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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:29 PM   #1
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Video Compression/Encoding

My company has produced a podcast and we want to be able to release it in several formats - on iTunes (& to play on devices like iPhones) and in HD. Is there a particular workflow that we should be following in post-production to help with conversion? And are there any software that's recommended for this? We have Compressor but would like to try something else; we've heard of Sorenson Squeeze, for example, but don't know if it's good.

Any help is really appreciated! Thanks!
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Old April 1st, 2009, 09:12 PM   #2
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blip.tv is an excellent place to help with the distribution of videos as podcast to devices like ipods.

Today's "status quo" of video compression for the web is a .mp4 format with the h.264 codec. Basically every video editing program can export video in this format (i.e. final cut, premiere, compression, vlc, etc....). This format even works on iPods and iPhones. The only two variables that you really ever change are the "frame size" and "data rate".
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 09:13 AM   #3
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Thanks for your help! We'll check out blip.tv.

Talking to my colleague who's handling the exporting process, the main problem is that with exporting in HD, large quicktime and iPod quicktime, the file sizes end up being too big, at least bigger than what he thinks they should be.

If you or anyone else might have any idea as whether we're doing something wrong, let me know - thanks!
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 04:35 PM   #4
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What are you file sizes turning out to be? and how long is your video?

When I usually export HD for the web, I encode at 1280x720 at 3000kbs to 5000kbs.

I really like the compression guidelines at Compression guidelines on Vimeo
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 07:37 PM   #5
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Squeeze is a good compression, no doubt. I use it for all of my MPEG-2s for DVD.

For anything I want to go on an AppleTV or played on an iPod/iPhone, I start by apply the appropriately named preset inside compressor, and make minor tweaks (You have to stay within certain limits and file types in order for them to be compatible)

Keep in mind your audienceľ not everyone is a fast connection, so use a bit rate that will get to the broadest range.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Coughlin View Post
What are you file sizes turning out to be? and how long is your video?

When I usually export HD for the web, I encode at 1280x720 at 3000kbs to 5000kbs.

I really like the compression guidelines at Compression guidelines on Vimeo

I use Compressor with good results. Have a look at this file on YouTube:
YouTube - GTR Nurburgring: 7.27.56? So what!

Then the same video on Vimeo.
GTR BATTLE: The Movie on Vimeo

By the way Lisa, I tried Squeeze several different ways. It produced no better results than my Compressor software. You may want to look into MPEG Streamclip. I've heard wonderful things about it and have used it, but it adds another step to the output process. IIRC, you have to output the file raw (which is a huge file), then run it through Streamclip to encode.


The file was output at 1280x720, 6400kbps. Output size was 435 MB.

While this may go against the grain, I refuse to "dumb down" my content for the lowest common denominator. If some PC users have crummy internet connections, then I guess they're going to have to deal with bad quality video and painfully slow loading times. Sort of like a guy buying a BluRay DVD player to watch movies on a 10 inch black and white TV.

The whole purpose of producing HD content (IMHO) is to get the best possible picture quality.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Craig Lieberman View Post

While this may go against the grain, I refuse to "dumb down" my content for the lowest common denominator. If some PC users have crummy internet connections, then I guess they're going to have to deal with bad quality video and painfully slow loading times. Sort of like a guy buying a BluRay DVD player to watch movies on a 10 inch black and white TV.

The whole purpose of producing HD content (IMHO) is to get the best possible picture quality.
I understand your point of view, but it is important to know that Vimeo and YouTube both re-encode uploaded HD videos at around 1.5 to 3 mbps. So uploading a video encoded at 6 to 7 mbps vs the recommended 4 to 5 mbps, the only difference you will see is a longer upload time when uploading your source file.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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I use Compressor, QT Pro and Sorenson Squeeze.

I can't speak for Compressor in Final Cut Studio 2 but as far as the version in FCS 1, there are a couple things about Sorenson Squeeze I value highly that are not in Compressor.

One is the ability to setup a "Job" in Squeeze with all the input files, filters, squeeze settings, output directories and names and then save all that. When you create a new version of one of the source files, you can open the Squeeze document and regenerate whatever pieces you want. This means that whatever customizations you may want to your presets that are job specific, stay with the job (i.e. you don't have to create yet another preset variation or tweak it every time).

Squeeze also includes support for Flash which may not matter right now but it's a staple of web video and you may find you want to evolve to include it.

Another difference I've found is that Squeeze is superior in keeping audio sync on long clips (over 10 minutes) when creating streaming QuickTime files.

Squeeze also supports some post-processing batch capability for automated scripting of tasks after the compression. It also uploads to your server automatically. CAVEAT: I've not used either of those features.

Another thing is the Support at Sorenson. It's a small company and they take interest in reproducing bugs you report and fixing them in the next release. I had an intermittant crash that only occurred when compressing over 4GB of source material using a QT Reference movie. I sent them DVDs of the source and they ended up finding and fixing it.


You can try before you buy too.
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