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Old September 15th, 2003, 03:44 PM   #1
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How about a little help with Mpeg4

I'm encoding video for playback from the computer hard drive.

I started out using Mpeg2 and got good results. In an effort to compress the files a little more and still get high quality I have been experimenting with MPEG4. We also needed to lower the computer requirements.

The requirements are that the quality be very/as near to DVD as we can get and still play on the lowest possible computer system.

Right now I have found that the 4400rpm drives on many laptops will not play back smoothly even with a 330kbps frame rate. The test laptop is a PIII 900mhz.
On a desktop 500mhz AMD K7 with 5400rpm it plays back smoothly.

I have found the best quality at 330kbps is in DviX3 Mpeg4, but the smoothest playback at nearly the same quality is Microsoft Mpeg4.

I am using VirtualDub to encode the AVI developed in Premiere to Mpeg4. The issue or problem I have is that in VirtualDub I do not have many options for controlling the quality of the MS Mpeg4.

Is there another program which will give me more control and better results?
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Old September 16th, 2003, 10:24 PM   #2
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OK how about any help?
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Old September 17th, 2003, 08:14 AM   #3
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You mention Microsoft MPEG-4. Have you tried the Windows Media Encoder 9? I know this data rate example is higher than you want but I noticed recently that a 2 mbps encoding in version 9 displayed sharper detail than a 6 mbps version from the Main Concept encoder in Premiere 6.5, at high quality settings. If you have 6.5 you can freely upgrade the advanced windows media export to include version 9 from the timeline.

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Old September 17th, 2003, 08:16 AM   #4
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Should have said that I'm using version 1.3b of the Main Concept encoder.

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Old September 17th, 2003, 08:38 AM   #5
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I have Windows Media Encoder 9. I could not find how to save to any format other than WMV. Am I blind and just cannot find the setting to save to Mpeg4 AVI? I have been using the encoder directly through its program. Are you saying it updates within Premiere also?
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Old September 17th, 2003, 09:17 AM   #6
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The Windows Media 9 Export Plug-in for Adobe Premiere, in my version 6.5 (and after updating the plug-in to add WME9) when selected from "Export Timeline-Advanced Windows Media" includes a series of tabbed panels, one of which is Video. Within this panel is a codec selector. The top choice in the list is "Windows Media MPEG-4 Video V3". My Premiere 6.02 WM plug-in does not have an option for MPEG-4, despite offering various version 9 encoding presets among the options. I hope this answers your questions.

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Old September 17th, 2003, 09:22 AM   #7
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That is great, Thanks David. I just downloaded the plug-in and will be installing it next. If this works it will be much easier than editing in Premiere, exporting to avi, opening VirtualDub and converting.
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Old September 17th, 2003, 11:24 AM   #8
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After installing the plug-in all is not well.
When I get to the point of naming and saving the file Premiere crashes. I did another install of the plug-in with the same result. The crash ref. one of the files installed by the plug-in so I don't know what is wrong. I did notice that even with the options for Microsoft Mpeg4, and ISO Mpeg4 v1, the file extensions can only be wmv, wma, or asf.

I may do a reinstall of Premiere and then try the plug-in again.
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Old September 17th, 2003, 01:14 PM   #9
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While checking around to determine how/whether it's possible to move Windows mpeg4 files into Quick Time, I learned that MS apparently chose to implement mpeg4 protocols differently from the international standard - whatever that is. You have to have Windows Media Player to view any Windows mpeg4 file - which may be sufficient in many cases, since it is easily downloadable and even available for Apple users.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 12:01 AM   #10
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Divx looks very good, but embedding in 'standard' file, how?

I am working on a project which involves handing the client a finished version of a 15 minute clip on CD. MPEG1 looks so horrible and MPEG2 hogs bandwidth, so I would like to give the guy a better looking clip compressed with a more modern codec. I like the quality/bandwidth ratio of Divx and the tools are freely available and have been tested on my Mac. but I would like to adhere to the MPEG4 standard, so what he get's will be playable for years to come on standards-based platforms. I can use FFmpegX to make a very good looking Divx AVI file that will play on many Wintel. Linux and OS X machines with the right software, but it is not really MPEG4. Or I can use Apple's MPEG4 encoder included in QuickTime which is not as good, to make a file that is more standards-based but does not have the great quality/bandwidth ratio of Divx. So my question is... is there a way to take the great looking Divx data encoded with FFmpegX and put it, without recompressing the video, into an MPEG4 standards-based file? This is similar to the problem some poeple seem to have with WM9, right? Microsoft uses the MPEG4 standard in it's own way, takes all the great ISO work and puts into a file format that will only play with a program that says 'Microsoft', just so it is not QuickTime compatible. Duh.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 08:55 AM   #11
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I know practically nothing about Mac. But I will tell you what I know about Mpeg4 and how it applies to the PC.

I use VirtualDub. Once I learned how to use it, it works very well. It will use any Codec you have installed on your machine. I also use K-lite Codec pack which give me the various flavors of Mpeg4.
I use, however the Microsoft Mpeg4 v2 in the videos I compress. I use settings as follows: VKI (Key Frame) every 3 seconds, smooth to crispness set all the way to 100 crisp, and a Data Rate of 3000. This gives me a very good even high quality mp4 with an avi extension. It is far better than Mpeg1 and rivals Mpeg2, with smaller files. As long as the Microsoft V2 Mpeg4 codec is on the computer, the file will play in most any player. If it will not play I have the customer install the K-Lite codec pack, after which it DOES play. I include the K-Lite Codec pack on the same disc as the video. K-Lite is a freeware open source program and as long as you include the license agreement with all information and do not charge for the program or claim it as your own, you can distribute it freely.
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