer or you’re stupid or both.”

Wow. He looks exactly how I pictured him.

Here are some of his replies:

“My experience is that people that complain about choppy playback have either outdated hardware, or are using very esoteric formats, and/or have a system with a lot of crap on it, that seriously gets in the way of editing. You are definitely not in the first category, I don’t know the origin of your clips and the codec used, so you could be in the second category, but most likely you have a polluted system.”

“OE seems most likely. OE is Operator error. You did something wrong. Your computer is setup wrong, your disk configuration is wrong, your source marerial is wrong, your project settings are wrong, your video driver is wrong…”

Totally unhelpful and arrogant. I’d like to kick him in his render engine.

A few more days between my tech guy and Google and I found this little link.

It basically says PP thinks footage from a Nikon D7000 is something other than it is, so it does an awful job of decoding it. Change the extension from .mov to .mpg and it should work fine.

I tried it, and it worked.

On one hand, I’m grateful it worked.

On the other hand, good Lord, Adobe. Are you serious? I have to change the extension on my footage because the “program that can handle any footage you throw at it” thinks my dolphin is porpoise?

I had to check twice to believe this is an official solution from Adobe. It is! And apparently not an issue they felt needed to be fixed in CS5.5.

I want to love you, Adobe. I really really do. But sometimes you make it hard, when that brand new Final Cut Pro X program is smiling at me from my desk drawer.

  1. mariqia permalink

    Hi, I’m having the same problem with the playback (video from Nikon D7000). So how do you change the .mov file to mpg? Any frame size works?

  2. Super easy – you just literally rename the file and put .mpg at the and of it. So if the file name was “” you would rename it to “DSC_5343.mpg”
    The computer will probably ask you “are you sure” you want to change the file extension. Say yes. You can always change it back to .mov using the same method if you need to.
    Hope that helps. Good luck!

  3. Wow. I can’t believe this was the answer to my video lag problem with Adobe Premiere 5.5. You would think Adobe would have patched this by now. Thank you for your post and for saving me hours of pulling my hair out.

    • I agree, Joel. It’s unbelievable that this is still an issue. Anyway, glad to help and best of luck!

  4. Steffen permalink

    Haha I like the way this article is written 🙂 The issue seems to also happen with iPhone using FilmicPro App which records MOV format. The issue seems to be sporadic (some files work fine some files not). I could not relate it to specific framerates or resolutions which is even more weird. At least the hack with changing the file extension from *.mov to *.mpg solves the issue. Thanks for that!

    But I also am shocked that this is STILL an issue, almost 4-5 years later with PP CC 2017! After all *.mov format is the standard format when recording on iPhone (what I do using FilmicPro) what millions of people are doing. I am just a beginner and used the Windows Movie Maker so far, which was able to handle the files without an issue. Now I wanted to give PP a try and see if it is worth the 20 bucks per month and it already failed only playing back the files… not even getting to the “real” stuff of the program. Not sure if would really abo this thing if it fails at the simplest tasks. Also coming from IT I assume it would be a simple fix in the program if just the file extension does the job so why is this not solved yet? Weird thing… would have expected more from the defacto standard video editing tool… will explore further if I really switch from Movie Maker to PP, lol…

    Thanks and cheers

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