What is the best way to encode videos in a batch that meets the following requirements?

Requirements

  • The software running the batch needs to run on a Mac computer.
  • Encodes a good quality MPEG-4 for steaming in Flash
  • Encodes a good quality WebM (VP8) video
  • Encodes a MPEG-4 that can be played using the native HTML5 video player if the browser supports it.
  • Can be configured to encode other formats that we can ofter for download, like WMV for the windows users.
  • Creates a good quality random video stills or snapshots that can be used for video thumbnails.

Wants

  • Cheap or Open Source
  • Easy plug and play setup
  • The software could be configured to create other formats like HD quality mp4 videos.
  • The software could use available computers on the network for encoding.
  • The ability to share video presets with others in the office.

I have yet to find the best workflow for encoding video that meets my requirements. I work for CIY which is a non-profit organization in which I'm the only web developer on staff and it would be extremely helpful to find a more streamlined workflow for encoding video for the web. Currently we stream our videos using MPEG-4 encoded videos that have been encoded using "Final Cut Studio Compressor" by our video production department. This is inconvenient because I don't have access to the software if we need to make adjustments so files work best for the web. Plus this is also problematic if the video production staff is out the office on a film shoot.

I've read through http://diveintohtml5.org/video.html which is a good source of information but it doesn't really provide a way to encode video easily that meets all my requirements. It does provide ways to batch encode videos from the command line which I will probably use until I find my perfect solution. I really wish there was a way to drag and drop the videos I'm encoding into some software on my Mac and choose a preset that I meets all of my requirements and then just hit encode. I know I could just use YouTube or Vimeo, however we want to maintain our own branding on the site, plus being a non-profit christian organization we've ran into issues where there have been inappropriate videos suggested for our audience after our video is played.

2 answers

Doug 1095
1
point

For embedding in a webpage, I use Video for Everybody, which requires encoding twice, once in H.264 (.m4v) and once in Ogg Theora. VFE enables video playback in pretty much any browsing situation and uses the native HTML5 player if available.

Handbrake is a front-end for ffmpeg that makes encoding in H.264 stupid easy. Plus, it's available for Mac, has a batch processing mode, and is also available in a CLI version if needed.

You didn't ask about Ogg Theora, but if you want it, you can get more info from Wikimedia Commons or this manual.

Even better for you, here is a bash script to automatically create both video formats as well as a snapshot/video still.

I haven't researched VP8 yet, but I'm sure Google has good info (I mean Google the company since they own VP8, not Google the search engine.)

As for WMV, good luck! Especially if you're encoding on a Mac!

Answered over 6 years ago by Doug
  • I already knew about VFE, Handbrake, etc. I linked to http://diveintohtml5.org/video.html in my question which more than explains everything you just mentioned as well includes a link to the VFE site. Thanks for the link to the bash script... I had started working on my own but I'll have a look at the one you linked to. Ideally I'm looking for something that's a GUI that I can drag and drop video files and then have it encode video files for the web MPEG-4, WebM, Ogg, etc and also creates several random stills from the video. Also I would like it to create a WMV version of the video for the churches that want to play our videos that only have access to computers with windows that don't support MP4. A GUI version is really a must have so others in the office that aren't command line savvy can use it as well. Brent O'Connor over 6 years ago
  • So write your own AppleScript droplet that runs your bash script. This is all pretty far outside the realm of web design, so you might get better answers on a forum dedicated specifically to the needs of the Christian video producer. Nathan Duran over 6 years ago
  • I doubt you will find a GUI that will do that for you. I can't think of any GUI that does something comparable, even outside the realm of video encoding. For example, is there a GUI that you can drop a document onto to automatically create MS Word, OpenDocument, HTML, and PDF formats as well as PNG thumbnails of random pages? No, this is a job for scripting. Good luck! Doug over 6 years ago
0
points

I really wish there was a way to drag and drop the videos I'm encoding into some software on my Mac and choose a preset that I meets all of my requirements and then just hit encode. I know I could just use YouTube or Vimeo, however we want to maintain our own branding on the site, plus being a non-profit christian organization we've ran into issues where there have been inappropriate videos suggested for our audience after our video is played.

So do we all, but for now I suggest that you are stuck with what is outlined in the excellent, leading edge document you already linked to.

Answered over 6 years ago by Tony Crockford