Introduce a single, fully featured 'interchange' tool, to encompass all migration and archive features under one umbrella.
Understandably, Adobe work on making integration between their various software packages within the Adobe family as smooth functioning as possible and it works fairly well to this end. However, Premiere can be a real nightmare to work with when your intention is to use 3rd party software for parts of your post production process, or when you want to collaborate and have other creatives working on different aspects of project, even if they themselves may use Adobe products.
There are many separate reasons why this is problematic, but my request is a little more general and overarching. Premiere has a collection of various functions some of which are designed to facilitate transfer of timelines and media from Premiere to someone or something else, and also some functions that aren't designed for that but can be co-opted for that. Examples include the AAF export tool for sending timelines out mostly to Avid products but also some others than can read AAFs too, or the media management tool that can be used to archive a project but as a side effect can theoretically be used as a means of sending projects or parts of projects out to other people/ software packages, render and replace can function similarly if you set it up so that conditions are as ideal as possible for it work, it also has XML and EDL export for sending timeline data around between packages without media, OMF too.
The issue is that these tools each have a LOT of problems and quirks, way more than you'd expect to the point where you need a book of workarounds to make them function as intended, also if you throw proxy files in to the mix then all bets are off because Adobe evidently didn't envisage that scenario when they designed those tools early on and didn't update them to accommodate the proxy feature after it was introduced.
All these tools, aside from their faults, are also, different, silo'd islands of functionality that all revolve around the same concept but which you have to know about separately to operate. They each seem designed for some theoretical, unlikely form of editing with little to no effects, one or as few as possible tracks, no proxies, no nesting, no multicamera, no merged clips etc, etc, etc. and the issues that affect one tool and require workarounds aren't the same for another. You have to invest a great deal of time trying to create this theoretical ideal circumstance to try and coax them in to doing what you need and even then it only really works about 50% of the time or less.
Aside from all the various glitches being fixed, I want there to be a single point of access for managing all the various scenarios you might encounter in the process of archiving a project or packaging elements of it up for use by other people/software -- what I call "interchange". Just as there is a single 'Export' window that you could use to create all possible forms of media that the Adobe Media Encoder engine can create, you'd use the interchange window to access all tools, features and settings related to this goal.
My idea is that in the file menu there'd be something called 'interchange/archive' and that this will open up a window that houses all those tools with an interface that makes the function of each very clear so that if you don't for example know what an AAF is, but do know you need to send your timeline to someone who uses Avid Media Composer, then this will be made clear to you. Additionally, this should hopefully integrate functions of existing tools that are often co-opted by Premiere users to approximate dedicated functions, in to something built for purpose. Thus, XML would be one of the options here in the interchange menu, but there'd be additional options such as transcoding the sequence media to a mezzanine codec packaged alongside the XML, not just exporting the timeline data, or consolidating the media in its current form so you can collect all the media associated just with the one sequence and send it off in its camera original form on a hard drive. Or consolidating in camera original codec, but also trimming with handles. These functions all theoretically exist in the media management tool, but for a start, they almost NEVER work but even if they did, it's not immediately obvious to someone who wants to send a timeline off to another package/person that they should use the archiving tool as a way of doing that, it's counterintuitive.
There's all kinds of ways I could suggest presenting this interface but really the important thing is that the options presented are all about different ways of delivering media and data about projects or parts of projects to different software and different people (who might even be using Adobe software but aren't on the same machine). With that end goal in mind, any single point of access to the different relevant settings would be an improvement. Same goes for archiving as well which has similar purposes in mind. Arguably Premiere has archiving sorted out in the form of the media management tool, but aside from the glitches, the tool is pretty rudimentary and could be folded in to this proposed single interchange tool which itself would hopefully have many levels of complexity to suit the level of control needed, much like exporting media does.
While development on this issue can help people to use tools other than Adobe tools, it's still in Adobe's interests since the 'Pro' part of Premiere Pro is always going to mean operating in circumstances that involve collaboration and that's going to mean different, facilities, different people, different storage, different machines let alone different software and the ability to manage that effectively drives a lot of the decision making on what editing software to use.
Antoine Autokroma.com (Independent Developer of AfterCodecs, BRAW Studio, PlumePack, Influx) commented
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Paul Jones commented
Thanks for posting this. You have summed up myriad frustrations I have with Premiere when you want to do anything other than cut with camera originals on 1 machine with 1 editor, without the need to archive. I have to resort to exporting my timeline to Resolve Via FCP XML, rebuilding what didn't translate across and media manage using Resolve's (far from perfect) MM tools to get an archiving job done that trims my camera originals. It's very frustrating.