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Forums Compression Techniques Goodbye Old Friend

  • Goodbye Old Friend

  • Craig Seeman

    February 1, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Support for Episode 7 (at 7.4) ended January 31st.

    I began my compression odyssey back in the late ’90s with Media Cleaner which changed hands and eventually died with Discreet … AutoDesk.

    So many years ago as Discreet Cleaner 6.5 began to fade I had moved to Popwire Compression Master which later became Telestream Episode.

    It seems the days of “independent” full featured Desktop Encoders are drawing to a close.
    Sorensen Squeeze still lives but it seems most are using Adobe Media Encoder which comes with Creative Cloud or otherwise FCPX stalwarts using Apple Compressor.

    So another one bites (bytes) the dust. Goodbye Old Friend.

    Alas I remember the days this forum was a buzz with questions about this strange and every morphing technology on how to get big video files tiny with some quality, fast loading and compatible across a plethora of browser and plugins… and how the heck did one handle Real Player and .rm files but darn did they look good.

    Even with codec advancements like HEVC and VP9 all we do now is push the magic button and a good looking smaller file is spit out. It all just kinda works now… almost.

    It seems compression will, very soon, be little more than “make nice looking file at size x” found in whatever post production program you’re working in.

    As Cleaner went so has ended the final Episode.
    How long before we are Squeezed at last?

  • Jason Brown

    February 2, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Craig…I’ve always had an appreciation for the intricacy’s of video compression. However, I feel like the changes we’ve seen is a necessary part of progress…kind of like auto maintenance. The masses don’t want to work on their own cars…they want them to work. In my opinion, that’s where video compression has gone to – give me a high, medium and low quality…I’ll use the one that works the best.

    I have to say that over the years it’s been fun learning from you. Thanks for being a leader on this forum and in our industry.

  • Craig Seeman

    February 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    It used to be when ISP data rates were low, serious data caps, limited email attachment sizes before the days of things like drop box, one would be trying to squeeze quality out of every frame. Mobile devices needed separate encodes. None of this is really necessary anymore.

    At comparatively high data rates everything looks good. Very little tweaking is needed for backward compatibility.
    Everything is H.264 High Profile CABAC entropy with lots of GOP flexibility. This may get even easier with HEVC.

    For broadcast, inexpensive codes have preset to delivery to correct MXF if that’s what they need, otherwise it’s Apple ProRes and their preconfigured hardware or cloud based “Flippers” do the rest.

    There’s certainly still a big (and growing) market for high end enterprise encoders like Vantage or Elemental but even those may be preset based with workflow level configuration for multiple output types and destinations where that’s often still mission critical. It’s just not as important for the end user.

    On the other hand I still see people who don’t understand the basics, encoding files that take far longer to upload than they should or who still don’t understand why their files look bad when crushed too small without understanding their content and target destination needs. Basically these days it’s people who don’t understand what the presets mean and which is the best to pick for a given situation.

  • Rich Rubasch

    March 21, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Here’s a good one…..I had a series of eight 1″ tapes about 90 minutes each produced in 2001. The client was streaming 240 x 120 windows media files…back then that was the codec of choice on PCs. Don’t know the last time I made a Windows Media codec encode.

    I was commissioned to fire up the old 1″ machine, which I did brilliantly, and digitized the eight tapes to a luscious 640 x 480 MP4 and send to the client. They were impressed! Both with the newfound quality and the small ish size.

    Used Adobe Media encoder to make the files on the new iMac Pro and it took about 8 minutes per video to encode!

    By the way I used to be able to spool up the 1″ machine in less than 5 seconds back in the heyday of four machines in the taperoom, and today I had it down to just under 8 seconds in my finest attempt.

    Visitors honestly weren’t impressed with the 1″ machine. Thought it belonged in a museum. I thought it was a thing of art!

    Times have changed….luckily I have tried my darndest to change with them!

    Rich Rubasch
    Tilt Media Inc.
    Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage

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