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delivery formats/export settings

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Jonnie Lewis
delivery formats/export settings
on Dec 17, 2012 at 11:57:24 am

I've got myself a little confused while considering delivery formats for clients, so hopefully someone can clear this up for me.

I'm on a Mac, using Premiere Pro CS6.

I regularly use the H.264 format to export my videos as they're generally for web use. This spits out a .mp4 file which I then bung on YouTube or Vimeo.

As I understand it, .mp4 is a container and any number of codecs could be contained with in it. However, from my experience with Premiere choosing H.264 in the format options drop-down is the only way of achieving a .mp4 file.

I don't know why I'd want to - but how do I go about using other codecs to spit out a .mp4? I just want to make sure I have a solid understanding of how this all works. For example choosing QuickTime (.mov container) from the format drop-down menu allows me to choose from a large list of codecs, including H.264, MPEG-4 and Animation to name a few. I don't seem to be able to use any codecs (or options from the format drop-down) except H.264 to generate a .mp4 file though.

I often have to deliver video files to users of Windows machines, and it doesn't seem that I have much choice when it comes to this. I read online (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316992) that Windows Media Player also can't play .mp4 files or .mov files, so that's H.264 and QuickTime out the window (unless I can contain H.264 within a windows-friendly format, ie not .mov or .mp4 - I can't see any option to do this within Premiere Pro though).

Which doesn't seem to leave me much choice. If I choose the MPEG-4 format, Premiere will spit out a .3gp file (which actually confuses me too, because I thought .mp4 was MPEG-4). I could choose MPEG-2 to get myself a .mpg file, but as I say, generally my videos are for web-use and my understanding is that .mpg is best for broadcast TV and DVD.

My main problem seems to be that my clients can't play .mov or .mp4 formats. If they want to put the videos on their YouTube channels, do I just have to tell them that if they want to view them beforehand they'll need to download a player that is capable of viewing .mp4 or .mov files?

Does what I'm saying make sense or have I come off the rails somewhere along the line? Wouldn't it be nice if the Premiere Pro export options gave you a Container drop-down menu, a Codec drop-down menu, and THEN a preset drop-down menu?

Thanks,
Jonnie.


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Walter Soyka
Re: delivery formats/export settings
on Dec 17, 2012 at 4:38:06 pm

[Jonnie Lewis] "I often have to deliver video files to users of Windows machines, and it doesn't seem that I have much choice when it comes to this. I read online (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316992) that Windows Media Player also can't play .mp4 files or .mov files, so that's H.264 and QuickTime out the window (unless I can contain H.264 within a windows-friendly format, ie not .mov or .mp4 - I can't see any option to do this within Premiere Pro though)."

That KB article refers to Windows Media Player 11 and below. Windows Media Player 12 (available in Windows 7 and Windows 8) natively supports H.264-encoded MP4 and MOV files.

If you are delivering to Windows machines that can't read these formats, you might have to use the WMV encoder (Flip4Mac) available from Telestream.


[Jonnie Lewis] "I don't know why I'd want to - but how do I go about using other codecs to spit out a .mp4?"

You can encode MP4 without H.264 -- this is called the simple profile -- but you cannot use other arbitrary codecs in the .MP4 container. To do this, create a new preset in Adobe Media Encoder with the MPEG4 format. Change the multiplexer from 3GP to MP4. Different profiles and levels will offer you different maximum resolutions and bitrates. This gets complicated pretty quickly and won't likely solve your problem.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jonnie Lewis
Re: delivery formats/export settings
on Dec 17, 2012 at 4:51:53 pm

Thanks a lot for the reply.

If I'm going to deliver a file for use on the web to somebody who doesn't have the latest version of Windows Media Player, is converting my .mp4/.mov to .wmv the only option?

I could export a .mpg and they'd be able to view it but they don't seem to be as good for web-use.

Many thanks again,
Jonnie.


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Walter Soyka
Re: delivery formats/export settings
on Dec 17, 2012 at 5:01:37 pm

The web browser should handle H.264. YouTube and Vimeo work without relying on Windows Media Player.

If you deliver online screeners via private link, you won't have to worry about WMV.

If you want to deliver a file for desktop playback, then transcoding to WMV may be your best bet. You will still want to deliver H.264 for the web.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Ann Baldwin
Re: delivery formats/export settings
on Dec 18, 2012 at 6:17:24 pm

I regularly export.mp4files(with H.264) from Premiere Pro CS6 to upload to Vimeo or YouTube. I'm on Windows 8 on a PC. No one has ever had a problem viewing my footage on either Mac, PC, or mobile devices. I doubt they all have the latest version of Windows Media Player. I can also view .MOV files on my computer with Quicktime. WMP and QT are free to download, so if you are delivering files direct to a client's computer, they can easily download them. Good luck!

Ann

Ann Baldwin
http://annbaldwin.zenfolio.com/
'Art Changes Lives'


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