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View Full Version : HUGE PROBLEM: MPEG-4 (Apple) to open in WMP




gusanitoverde
Jun 9, 2009, 06:44 PM
I am closing a business. I did a tutorial in imovie 09.
The customer asked for a MPEG-4 movie.

No problem! iMovie 09 does that. So, project finished. Exporting is becoming a headache. Exporting with Quicktime affects the resolution of the movie in such a way that is unacceptable. So I clicked "Share" to iTunes and the MPEG-4 with full resolution was made without loss of it.

My customer tried opening the mv4 file in his modern Windows laptop (which showed as a MPEG-4 file) and noticed that he could not open the file in Windows Media Player. He only could open it on iTunes or Quicktime. An yet... it does not play fluently... it plays choppy. No apparent CPU issue... SIGH!!!

As I dig in in desperation, I find out that Microsoft and Apple have different codecs for the single MPEG-4 type of file and their files won't play in their rival's OS. Isn't this frustrating?

Help Anyone!!!

I believe that the customer wants the file in MPEG-4 to transfer the movie file to a Macromedia Software of some sort and distribute it with his product.

Thanks:(!



MisterMe
Jun 9, 2009, 07:38 PM
Two questions:

Which version of Windows is your customer running?
Which version of WMP is your customer running?

gusanitoverde
Jun 9, 2009, 11:17 PM
Windows Vista

I am not sure about the Windows Media Player version. But should be the latest.

I am seeing with sadness the poor resolution that this exports perform from iMovie. The video is quite horrible.

holidaypf
Jun 9, 2009, 11:42 PM
I would try a different format. Something has to work. How about a DV file?

MisterMe
Jun 9, 2009, 11:54 PM
...

I am seeing with sadness the poor resolution that this exports perform from iMovie. The video is quite horrible.Are you basing your assessment that the video is "horrible" on how it appears in iMovie? If this is the case, then you are barking up the wrong tree. iMovie is an editor. It video display serves the purpose of editing the video. It you want to display the video, then use the QuickTime Player or some other video player.

gusanitoverde
Jun 10, 2009, 08:58 AM
No, not at all. That's the problem...

The video looks pristine and beautiful in my MacBook Pro. I showed the video in it (demonstrations was made directly from iMovie).

However, I cannot seem to "share" or export it to a file that will be:

1. As good looking (resolution wise)
2. Playable in a Windows Media Player.

jaw04005
Jun 10, 2009, 09:45 AM
Windows Media Player for Vista does not support MPEG-4 without additional codecs. It only supports Microsoft's somewhat proprietary gimped, pre-standard MPEG-4 out of the box.

Have him download a codec package (like K-lite, www.free-codecs.com).

Otherwise, convert the file to WMV (using Visual Hub or Flip4Mac Studio, $49) or have him play the file in VLC (www.videolan.org) instead.

WMP for Windows 7 will support standards-compliant MPEG-4 out of the box. Also, the Zune software for Vista supports MPEG-4.

dasmb
Jun 10, 2009, 09:56 AM
iMovie's exports use the same encoder as the Apple professional tools, which have been producing cross platform, standard compliant output since the earliest days of H264. Thus it's not likely it's the encoder's fault -- but rather, yours, for asking too much of unknown (and likely inferior) hardware.

Choppiness in video playback is caused by one of four things: not enough IO, not enough memory, not enough processing speed and not enough power in the video pipeline. Of these, resolution is likely to bump up against all of them. It seems trivial if you have a good machine, but there's a baseline processing requirement for something like HD video that many otherwise usable machines can't meet. My work machine is a dual core 2 GHz XP machine with a decent video card and 2 gig of ram...yet, it can't playback "HD" MP4 files from the latest Canon cameras without fits and starts.

Remember: DVD is still very good quality, and it's only 720x480. Drop your resolution and increase compression a bit, and you might be surprised at how the perceived quality of your video increases.

ED: If there's no CPU issue -- it's likely a transport issue. Full res HD at a low compression rate takes a LOT of space per unit time. If you stuck it on a CD or DVD, or a slow memory card, your customer is likely launching it directly from this medium and it's just not fast enough to feed data to the decoder in time to prevent chop and lost frames. Of course, if they opened it in iTunes (which be default would copy the movie from disk before playback), you're likely just asking way too much of the user's computer.

gusanitoverde
Jun 10, 2009, 10:05 AM
jaw04005:

Thanks...

So, if I buy Flip4Mac I can convert the iMovie file to a compatible WMP format?

If my customer keeps my Apple MPEG-4 formatted video, he is planning to embed the video in a Micromedia Interactive CD for Windows users. Sounds like there will be a conflict there.

dasmb:

Granted, my fault or naiveness. However, can you suggest a sample of specifics to tell iMovie to export to DVD quality?

Thanks

Peace
Jun 10, 2009, 10:08 AM
Windows 7 does mpeg-4 natively. It also does QT .MOV files natively.

Wait a while and you will see unprecedented cross-platform cooperation.

gusanitoverde
Jun 10, 2009, 12:42 PM
true... but I do have to resolve the matter in the meantime...

I just need to export a nice looking file. At least nice enough not to loose resolution. What are the right settings for export?

imooding
Jun 11, 2009, 01:49 AM
windows media player can't recognise .mp4 file. so you'd better change .mp4 to .avi, .wmv, or mpge-1 formats which are compatible for WMP. for me, i use this video converter (http://www.mp4kits.com/Converter/Video/avi_video_converter/).

gusanitoverde
Jun 11, 2009, 09:19 AM
Will the converter make the Movie loose resolution?

I could export to AVI directly from iMovie by doing Quicktime Export right?

But when I export, the resolution is horrible. What are the right settings to export a video that looks as good as in iMovie?

glennp
Jun 11, 2009, 09:28 AM
Windows Media Player *DOES NOT* support playback of mp4 files by default.

Straight from the horses mouth:

The MPEG-4 file format, as defined by the MPEG-4 specification, contains MPEG-4 encoded video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC)-encoded audio content. It typically uses the .mp4 extension. Windows Media Player does not support the playback of the .mp4 file format. You can play back .mp4 media files in Windows Media Player when you install DirectShow-compatible MPEG-4 decoder packs. DirectShow-compatible MPEG-4 decoder packs include the Ligos LSX-MPEG Player and the EnvivioTV.

See Microsoft KB Article 316992 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316992)

As other mentioned, there are other options and codec packs available to add this functionality to windows.

Consultant
Jun 11, 2009, 10:07 AM
1. You are doing it wrong, as it sounds like you are exporting / cncoding at the wrong output resolution.

2. To play it they should get quicktime or use VLC.

gusanitoverde
Jun 11, 2009, 10:12 AM
I am planning to tell my customer that they have to "live with the apple coded MPEG-4" or I will convert it later. I will tell them to use quicktime or VLC.

But I cannot get to export in a good output resolution. What will be the settings? "Sharing" does not give you any. And if using Quicktime, all exports I am doing are horrible!

BornAgainMac
Jun 11, 2009, 06:24 PM
I am planning to tell my customer that they have to "live with the apple coded MPEG-4" or I will convert it later. I will tell them to use quicktime or VLC.

But I cannot get to export in a good output resolution. What will be the settings? "Sharing" does not give you any. And if using Quicktime, all exports I am doing are horrible!

I hear you. Try Export using Quicktime in iMovie '09, change the options to Movie to QuickTime Movie, Options, Settings, Photo JPEG, Frames at 12 or current for smoother video, and adjust the quality to something good. Before MPEG-4 took off, I noticed the Apple Trailers were encoded using this codec and the quality was very nice. The trade-off is larger video files. For slower computers, I would normally suggest the Sorenson 3 codec but I didn't see it listed anymore. It was in prior versions of Quicktime and it produced a good balance of quality vs size and played well on slower machines.

plinden
Jun 11, 2009, 06:30 PM
He only could open it on iTunes or Quicktime. An yet... it does not play fluently... it plays choppy. No apparent CPU issue... SIGH!!!

Video playback in QT or iTunes is indeed often choppy on Windows in windowed mode (hence the complaints from Windows users about QT) when compared on roughly equivalent Mac/PC hardware. But it's usually much better when you play in full screen.

bimmzy
Jun 12, 2009, 09:56 AM
I know that MPEG STREAMCLIP gets a mention allot in the forums, but it's also worth a mention here too. :rolleyes:

MPEG STREAMCLIP, which is a free download, will quite happily make you a .wmv version 9 movie clip.

The .wmv preset is really simple to use, and very effective.
:D

giffut
Jun 13, 2009, 03:48 PM
... definitely should look into buying the Pro version of Flip 4 Mac: http://www.telestream.net/flip4mac-wmv/overview.htm. Depending on your workload and customers, you can choose the adequate package. I would recommend "Studio Pro", if you are not in need of HD conversions. It gives really good image quality and makes your videos 100% Windows compatible.

Now, as it is a windows based customer, you should offer him codec support for his best comfort and machines, only. In that particular case, itīs WMV for general viewing and very likely the adequate flash format for best import into his particular macromedia suite. You need to ask what exactly he is using here, because "macromedia" sounds quite outdated and therefore might suport older flash files, only. The Adobe CS suites incorporate the Adobe Media Encoder, which transcodes many formats/codecs to .FLV (flash) and .F4V (H.264 based flash video). You need to listen to your customer here.

In general, depending on specific job descriptions and profiles, you best deliver several files, regarding different uses, like Flash/h.264 for web embedding, WMV, MPEG2, you name it. Choose hardtested codecs, only, which are widely used, and adapt your workflow accordingly to incorporate any necessary encoding/transcoding options.

PS

MPEG Streamclip is a necessary MUST for any video worker, but: It doesnīt give you professional WMV encoding. Donīt use it for this.

HappyPhil
Jun 13, 2009, 04:14 PM
I am planning to tell my customer that they have to "live with the apple coded MPEG-4" or I will convert it later. I will tell them to use quicktime or VLC.

But I cannot get to export in a good output resolution. What will be the settings? "Sharing" does not give you any. And if using Quicktime, all exports I am doing are horrible!

I hasd similar compatibility issues with Windows people and videos. I found a free program called HandBrake (http://handbrake.fr/) It's a little slow, but it will change video file into some form that will work on PC's.

gusanitoverde
Jun 15, 2009, 12:29 AM
I will check out these answers. Will post later how did it go!

I guess I should abandon iMovie and at least move to FCP express.

I think that FC is not as "fun" looking and as easy to use as iMovie. I love the transitions and all you can do with it...

But I think with FC Express at least I could have a decent video that won't have resolution issues when I export?