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anothername

Does Compressor Suck or am I Doing Something Wrong

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I have been using compressor a lot lately to transcode to prores, from h264 files shot on my camera and also from uncompressed QTs. In both cases compressor hangs everytime I import a bunch of files into a batch (and I mean spinning beachball for 10 plus minutes before all the clips show up), same things happens when I apply a setting, and again a target. So for example takes me thirty minutes to set up a batch of ten clips before I hit submit. Is this a problem anyone else has experienced, is this normal for compressor, or does it sound like something is messed up in my setup?

 

Also when transcoding it's only using 20% of my CPU power even when I don't have other apps running, seems to me like an Apple app should be using processors more efficiently no?

 

I'm on an 8 core macpro with 16gbs ram, running OSX 10.5.8. We also have a macbookpro we have been using and having same issues on that machine too.

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The problem is the h264 source. Since mpeg has only 1 I-frame every 15 frames or so, during encoding each frame needs to calculate the interpretation of those 15 frames in the source. When you import a batch of files into compressor, it analyzes them all front to back which is what the delay your experiencing is.

 

Demuxing the mpeg stream helps a bit. Use StreamClip to help with this. Simply demux - its not destructive to the video at all. While this helps, its very minimal and really only makes sense if your preparing to process a large batch of files. Also if your camera shoots h264 files, and its a prosumer / pro camera, there is a good chance that you have an I-frame only option, or some type of software / driver / codec installs that help with production work. (Panasonic and their proprietary AVC-HD codec, for example) If you can shoot I-frame only, that would be ideal. You may also want to test how long it would take to convert the video to I-frame only (not transcode).

 

The wikipedia article can help a lot with understanding what your working with.

 

Compressor sucks at some things, AME sucks at others, and WME rocks but keeps you in the MS Land so nobody uses it. ProCoder is by far the best all-around encoding package, but Compressor is your only option for encoding to ProRes.

Edited by AromaKat

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The problem is the h264 source.
Don't think so I get the same problems with uncompressed QTs as the source. I just tried a test using squeeze and the files qued up in seconds instead of minutes even h264. Would rather use compressor though because will have FCP on multiple machines but not squeeze.

 

You must activate Qmaster to use all your mac's cores.
This definitely helps but even if I enable this still don't get the boost I would expect.

 

I usually let these batches run overnight so the time it takes to que things up is actually way more of an issue than the transcode times. Last night wanted to set up a batch of 40-50 clips and it took three hours:(

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From what you described, it seems that Compressor is having a hard time interpreting the footage, not so much compressing it. That's odd...especially with two different flavors of footage.

 

I originally thought maybe it had something to do with the "Copy Source to Cluster" setting in Compressor's preferences, but I don't think that applies until after you submit the job (and you aren't submitting to a cluster without Qmaster).

 

Have you blasted the Compressor preferences file yet?

 

Cf

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Have you blasted the Compressor preferences file yet?

 

And I am a dumbass, trashed prefs and things are running way better. How many years have I been using Macs and didn't think of the most basic troubleshotting step (I need to catch up on my sleep over the holidays:).

 

Anyhow big thanks man!

Edited by anothername

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And I am a dumbass, trashed prefs and things are running way better. How many years have I been using Macs and didn't think of the most basic troubleshotting step (I need to catch up on my sleep over the holidays:).

 

Anyhow big thanks man!

 

Don't be so hard on yourself, with it happening on multiple computers it's easier to want to search for some other common factor. Of course, being Macs, the odds of corrupted prefs on both machines IS quite high... ;)

 

Cf

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