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Thread: Codec and transcoding advice needed

  1. #1

    Default Codec and transcoding advice needed

    I am working with a Mac that has 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, with 16GB of RAM. Editing on Final Cut Studio 3.

    I have a client that provides footage shot on AVCHD, and I have been transcoding to Apple ProRes 422 LT for editing. Often the expectation is to have footage delivered in the morning and uploaded to YouTube by the end of the day. The editing is quick and easy. It is the transcoding and uploading that is slowing my work.

    After completing my edits, I "share" the timeline using the YouTube preset, and save the file to the desktop to then be uploaded. I am finding even an eight minute video is taking more than an hour to transcode. And just as long to upload to YouTube because of the HD size. There's nothing I can do about the upload speed, but would like advice on the two transcoding processes involved in this workflow.

    The client is happy with a non HD video posted on YouTube. 480p or 320p would be sufficient. Is there a better choice than ProRes for less transcoding at the end? Am I right in assuming that Share uses the same engine as Compressor, or Compressor itself, for my conversion for the web? Might it be faster to choose "Upload to Youtube" in my Share options? Has anyone found a better option for preserving 16:9 material in non letterboxed form in a standard definition format?

    Thank you for your assistance.

  2. #2
    Moderator Zwick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Los Angeles


    If I'm following your workflow, ProRes LT exporting to YouTube, you're not transcoding again to ProRes you're simply exporting from the timeline a YouTube fashioned encode, correct? So what you're exporting is H.264, probably 720p. That's your 1st bottleneck, H.264 encoding is s_l_o_w. The 2nd bottleneck, uploading to YouTube from the desktop is really dependent on the bandwidth you're getting at the prescribed time. Sure, lower the necessary bandwidth by encoding out an H.264 video, 854x480, at something like 1200-2000 kbps (SD Video Sharing) and it's going to upload faster to YouTube but YouTube is sort of a crap shoot sometimes. Prime-time YouTube traffic is high so avoid that. You can also upload directly to YouTube on the encode via Compressor and you don't have to sit around for the extra step from your desktop.
    Last edited by Zwick; 09-08-2011 at 09:20 PM.

    Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
    Person in charge
    Content creation/Education

  3. #3

    Default Edit like it's 1999!

    the Final cut transcoding question always reminds me of that old SNL routine with Billy Crystal & Chris Guest, "The other day I took a, uh....(cheese grater?), yeah, a cheese grater and I ran it up & down on my nose. Then I took some uh...(tabasco sauce?) yeah and I poured it all over. Boy did that hurt. I hate when that happens! Then I tried to take some simple modern format video into FCP...

    Get Premiere. Unfortunately it's elegant & intuitive. sigh...

  4. #4
    Expert BenB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Southeast Louisiana


    No modern video format is simple, and nothing beats FCP in handling digital media.

    I'd go via Compressor directly, it's much faster than the Share menu, which is just slow.
    Digital Media Instructor for
    Louisiana State University & Delgado College

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