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best specs for downloadable Windows players

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John Farrell
best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 5, 2008 at 6:30:41 pm

Hi all,
One of my clients wants to offer videos (shorts between 3 and 7 mins long) in downloadable formats--to cover iPod users and windows portable media players.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the best specs to follow for windows users? I don't have any experience with windows media players myself, but am guessing that some form of AVI or Windows Media mpeg-4 is optimum.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

John Farrell
http://www.farrellmedia.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 5, 2008 at 6:47:23 pm

If you're looking at iPod you might want to look at Zune specs.

AVI is a wrapper not a codec. I can't imagine it serving any purpose for you.

I'm not sure why you're thinking "Windows" MP4? In my opinion most are "odd" formats (Microsoft ISO MPEG4 for example).

Why wouldn't you just use WMV9?



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John Farrell
Re: best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:00:01 pm

Yes--WMV is what I'm most familiar with for web delivery, although I haven't worked with windows media players.

John Farrell
http://www.farrellmedia.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:09:40 pm

[John Farrell] "although I haven't worked with windows media players. "

Do you mean Windows Media Player such as WMP11?
I take it you mean devices like Zune (iPod type Players that play Windows Media).

See this
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928192?sd=zune
Looks like it can play .m4v
So it can play files encoded for iPod.

and this has more specifics
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932614/

We recommend the following settings for playback on a Zune device:
• Width: 320
• Height: 240
• Frame rate: 30 frames per second
• Complexity: Main Profile, variable bit rate (VBR)
• Video bit rate (average): 500,000 bits per second (BPS) to 800,000 BPS
Note This setting is a tradeoff between file size and quality. If you use a setting that is less than 500,000 BPS, the video quality may be too low. If you use a setting that is greater than 800,000 BPS, the file may occupy too much storage space.
• Video Bit Rate (peak): 1,500,000 BPS
• Complexity: Simple Profile, constant bit rate (CBR)
• Video Bit Rate (peak==average): 736,000 BPS
• Audio track of .wmv video file: 128,000 BPS recommended for to limit file size or up to 192,000 BPS to maximize quality, 44.1 kHz sample rate, stereo, CBR





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John Farrell
Re: best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:12:46 pm

Thanks, Craig. Yes, Zune players are what they are targeting in addition to iPods.

I appreciate it.

--J

John Farrell
http://www.farrellmedia.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:16:49 pm

Interesting that Zune can play the same .m4v iPods can play. It could save you a lot of work.



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John Farrell
Re: best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:29:42 pm

That's good to know! (Long as we made our users aware of it as well...)



John Farrell
http://www.farrellmedia.com


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Ben Waggoner
Re: best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 9, 2008 at 1:59:40 am

Actually, the current Zune '07 models (the 4, 8, and 80) support a pretty big superset of iPod MPEG-4; 4 Mbps Main Profile compared to ~1.5 Mbps baseline profile.

However, note that this isn't supported in the 1st gen Zune (30), which only supports WMV files of 320x240p30 or less, with peak bitrate of 1.5 Mbps. The desktop software will automatically transcode .mp4 files to a supported WMV for the user, though.

Ben Waggoner
Principal Video Strategist, Silverlight
Microsoft Corporation

Compression Blog: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/
Compression Classes at Stanford and PSU: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/21622/


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John Farrell
Re: best specs for downloadable Windows players
on Aug 10, 2008 at 12:02:33 pm

This makes my job even easier--thanks, Ben!

John Farrell
http://www.farrellmedia.com


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