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Compressing files for portable media players

From: Maximizing Your Web Video and Podcast Audience with Hypersyndication

Video: Compressing files for portable media players

When it comes to compression, there are lots of tools on the market. Earlier we looked at Adobe Media Encoder. Now I'd like to show you Apple Compressor. Now Compressor is an application that used to be bundle with Final Cut Studio, but it's now available as a separate standalone application through the Mac App store. Priced at $49 US, it's a very affordable tool that offers great compatibility with Apple devices. Let's take a look. The way Compressor works is you need to add a file.

Compressing files for portable media players

When it comes to compression, there are lots of tools on the market. Earlier we looked at Adobe Media Encoder. Now I'd like to show you Apple Compressor. Now Compressor is an application that used to be bundle with Final Cut Studio, but it's now available as a separate standalone application through the Mac App store. Priced at $49 US, it's a very affordable tool that offers great compatibility with Apple devices. Let's take a look. The way Compressor works is you need to add a file.

With Compressor, you can export directly from applications like Final Cut X or simply drag in a QuickTime Movie. Once you've done that, you just need to specify the settings that you want, you'll notice that Apple Compressor offers a whole slew of settings for Apple devices, you could choose High Definition and you'll see this first preset works well with Apple TV second-generation, iPad and iPhone. If you need to go after older Apple devices, you'll find a lower quality HD and standard definition setting.

Simply drag the preset onto the file. When you do that you could drag through your program and actually see a split screen of what the compression is going to look like, this helps you see how the device is going to playback the video and get an idea of how much the video is going to be degraded for final quality. You could then give it a name and choose a destination, clicking the Destination's tab, lets you set different default destinations.

For example, I can go to my Desktop or target my Movies folder. When I do that I can look it over. If you want, you can choose multiple outputs. For example, maybe we want to also make a standard definition version and put that out to the desktop. When you're all set, you just click the Submit button and the process will ask you for a name, this is just so you can track the job, and then click the Submit button.

You'll see the progress indicator telling you what's happening. Keep in mind that video compression takes time; depending on speed your machine, that could be lots of time. You don't do video compression when you have other things to do. I recommend that you set up video compression jobs at the end of your workday or when you decide that you want to go out and have a long lunch with your family. Modern computers are much faster at compressing video than they used to be, but it is still a time intensive process. Make sure that you budget and put that compression time when it's most convenient and won't impede upon your life.

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