I'm looking to purchase compression software on the Mac for an educational institution. I have a number of Qs that I hope someone can help me sort out.
We need to be able to output best-of-platform videos; ie. the best videos for QT, the best for WMV, the best for DVD and the best for Flash. We're not too interested in Real at this point in time.
I've had a look recently at the competing products and thus far it looks like there will be two purchases:
1) Compression Master from popwire
This looks good for QT and WMV outputs
2) Flix8Pro from On2 Technologies
This look good for Flash movies
3) We already have Compressor 2 so that should handle MPEG2's well enough as some of the more knowledgeable folks here have attested to.
My Q now is
(1)if the purchases numbered 1 & 2 above is justifiable given our goals.
(2) What the heck is VP7. I read some of the literature at http://www.on2.com and it seems to be better than VP6 in terms of its efficiency and effectiveness as a CODEC. If that's the case, then why isn't On2 putting it to market as they are with VP6?
Thanks in advance for any answers.
customizable animated backdrops with Adobe After Effects project files
1) Compression Master will give you very good results with its MPEG-4 Part 2 and 10 encoding for QT. Also, if you already have the SV3 Pro codec, then it will give you the best single pass VBR SV3 encoding results of any app. The WMV encoder is very sharp and retains color accuracy better than most other WMV encoders out there. While not needed, CM3 also offers the best Real encoding on any platform IMO. And the MPEG2 encoding is nothing to laugh at either these days. It also does very nice Flash Video encoding, although it does not use the On2 codec at this time. Overall, CM can do some great encoding jobs for you and should have you covered.
You may also want to take a look at Squeeze as well. Its preprocessing features aren't that great, and pale compared to CM's, but it does include the SV3 Pro codec and can be directly integrated with the WMV exporter from Flip4Mac (which many people like) and the On2VP6 codec for Flash media. It should be noted that the WMV and On2 options are additional costs with Squeeze, although it does include its own Flash 8 video encoder which is very good as well. Squeeze's MPEG-4 and Real encoders are OK but decidely a step below CM's, and I wouldn't use it at all for MPEG-2. But, the interface is easier to use and manage than CM's.
You are correct that Compressor 2 should have you well handled for MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264) encoding. As long as you don't need to scale or filter from your source to the encode with Compressor, then you will be fine. If you do need to do so, then you will find yourself in my situation where I often use Compression Master for the preprocessing and scaling to an uncompressed codec and then use that source in Compressor 2.
2)VP7 is a proprietary codec that none of the major desktop sw players support out of the box. VP6 had this same problem until Macromedia came along and licensed their codec and work for Flash 8. Maybe VP7 will gain some momentum in the future, but as of today, as far as current generation web and desktop codecs are concerned, it really isn't a factor.
[Charles Simonson] "2)VP7 is a proprietary codec that none of the major desktop sw players support out of the box. VP6 had this same problem until Macromedia came along and licensed their codec and work for Flash 8. Maybe VP7 will gain some momentum in the future, but as of today, as far as current generation web and desktop codecs are concerned, it really isn't a factor."
I sort of figured that out but I was wondering why didn't Macromedia license VP7 when the filesizes are smaller than WMVs with similar quality. Perhaps there are other issues. I remember ages ago when On2 were called the Duck Corporation and their Truemotion CODEC was supposed to be very good but unfortunately only very people got to use it.
And thanks for the input - very much appreciated. I may just go with a combination of CM and Flix8Pro.
The only concern now is backward compatibility with older players. For that, Squeeze sounds real good. But then again folks that are on Macs normally upgrade their players more often than those on PCs and there is a good chance that they'll be able to playback QTs MPEG4. And PC users find it easier to upgrade their Flash players than WMPlayer. What do you think of such a reasoning?
customizable animated backdrops with Adobe After project files