I’ve been using Scrivener 2.0 on Mac and recently brought the project over to my Windows 8 laptop. When I open the project on Windows, none of the videos, music, and photos that I had imported for research purposes work. They exists as their thumbnails in the project, but do not play or materialize. It’s as if their reference files are there, but they are not linking up?
Is this a common problem, and if so, is there a way to prevent this from happening when I open a Mac .scriv on a Windows pc? Please help - this project is months old and I wouldn’t even know where to begin if I had to reconstruct all my research files one by one.
Based on some searches on the forums (on “codec”, “WMV”, etc.), my sense is that Scrivener uses both it’s own built-in codecs and other codecs installed on the system in displaying such materials. I could be wrong.
If that’s the case, commonly available codecs and supported file formats may differ between Mac and Windows.
Possible strategies that come to mind…
Move the project back to the Mac when you need to reference such material.
Try right clicking on the material and using the “open in other editor” to reference the material. This may work where Scrivener itself currently can’t show the material. For this to work for some formats, may require installing additional media players (VLC, Media Player Classic, …).
CAUTION - Install the needed codecs, so that Scrivener can use them directly… if they exist and if can determine which are needed. This could prove difficult and tedious. The workaround might be to install a “codec pack” that contains many of the most popular. The problem is that such packs have reputations of including adware/malware/viruses and possibly not being legitimately licensed. Use at your own risk. I don’t know… there might be a commercially available tested licensed pack product out there somewhere.
Tedious - If this is a one time only move from Mac to Windows, export or copy/paste such material out of the project, use file/conversion utilities to convert to supported formats, import or copy/paste the results back in.
Finish the project on the Mac. Initiate new projects on whichever platform will be doing the majority of the work during which will need to reference such materials.
Go all Mac or all Windows machines (desktop and laptop).
I could be wrong.
Hope that helps.
P.S. I tried running my two problematic arbitrary sample .WMV files through a free video converter utility, to that utility’s version of .WMV… and get somewhat better results with them in Scrivener… they work intermittently, perhaps a third of the time. So there can apparently be variation within file formats, with not all variations being completely compatible with what Scrivener’s built-in codecs or external codecs present.
P.P.S. If the files are linked in (i.e. actually external to the project), rather than imported or pasted in, then the following from 15.5.2 in the manual is likely relevant…
“A Note on Links and Multiple Computers: Those familiar with the use of linked
resources will already know that using links means that the position of those external
resources must remain stable, in order for the host program (Scrivener in this case) to
maintain a connection with them. If the files are moved or renamed, the link breaks
and you will need to manually update them. This means that in most cases, links
will only work on one machine, since the full path name of a file tends to vary, given
that it includes the name of the computer’s hard drive. It is possible to carefully work
around that, particularly with the use of external hard drives that are all mapped to the
same drive assignment on the computer, or keeping all satellite computers identical in
regards to user names and hard drive names.
This problem becomes impossible to work around when working cross-platform, as
the path addressing scheme used to name a file differs between Mac and Windows
computers. This does not mean that using linked images prohibits cross-platform usage
(or vice versa), but what it does mean is that only one machine can be your “home”
computer in terms of final document assembly. A project can lose track of the linked
images while you are working on other machines, but since these links are stored as
text paths to the files, when you return to the home computer, they will all link up
Wow, thank you so much for the feedback, SpringfieldMH!