- September 26, 2010 at 10:56 am
We have produced a video for a client, filmed in a mixture of XDCAM 720p 1080p 25fps.
The client wants the 5 minute video to autoplay on 1GB memory sticks.
What is the best method of compression to achieve this without users having to download additional software?
I am aware that not all users will have QT installed.
- September 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm
Who are the end users that will be seeing this finished piece?
What platform are they using?
- September 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm
It will be a mixture of personal and big corporate clients. Like buyers and execs for Ford, JCB etc.
A mixture of PC and Mac users I’m sure.
- September 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm
We have done this a few times using Flash. However we author a Flash video player, which functions as a self-running application (exe file on PCs, and some trickery to make it work on a Mac). An autorun.ini file in the root of the flash drive should make it autoplay on a PC. Mac users are smart enough to find a file called “start” on the drive and run it.
you could do something similar as an html file with embedded f4v video, but you run into people not having the right plugins.
Too many variables exist with media players to just put the media files on a disk or thumb drive, unless you have a big customer service department waiting for the phone to ring!
- September 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm
When I have to deliver to a wide base of unknown end-users on any platform, some of whom have old computers, and there are other requirements like the end-users not having to download or install anything and/or having to be able to access the media without a web browser, I still use MPG1 files.
Some codec elitists out there balk at that, but it’s the only codec I’ve ever found that, to this day, will definitively play in literally any computer’s default media player that comes installed with any O/S regardless of the computer’s platform, age, installed software, internet connectivity, etc., etc. And, if compressed with proper settings, the quality isn’t bad at all despite the age of the codec.
- September 29, 2010 at 12:57 am
MPEG1 could be a bad marketing strategy. It depends on who your target market is. These days some variation of H.264 plays on most computers.
If you’re doing a public service video in which your target may have old computers the MPEG1 would work.
If you’re reaching a market that is likely to have a computer made within the last few years than H.264 Flash would work fine. The market share for that is likely over 95% (updated Flash Player since Dec 2007). If quality means anything at all to the target you’re trying to hit, MPEG1’s “pretty good” can’t touch H.264 at anything even remotely close to a comparable data rate.
Is that 5% or less market something your really need vs the perception that will give to the other 95% who will note the quality is significantly lower compared to other marketing messages they’re getting?
Catching the target’s eye and getting them to feel positive about the message followed by a successful call to action is key. One of the biggest marketing mistakes people make is trying to reach “everyone” rather than trying to get the best possible response from their target (people most likely to use the product or service).
- September 29, 2010 at 11:20 am
My employer is the largest employer in the state, some 75 000 people. Our standard PCs (which run XP and are using Office 2003) will not play .movs (or even DVDs…) but they do have Flash 10.x installed which is the ONLY way to get them to play anything h.264 (but only when embedded in a web page). There was a time in the not-too-distant past when they wouldn’t play WMV9 files.
Before they upgraded Flash and WMP, I used to create MPEG1 files with Visual Hub to put on the intranet.
Old and ratty it may be, but MPEG 1 still has a place. Thanks for reminding me of that, David.
Know thy target.
- September 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm
I once worked for a large company with a similar attitude.
They learned very quickly “change or die.”
Their clients/customers were sending media files that they couldn’t play because they refused to update their players. If you start telling your customers they need to redo their communications they start to look elsewhere to do business.
[Martin Curtis] “Old and ratty it may be, but MPEG 1 still has a place.”
In the Museum of Old Codecs.
There may have been a time where if a business wasn’t involved in media they could stick to that but these days I can’t imagine a single business not involved with media even if it’s a gov’t agency.
- September 30, 2010 at 1:03 am
I’m glad my suggestion was a helpful reminder, Martin. It seems there are very many large corporations that don’t consider the dissemination of their message as important as their message, yet many of them are still particularly successful long-term.
I’ll try to clarify why I mentioned MPG1 for specific scenarios … I interpreted the charge not as deciding which users are relevant for the client, but as meeting the client demands to deliver something an already-decided group of users can view without “having to download additional software”. Considering delivery is via flash drives, it didn’t seem appropriate to assume users will be viewing with web browsers or even with web access, which is where a 95% coverage figure could arguably apply.
There are obviously better choices than MPG1 when one knows the user base, their platform, web status, etc.; which is why I suggested MPG1 as a possible solution when a delivery method is needed that will “definitively play in literally any computer’s default media player that comes installed with any O/S” for scenarios with “requirements like the end-users not having to download or install anything and/or needing to access the media without a web browser”.
A well-made MPG1 can have image quality that is indistinguishable from an H264 to anyone except others who have far more interest in and knowledge of media production than the average end-user. No doubt, that requires higher bitrates, but certainly not to the point that it’s an issue for a 5 min. video on a 1Gb drive. More importantly, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an end-user compare file sizes or file types when viewing a video.
That said, if the marketing strategy is in fact still in question, perhaps the way to go is considering whether flash drives are the best choice of delivery options for the particular video and needs.
- September 30, 2010 at 3:08 am
[David Johnson] “That said, if the marketing strategy is in fact still in question, perhaps the way to go is considering whether flash drives are the best choice of delivery options for the particular video and needs.”
Especially since many companies do get a bit twitchy about stick drives. And some forbid them outright.
I think a web delivery might be a better idea – if their network is up to it. Flash and WMV would be my encodes, most likely in that order unless the client specified something different.
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