In the last few weeks i've been experimenting diligently in the world of video compression and still have not been able to settle on a satisfactory workflow. My final edits are completed in FCP 5.0 on a Dual 2.5 GHz PowerPC G5 with 4.75GB of Ram in OSX 10.4, and exported to the desktop as a QT reference with current setting selected, along with audio and video, no markers, and an unchecked "make movie self contained."
From there i need to compress to a streamable Window Media file. My first problem arose while exporting out of Squeeze 4.3. The dual pass VBR constantly froze on the second pass, so Squeeze was quickly scrapped. Our next shot was to export out of QT Pro 7.1.3. This export so far has produced the fastest and most acceptable quality, however it fails to stream in any version of Windows Media Player. Next up Cleaner 6.0. This is the only program that produces a streamable file, however the dual pass VBR export time is signifigantly longer than QT Pro's.
I've been comparing multiple compression exports out of Cleaner 6.0 and QT Pro 7.1.3 that both share the same export settings, yet Cleaner takes almost quadruple the amout of time to complete compression. Is this a variable in the way Cleaner handles it's QT to WMV vs. the way QT Pro handles this conversion? Is this an issue in the way Cleaner utilizes the processing power in my Mac, or is it just that Cleaner is better at exporting one codec from the next? Does Cleaner allocate a certain amount of RAM for exporting, or should I max out to 8gigs?
I just find it hard to believe that this program, which came highly regarded, cannot do what we need it to do like its done in other programs. Any thoughts?
Cleaner uses the Windows Media 7 engine to encode, so the quality is, well, icky.
If you have Flip4Mac then you are correct, making it streaming is a no go.
However if you have the FREE MPEG Streamclip (squared5.com) you can take your ref clip and convert it to an AVI (use the PhotoJPEG compressor at 75%. Now take this to any PC with the FREE Windows Media encoder. You will need the FREE Quicktime player installed on the PC in order to read the PhotoJPEG encoded AVI, but Windows encoder will like this file.
The Windows Media encoder now can make a great looking movie, make it streamable, crop it etc. In my opinion this is the only way to go, and you need a PC to do it, but the rest is FREE.