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How does one make an MPEG-1 these days?

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Micah McDowell
How does one make an MPEG-1 these days?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 4:49:07 pm

Just upgraded to a new Mac Pro system, and I'm now in a quandary. I occasionally have to encode for some older presentation software that seems to like 720x480 MPEG-1 files at ~3 megabits/sec and balks at anything else. I used to export these files from Adobe Premiere CS3.

Now I've got this shiny new machine with the CS5 suite plus FCS, and I can't get a decent MPEG-1 out of anything. AME doesn't give the option at all, and Compressor only gives a very low quality preset with no options to change, and I've tried to edit it myself to no avail.

Does anyone have a secret way to export this most ancient and simple of all codecs?


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Craig Seeman
Re: How does one make an MPEG-1 these days?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 5:22:39 pm

Telestream Episode can encode MPEG1 with good flexibility. I suspect Squeeze does also.
I don't doubt the reason you're not finding much support for it in the "Suite" type apps from Apple and Adobe is, in part, there's not really much use for MPEG1 these days.

It's a poor quality inefficient codec. These days H.264 has become universal and if you need to reach older computers one might use Baseline Profile (easier to decode). H.264 plays in Flash, Silverlight, Quicktime, HTML5 imbed in some browser, Windows Media Player 12 (included with Windows 7).

If you really needed to fall back you could use the older MPEG4 or WMV9 and still do better than MPEG1.



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Micah McDowell
Re: How does one make an MPEG-1 these days?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 5:50:15 pm

Thanks for the info... I'm completely in agreement that MPEG 1 is a lousy codec, but for some reason this software won't read much else, reliably anyway. Telestream Episode looks excellent, but for the price we'd likely be better off replacing the presentation software itself (and possibly several computers it gets run from as well).

I'll have to experiment some more... I think I might get it to read an MPEG2 file if it's configured just right (has been very hit and miss so far, but I think I got one to work). FYI, the presentation software in question is called MediaShout. The newest version allegedly supports various flavors of Quicktime natively without any codecs, but so far I've only gotten one out of the several machines we run it on to play anything but a very simple MPEG1.


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Craig Seeman
Re: How does one make an MPEG-1 these days?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 6:11:11 pm

[Micah McDowell] "but for the price we'd likely be better off replacing the presentation software itself "

That really would make sense if it can only handle MPEG1 well. At the very least it should be able to handle WMV9 and you wouldn't need to use a new computer than H.264 might demand.

Certainly PowerPoint running on Windows XP on a PentiumD processor should handle WMV9.

[Micah McDowell] "I'll have to experiment some more... I think I might get it to read an MPEG2 file"

MPEG2 Program Stream? Certainly Elementary with separate audio would be a royal pain. Personally I think you should be able to use WMV9 or the older, pre H.264 MPEG4.

[Micah McDowell] "MediaShout. The newest version allegedly supports various flavors of Quicktime natively without any codecs"

The version with Quicktime support requires a Dual Core Processor. Could that be the issue you're having?

Since you mention Compressor, I assume you have a Mac available to you. Try using the Quicktime 6 compatible presets (rather than Quicktime 7) as those will producer the older MPEG4 (pre H.264) type which should work on older computers.



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Jeff Greenberg
Re: How does one make an MPEG-1 these days?
on Jan 17, 2011 at 6:46:26 pm

I got a couple of tools for you...

One - DamnVid which has presets for all sorts of distribution (iphone, pad, etc) from any source (including a bunch of online sources.) But opening the presets let me create an MPEG-1 with all sorts of non-normal (Above VCD or SVCD) encoding. It's what you'll probably use because it's open source.

Two - defunct, but Visual Hub should do this too...

Three - FFMPEG (Free, open source, command line) or a GUI for it - FFMPEGX (shareware, loads of conversion goodness) will do this for you too.

Yah, Compressor, QuickTime, AME, won't. Squeeze and Episode will.

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer
Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC
Avid & Color Videos Vasst.com
Compressor Essentials Lynda.com


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