Tuesday, March 1, 2016

PE: ISO Images (Burn to, Opening, Virtual Burners/Virtual Discs)


The classical response to Premiere Elements burn to failures for DVD-VIDEO or AVCHD on DVD disc had been Premiere Elements burn to Folder (VIDEO_TS or BDMV Folder respectively), followed by taking the saved folder to disc with 3rd party software, such as ImgBurn (Windows Only). The Premiere Elements burn to Blu-ray disc format on Blu-ray disc had no built in alternatives. But, a popular 3rd party alternative for the Premiere Elements Blu-ray situation was the Phantom Burner (virtual burner plus choice of DVD+RW or BD-RE virtual disc) used in conjunction with Premiere Elements burn to Disc to obtain the DVD, AVCHD, or Blu-ray iso image. In this instance, the Phantom Burner virtual burner drive with a virtual disc inserted was recognized in the burner location field of the Premiere Elements burn dialog set to burn to Disc. The result was the .iso file saved to the hard drive location designated in the Premiere Elements burn dialog Save In field.

In Premiere Elements 13/13.1, ISO Image joined burn to Disc and Folder choices for DVD and AVCHD and gave Blu-ray its first and only alternative to burn to Blu-ray Disc. However, except for burn to ISO Image DVD-VIDEO, the burn to ISO Image for AVCHD and Blu-ray is seriously flawed and is for all intents and purposes useless when the .iso file produced has a file size greater than about 1 GB. See HERE for details. The Premiere Elements 13/13.1 burn to ISO Images issues are resolved in Premiere Elements 14/14.1. And, in the case of 14/14.1, burn to Folder is discontinued for DVD and AVCHD, making burn to ISO Image the only alternative for the burn to Disc failures for DVD, AVCHD, and Blu-ray.

  • For all intents and purposes, Premiere Elements 13/13.1 built in AVCHD or Blu-ray opportunities for ISO Image are worthless if the iso produced has a file size greater than about 1 GB. And, there is no indication that there will ever be another 13 update to correct this matter in 13/13.1, especially since the problem is corrected in Premiere Elements 14/14.1.
  • The Phantom Burner tryout version image creation comes with a 1.4 GB limit for the DVD+RW and BD-RE media. There is a "Buy" version which costs about $29.99 (USD) which does not have the 1.4 GB limit. However, the "http://www.phantombility.com" web site of the manufacturer of the Phantom Burner is no longer functional. And, a functional "Buy" button has not been found in the tryout nor at web sites that offer the Phantom Burner download.
  • How to open a DVD-VIDEO, Blu-ray, or AVCHD.iso file to obtain its structural folder - VIDEO_TS for DVD-VIDEO, and BDMV for Blu-ray or AVCHD?


Premiere Elements 13/13.1 and 14/14.1 ISO Image

There is no fix known for the Premiere Elements 13/13.1 flawed built in burn to ISO Image feature, and it is highly unlikely that there will ever be one. Premiere Elements 14/14.1 was not found to have this problem; consequently moving to Premiere Elements 14/14.1 seems the way to go if the user wants to use Premiere Elements to burn its Timeline content to ISO Image for AVCHD or Blu-ray to produce a usable .iso image with file size greater than about 1 GB.

Work in progress....for those who want to continue with 13/13.1 and do not want to move to 14/14.1 to obtain a functional .iso file (greater than file size 1 GB), please read on as it relates to Phantom Drive.

Phantom Drive As Replacement For Phantom Burner And More

The 1.4 GB DVD+RW and BD-RE media limit of the Phantom Burner tryout coupled with the current (and possibly  permanent) absence of a "Buy" source (without the media limitation) for the program puts Phantom Burner at a major disadvantage with regard to iso image creation.

The solution for the Phantombility's Phantom Burner situation appears to be the "Phantom Drive" (v which is a for purchase software from publisher "H und H Software GmbH" with a free 30 days tryout.  Phantom Drive seems to offer virtual burner + virtual disc, Premiere Elements recognition of Phantom Drive as a burner drive, and compatibility with Premiere Elements on Windows 10 besides the publisher's posted supported Windows 7 versions. There is a "Buy" opportunity ($19.95 USD) for those users who decide the Phantom Drive works for them. IMPORTANT: This mention is for informational and not promotional purposes.

The detour around Premiere Elements 13/13.1 built in ISO Image situation may be AVCHD or Blu-ray ISO Image creation in 13/13.1 using Phantom Drive in conjunction with Premiere Elements 13/13.1 to create the ISO Image. Limited exploration of the Phantom Drive for Premiere Elements 13/13.1 ISO Image creation has shown this route to produce functional Blu-ray disc format on actual BD-R when
  • Premiere Elements 13/13.1 Timeline content to give so far burn dialog 2 GB/10 minutes or 5 GB/30 minutes or 10 GB/ 60 minutes.
  • Blu-ray ISO Image produced from virtual Phantom Drive with virtual BD-R* disc set in the burner location field of Premiere Elements 13/13.1 set to Publish+Share/Disc/Blu-ray and burn to Disc (burn preset = H.264 1920 x 1080i NTSC Dolby).
  • Blu-ray ISO Image produced taken to BD-R disc with ImgBurn, using actual Blu-ray burner and actual BD-R 25 GB disc.

Opening DVD-VIDEO, AVCHD, or Blu-ray ISO Image to it Structural Folder

If the computer is Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 64 bit, the easiest way to open the Premiere Elements  DVD-VIDEO, AVCHD, or Blu-ray .iso file to obtain its structural folder (VIDEO_TS or BDMV) is to use a built in feature of these Windows' versions which allows the user to right click the .iso file at its hard drive save location, select Open With, followed by Windows Explorer. According to Microsoft "Windows automatically assigns it a drive letter and reads it as a virtual drive". It works.

Other ways to extract/read/mount a Premiere Elements .iso file in Windows include

7-ZIP was found to work if interest is in obtaining Premiere Elements VIDEO_TS from DVD-VIDEO.iso, but was not found to work for BDMV from AVCHD nor Blu-ray .iso file from Premiere Elements. In support of that current observation is the 2013 report found HERE. The 7-ZIP is known as a file archiver; and Adobe writes in its "Adobe Premiere Elements Help/Burning an ISO Image" document
ISO images are easy to burn and open using standard file archivers.
Without Adobe definition as to "what ISO images"and "what standard file archivers" it is referring, the ISO Image advantage suggested by Adobe would appear to be in conflict with actual user observation unless its is thinking just DVD-VIDEO iso image with this generalization.

Numerous free and not free virtual burners can be found online for use mounting and reading .iso files. A Google search points to them.


The Phantom Drive was an unexpected find at this time to replace the Phantom Burner. Work is in progress to explore the how to details and pros and cons for its use. Initial studies showed that it is compatible with Premiere Elements 14/14 and 12/12.1 on two different Windows 10 64 bit computers and a Windows 7 64 bit computer. First impression is that it is a good choice for iso image creation, virtual burner mounting, and opening the iso file to its structural folder, be it VIDEO_TS for DVD-VIDEO or BDMV for AVCHD or Blu-ray.

IMPORTANT....attention should be focused on any drive letter changes conflicts that might develop related to existing drives and
a. drive letter automatically assigned to Phantom Drive at installation
b. drive letter automatically assigned with Windows Explorer drive created in the opening of the iso file to its structural folder

If the only interest is opening the .iso file, the need to download and install 3rd party virtual burner software to mount, open, and read Premiere Elements .iso files seems minimized by the existence of the automatic feature for this in Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 64 bit. Some Windows considerations for Window 7 and earlier can be found HERE

Phantom Drive in conjunction with Premiere Elements needs to be fully evaluated for obtaining iso file from Timeline content in Premiere Elements versions that do not offer burn to ISO Image (Premiere Elements 12/12.1 and earlier). And, it may be the answer to produce a usable iso image file size greater than 1 GB in Premiere Elements 13/13.1. Work in progress, with full details to follow.

* The tryout Phantom Drive settings offered virtual discs Blu-Ray-R, Blu-Ray-R DL, HD-DVD-R, HD-DVD-R-DL, DVD+R, DVD+DL, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, and CD-R. Blu-ray-RE, Blu-ray RE DL, DVD-RW, or DVD+RW were not found in the list.