10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 12, 2013 6:00 AM by Russ H
emis100 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am so sorry to bother everyone with this most basic question.  I have read about Compressor, but just still don't "get it."  I just bought a new MBPw/Retina in order to upgrade to iMovie 11 for its HD export quality.  Well, I quickly learned on these forums that no one is happy with the export quality in iMovie11 and they feel misled.   An Apple Customer Service Support Tech told me that I needed to upgrade to a better editing program if that was my goal.  Sooo, I just recently bought FCPX, as well..but haven't used it yet. 

 

Here are my simple goals in editing:  I just want to be able to export in HD and have a clear picture of my trip videos (I compile about a one hour video of all my international trips ....kinda like a video blog..)  My goals are for my videos to display beautifully on my 46" flat screen via Apple TV.  I also want to post to YouTube to share that way.   Occasionally, I will create a DVD of my trips.

 

I am so new to all this.  I've been working in iMovie 08 all this time and honestly, it met my needs until I got my Apple TV and was able to finally see how awful the movie quality was.   So here are my questions:

 

1.  Why do I or don't I need Compressor to achieve the goals above?

2.  How much space will an HD one-hour video take up on my hard drive?

3.  If FCPX exports in HD quality, why would I need Compressor? Won't Compressor degrade the quality if it compresses the file?

 

Again, I am so sorry to bother all of you with this dinky question.....I just don't have anyone to ask really...

 

Thank you for your help ahead of time!

  • Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (17,345 points)

    emis100 wrote:

     

     

     

    1.  Why do I or don't I need Compressor to achieve the goals above?

    You don't. FCP can handle this just fine.

     

     

    2.  How much space will an HD one-hour video take up on my hard drive?

     

    For Apple TV and Video Sharing, you'll be encoding to h.264. The ATV setting would make a file of about 5 GB, The Video Share file would be about twice as large.

     

     

     

    3.  If FCPX exports in HD quality, why would I need Compressor? Won't Compressor degrade the quality if it compresses the file?

    Again, FCP will export a wide variety of HD formats very well. Yes, encoding projects done in Compressor will slightly degrade the quality, but so they will in FCP as well. However, either app should do a very good job of minimizing that quality hit. Your movies should look great.

     

    Good luck.

     

    Russ

  • emis100 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for responding.  Very much appreciate it.  I can't share a 10GB file on YouTube, though. Isn't the limit 2GB currently?  Does this mean I have no other option but to split up my one-hour trip blog videos now?  Seems like a 15 min HD video would be too large to post now, too??  I am really sorry. I know I must seem clueless, but really....I guess I am..... 

     

    Just so I know.....why do people buy (and love) Compressor if FCPX does the same?  I keep reading where one should get it if they have FCPX.  There HAS to be some advantage to it, I'm thinking....??

     

    And one last question:  so I have to have multiple files of the same footage created and sitting in my hard drive now?  I can't use one file for both?  This is all so confusing...

     

    Thanks again, Russ!

  • Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (17,345 points)

    I don't know what the YT limit is if your account allows for videos above 15minutes. If you export at 720 resolution, it will be quite a bit smaller and still look good. If you need to reduce it further to meet any upload limits you could lower the bit rates even further in either MPEG Streamclip or Compressor to fit. FWIW I have found bit rates of 7 to 8 Mbps to be quite adequate for 1080 Web video and about 5 Mbps for 720. Those are much lower than the FCP settings and hence the files are much smaller.

     

    Good luck.

     

    Russ

  • emis100 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The max video is 2GB, even with the allowance of being able to post videos longer than 15 mins.  If it tells you how clueless I am, I don't even know what bit rate is or how to change it.  So by what you posted last, I am guessing that I might fare better to buy Compressor.  And if so, I still don't know what the purpose of Compressor is if FCPX does the same thing....  

  • Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (17,345 points)

    I'm not that You Tube-savvy, but this seems to indicate you can arrange to have files larger than 2 GB…also, I'm fairly sure that I've gone above 2 GB. (I typically use Vimeo and I'm more familiar with their rules.)

     

    Roughly speaking, bit rate is a measure of the digital information that is being transmitted as the video file streams. Al things equal, higher rates generally result higher quality, but with tradeoffs in size, upload time, and possible playback issues. 

     

     

    emis100 wrote:

     

    I still don't know what the purpose of Compressor is if FCPX does the same thing....  

    FCP does some of what Compressor does, but with less capability to make adjustments to meet special special requirements. For example, the FCP DVD share preset encodes a 1080 HD video to a DVD-compliant MPEG-2 , at a bit rate of 7.7 Megabits per second. That rate will allow about 67 minutes to be fit on to a single layer DVD. But suppose your video were 77 minutes. Rather than chopping it into two parts, in Compressor you could lower the bit rate by about 10% to make it fit on one disk. Compressor has many more capabilities, but the preceding example is one of the most common uses for the typical home video user.

     

    Hope that helps.

     

    Russ

  • emis100 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You're awesome, Russ. Thank you for helping me!!! I really appreciate it. This gets me going in the right direction & I understand it a little bit better. I need to go see how to "arrange" to upload over 2 GB files in YT. Thanks again!

  • emis100 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Russ (or anyone that will respond....hate to keep bothering the same person),

     

    Can you give me an idea of the length of videos you post and what the file size was?  I checked out Vimeo and the limit there is 5GB, even with a Pro account. :(   Who else on here posts one hour videos all at once (no dividing it up) and for those that do, where are you posting these longer videos?  I am back to being somewhat confused.  I was expecting there to SOME video sharing site that would allow larger uploads....even if I had to pay extra to get that functionality.  But seems 5GB is the largest I have found so far...

     

    I apologize if I am making this too hard.  It is no fun being a newbie to the new software.  Trying to research as much as I can before I ask here on the forum...but I'm not finding the answers in my research unfortunately.... thanks for the help. I appreciate.

  • Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (17,345 points)

    You're right about Vimeo. Free accounts are limited to 500 MBs and Plus accounts are limited to 5 GB.

     

    My Vimeo uploads are typically 30 minute pieces. I encode them to 720P @ around 8 Megabits per second and the files are about a Gigabyte and a half. It's never been necessary for me to upload pieces that were more than one hour. If it were, I guess I would check with Dropbox to see what their upload limits were – if any.

     

    So, back to You Tube…did you find that they actualy do impose a size limit if you established a >15 minute account? It didn't see from what I read that they had any limit. And I seem to recall others who've indicated they had long movies on that site. Perhaps you could some more definitive answers in the YT forums over at Google?

     

    Good luck.

     

    Russ

  • emis100 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi again, Russ.  And again, thank you!   Ok, that gives me a good idea of how long my hour video might be....perhaps 5GB would suffice after all, if I bought a Vimeo subscription.  As you are working in FCPX, can you check the file size of the file along the way as you create the video?  In iMovie08, there was never a way to do that.  That would be helpful.  Wouldn't even have to be exact, but just a ballpark to let me know where I stood. 

     

    Regarding YouTube, my account is enabled for videos longer than 15 mins, but doesn't say a file size maximum.  I did see where it says something about "uploading files larger than 20GB" but a part of me tends to think this was a typo.  Everywhere else on YT, it has always said 2GB and I was thinking it might not actually mean 20GB. That's the first place it mentions 20GB.  I have searched the YT forums and never could find a good answer. Their forums weren't all that helpful.  I loved how Vimeo had the video that described in detail what settings to use for Compressor.  That was helpful.  They also had a good 101 on the basics of bit rate, encoding, etc terminology.  Thank you for your help!!!  I am slowly getting there, thanks to you! :) have a good day!

  • Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (17,345 points)

    Why not try the TY uploader and see if it accepts it? Although I've never tried a 90 minute Vimeo upload, I have inadvertantly selected a 30 GB master file, and when I did, Vimeo's immediatetly rejected it with a reminder of their size limits. I would imagine YT uploader behavior would be similar.

     

     

    emis100 wrote:

      As you are working in FCPX, can you check the file size of the file along the way as you create the video? 

    Yes. Click on the Share arrow; choose your export preset (say, You Tube 720P), and the dialogue box that appears will give you an estimated size at the bottom.

     

    Russ