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Compressor: MAC & PC compatible

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Matt Campbell
Compressor: MAC & PC compatible
on Mar 3, 2009 at 4:24:40 pm

I need to create a digital file that is to be used by both MAC and PC users. I would normally create and H.264 .mov Quicktime for the MAC peeps and a WMV file for PC users. Rather than creating 2 files, what is one format that I can use for both platforms?

Example: Apple's iTunes uses .m4v for its movies and other sites use MPEG 4 (.mp4). What codec is best that comes with Compressor to create a cross-platform file?

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: MAC & PC compatible
on Mar 3, 2009 at 4:35:20 pm

Quicktime H.264 mov can be used as is if the Windows box has Quicktime installed.
If your target is a corporate environment then they may not have permitted the installation of Quicktime (or iTunes).

I prefer Quicktime H.264 myself.
It can be wrapped in Flash, Silverlight, played in Quicktime (all cross platform).
I haven't yet used it in Silverlight but I've used H.264 .mov in Flash and it works just fine.

If it's a corporate environment you may be stuck with wmv though (they may not even have Flash 9 or Flash 10 player installed in their IE browser). There's a special place in ***** for such IT people.



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Matt Campbell
Re: Compressor: MAC & PC compatible
on Mar 3, 2009 at 4:43:01 pm

This is for USB flash drive distribution. I've used h.264 and WMV in the past for this and had no issues. I'd like to steer clear of Flash though. Any luck in using .m4v or .mp4? Didn't these or H.264 replace the .mpg format? Is Compressor's, Apple settings for .m4v and/or .mp4 formats compatible? Such as the Apple TV setting or iPod settings?

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: MAC & PC compatible
on Mar 3, 2009 at 5:04:50 pm

I don't understand your comments.

H.264 is Flash as well as Quicktime.
H.264 can be mov, mp4, f4v.
mov and mp4 will work in both Quicktime and wrapped in a Flash player.

USB flash drive simply carries the file. The viewer will still have to have the appropriate player to play the file. If all they have is Windows Media they will not be able to play any of the above files. If they have Quicktime both mov and mp4 will work. If they have iTunes they have Quicktime.





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Matt Campbell
Re: Compressor: MAC & PC compatible
on Mar 3, 2009 at 5:19:20 pm

Oh, I didn't know H.264 can be Flash. I thought it was just mp4 and mov. I always just create .mov H.264 files.

Sorry, if I haven't been clear. Yes, the USB drives are just the carrier. And whatever files I create will have to have the appropriate player. My question is, for those PC users that don't have Quicktime, what file type, other than a flash file or WMV, should I create?

Can one file type be compatible with both MAC and PC? I don't want to just create a H.264 file and have it not work on a PC because they don't have the correct player. I guess my best bet is to keep creating an H.264 for MAC users and a WMV file for PC users.

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: MAC & PC compatible
on Mar 3, 2009 at 5:55:35 pm

[Matt Campbell] "h, I didn't know H.264 can be Flash. I thought it was just mp4 and mov. I always just create .mov H.264 files. "

Adobe Flash and H.264 extensions

Q: Will Flash Player 9 Update 3 support non-FLV files?

A: Yes, with this update, Flash Player will also support files derived from the standard MPEG-4 container format such as MP4, M4A, MOV, MP4V, 3GP, 3G2 if they contain H.264 video and/or HE-AAC encoded audio.


[Matt Campbell] "My question is, for those PC users that don't have Quicktime, what file type, other than a flash file or WMV, should I create? "

If they don't have Quicktime they'll need WMV for Windows Media Player.
You could build a Flash Player for a flash file (which can be H.264 .mov) and install that on the USB drive but that may be more complex than you want to get and they'd need the Flash plugin and, just like Quicktime, that can be an issue on Windows computers. It's too bad that too many Windows users can't think beyond WMV (mainly IT people). The irony is that Microsoft's own Silverlight can handle non WMV files.
Ben Waggoner from Microsoft on H.264 support in Silverlight






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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: MAC & PC compatible
on Mar 3, 2009 at 5:58:55 pm

I thought I'd add this from Microsoft's own site.

PressPass: Will you be showing or announcing anything new at the IBC conference this week?

Guthrie: Yes. At IBC 2008 we will be demonstrating a technology preview of H.264 video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio playback support in Silverlight, and H.264 authoring using Microsoft Expression Encoder and Windows Server 2008 for delivery. Until now, Silverlight has supported the SMPTE VC-1 and Windows Media formats, as well as MP3 for audio, enabling customers to take advantage of broad support across the Windows Media ecosystem, including third-party tools, service providers and content delivery networks.

We’ve always wanted Silverlight to support a variety of formats, so today we’re announcing that H.264 and AAC support will be available in a future version of Silverlight, which will offer content owners greater flexibility and choice to deliver video and audio.

PressPass: Historically, people have associated Microsoft with VC-1. Does this signal a change in direction?

Guthrie: No. Although we have been working with VC-1 for some time, it’s not widely recognized that Microsoft has also been an active participant in the standardization of H.264/MPEG AVC for many years, and we’ve included H.264 support in several Microsoft products. Microsoft’s Gary Sullivan was the chairman of the Joint Video Team (JVT), which developed the H.264 standard, and he recently accepted an Emmy Award on behalf of the JVT.

PressPass: Does this mean that Silverlight is moving away from Windows Media?

Guthrie: Not at all. This is about offering our customers more choice. Media producers and distributors around the world have enjoyed the high quality, flexibility and affordability of Windows Media formats for over a decade. As a testament to its pervasiveness, Windows Media can be found in almost every conceivable media scenario from desktop home video to feature films and TV broadcasts.





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Matt Campbell
Re: Compressor: MAC & PC compatible
on Mar 3, 2009 at 6:09:42 pm

Hey thanks for the help. Sorry for not being clear. The last 2 posts have helped. I think I'll stick with creating 2 different files.

The last note about Microsoft was cool. That should help with compatibility. Thanks again.

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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