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Old July 13th, 2005, 04:49 AM   #1
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H.264 to Windows Media Player

We have started using H.264. It's awesome. But Quicktime 7 is still beta for Windows and we have to do some delivery to Windows clients who insist on Windows Media Player. I cannot, for the life of me, find a conversion utility that converts H.264 to WM. Compressor is supposed to but I cannot find the Quicktime conversion codec for it on the Apple site.
Any ideas?
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Old July 13th, 2005, 09:03 PM   #2
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I don't have QT 7. But with prior versions, you just export it to the format you want from the QuickTime Pro player. Can't you just export it to an AVI file from the QuickTime Pro player? Or, go to Final Cut and export your final sequence to whatever format you want.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #3
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afaik, wmp will not play back h.264 files, so anything that you do in quicktime is not relevant to what the client wants... to put it another way, h.264 video is nowhere near being ready for distribution to the general public, because there aren't any players out there for it... the client is right to insist on windows media... and btw, don't ever transcode from one web format to another, start with the native source format.

if you have access to a pc, you can use the free windows media encoder to create wmv files from a dv source that you exported from your mac... otherwise, you'll have to pay to get that new mac-based encoding software that'll give you two-pass vbr wmv capability... you can't create decent wmv with standard mac software.

finally, not all h.264 is created equal... if you look at the test files in my sig, you'll see that sorenson h.264 does not compare to wmv, real, or nero h.264... i hope to check out the mac h.264 encoder in the near future.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback Dan. The reason I need the quickfix is because we are talking about a mountain of compression and even with my distribution capacity (XSAN), it'll still take too long to work from the source files. And what we need are some lowres, catalogue type output. The H.264 from compressor is working great for our high def stuff to TV stations (they use it for final approval). Anyway, I found two workarounds. First, I'm exporting to mp4. Then, I managed to go from H.264 to photojpg and back to wmv and the result is satisfactory for my purposes. I just wanted to avoid the additional step. Apple is supposed to be providing a wmv Quicktime codec for QT7, but it's not out yet.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 02:21 PM   #5
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it sounds like what you need is batch encoding capability, start it up and walk away... have you looked at flip4mac? it's supposed to have two-pass wmv capability, and be qt 7 compatible... mp4 is a horrible format from the standpoint of picture quality, with flip4mac you'd be cutting out that extra encoding step.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 11:05 PM   #6
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Bingo

Dan, that's a birdie! Excellent. Thanks. Buying it as we speak ;-)
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Old July 16th, 2005, 06:26 AM   #7
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"... to put it another way, h.264 video is nowhere near being ready for distribution to the general public, because there aren't any players out there for it..."

Aren't ANY players? The Quicktime 7 player would be what?
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Old July 16th, 2005, 07:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wiley
"... to put it another way, h.264 video is nowhere near being ready for distribution to the general public, because there aren't any players out there for it..."

Aren't ANY players? The Quicktime 7 player would be what?
You and I are on Mac. Quicktime 7 for Windows is still vapourware; unless I missed a major announcement.
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Old July 16th, 2005, 07:58 AM   #9
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QuickTime 7 for Windows is hardly vaporware. You can download it as a preview here:
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/preview/
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Old July 16th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #10
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Steve Jobs annouced the QT7 preview of QT for windows with .H264 on June 6th at the mac WWDC:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005...quicktime.html

Cemil, you might find the following of interest:

http://www.balooga.com/mpeg4.php3

Last edited by Peter Wiley; July 16th, 2005 at 08:49 AM. Reason: add information
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Old July 16th, 2005, 09:41 AM   #11
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Okay, first of all, I had heard there was a beta of QT7 for W but I could not find it. Thanks!! My question is: has anyone tried it? Does it work? If it does now, it solves my problem for the next two weeks worth of showings.
Thanks.
== edit ==
I obviously meant, has anyone tried it with H.264 files originally compressed on a mac.
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Old July 16th, 2005, 09:57 AM   #12
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Cemil,

I've played the HD H.264 movies Apple has on their website with the QuickTime 7 Windows preview. Works fine for me.
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Old July 16th, 2005, 10:02 AM   #13
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Excellent. Solves all my problems. A link to the download is going up on our site in the next hour. Wow. Time savings for us!!
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Old July 17th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wiley
Aren't ANY players? The Quicktime 7 player would be what?
it would be zero market penetration in a universe of ~900 million internet users.

if you want your content to be easily viewable by the general public, h.264 is not a good choice at this point in time.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 09:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
it would be zero market penetration in a universe of ~900 million internet users.

if you want your content to be easily viewable by the general public, h.264 is not a good choice at this point in time.
QuickTime is a cross-platform application. If you think Mac market share = QuickTime users it's a bad assumption. iTunes (also cross platform), which is used with some of the tens of millions of iPod sold around the world, requires quicktime. Everyone who has installed iTunes for Windows has installed quicktime.

Quicktime has also been used as a component of computer games on Windows for decades and is used as a required component in many other Windows applications.

Apple claims that QT6 was downloaded 350 million times with 98% of those downloads were from PC users, at a rate of over 10 million per month.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/whyqt/

350 million is 38% of 900 million internet users cited, not zero. iTunes (which has supported video downloads since version 4.8) has probably pushed that number and percent up a bit. I can't find good data on this however.

Last edited by Peter Wiley; July 18th, 2005 at 09:30 AM.
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