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H.264 audio problem when importing to After Effects

Posted on 2012-03-11
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Whenever I try to import H.264 (.AVI wrapper) video taken by HP T-200 Camcorder I am getting NO audio with the following error message repeatedly:
After Effects warning: Audio conforming failed for the following file:  "FILENAME.AVI 44100.cfa".  Perhaps due to disk space.

I want to edit the video without converting it to another codec/format.

Before I had a problem that the video is completely black when imported, I fixed it after installing K-Lite Codec x64.
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Question by:Mohamed Abowarda
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by:Merete
ID: 37709248
Try renaming the files you have to just end in the .avi say for example
Medo. avi<<  or the file name.avi
 take out everything else
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by:Mohamed Abowarda
ID: 37709260
The file name is already in avi.
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by:Merete
ID: 37712337
"FILENAME.AVI 44100.cfa". << rename to FILENAME.AVI
I'm off to work so this is a quick one
Suggested here that could be a DivX avi codec or the audio codec mpeg layer3 is not suitable, whatever the original footage is from the source when importing  try re-encoding or separate out the video from audio with VirtualDub Mod
Other experts may have more ideas.
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by:Mohamed Abowarda
ID: 37712649
No, "FILENAME.AVI 44100.cfa" is NOT the file name, the file name is FILENAME.AVI, however 44100.cfa is included ONLY in the message that I get from After Effects.
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by:Merete
ID: 37723397
Hi sorry for not returning sooner.
Lets take a look at the .cfa<<
This file .cfa is created by Adobe Premiere Pro
Sourced>>
 It is used by: Adobe Premier Pro CSx, Adobe Encore, and Adobe Acrobat 9 (embedded in PDFs).

When importing audio data, the software transforms the audio into a format that can be quickly processed by the software. This removes the need for the audio to be reprocessed each time it is used. However, due to the caching, there may be a delay the first time audio is imported.
 
CFA files may become very large in size.
You can turn off the caching option within Adobe applications, but the processing time for audio previews may increase.
When After Effects imports video and audio in some formats, it processes and caches versions of these items that it can readily access when generating previews.
 Imported audio files are each conformed to a new .cfa file, and MPEG files are indexed to a new .mpgindex file.
The media cache greatly improves performance for previews, because the video and audio items do not need to be reprocessed for each preview.

Note: When you first import a file, you may experience a delay while the media is being processed and cached.
 
NOTE: CFA files are actually created by Adobe Media Encoder, a standalone software component that is included with programs such as Adobe After Effects, Soundbooth, Premiere Pro, and Encore. All such programs reference the same audio cache.


Cleanup
 When you delete old sound files after you finish using them, the CFA files stored on your hard drive and the links in Adobe's database remain intact.
 To free up storage, launch Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects and choose "Edit,"
then "Preferences" and then select "Media & Disk Cache."
Click the "Clean Database & Cache" option.
This will clear out any CFA files associated with deleted audio files and projects, but will leave the CFA files if you still have the original audio file on your computer.
What Is the File Extension CFA?
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by:Mohamed Abowarda
ID: 37723650
I have about 29 GB free space on C:\ which has AE Installed, I think this message didnt use to appear when I had more space before which was more than 50 GB, however I tried to clean the cache but still getting the same error.

I also get the following message when I just start AE:
Your disk cache folder is on a drive that does not have enough available space to safely store the full amount specified in your preferences. Please make more space or go to Media $ Disk Cache prefereces to change the folder or maximum disk cache size.

BTW, this problem ONLY occur with H.264 AVI Wrapper and doesnt occur with other formats, also it doesnt occur with H.264 MP4 Wrapper.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 37724039
Hi,
Do you happen to have Premiere running at the same time? remember
Premier uses the same files as AE
Close out Premier and see if that resolves it.
 29 GB free space on C:\ is simply not enough in my humble opinion mainly for windows to run leaves very little room to move.

It could be related to the digital camera's built-in .avi exporter,
to cut the time to trying to resolve this please consider
downloading virtualdub, and import your.avi into it, and simply go to File/Save as AVI, which gives you a new .avi and effectively is just a copy of the original but has been repaired.
Virtual dub also has other components such as virtual dub mod / mpeg here's the full range
http://www.videohelp.com/tools?toolsearch=Virtual+dub&Submit=Search&convert=&s=&orderby=Name&hits=50

There is also Guides and How to's:
and this one
How to recode an AVI with Virtualdub, remove QPEL, GMC, etc

Regards Merete
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Author Comment

by:Mohamed Abowarda
ID: 37740460
I don't have Premiere running at the same time.

I don't think that 29 GB are not enough to work on 30 MB video file.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 37740659
29 gig is plenty to work with a 30 MB video Medo, but 29 gig free space left on a HDD is pushing it for windows to run properly.
Pertains to the error maybe not enough space.
As you have already downloaded the k-lite codec pack from previous question
Please understand that After Effects was never intended to edit/handle audio. The proper workflow is to use a separate editing software to handle audio/video assembly in conjunction with AE as it does not have sound natively, you need to use what is referred to ram preview which is found at the time controls.
 Please take a look at this offers some very good insights
AE is a compositing and effects application.
No Sound in After Effects

and this one in video explains visually so you can see the player used in ram preview
Fix for no audio in AE
Hope it helps.
Sorry for taking so long to come back I have been busy at work lately but will endeavour to get back to you as I can
Cheers
Merete
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by:Mohamed Abowarda
ID: 37740760
and this one in video explains visually so you can see the player used in ram preview
Fix for no audio in AE

That's what I do to preview the video with audio, but the problem is it keeps showing the following message:
After Effects warning: Audio conforming failed for the following file:  "FILENAME.AVI 44100.cfa".  Perhaps due to disk space.

I don't see this problem with any other format, I only get this problem when I use H.264 AVI file directly from the camera, however, If I converted this file to another codec or to mp4 using audio/video converter software, it works without any problem.

The error message I mentioned keeps showing multiple times during the video editing.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 37740839
.cfa is created by Adobe Premier, to explain it a little,
When After Effects imports video and audio in some other formats, it processes and caches versions of these items that it can readily access when generating previews.
 Imported audio files are each conformed to a new .cfa file, and MPEG files are indexed to a new .mpgindex file.
The media cache greatly improves performance for previews, because the video and audio items do not need to be reprocessed for each preview.

Note: When you first import a file, you may experience a delay while the media is being processed and cached.
If your media cahe does not enough space on the hard drive to create the temp files during this phase you may get this error.

Suggest you stick with converting it to mp4 as this works. and does not cache the video for the other components of Adobe suite


A database retains links to each of the cached media files.
This media cache database is shared with Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Encore, and Adobe Soundbooth, so each of these applications can each read from and write to the same set of cached media files.
Regards Merete
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Author Comment

by:Mohamed Abowarda
ID: 37745122
@Merete: The main problem I get when I convert the file is losing quality, another problem is losing time, it can take a long time to convert a file to another format and not even get the same quality!

Do you know any converter that convert the video files from H.264 AVI to H.264 MP4 without losing quality (EXACTLY THE SAME QUALITY)?

Also do you know much disk space do I need to get rid of this error message and work directly without having to convert the AVI file?

Thanks for your effort,
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Accepted Solution

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Merete earned 350 total points
ID: 37745354
Hi Medo,
Every video format uses a different compression.
I would have thought the mp4  being in fact mpeg4 is a better quality however using the codec divx
divx avi video and divx mp4 video have same quality and compression rate.
If they use the same encoder {i.e.: divx/h.264),  the video quality will be the same.
Keeping the video aspect and ratio the same as it is in this area that your quality is assured.
I would convert your avi rapper to divx avi or divx mp4
I use Super Video Converter, Super standing for Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer
H.264 FAQ & Basic Conversion Guide
Another is suite of divx
Divx plus not free but does offer a trial
More here
 http://www.videohelp.com/tools?convert=XviD%20to%20H264
I can't really say how much Adobe suite requires they state a few gig but my focus would be on how much windows requires, personally a minimum of at least 50 gigs is still borderline. And how much ram is left for other programs to run.
After Effects & RAM 101

With AE
Blue bars in the Timeline panel mark frames that are cached to disk. Green bars mark frames that are cached to RAM.
RAM and disk caches
System requirements AE
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mohamed Abowarda
ID: 37750564
Thank you,
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