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Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?

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Paul Sellis
Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 4, 2012 at 9:47:32 pm

Hi,

I am streaming movies from Amazon Web Service CloudFront.
I use JW Player so I use RTMP streaming and when platform doesn't support it (smartphones) it fallbacks to HTTP streaming.
I encode movies with Apple Compressor in .mp4 and H264/AAC

For now it's OK with RTMP (PC web browsers) but it's slow to start on my iPhone with HTTP streaming...
I supposed that it was because there is no "fast start" on Compressor for the .mp4 presets.

I tried a bad workaround: create a preset to encode a .mov file with fast start and change extension to .mp4 in Compressor a .mp4 the Compressor settings.
It worked in HTTP streaming but not at all for RTMP (the file is not read at all)

So is there a way to encode with Compressor to encode a .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?

Thanks for your help
Paul


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Paul Sellis
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 6, 2012 at 11:11:29 pm

[Paul Sellis] "I use JW Player so I use RTMP streaming and when platform doesn't support it (smartphones) it fallbacks to HTTP streaming."
Oops... I should have said "... it fallback to HTML5"

So my title of this post should be: "Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTML5 ?"


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Andrew Stuckey
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 1:38:29 am

Hi Paul,

I'm not entirely sure my advice will prepare video for both RTMP and HTML5, but at least test it out. At the very least you will no doubt get some improvements in picture quality.

I can highly recommend using the x264 codec for H264/mp4 format video rather than Apple's default H264 codec found in QT and Compressor. I've recently switched and seen far superior results.

http://www003.upp.so-net.ne.jp/mycometg3/

While it can be plugged into QT and Compressor, I've seen much better results when using x264 in third part software such as Handbrake and MPEG Streamclip. Mind you they seem to be a heck of a lot faster than Compressor too. So faster and better = good. :D

Handbrake (which uses x264 by default) has the option "Web Optimized". When this is ticked
the header of the MP4 file is rearranged to optimize it for streaming across the web.

I'm not sure of the same option in MPEG Streamclip, but I'm sure it would have one.

I'd suggest running a small test file through handbrake and see how it goes.


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Paul Sellis
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 1:47:00 pm

Thanks for your answer Andrew

I tried Handbrake but I saw that resulted file would be a .m4v instead of a .mp4
I am pretty sure that manually changing file extension after encoding would break compatibility at least with RTMP…
:-(

Am I wrong ?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:49:16 pm

[Paul Sellis] "I am pretty sure that manually changing file extension after encoding would break compatibility at least with RTMP…
:-(

Am I wrong ?"


m4v and mp4 have the same metadata. You can change the extension. You can't do this with mov though.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:48:15 pm

[Andrew Stuckey] "I can highly recommend using the x264 codec for H264/mp4 format video rather than Apple's default H264 codec found in QT and Compressor. I've recently switched and seen far superior results."

Yes, x264 is leagues ahead of Apple's H.264 codec. Apple is probably one of the least efficient H.264 codecs available. Both x264 and MainConcept (Episode, Squeeze, etc) will deliver better quality at lower bit rates.



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Jason Brown
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:41:25 pm

How does this compare to the Matrox h264 encoder? Does it use it's own, or apples codec?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:43:37 pm

Matrox CompressHD and MXO2 MAX uses it's own encoder. It's blazing fast, has much deeper professional controls, looks excellent. I'd use it over Apple's for all of the above reasons.



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Paul Sellis
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 11, 2012 at 10:58:45 pm

[Andrew Stuckey] "I can highly recommend using the x264 codec for H264/mp4 format video rather than Apple's default H264 codec found in QT and Compressor. I've recently switched and seen far superior results."
I tried Handbrake but didn't get a better result than Compressor 4...
For what I have seen in my tests, contrast and chroma are better in Compressor 4. I got more details too in images.

I tried also Squeeze and didn't get much better results…

So I am still for now using Compressor 4 as the better choice for me... but when I see you guys saying that Apple's Compressor has one of the worst H264 codec I get confused…
;-)

What would be your encoder chart for .mp4 …264/AAC for Web diffusion at 1Mbs ?
For the moment, it could be something like that for me:
1 - Compressor 4
2 - Squeeze 8
3 - Handbrake
4 - MPEG Streamclip or ffmpegX

I don't have tested yet Episode…


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Paul Sellis
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:03:47 am

[Paul Sellis] "So I am still for now using Compressor 4 as the better choice for me... "
Not so sure now !
;-)

I have seen that in case of low data rate (700Kps) and H264/AAC that Squeeze is better than Compressor…
I just use filter to adjust sharp, saturation and gamma.

I have to check again with bigger data rate 1200Kps


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 14, 2012 at 1:19:08 pm

Apple's H264 codec is about the worst (least efficient) I know of.
MainConcept, used by Telestream Episode and Sorenson Squeeze, are better as is x264 and hardware accelerated encoders like Matrox MAX.

If you care about quality relative to bitrate, pick something other than Compressor.

I should mention that you can use x264 through Quicktime and certaing Matrox MAX through Compressor so if you like that interface you can use it with something other than Apple's H264.



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Paul Sellis
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 14, 2012 at 3:24:58 pm

[Craig Seeman] "MainConcept, used by Telestream Episode and Sorenson Squeeze, are better as is x264 and hardware accelerated encoders like Matrox MAX."I am not sure to fully understand :
do you recommend me to use MainConcept or x264 ?
(I use 1200kps and 700kps depending if the .mp4 movie is encoded for web browsers or for 3G smartphones)


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 14, 2012 at 3:36:50 pm

[Paul Sellis] "do you recommend me to use MainConcept or x264 ?"

Both are better than Apple's H.264. To take best advantage of x264 can require some "under the hood" encoding knowledge to tweak settings. Even using its defaults can get great results and if you want to stick with Compressor you can use x264 with it.

MainConcept, tied to the professional front end encoders such as Episode or Squeeze is a bit easier to use and you get an app that is far more flexible and deep than Compressor along with it.

Any of the above is better than Apple's H264 and even more so at lower bit rates which may be obvious down around 700kbps.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:46:20 pm

Compressor 4 supports H.264 .mp4. Compressor 3 does not. It's not clear which version you're using.

You can not change .mov to .mp4. The metadata is different and can cause issue with some systems.

.m4v and .mp4 have the same metadata. You can change .m4v to .mp4.

.mp4 does not need "fast start" since the moov atom is placed at the front where it's needed, as part of the metadata.



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Paul Sellis
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 5:54:50 pm

I use Compressor 4

I'll try to change .m4v to .mp4 and see if there is any improvement with Handbrake encoded file

ON Amazon CloudFront, I don't have noticeable delay when played with RTMP. It's only when played on smartphone with HTML5 (I tested on iPhone)...


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 6:16:55 pm

Compressor 4 creates H.264 .mp4. There's no reason to change the extension. The .mp4 templates can be duplicated and modified unlike the .m4v for iOS devices. Look under the HTTP Live Streaming presets.



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Paul Sellis
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 8:30:31 pm

Hum... let's resume my "problem" :
- I use RTMP streaming on Amazon CloudFront.
- Compressor 4 .mp4 generated files are well played with RTMP. Good so far…

- I only have a little problem with this file when it's played on iPhone with HTML5: I get 15 seconds before playing...
(I use JW Player with HTML5 fallback if RTMP isn't supported)

So I am looking for a way to compress the file which would make it fully optimized for RTMP and HTML5

[Craig Seeman] "Look under the HTTP Live Streaming presets."
HTTP Live Streaming isn't compatible with RTMP streaming, isn't it ?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:17:42 pm

[Paul Sellis] "HTTP Live Streaming isn't compatible with RTMP streaming, isn't it ?"

While that's the name of the preset, it should be a standard H.264 .mp4 which would work in RTMP streaming.

HTTP Livestreaming itself is a different technology than RTMP but the same file should be usable in both.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor: .mp4 file H264/AAC optimized both for RTMP and HTTP streaming ?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:19:26 pm

See this as well.
http://www.longtailvideo.com/support/jw-player/jw-player-for-flash-v5/12535...

RTMP supports video in FLV and H.264 (MP4/MOV/F4V)



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