I'm a graphic designer/animator. For the last 4 months I've decided to build a website for my work. Its been a long fustrating slog. I thought putting my animations up would be the easy part. I've realise its almost an art form in itself.
I have about 8 clips from 30 secons to 2 mins to put on my site. They will have audio and I would like them to stream at a pretty good quality. I have a g5 at home with final cut express and after effects. What type of files should I compress to? Do I need other software to compress these files. I would like most people to be able to see these animations.
You can start with Quicktime H264. Make the size around 320 x 240 at medium quality and they will look pretty good and be fairly small. If you can get the Flip4Mac Windows media converter for your Mac you will also be able to encode to Windows Media and with both you will be covered.
You are right that compression is an art, really. There are so many settings including a good understanding how various codecs respond to different clips. and there are two sides of the equation...video and audio.
While H264 looks amazing, a viewer needs QT7 to play them. We're still waiting a while until
enough people have QT7 player installed. Until then we're still doing QTs with Sorenson 3 Pro.
The WMV/QT combination is a good one though. One step further would be to add Flash video
to the other 2 (only if it's the latest ON2 codec though).