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Encoding Software Suggestion

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Ed McCarthy
Encoding Software Suggestion
on Jan 31, 2011 at 7:40:56 am


I'm having a very difficult time finding the right software to purchase for a job. I have a new mac pro, 8 core, 12 GB RAM, FCS 3.

The client is changing their delivery requirements this year, and will now need H264 mp4 files. Previously, they needed FLV's that were quickly produced using Compressor and a QMaster cluster. The specs are fairly small, but unique enough that the "Apple Devices" options in compressor don't get it done. This job is also unique in that the finalized files are quite small, 320x240, roughly 500k bitrate constant streaming, around 100 MB each. The problem is that I have to make over 2 thousand of them over the next few months.

I downloaded the Telestream Episode demo and absolutely loved it. It cruised through everything I sent it, utilizing all 8 of my mac pro's cores. I then purchased an Episode license, only to discover that the Episode demo is actually a demo of Episode Engine 6, the $4000 version. The $500 version is a poor choice for this job, as I need to encode 40 files a day for the next three months, and really need the full power of my computer to handle this.

I have played with the Sorenson Squeeze 7 demo, but it fails to take advantage of the CPU's.

Is there a program out there that will allow me to produce customized H264 mp4's while utilizing simultaneous encoding and all the processing potential of my mac pro that can be had for $1500 or less?

I can't believe how much trouble I'm having finding something like this. What exactly is the point of all these multi-core machines when the only software that I can find to take full advantage is $4000?

I'm not arguing that Episode Engine is overpriced. It just does so much more than what I need. I am a small independent contractor. H264 .mp4's are incredibly common files.

Am I missing any options out there?

Thank you for your insight.

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Craig Seeman
Re: Encoding Software Suggestion
on Jan 31, 2011 at 5:01:23 pm

Episode does one encode at a time.
You could upgrade to Episode Pro which can do two simultaneous encodes which is $995.
Engine is unlimited.

It all depends on how much the time is worth. Offhand I can't think of anything that does unlimited parallel encoding for under $1500.

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Ed McCarthy
Re: Encoding Software Suggestion
on Jan 31, 2011 at 6:35:02 pm

Thanks, Craig.

I would definitely upgrade to Episode Pro if it could handle more than two, but even then, that's only utilizing about 40% of my CPU's potential. I'm guessing most users are working with much larger filetypes that make 2 parallel encodes plenty. These files start as standard def quicktimes and end up at half-res h264 mp4's, so they're just not much to begin with.

The Engine demo did 8 of them at a time, so I guess I was just spoiled by that experience.

Nonetheless, thanks for your help.


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Encoding Software Suggestion
on Feb 1, 2011 at 4:03:40 am

I'd go to Sorenson and Telestream directly about this. Additionally, I haven't (but should) check if Adobe Media Encoder uses more than one core (I think it does.)

Telestream does have a plugin for Compressor that, I think allows Qmaster to take advantage of it. This is a great reason to directly contact the sales departments of these companies - but let us know what they said!


Jeff G

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

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