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I have several unfinished video projects, no more than 20 minutes in length each, that I created using Adobe Premiere version 6.1 and a contemporaneous version of Flash on a Power Macintosh G4 running Mac OS 9.2 in the late 1990s. For various unimportant reasons, I shot all the footage, created animations (in Flash), and recorded all the audio I needed for each of these projects, and started the painstaking process of cutting them into finished videos, but I never finished any of them.

I'd like to pick up where I left off with those projects, but the computer is on its last legs, so I can't just boot it up and expect that it will reliably allow me to finish. Is there a currently available video production program, not necessarily the current version of Premiere, that can read these project files? I have access to modern OS X, Windows 8, and Linux machines, so OS compatibility is not a restriction.

To be absolutely clear, I am not looking for a program that can import an all-in-one finished video (I know those are easy to find and the only question is "what format?"). I want to import what Premiere calls a "project file"--video and audio clips, with effects applied, assembled on a timeline, capable of being exported as a finished video by a sort of "mixdown" process, but also still capable of being edited arbitrarily.

Also, the conversion process doesn't need to be two-way--once I import the projects I am fine with having to finish them in the new software exclusively (the G4 as I said is ready for retirement).

I realize that I could probably take the raw video and audio files that I used to build each project and recreate the work-in-progress that I created in Premiere 6 in the new program, but this would be a huge undertaking that I'd like to avoid if possible. In some places, for example, I have half a dozen video tracks and an equal number of audio tracks that I have painstakingly cut together and applied effects to. It would be like the difference between doing finish carpentry on a roughed-out house that has sat half-completed for a while, versus rebuilding the same house from the foundation up given the architect's sketches and a pile of lumber.

  • +1 for question quality – user416 Jun 5 '15 at 6:18
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+100

I'd assume that the current version of Premier Pro would be able to import the old project files. There's a free trial version available from Adobe's web site (so you could test that it really does so), and then it looks like you can get the real deal for $19.99/month (I think they like to do everything with the 'cloud' pricing model now).

If it only took a few months to get the job done, it wouldn't be that much money in total and then you'd be through with it.

  • Thanks for the tip! I've been hesitant to buy a newer version of Premiere for fear that it would not be perfectly backwards compatible with the older project files. Do you know for sure if the free trial version is fully functional? (i.e. have you actually used it, or can you provide a link to documentation on Adobe's site that lists the import ability?) If it does in fact have import functionality enabled, that would be a great solution. – dodgethesteamroller Sep 10 '15 at 21:09
  • @dodgethesteamroller - No, I don't have experience, I figure just grab the trial and give it a whirl is the best plan - assuming it DOES have import capability, you're going to want to test it anyway, as who knows what issues it may have. – Michael Kohne Sep 10 '15 at 21:56
  • I wish someone else would have actually tried to import Premiere 6 files into Premiere Pro CC so I didn't have to be a guinea pig, but I'm awarding the bounty to you anyway. I will report back here when I try it. – dodgethesteamroller Sep 17 '15 at 19:08

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