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Best export for PC Playback

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Lawrence Vaughan
Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 8:13:14 am

I have been asked to export a recent edit to a file which can be played on a PC in Windows Media Player.

I will be honest, I have little experience of PC's and in particular which codecs they come with. The little experience I have had, is that no PC is the same when it comes to what files it supports. I exported as a MPEG4, hoping that this would be fairly standard. It won't play, the audio comes through, but the video shows just one frame and doesn't progress.

What is the best export setting in FCP which will play on the majority of PC's and retain the quality?



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matthew bradshaw
Re: Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 9:38:25 am

Try this ... http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/creating_wmv_fcp_chee.html



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adam taylor
Re: Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 11:50:51 am

or you could just spend a few quid and buy flip4mac, which will allow you to create all the wmv's you need!

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk
My YouTube Animations Page


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 12:43:20 pm

Windows Media Player is a bit of a pain. It's actually quite easy to add codecs so that it'll play quicktimes, etc, and it's also very common on this side of the pond for people to use VLC player instead. I usually send out Quicktimes (H264/AAC) and haven't had anyone unable to play them for ages (a couple of years, probably). But if it's necessary that you send files that can be read with any old version of Windows Media Player, then you haven't really got a choice but to make WMVs.


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Michael Harrington
Re: Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 1:49:22 pm

The first question, as is always the case when delivering to clients. What is you client doing with these besides just playing on their PC, is it for review or perhaps eventually uploaded to web, broadcast, DVD, etc.

I deal with PC clients and export to wmv for review then deliver a much higher quality depending on delivery spec's. The following settings are for client reviews. Depending on their use you may want to select higher quality settings. Your client can also download Quicktime for free and you can then export to h.264 or many other QT code's, they can also play the wmv's in Quicktime.

If you want reasonable quality with wmv for review, do the following.

From FCP select "Export", Using "QuickTime Conversion", Under "Format" select "Windows Media", Select the "Options" tab, under "Profiles " select "One Pass VBR-Presentation low, medium or high 16:9" for the quality vs file size you need. Adjust the sharpness to your liking, default is pretty good. Under the "Advance" Tab change the "Key frame every" to "1.0 sec."

This will compress a reasonably good quality 640x360 16:9 wmv while keeping file size small and will play in Windows Media player. Now back to the first question, what exactly will your client do with this besides just play it on his PC?

I'm not a compressionist so if any others with more in depth knowledge or better way of delivering quality vs file size please respond.

Michael Harrington
Mac Pro, Dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon 2.66 GHz, 12 GB, FCP7, Snow Leopard, ATI Radeon HD 4870, 30-inch Cine Display, 4 - 1TB internal, G Speed 6TB Raid 5, 1.25TB Esata, Numerous FW 800 external drives, Matrox MX02Max, FSI 17" Broadcast Monitor, Black Magic Mini Sync Generator, Mackie 1402 & Event 20/20 monitors.


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matthew bradshaw
Re: Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 2:19:36 pm

I got as far as format but there isn't a windows media option.



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adam taylor
Re: Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 2:20:58 pm

you have to purchase and install Flip4mac before you see the windows media option.

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk
My YouTube Animations Page


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Lawrence Vaughan
Re: Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 2:39:25 pm

The client is wanting to use it to play back at events, business meetings etc. As for web use - that was my next question!

I'll give those options a try, and by the looks of it, I'll have to invest in flip4mac at some point. To be honest, I might ask him to download VLC first...



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Michael Harrington
Re: Best export for PC Playback
on Oct 10, 2011 at 3:01:27 pm

Yep, forgot to mention Flip4Mac, great tool to have.

If your client is playing back on big screen for meetings, conference, etc. Talk him in to installing Quicktime on his PC and make h.264 files. Probably the best quality while keeping file sizes in check. If lots of graphics are involved I think h.264 is a good route to go. Of course it would be nice to do a test or perhaps someone here with more in depth knowledge will guide you.

I'm not the best guy for web settings, I send my client all kinds, wmv, h.264, etc. and they throw about anything at it. Quality is not always their concern, they have a huge IT department with dozens of web sites and seem to manage whatever I give them.

Michael Harrington
Mac Pro, Dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon 2.66 GHz, 12 GB, FCP7, Snow Leopard, ATI Radeon HD 4870, 30-inch Cine Display, 4 - 1TB internal, G Speed 6TB Raid 5, 1.25TB Esata, Numerous FW 800 external drives, Matrox MX02Max, FSI 17" Broadcast Monitor, Black Magic Mini Sync Generator, Mackie 1402 & Event 20/20 monitors.


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