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Tom Laughlin
F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 7:16:50 pm

Ok, I'm a little confused, maybe someone could help, here's the scenerio:

I'm running on FCP, outputting a video using QT conversion, using the x264 codec (which looks better than Apple's h.264, tried x.264 it today, tested it, love it!) and with my .mov file, about 1 min long, it has audio, but my Flash Developer needs an .F4V file, so I changed the file extension to ".F4V", and like the original file extension (.MOV) both play "with sound" in QuickTime, but they do not play any audio when imported into Adobe Media Player. I've not yet tried encoding an 8bit uncompressed test file into CS4's Flash Encoder to output an .F4V, because I do not have it on this other computer at this other location, so I was trying to see if I could get this to work, but it has not.

Also, when I restrict the video bitrate to 512kps to output the .mov using QT Conversion, it's data rate is now 2,071.94 kbit/sec when it is being played back, is this normal? Is it still streaming at 512kps?



Thanks to all who respond,


Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 9:14:41 pm

[Tom Laughlin] "so I changed the file extension to ".F4V", and like the original file extension (.MOV) both play "with sound" in QuickTime, but they do not play any audio when imported into Adobe Media Player."

You can't always just change the extension (which is effectively saying I'm changing the wrapper or multiplexer of the x264 file from Quicktime to Flash). The reason it plays ok in Quicktime is because it's still a Quicktime. You could probably change the extension to .PDF and it would still play in Quicktime player.

Bottom line is that you need to encode to .F4V

http://theflashblog.com/?p=748



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Tom Laughlin
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 9:54:49 pm

So, is there a best method to encode to .F4V? Are there any companies out there that would be examples of this, with their video encoded to .F4V and up on their websites? Other than Jan Ozer's comments on hardware and software, does anyone know of a really good hardware or software solution for encoding to .F4V? I'm open to trying anything.

Thanks,

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 10:09:23 pm

Adobe Media Encoder, Rhozet Carbon Coder, Telestream Episode.

None of the above use x264 obviously.

Encode/transcode exactly as you would any H.264 file. It's just a different wrapper (Container)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Container_format_(digital)



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Tom Laughlin
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 10:14:39 pm

Any Mac-based options?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 10:28:44 pm

Adobe Media Encoder (part of CS4) and Episode run under OS X, and Carbon Coder runs nicely using virtualisation on Mac (Bootcamp, Paralles etc).

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Craig Seeman
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 10:46:13 pm

Episode can use x264 although 2 pass encoding is not yet implemented.



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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 10:53:08 pm

Hmmm, does Telestream officially support and promote that!?

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Craig Seeman
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 11:05:47 pm

I'm sure MyCometG3 (noted x264 developer) has been in touch with Telestream. He contacted me when he was working at issues to get it working and apparently they were able to fix things.

They were also able to get it working in ScreenFlow and Telestream has a post about it on their official blog. Here's the complete article with Craig Reed who did the testing with ScreenFlow
http://blogs.telestream.net/screenflow/2010/02/apple-h-264-vs-x264-in-scree...

So it does seem there's communication. They have had anything equivalently public with Episode yet though. Here' where it's at at the moment.






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Craig Seeman
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 11:08:34 pm

BTW Daniel is there any way I can contact you off list (Episode related)? I wish COW had a Private Message system.



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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 11:24:41 pm

Sure. Do Kath or Ron have a better solution to posting private details on the forum!?

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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 11:13:24 pm

Obviously you understand the OSS licensing situation, and this is a grey area in this case as Episode is using the framework of QT, but if Telestream promote, officially support or include this component with Episode they are opening a big can of worms.... Beware.

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Craig Seeman
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 21, 2010 at 11:25:00 pm

It might be why there's no promotion but MyCometG3 was the one to bring up getting it to work in Episode, yes through QT and maybe that makes it "safer." It's how ScreenFlow accesses it of course. The qualitative difference in handling screencast encoding with x264 vs Apple's H.264 is MAJOR.

BTW I should mention that Telestream has officially they are adding MainConcept support to Episode 6.
2nd paragraph
http://www.telestream.net/episode/new.htm
But x264 certainly has so much potential.



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Tom Laughlin
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 22, 2010 at 3:40:17 pm

Would it be then safe to assume that an export out of QT Conversion using x264, would yield still a much better quality encode that from Episode, in terms of h.264 encoding, or is Episode using the QT (without permission) as an engine to encode that x.264 for you, I'm a little confused there. If you had the FLV plug-in to export out of FCP, or export a F4V out of FCP in some way, would the Episode's quality be better?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 22, 2010 at 4:06:44 pm

IF, and it's a very big IF you know your way around the settings of x264 then you will get the best results out there.

e.g. -
What's the best:

ME (Motion estimation) setting..
Trellis?
AQ mode?
B frame strategy
Wighted P frame prediction
AQ strength
Lookahead value
psy values

etc
etc.

Episode uses the H.264 from Dicas, it's a very good codec and does most of the complicated decisions for you.

Bottom line is if you wna the absolutely best, most efficient transcode you learn all about he parameters of x264 and use it.

If you want something almost as good in 9/10 cases then Dicas or Mainconcept will do fine.

That said, the Quicktime x264 codec does come with some presets you can resort to if you can't be bothered to learn all about it, but it's still not for the average compressionist!


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Tom Laughlin
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 22, 2010 at 4:53:27 pm

Are the presets found in the actual QT player export options area, or can you attach a screenshot of where the presets are listed, is it in a drop-down window somewhere in QT, or in the QT conversion window...?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Tom Laughlin
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 2:43:01 pm

We did some more testing with the MainConcept trial software, and we plan on encoding the same test clips using Adobe Media Encoder, we are not there yet, but has anyone else done this kind of encoding or testing of these softwares. I'd love to hear your preferences, any resource links, and reasons why you have gone with MainConcept or AME and why. Thanks,

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 2:59:22 pm

[Tom Laughlin] "but has anyone else done this kind of encoding or testing of these softwares. I'd love to hear your preferences"

Yes, hours and hours of it. So, to save your time, if you are solely Mac based, just get Episode. It is far better and far more versatile than either AME or MainConcept.





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Tom Laughlin
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:27:30 pm

Which encoder do you prefer for most of your encoding, whether PC or Mac? If I went with Episode, would it give me the x.264 option, as well as a MainConcept h.264 option as well?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Craig Seeman
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:34:29 pm

Episode currently uses Dicas but in the next major update to Episode 6 coming this summer it will use Main Concept.

x264 integration works through Quicktime and it may be subject to additional functionality as time goes on as MyComet3G seems willing to work on it.







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Tom Laughlin
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:38:47 pm

Craig,

Have you seen tests with Mainconcept vs. AME? Would it be safe to say that if one used and got good with x.264 (free), it would be just as good as an encoder rather than purchasing MC or AME? Would it be safe to assume that the majority of those doing professional encoding use MC more, or is it a toss-up?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:55:54 pm

[Tom Laughlin] "Would it be safe to assume that the majority of those doing professional encoding use MC more"

More transcoding applications use the MainConcept Codec/SDK than any other H.264 codec. There are more licences of Mainconcepts codec out there than any other (excluding Apple's, which is rubbish)

Therefore, more 'professionals' use Mainconcept than any other codec. It's impossible to say how many people have integrated x264 into their workflow but many of the huge transcoding setups use open source FFMPEG/x264

Remember if a company goes down the x264 route, there will be nobody on the other end of a telephone line who will support it.

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Daniel Low
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:50:17 pm

[Tom Laughlin] "Which encoder do you prefer for most of your encoding, whether PC or Mac"

Rhozet Carbon Coder.





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Craig Seeman
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:53:32 pm

Depending on what features you're looking for maybe Episode 6 will impress you.



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Tom Laughlin
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 7:55:11 pm

Geese, guys, thanks for making this easy on me! haha! Craig like one and Daniel like another. As in terms of returning with another question, would it be safe to assume that MC and AME's MC'd h.264 codec encode the exact same, using the same codec? It was mentioned earlier that AME used MC's codec licensed to them by MC, so does that mean the codec will encode the same quality from AME or will the MC software output a cleaner encode?

Thanks for the responses,

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCS3/Sony EX-3/Mac Intel


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Craig Seeman
Re: F4V Questions
on Apr 26, 2010 at 9:10:09 pm

Daniel please go to my ancient business website (which is horrible).
thirdplanetvideo.com
and click on the Contact Us link.



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