9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 20, 2013 6:46 PM by Russ H
AFarls Level 1 (0 points)



I am having major problems with compressor 4.  I edit videos for online distribution.  The can be anywhere from 5-40 mins long.


Since 2009 I have used IMovie.  The video is shot and edting in HD format.  In IMOVIE a 5 Min HD vid can be about 600 MB when exported to a MOV.  It took less then 1 hour to export.


I have recently updated to Final Cut Pro and using Compressor to export since these files are now huge (20 min is about 1.5GB), again I movie only took about 2 hours on the 20 min 1.5GB for the MOV.


Now compressor for the 20 min movie is taking 13 HOURS!  for the 20 min 1.5 GB to do the MOV.  And taking 3 hours for the 5 Min 600 MB.


What am I doing wrong here?


Using 2009 IMac, 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3




Compressor, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Russ H Level 7 (20,270 points)

    AFarls wrote:



    I edit videos for online distribution.  The can be anywhere from 5-40 mins long.


    Since 2009 I have used IMovie.  The video is shot and edting in HD format.

    Could you fill in some more details about your online distribution?


    HD can cover a variety of formats. Since you mentioned iMovie, I'm going to guess that the videos were shot with a prosumer or consumer camera, in which case the codecs are likely h.264 or AVCHD. If you created optimized media for your FCP projects, and exported Pro Res, those files will be exceptionally large.


    Depending on your needs, you may be able to export to a delivery format directly from FCP – either using the HTTP Streaming preset or a video sharing preset like Vimeo's.


    Compressor is not fast. But there are some things that you can do to speed it up. For HD material, Frame Controls is automatically turned on. Depending on you quality requirements, it may be acceptable to turn them off, which we speed things up considerably. Another thing that may speed up things is to actually add a step and export a Quick Time file (master) and bring that into Compressor instead of sending to Compressor. (FWIW, I find that faster.) If your computer had more than 2 cores, I'd also suggest setting up a quick cluster, but I doubt it would help with 2 cores.


    But I would try a couple of tests on a short section of a project and see what effect those changes make.


    Post back if any of this isn't clear.


    Good luck.

  • AFarls Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok at the end of the day I need WMV files, so I was using compressor to get the MOV file then Flip4Mac for WMV.


    I use the Cannon XA10 - professional with XLR mic


    I need the direct file (WMV) to compress to a zip file to send to my online server to create a link that is emailed to my clients.  99% of my clients are old time PC users, this is how they want the files, there is no other way around it. 


    Regardless that they are old PC users they expect HD quality and request it.  It is still just for computer use only - this is not some hollywood production stuff here lol. 


    You were talking about frame controls and this is what I have it set at, is this what you were referring to?




    This is the info for the video itself - still over 10 hours to export? 


  • Russ H Level 7 (20,270 points)

    Thanks for clarifying about the Web. 


    I was wrong about Frame Controls; they are not turned on automatically for HD material. Sorry. (All of my presets are custom with Frame Controls On and I didn't remember correctly how the stock presets work.) The Frame Reordering checkbox is something different.


    Note the h.264 export default is multipass which takes 2X as long as single pass. Try a short test of single pass; I'll bet it looks good and you'll save several hours in processing time.


    Good luck.



  • David M Brewer Level 6 (9,355 points)

    To add.. turn off Frame Reordering. Frame Reordering is only compatible with Quicktime. If you plan to distribute the video to a client or send the video to the web. This can mess things up in other video players and uses more computer processing power.

  • AFarls Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Russ and David for helping me out here.  I actually made an appt with the genius bar at apple and they pretty much pointed me to use MPEG Streamclip.


    I was there an hour and we did all sorts of testing with compressor and it just takes way too long.  The MPEG Streamclip seems to be a good way for me to go.


    Again thanks so much for taking time out of your day to help me out

  • bpeacock22 Level 1 (15 points)

    As a related aside, I have also noticed a HUGE increase in render time since updating to 4.0.6.  What used to take 1-2 hours is now taking 6-8 hours.  I'm about to pull my hair out.  Wish there was a way to downconvert.

  • Russ H Level 7 (20,270 points)

    Well, there was a way to roll back. But unfortunately you had to take the Apple advice before the upgrade, not after.



  • bpeacock22 Level 1 (15 points)

    Well, I *do* have the old Final Cut Studio still.  But right now, I'm trying a straight render out of FCP using the Share option.  Doing a time test.

  • Russ H Level 7 (20,270 points)

    BTW, I should mention that this is really a sysems-specific thing. My  compression times are unchanged.