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How to get FASTEST compression help - PLEASE READ

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Craig Seeman
How to get FASTEST compression help - PLEASE READ
on Apr 12, 2009 at 5:13:10 pm

How to get FASTEST compression help.

  • Include the following information
  • Computer - Mac or Windows
  • Operating system including exact version number
  • Software used including version number
  • Source codec (file you put in)
  • Destination codec (file you want out)
  • Type of destination use

Why the above is important

Computer - sometimes cross platform software behaves differently. Examples might be Episode, Squeeze, Cleaner, Premiere Pro, After Effects and many others.

Operating System - Specific operating systems may have specific bugs. XP SP3 and Vista SP1 have different issues. The same can be said for Tiger (10.4.11) and Leopard (10.5.6) and note the need for version numbers and Service Packs as they often fix bugs (or may introduce new ones) or have different compatibility issues.

Software used including version number - Every piece of software and every version can have an impact on the issue. Exporting out of After Effects may present different issues then exporting out of Final Cut Pro even if the codecs and settings are the same for example. Playback in Quicktime can change based on version as well as encoding with any compression app. Note "Latest" is not a version number. You might think you have the latest and may be wrong. In some apps the bug may very well be the update feature isn't working.

Source codec - makes a HUGE difference in compression issues and quality of output. Using DV, HDV, XDCAM, Apple Pro Res, etc. make a big difference. Note that AVI and MOV are NOT CODECS, they are wrappers or containers and may contain any number of codecs inside them. Use a player such as Quicktime, VLC, Windows Media and user their Inspector, Get Info, Properties commands and look at the codec and report it.

Destination codec - See above about AVI and MOV. Also note there are many types of "mpegs" so be specific (see above). Even Windows Media Video/Audio may contain variants so check as per above. Also include the settings or preset name used. Saying a file is bigger/smaller, etc. doesn't have much meaning without the settings, which will indicate to us WHY it's bigger or smaller, etc.

Type of destination use - describe your target. Playback from hard drive, DVD, Web are all different. Web is especially dependent on the viewers connection speed, whether the server is streaming or progressive download, the type and versions of players they have installed. You MUST make a best guess at this to have a clue what settings or preset to use.

Why the above info can be mission critical
The more details you provide the faster you can have a problem identified and accurate solutions suggested. A long back and forth taking days can be cut to hours or less with the above info. Without the above info they'll be a lot of time spend with back and forth questions and maybe some wrong assumptions too. If you don't know any of the above bits of info, say so, and someone will probably tell you how to check.

If something turn out to be a bug contact the developer. They can't fix it if you haven't let them know it may be broke. Don't assume someone else will tell them. Even if someone has, often the more people who report an issue will raise the priority of the fix.

Follow the above guidelines and people will likely be able to find a solution or identify a bug a lot faster.

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