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Compression for the web double check.

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Rich Sims
Compression for the web double check.
on Jul 29, 2009 at 1:00:07 pm

Hello,

I have a client that would like to post a project we did on their web site. Flash is not an option and they as well as most of the company and clients are windows based. I'm trying to figure the best format to give them since their IT department is completely new to this whole arena. Here are my thoughts I wanted to run by everyone and check for accuracy.

By and large although I like the output of H.264 it seems that viewers of the site would need quicktime to view (as well as anyone just viewing it from their company off site). Which I'm sure most have not taken the time to get or want to. So that seems to be out.

WMV9 seems to be a good choice from what I'm reading because most of the viewers will have windows machines and it seems like QT can play this as well. Although I have flip4mac so maybe this is making it possible, not sure.

If WMV9 is the best way to go I have two options for creating this:
1. Use compressor and set up a WMV setting.
2. Use compressor and make an H.264 compression than use QT and flip4mac to turn it into a MWV since I just upgraded. (Not sure if this would be compressing a compression or just changing formats)

The program is around 6 minutes in length and was shot in 720P.

Any help and opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Rich Sims
Wordsmith Productions


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Daniel Low
Re: Compression for the web double check.
on Jul 29, 2009 at 4:20:16 pm

[Rich Sims] "Flash is not an option and they as well as most of the company and clients are windows based"

Huh? So what? Flash works on Windows too!

[Rich Sims] "By and large although I like the output of H.264 it seems that viewers of the site would need quicktime to view (as well as anyone just viewing it from their company off site). Which I'm sure most have not taken the time to get or want to. So that seems to be out."

You don't need Quicktime. VLC (http://www.videolan.org) is a free open source player that plays pretty much anything including H.264.

No point in doing option 2 as you'll be compressing compressed content.



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Rich Sims
Re: Compression for the web double check.
on Jul 29, 2009 at 5:49:19 pm

Sorry for the confusion.

Yes windows can see flash but their site is not a flash site so they do not have the capabilities to post this type of file.

Also whether its QT or VLC they're looking for a format that the most people out there won't have to download something. That was why the .wmv guess on my part.

Any other thoughts? Really looking to make it into something that will reach the most people without them having to call their IT department to install something as most of the viewers of this site won't know how to deal with any type of media/web issues.

Thanks for clearing up the compressor vs. compressing and compression issue.

Take care,
Rich



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Chris Blair
Re: Compression for the web double check.
on Jul 30, 2009 at 1:49:00 am

Yes windows can see flash but their site is not a flash site so they do not have the capabilities to post this type of file.

You can insert flash content on any type of website, HTML, PHP, you name it.

Also whether its QT or VLC they're looking for a format that the most people out there won't have to download something. That was why the .wmv guess on my part.

Well over 90% of computers worldwide have flash installed, including Macs, Windows, & Linux, so Flash by far has the widest installed user base and will give you the highest playback compatibility. Some estimates put the number above 95% in fact. And Flash has had native mp4/H264 playback for almost 3 years, since version 9 something or other. There have been half a dozen Flash updates since then. My 12 year old Windows 98 PC that sits in my kitchen alcove can play H264 movies in Flash (albeit they stutter and stammer since it's a 500Mhz computer with a whopping 64MB RAM!)

Now if you're looking to have people download the video, Flash probably isn't the best option, but you can always put a .wmv file as a download option.

The only thing that's a little testy about using H264 is getting it into a player that controls playback (often called a skin). But if there are tons of people in the Web forums that can help you with that.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Rich Sims
Re: Compression for the web double check.
on Jul 30, 2009 at 3:06:49 am

Ah,

Now that is new to me. I was always told that in order to use flash on a web site it had to be a flash web page. This opens up a whole new question to track down. As I'm not familiar with flash encoding is there a cheap but good, (I know I'm asking for it) way to compress a movie down into flash. Right now all of my compressions are done in compressor. Usually in H.264 or down to .wmv

This is more out of what is being requested from clients than anything else so I have not sunk a lot into the whole compression side of things.

Thanks again,
Rich Sims



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Craig Seeman
Re: Compression for the web double check.
on Jul 30, 2009 at 3:11:51 am

H.264 .mov is Flash compatible as is.

Flash Player:9:Update:H.264

and

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

Flash player can install in an HTML web page

For your website:
JW FLV Player
The #1 player for FLV, H.264 & MP3.





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Chris Blair
Re: Compression for the web double check.
on Jul 31, 2009 at 1:00:38 pm

Rich,

You have everything you need to compress video for Flash. Flash player doesn't need or require .flv files. It can natively play Quicktimes, H264 and several other containers and codecs...even .avi if I'm not mistaken.

So all you need to figure out is how to put your video into a player interface (or skin). JW player is great but isn't exactly the easiest or most intuitive one if you've never done it before or aren't at least familiar with how websites work and with FTP.

There are other 3rd party apps that will take your compressed video file and create everything you need to either embed it or link to it as an .html file...without recompressing the video. A couple I've demo'd are Wimpy Wasp publisher and Socusoft FLV publisher. They're both about $50 if memory serves and do a nice job of just adding a player interface to existing videos. They have limited format support but I know both took .mp4 files because that's what we were testing. You can create playlists, customize the player and they both come with dozens of player designs. Most of the players are garish, but there are enough decent ones to make them worth the cost.

There are also third party apps that will do the compression and add the player interface for you. We own 2 of those. Turbine Video Encoder and Flash Video Studio. Both are also about $50, both can compress to .mp4 and both have a ton of flexibility. One thing...ALL of these are Windows based I think. I don't recall seeing Mac versions of any of them but it wouldn't hurt to check.

Hope that helps.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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