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Importing MPEG files with AC3 Audio into Adobe Premiere

When importing mpeg files into Adobe Premiere, you may find the audio missing. This happens when the mpeg file uses the AC3 audio codec which Premiere Pro doesn't recognize. This problem is very common with digital camcorders that record mpg files.

There are two solutions...

(1) Transcode the files to a better format

Many programs do recognize the AC3 format, for example, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere Elements, and various encoding utilities. If you happen to have any of these applications installed, import the files into the application and export them in a more standard format such as DV or HDV. The new files can then be imported into Premiere Pro.

(2) Add an AC3 decoder to Premiere Pro

Disclaimer: This is the easiest option but it comes with no guarantees. It is not an official solution, it is a hack that I discovered somewhere on the net. It works beautifully for me but your mileage may vary.

Download the file below and save it in your Premiere Pro main directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS3\). If Premiere Pro is running you'll need to close it, save the file and then restart Premiere Pro. That's it—Premiere Pro should now be able to import and use the mpg files normally.

ad2ac3dec.dll (Right-click the link and select Save As...)

Notes:

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