I have a couple hundred video clips in a premiere pro project (uncompressed avi), and it is burning too much space on my hard disk. I want to compress these clips (perhaps to x264).

Is there an easy way to do this? Currently I have to search for each file manually, while the only thing that changed is the extension from .avi to .mp4, and I have multiple projects I want to do this for.

  • 2
    A hacky way is to export the projects as XML, then doing a find-and-replace in a text editor on the XML file, replacing ".avi" with ".mp4"
    – stib
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 4:44
  • Is there a less hacky way? =x for simple projects this may work, but my after effects compositions don't seem get exported correctly to xml
    – aCuria
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 7:13
  • Have you tried deleting/moving the original source files and putting the transcoded mp4s in their place? I'm pretty sure that has worked for me in the past, even though the file extension was different.
    – stib
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 10:16
  • Yup... that's the first thing i tried
    – aCuria
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 2:31
  • Did you tried this: video.stackexchange.com/a/18293
    – Shultc
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 18:37

2 Answers 2

  • Go to File > Project Manager.
  • Select the problem sequence.
  • In the "Resulting Project" menu, select "Collect Files and Copy"
  • In its options, select "Exclude Unused Clips" and unselect everything else.
  • Pick your destination path (not the drive where your .avi are located).
  • Press OK and start the copying process.

Once the copy is done, select all these files (they are all avi.) and transcode them to whatever you want, without changing their names. That supposes that you are going to export these transcoded files to a different folder than the one where your newly copied .avi files are located.

Once the transcode is done, put a dash in front of the folder in which you copied the original .avi files.

Boot up your Premiere project. The program will ask you to reconnect the missing media. Direct it towards the folder where you put the transcoded .avi files. Because you didn't change the files' names, you'll have no trouble reconnecting your sequence to the newly converted files. No more .avi.


Use ffmpeg to copy your x.264 into an avi wrapper using codec:copy which will bypass transcoding. That way your file names won't change and you shouldn't have to reconnect. If you haven't already transcoded to x.264 then you can do it in one step instead of 2.

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