Update: This issue has been resolved in the October 2014 CC release. See the my short tutorial.
Some of you may have already stumbled upon the issue of clip markers disappearing from the project files in Premiere. There is a solution to that: give Premiere read-only access to the media.
Even though Premiere saves the clip markers and other temporal metadata in the project file, the moment it encounters files with the information that is contrary to what it has recorded, the project data is discarded, and the new metadata is read from the file. Thus your clip markers and other information can be wiped out from the project file the moment Premiere encounters the conflict. However, it only happens when Premiere can write information to the files or to the XMP sidecar files.
This leads to a simple workaround, even though it’s a very finicky one. You must present Premiere with media that it cannot write to. Make the media files read-only either by changing the permissions (OS X), or file attributes (Windows), and Premiere will not discard the project information. If Premiere has no write access to the media, then it’s going to keep the project metadata, including your precious clip markers.
The downside is that you can’t log the metadata via Prelude or other applications, unless you create a separate account with a writing access to the media. But even then Premiere will not read the file metadata, defaulting to whatever had been previously saved in the project file.
There’s an important nuance that might be useful in some situations, when you want to actually dump the project data to files. If Premiere has write access when the project is being opened, it will remove all the project temporal metadata upon conflict. However, if this access is restored only when the project is already open, Premiere will save the project temporal metadata to the files, and remove the metadata stored there either during manipulation in the source monitor, or upon closing.
So to sum it up:
- If you want to retain project temporal metadata, including the clip markers, make sure Premiere can’t write to media files – make them read-only.
- If you want to save the project metadata to another set of media, open the project with read-only access, then change the privileges to allow writing into files, and close the project.
- Prelude and other applications can’t write or share metadata when they can’t have the write access to the media files.
- Some media write metadata in the sidecar XMP files – in these cases, make sure to flag the whole bins as read-only.
Note, that this workaround requires very careful approach, since the saving the project metadata to media files is not undoable.