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best option for WMV encoding on a Mac

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Bill Crawford
best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 4, 2007 at 12:24:41 pm

Hi All,

I'm looking for information. For a number of years I've used both Squeeze, and Compression Master (Episode) on a Mac for WMV encoding. Both with mixed results - some good, some not so good.

I understand that to get the best WMV encoding you should work on a PC, and Procoder is a top option.

I don't need to do WMV encoded versions regularly so I have avoided a dedicated windows machine. But now that I can run windows in a partition on one of my Macs using BootCamp, or Parallels, maybe this is an option.

Anyone running a PC WMV encoding app with good success on a Mac - better than using Squeeze or Episode?

Thanks,

Bill



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nateboston
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 4, 2007 at 12:56:50 pm

Bill,

Forget about a dedicated PC, or even partitioning your Mac for that none-sense! You just need to install Flip4Mac! It's a third party plug-in that will allow you export WMV's right out of Final Cut Pro - fast, easy, and with good results. It's also pretty fast. I have squeeze which works alright, but since finding this it's all I use. It will take you a couple of test files to get it right, but once you have it down it's great. And you can save your presents!

http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm

The pro version costs like $30, but they have a free version which works just fine for your basic exporting.

Nate


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Ben Waggoner
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 4, 2007 at 6:36:26 pm

Nate,

Note Flip4Mac is a great solution, but it doesn't have all the latest and greatest modes of our latest Windows codec. But we continue to work with Telestream to continually enhanced the product.

The same underlying codec powers WMV encoding in both Sorenson Squeeze and Episode Pro, so it's really a question of the right workflow.

Also, the cheap version of Flip4Mac only offers some presets. You need to pay more for more control or HD encoding.

My Book: http://www.benwaggoner.com/books.htm
Squeeze and ProCoder tutorials: http://www.classondemand.net/benwaggoner/
Compression Class at Stanford: http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/compression.html


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nateboston
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 4, 2007 at 7:23:04 pm

Ben,

Does Squeeze or Episode Pro currently have "all the latest and greatest modes of our latest Windows codec"? From your post it sounds as the only way to get the latest and greatest is to encode the files on a PC using the most current version of Windows. Is this correct?

Also, is Flip4Mac using the same "underlying codec" that powers Squeeze and Episode Pro? If this is the case, then Flip4Mac should encode the files the same - except they'll come directly out of FCP and not from an entirely different program.

As for the presets, the cheap version comes with over 50. As noted in my last post, you can create your own custom presets and save them for future use. There is no (or very very little) loss of control over the export process, and you can export HD without a hitch.

I believe the version you must pay for offers the ability to convert WMV files to QT's and vice versa. The cheap version just adds the export feature to FCP. In my opinion, for the money, ease of use, and end result, that is the way to go.

Nate


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Ben Waggoner
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 4, 2007 at 9:51:27 pm

All three apps use the same underlying code, which is currently behind the current Windows implmentation (although we're working with Telestream to close that gap). That said, these are the more esoteric stuff exposed via registry keys - only high-end customers would even notice the difference.

The full list of Flip4Mac products is here:

http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm



My Book: http://www.benwaggoner.com/books.htm
Squeeze and ProCoder tutorials: http://www.classondemand.net/benwaggoner/
Compression Class at Stanford: http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/compression.html


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cowcowcowcowcow
Rich Rubasch
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 5, 2007 at 12:06:27 am

Flip4Mac is great for quick small WMV files but it will not match the precision of the FREE windows media encoder. I export a reference clip from FCP and open it in MPEG Streamclip (again, FREE). In MPEG Streamclip I export an AVI movie and compress the video using Apple's PhotoJPEG at 75% and keep audio uncompressed. This gives me a great looking AVI I can take over to the PC. I do have a dedicated PC and there are many GREAT reasons to have one (c'mon boys they're cheap!) in the shop. I still use eDVD to make cross-platform DVD's with ROM content for example and author PC Powerpoint for clients...much more.

You run the AVI file you created on your mac thru the Windows Media encoder and you can get excellent looking WMV clips that can be FULL SCREEN and look pristine. Excellent if you want to show a full screeen clip on ANY PC.

Again I have both Flip4Mac (small quick encodes for basic approval and of course the Quicktime extension for viewing in QT player) AND a PC for doing those encodes that I want to be the smallest size but the best looking. I have used nothing that does this better than the FREE Microsoft encoder.

So to review.....I use Flip4Mac almost every day to view WMV in QT and to create small low to med quality review clips for clients. I use the FREE MPEGStreamclip to make AVI clips that I take over to the PC (via simple USB jump drive) and make my critical (especially full screen) encodes on the PC.

My clients know that when it really counts I can deliver the best quality clips because of a comprehensive workflow.....I can also save them money by using a quick solution like Flip4Mac for the less critical review clips.

That's my story.....stickin' to it.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.


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Andy Edwards
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 11, 2007 at 9:12:55 pm

Rich,

Thanks for the MPEG Streamclip idea. I was having issues with FLIP4Mac today and was browsing the cow and read your recipe. Downloaded MPSC and saved my files over the network to a PC. Downloaded the WM Encoder and created my files. It is a little more work, but the files looked great.

Thanks!!!!!

Andy Edwards


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nateboston
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 5, 2007 at 12:41:18 pm

"All three apps use the same underlying code, which is currently behind the current Windows implementation (although we're working with Telestream to close that gap)."

So all three app's use the came underlying code - I get that. That same code is also being used on the current Windows implementation (I assume we're talking about Vista) - I get that as well. However, when you say you are working with Telestream to close that gap - I don't understand what you mean. If all three apps AND Windows are using the same underlying code, where is there a gap?

"these are the more esoteric stuff exposed via registry keys"

What "stuff" are you referring to? Are you saying that the everyday user won't notice a quality difference between Squeeze and Flip4Mac? I'm also not sure what you mean when you talk about registry keys. Could you clarify?

Nate


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Bill Crawford
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 5, 2007 at 1:43:09 am

Hi Ben,

So - as the resident WMV expert - can I get better quality WMV files encoding with Procoder, or the free MS encoder running on a MacPro under windows with either Bootcamp, or Parallels?

I've been using the full up versions of Squeeze and Episode for a number of years, but even with careful work, I'm not seeing the quality I've seen from others work on Windows PCs.

I recall at one point or another seeing a post of yours mentioning using a Mac and a windows encoder.

Thoughts?

Bill



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Ben Waggoner
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 5, 2007 at 3:00:50 am

Windows Media Encoder and ProCoder both use the same version of the codec on the system, so you'll get the same quality out of the codec either way. That said, I think ProCoder has better preprocessing most of the time.

Bootcamp or Parallels won't make a quality difference. However if you're on a multicore machine, you're better off in Bootcamp, since Parallels only allows a single thread to run in Windows.

My Book: http://www.benwaggoner.com/books.htm
Squeeze and ProCoder tutorials: http://www.classondemand.net/benwaggoner/
Compression Class at Stanford: http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/compression.html


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Bill Crawford
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 5, 2007 at 12:41:33 pm

Hi Ben,

So do I understand you correctly - that running windows and a windows based encoder on a Mac under Bootcamp will allow me to have a better WMV encode than using the Telestream WMV encoder thats the base of Squeeze or Episode?

Bottom line here is that I have several new intel macs, and if I can avoid putting in a dedicated PC for just WMV encoding, that would be great.

But if encoding under windows on a Mac will be no different that using the QT based WMV products - Squeeze and Episode, then I guess I'll just keep plugging along looking for improvements there.

Thanks,

Bill



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Craig Seeman
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 6, 2007 at 7:24:12 pm

Episode does a very good job creating WMV files but running WME on an Intel Mac (Bootcamp or Parallel) is basically a Windows box (which is why bootcamp works). It would be interesting to see if one could run WME in "Crossover" though.



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Ben Waggoner
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 6, 2007 at 11:18:48 pm

Nope, it won't run in Crossover, since Crossover hasn't implemented the wmvencod.dll.

My Book: http://www.benwaggoner.com/books.htm
Squeeze and ProCoder tutorials: http://www.classondemand.net/benwaggoner/
Compression Class at Stanford: http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/compression.html


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Rich Rubasch
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 7, 2007 at 12:23:12 am

Ben sort of clarifies why a true PC workstation is almost a necessity in any complete production studio. Parallels etc do a great job of running most of the PC apps but don't really have a complete implementation of the OS.

YOu might pay $300+ for a decent encoder on the Mac, but for about $300-$400 more you can have a perfectly capable PC to do your encoding chores with the Windows encoder which is free.

Plus you have another DVD burning station, a place to test cross compatibility on DVD or CD projects, test a new website you built on a PC and a ton more.

Hmmm...no brainer?

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media


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Ben Waggoner
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Jun 7, 2007 at 1:37:48 am

Well, I wouldn't go THAT far. A couple of points:

1. Telestream will be closing the gap, with our help. And it's not that huge a gap right now, especially for the majority of users who don't touch registry keys. If anything, Flip4Mac is easier to use for most consumers - you need registry keys to turn on B-frames on Windows today, for example.

2. Running Windows on a Mac running Boot Camp is just the same as running on any other Windows machine. Parallels will give the same quality, but not the same performance single it only supports a single core.

My Book: http://www.benwaggoner.com/books.htm
Squeeze and ProCoder tutorials: http://www.classondemand.net/benwaggoner/
Compression Class at Stanford: http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/compression.html


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Borjis
Ben....When is VC-1 Coming?
on Jun 15, 2007 at 2:24:34 am


Ben, just wondering when VC-1 will be an option for the current crop of windows media encoders out there....mac or pc.

I thought that flip4mac pro did decent wmv hd encoding, if I work purely from digibeta or hdcam uncompressed material, flip4mac ($179 version) I'll be good to go right?



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Craig Seeman
Re: Ben....When is VC-1 Coming?
on Jun 15, 2007 at 2:49:49 am

The current version of Flip4Mac as well as Episode support encoding VC-1 on the Mac.



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Ben Waggoner
Re: Ben....When is VC-1 Coming?
on Jun 15, 2007 at 5:08:35 am

Just in case that there is any confusion:

Windows Media Video 9==VC-1

Windows Media Video 9 is VC-1 Simple or Main Profile
Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile is VC-1 Advanced Profile

You can think of "WMV9" as our brand for our implementation of the VC-1 codec. WMV9 is trademarked by us, while VC-1 is not.

My compression blog: http://on10.net/blogs/benwagg/

My compression class at Stanford: http://digitalmediaacademy.org/courses/video-compression-training.html


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Borjis
Re: Ben....When is VC-1 Coming?
on Jun 15, 2007 at 7:14:40 am


Can you create the same type of VC-1 that is compliant for professional HD-DVD or Blu-Ray authoring?



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Ben Waggoner
Re: Ben....When is VC-1 Coming?
on Jun 15, 2007 at 2:41:28 pm

Yes. Sonic will be the first to market with CineVision PSE:

http://www.sonic.com/products/Professional/CineVisionpse/quicklook.aspx

We're also looking to license the core technology to a wide variety of other companies.

My compression blog: http://on10.net/blogs/benwagg/

My compression class at Stanford: http://digitalmediaacademy.org/courses/video-compression-training.html


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James St Clair
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Mar 11, 2011 at 11:14:39 am

this link
http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm
has this info, a PLAYER only is free

To export WMV with their presets the version flip4mac costs $49

To export using dual pass their version costs $179

What are you talking about a free version that exports to WHM?? The link you gave has no free version that exports video!!

please correct your post.

JSC


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Vincent Boileau
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Apr 9, 2012 at 3:35:27 pm

If you have a PC available, create an intermediate file (I like ProResHQ) and move it over to the PC.

Use Microsoft Expression Encoder, which has a free option and is also extraordinarily powerful offering multipass, varied levels of VC-1 complexity, smart resizing, motion estimation and more.

If you love FREE as much as I do, this is a great solution.

-Vince


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Craig Seeman
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Apr 9, 2012 at 3:53:17 pm

Wow is this thread old. 4 years later someone posts and a year after that another post.

There's no need to have a separate Windows computer. Parallels with Windows 7 and Microsoft Expression Encoder on it is just drag and drop. If you want to take full advantage of the computer's resources also use Bootcamp so you can boot into a complete Windows system.

My new Intel Macs get the Parallels and Bootcamp "treatment" for this and related reasons.



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Victor Copp
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Mar 25, 2014 at 7:12:36 am

There are two way:

One is using VLC which is a free WMV player.

The other is using a professional WMV player like:http://faasoft.com/articles/play-wmv-on-mac.html


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Marc Johnson
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Apr 1, 2014 at 3:40:21 am

i recommend iDealshare VideoGo which has both Mac and Windows version and support directly play or convert all kinds of video files like wmv, avi, mp4, mov, mkv, vob, mxf, mts, rmvb, mod, avchd, tod, flv and etc

Mac version at http://www.idealshare.net/video-converter-mac.html
Windows version at http://www.idealshare.net/video-converter.html


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Craig Seeman
Re: best option for WMV encoding on a Mac
on Apr 1, 2014 at 5:30:24 am

Flip4Mac encodes WMV9 specifically and is distributed by Microsoft for Mac WMV9 encoding.
Many other encoders are only doing WMV8 or earlier encodes.



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