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Converting very LARGE video files - 120GB - in Apple Compressor

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Angus Macpherson
Converting very LARGE video files - 120GB - in Apple Compressor
on Oct 4, 2011 at 5:45:24 am

I've recently been asked to transcode some very large video files (think 120GB) to meet a set of required specs. All signs are showing that this is going to take an incredibly long time. I know this is somewhat of an inevitability with files this large. But I want to make sure that I'm not making things unnecessarily long by any error on my part. So I'm after any advice people might be able to offer.

The first clip I need to convert has a duration of just over 90 mins. It's 120GB. 1920x1080 in Apple ProRes 422, at 23.976 fps.

I'm required to deliver this in H.264 as an mp4 file, 640x360 at 2000Kbps, at 25 fps. The audio must be AAC, 44100KHz at 128Kbps.

So far I've been trying to do this using Compressor on a macbook pro. But the progress bar is virtually dead still, while the displayed time remaining just keeps climbing by hours (I'm up to a 14 hr wait time right now). Is there a faster way of doing this? Or do I just have to accept that this is what I'm in for? Additionally, is there a limit to how long a computer can go on for rendering a job before it just gives up and breaks? I'm on a macbook pro, and they get hot. I just don't want to kill it.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Converting very LARGE video files - 120GB - in Apple Compressor
on Oct 4, 2011 at 6:38:29 am

If you must need to speed up the encode make sure you chose Fast Encode instead of best quality. Do a test on a small section and see if the quality is OK.

Speed depends on the what kind of MacBook Pro. Old Core2Duo all the way to a new i7.



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Angus Macpherson
Re: Converting very LARGE video files - 120GB - in Apple Compressor
on Oct 5, 2011 at 5:07:38 am

Thanks very much for such a fast reply Craig.

I need this video to be at its highest quality. So settling for lower quality settings will be a last resort.

The MacBook Pro I'm on is a year old. It's got an i7 and has 2.66 Ghz. Today I've brought in another MacBook Pro, also with an i7, and I've got them processing the job together as a cluster though Qmaster. That's only been processing for half an hour. But so far I haven't noticed any improvement in speed.

Is transcoding 120GB of video to a different format with a different frame rate just something that's too big for Macbook Pros alone?


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