Best Video Format?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Perceptes, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. Perceptes macrumors member


    Mar 24, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Hi everyone. I am making a parody music video in Final Cut Express. When I finish, I plan to distribute it to a bunch of people on my college campus, and probably elsewhere.

    I am wondering what format I should distribute it in to make sure it will run without a hitch for anyone on any platform who might get a hold of it.

    Which format has the best cross-platform compatibility and the best quality? I was thinking of using MP4, but I don't know if that's necessarily compatible with PC users, especially with older versions of Windows. So, what do you think? MP4? WMV9? AVI?

    Thanks very much in advance.
  2. AMDMACMAN macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2004
    maybe use quicktime format. Quicktime is so readily available and used so often on the web i cant imagine anyone not having it.
  3. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2002
    bat country
    use mpeg4, the actual mpeg4 codec (not some bastard DiVX codec) like the one included in quicktime. it will give you a small file size and it can be played in any player that supports true mpeg4 without having to download extra plug-ins and things like that. quicktime 6 for mac or windows will support this (i think wmp does too), as will programs like mplayer and videolanclient which run on pretty much every platform (mac/unix/beos/windows).
  4. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    I would say that for the ultimate cross-platform compatibility you should use mpeg 1. This way you can be assured that nobody will have a problem playing it. The downfalls: big files and low quality. Otherwise use MP4, and the people (who don't already have it) can download quicktime.
  5. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    I send out my edits for approval to clients as mpeg1, I have found that mpeg1(.mpg) is the most compatiable format, its so old anything will play it. Windows users can play them in media player & mac users can play them in QT. i have found mpeg to produce smaller file sizes comaired to avi files.

    People seem to be reluctant to install additional software on their machines or are unable to install it because they are not the admin.

    mpack on os9 is the best encoder, or movie2mpeg. i think cleaner also supports mpeg1
  6. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    I know its had to believe but a lot of offices that run windows dont install QT, and the admin will want a good reason for it to be installed. ie why are you watching movies when you should be working mentality. Where I work, outside of the edit & graphics suites the pc run NT and only have Win media player on them. If people dont need it the admin are not going to spend time installing it!
  7. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I say go with QuickTime. It is true that many business sites use only Windows software and don't install QuickTime, but why do you care about that? Since this is for college students, they will tend to have the latest and greatest, or at least be willing to download and install QuickTime. However you distribute or display the movie, include the link so they can click to go straight to the QuickTime download page. And you'll be helping to spread Apple's technology too!
  8. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    Depending on how large the video is you could encode it in MPEG2 (DVD) and burn onto a 700MB CD,

    Also Div-X is a great compression codec, much like MP4, this standard is used everywhere.
    I'd go with it:D, you can fit arround 100minutes, of quality video on a 700MB CD.
  9. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    also, there's some new codec called '3ivX'. it's some crazy stuff, really high resolution, and it's actually a .mov file, so it plays in QuickTime, and form QT you can change to different chapters. How sweet is that!! :D

    just thought i'd let you guys know. :)

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