Help. Final Cut Pro 4.1 Compression to mpeg-4 ? at
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Old February 27th, 2006, 01:59 AM   #1
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Help. Final Cut Pro 4.1 Compression to mpeg-4 ?

Editing newbie, so here's my problem. Ideally I'm trying to compress about 4-5 minutes of footage (music video) to about 30mb for online streaming.
I found the best quality is using mp4 cpmpression but I have a problem with the size.
In FCP when a set it to compress to mpeg-4, I go to options and then click the general tab to set the size but it only gives me three options which are: current (which is full-size, way to big and choppy) and 160x120 or 320x240 which are way too small.
For some reason it doesn't give me the option to set custom size settings,,,
Does anyone else have this problem or can tell me whay that is, or how to get around it??
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Old March 7th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #2
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compression settings

ok, well since i guess no one knows what i'm talking about, can you give some recommendations on what i should do to compress a 4 minute video, best quality, about 400x300, to be around 30mb in size?
when i choose quicktime as oppossed to mpeg-4 it lets me set cutom size settings but then the finished compress size is almost 200mb!?
way to large for web streaming. thanks.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 03:30 AM   #3
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I use OpenShiiva for straight MPEG 4 compression. (Compressor for H.264). It is better than Quicktime for MPEG 4 and the resulting files are quicktime compatible.

Set size to 512x384, video to 77,75 KB/s and compress audio to 128 kbps. This gives you a 750 kbps stream, about 5,6 MB/minute.

You will have to open the resulting file in Quicktime and export it to a new MP4 file (set video to pass through and audio to pass through). Otherwise fast download won't work.
Please keep in mind that English is not my native language.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #4
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There are many many postings on this topic with step by steps on adjusting the parameters used during compression. FCP comes with the Compressor package which is dedicated to doing compression.

Do some math on what you are asking. 4 minutes is 240 seconds of video. If you make it 30MB, then the video will be 125k bytes per second or 1 megabit per second. Only people with 1MB DSL and better web connections could stream that kind of data rate. Most video for DSL is set at no more than 320k bits per second. You'll want to make sure your MPEG-4 files are using the H.264 CODEC so you can get the frame size you want in a more reasonab;e data rate such as 320. You'll need QuickTime 7 to get the H.264 CODEC.

I can't match your description with what I see when I do a compression using MPEG-4 from FCP.

File-Export->Using QuickTime Compression
Format: MPEG-4
Use: Broadband - High

On the VIdeo Tab:
set the data rate to anywhere from 320 to 420
Image Size: Custom
w:400 h:300
Frame Rate: whatever you want

On the Audio Tab:
use 128kbps or better

Enable Streaming if you are using a streaming server. Don't if you aren't using a streaming server and you misused that term when you said you wanted it for web streaming then don't enable streaming, it does nothing but make the file larger.

Experiment. Decreasing the frame rate will give you more bytes per second to fill in detail in the image but at the cost of motion. Increasing the frame size means less bytes per second per square inch of video frame which translates to lower image quality. So, if you increase the frame size, without increasing the data rate to a reasonable amount, the CODEC will have no choice but to starve the frame of image data (quality suffers).
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