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Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?

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Pierre-Luc
Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 30, 2005 at 5:56:52 pm

These 2 apps seem to have the same properties but with a big difference for price. Yesterday I bought Flip4Mac WMV Studio for 99$ and today I saw the Popwire's site, announcing WM9 Export Component for 29$! Could you tell me I wasted my money or Flip4Mac worth the $$$ difference ?

Thanks
Pete


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Craig Seeman
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 30, 2005 at 9:19:10 pm

Flip4Mac WMV Studio works in QuickTimePro, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, iMovie, Cleaner 6, Squeeze 4.1, Compressor 2.

WMV Studio also includes Player Pro. You can import and edit WMV files in QuickTimePro, FCP, FCE, iMovie. In addition, you can open a WMV in QuickTimePro and then Save it as a MOV (Quicktime) no "export" needed. In other words you can edit a WMV in FCP or Save a WMV as a MOV and then edit that in FCP for example. It also includes an Internet Plugin which allows you to play many WMV from the web in Quicktime. BTW you can do that from the desktop too and you can jog through WMVs frame by frame in Quicktime, something WMP9 and WMP10 can't do on either platform. You're getting a lot more than just an exporter with WMV Studio.

I've been using WMV Studio Pro (includes the ability to create WMV HD with Surround Sound as well as 2 pass encoding) and it's really helped in my post production enviornment. I don't think Popwire WM9 Export includes all the above features. For example, I don't think you can use it in Compressor 2 for example. Of course it depends on if you need all the above additiional features.


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Charles Simonson
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 3:00:32 am

WMV Studio Pro ($179) is a really nice product. The two-pass encoding and HD features are good to have on the mac. I don't know how helpful the Importer is (other than allowing you can scroll through frame-by-frame) as being able to edit already heavily compressed files without a pass-through save option is pretty much meaningless for distribution. If they can make pass-through editing and saving of imported WMVs to exported WMVs, then it will have some real value. The playback of WMVs with QT doesn't offer that great enough of a benefit framerate-wise over WMP, so it also would be great if F4M could get real-time playback of HD working as well. And, the lack of any kind of DRM import support can be glaring. Though, this really isn't an issue of F4M, more to do with Microsoft.

WMV Studio Standard ($99) is, on the other hand, possibly overpriced compared to Popwire's Exporter ($29) according to your needs. If you aren't going to use the Importer, and don't need to use the encoder in Compressor 2 or Squeeze 4.1 (the other apps Craig mentions work fine with the Popwire product), then you will have basically the same product for much less. And the single-pass Popwire Exporter is generally much faster in encoding times (I will admit that I haven't extensively tested this in a few months though) than the single-pass F4M encoder.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 4:04:31 am

Charles,

You'd be surprised how much demand there is for the Importer (I've been). It's seems there's always some guy in a corporate media dept. or doing work for one, where the only thing remains of an old segment is an MPEG4v3 .ASF file and the boss wants it in the video. Granted this "ain't no quality" shot. One can make such a clip work by keeping it small with a larger graphic background (sorta the CNN Video Phone look). In any case the demand for the importer is very high. Whether it is with the above post, I don't know but don't discount the need to deal with heavily compressed WMV clips as source in some corporate video departments. If one needs a full "front end" compression app, I am impressed with CM3's speed and "tweakability." WMV Studio Pro and Compressor 2 is a nice "budget" alternative.


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Charles Simonson
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 5:17:35 am

Yeah, that's a good point Craig on the importing of WMVs in order to transcode. For some reason that eluded me, but I have found myself in that situation in the past (I used CM for it, but the F4M Importer and QT Pro would have worked as well). F4M Studio Pro and Compressor is a nice option, as long as you don't run into any of the Compressor bugs or need detailed image control.


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Pierre-Luc
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 1:59:29 pm

Well, that is great information you provided guys. After a more thorough analysis of our needs, I suspect that Popwire WM9 would good enough, since our workflow is mainly based on Mac, we use WMVs for those companies not familiar with audio/video (ex. Government, museum, small business, etc.) so we have to provide them a format they can view on their "Oh my god so old" computers, you know. But sometimes, we need to get a high-quality shot (ex. from a DVD) to put on CDs so they can view it on their desktop or for a show. Well, I made many tests yesterday with a file with motion, text, high contrast, and I noticed that WMV Studio automatic De-interlace is not so great when high resolution needed. For apps that I use, especially QT Pro, FCP and Compressor. But I'm not sure WMV Studio will worth my money for what I need...

Well, I know I can do alot of things with it!

Thanks
Pete


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Craig Seeman
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 2:38:02 pm

[Pierre-Luc] "they can view on their "Oh my god so old" computers,"

You might need to check compatibility with WMV9 output and WMP7.1 on Windows if that's the case. WMV9 should work with a properly updated WMP7.1 but you might want to test the output file from both Popwire and Flip4Mac. Note that if the PCs are old/slow, you need to keep things like data rate, frame rate (computer's ability to decode the file) etc. If you want to tweak deinterlace settings, you are looking at a good "front end" app whether it's CM3 or something like Compressor 2/Flip4Mac (I believe the Frame Control does better deinterlacing than the Deinterlace filter).


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Pierre-Luc
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 3:10:04 pm

Well, for old/slow PCs, I'll go with WM7, but most of the time, they have decent computers so it an play very well WM9. WMV Studio allow frame control ? I think it's just the PRO version. For a good deinterlacing, depending on the source file, I use FCP with De-interlace filter, or Cleaner, to tweak settings. Not yet upgraded to DVDSP4, but in time, I'll try Compressor 2. Compression Master 3 seems to be very good, even better than Sorenson Squeeze 4 ? Well, after thinking about all that, I've made a good choice for the budget.

Thanks!
Pete


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Charles Simonson
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 3:16:58 pm

If you're going to deinterlace, I wouldn't do it in an editing app like FCP. Wait until the encoding stage to do so (with either Cleaner, CM, or Compressor). As far as comparisons with CM and Squeeze, I really do believe CM is a much stronger product. Squeeze does have excellent Flash Video encoding, and can use the F4M encoder, but beyond that I rarely find myself even running Squeeze. The preprocessing and filtering, along with its highly optimized encoders, makes Compression Master a very nice piece of software.


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Pierre-Luc
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 3:32:48 pm

Well I use FCP just for deinterlace, ex. I have my DV file, just put it on the timeline, aplly the filter, and export to WMV. It did a great job, but don't know why, I could see in some action spots some interlaced lines in the deinterlaced file. Filter was applied with a "Flicker minimal". Well, thank you for clearing me up on CM vs Squeeze.

Pete


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Charles Simonson
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 5:02:46 pm

Yes, I wouldn't apply a deinterlace filter in an NLE because almost all that I have seen are not that high quality. Especially the filter included with FCP, and even most of the paid filters you can buy for FCP aren't that great when compared to those in compression suites. Compression Master and Canopus ProCoder have excellent deinterlacing filters. Squeeze's is pretty lackluster, and Compressor 2's can be buggy.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 9:15:26 pm

There are many kinds of "intelligent" deinterlacing. Charles is right in that the FCP deinterlace filter is "primitive." I haven't found Compressor 2 buggy (yet) though at least as far as deinterlacing goes.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 9:21:05 pm

[Pierre-Luc] "WMV Studio allow frame control ?"

What do you mean by frame control? You can encode at various useful frame rates with WMV Studio.
If you mean bit rate, 1 pass VBR, by its nature, is QUALITY based regardless of app. You do need WMV Studio PRO for 2 pass VBR encoding which targets bit rate. WMV Studio can target a bit rate with CBR encoding but VBR will often look better/be more efficient.


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Pierre-Luc
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Sep 1, 2005 at 12:15:24 am

I thought you were talking about Keyframe control. I will test Compressor 2 when we'll upgrade.

Thanks
Pete


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Craig Seeman
Re: Popwire WM9 Export Component or Flip4Mac Studio ?
on Sep 1, 2005 at 1:30:25 am

WMV Studio allows you to set Key Frame Rate (what some call "Forced" Keyframes) such as a key frame every X seconds.


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