What is the best codec for video?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jethroted, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. jethroted macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2003
    I am trying to compress some video I have (33gigs) into a file that is a lot smaller (around 600megs). I had a clip of video that was shrunk down to 160k/sec, and the video looked amazing for that tight of compression. I can't figure out what they used to do it though as eveything I try yields garbage at 160k/sec. Does anyone know what codec I could use? Perhaps some tricks to help it along?
  2. macboygrey macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2003
    It all depends on what you're gonna do with the video. I'd recommend opening that sucker (the compressed file you would like to steal the settings from) in Quicktime Player, and poking around in the Movie Info window. The Movie Properties (Jinfo Window, as the QT team calls it) also has some quality resources in it.

  3. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    To find out what settings a movie you already like, go to "Get Movie Properties" under the movie menu in Quicktime (Pro).

    Select "Video Track" then "Format". I purchased the Sorenson Video 3 Pro Codec because I liked the quality for the file sizes. I get 45 minutes of video 320x200 in about 200 megs. The Sorenson Video 3 is free and it's not bad. The quality isn't as good as the Pro version. I tried MPEG-4 and it was good but I still had problems with pixels being noticable. I wanted to make that MPEG-4 format my standard but Sorenson was just better. Photo JPEG codecs created the quality that I was looking for and it was free, frame level editing but the filesizes compared to DV. I noticed it was used by some of the best movie trailers.
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    You shouldn't have any trouble getting decent quality video at 160K/s with a number of different codecs.

    If you want the absolute best and don't mind the hassle of figuring out how to install and use some complicated shareware, go check out ffmpeg (it's on VersionTracker); use XviD video with all the extras turned on, and you'll get good quality. It'll take a LONG time to compress, though. DivX, or even MPEG don't do too badly at that bitrate, actually, so long as you don't use full-frame (640X480) size--I've found 288X384 to be a good compromize between resolutoin and quality.

    Another option is to try Apple's MPEG4 encoder (you'll probably need QT Pro, though I think iMovie can export that format as well), but be SURE to use a resolution that is a multiple of 16 in both directions--that's part of where the 288X384 number comes from. If you don't use multiples of 16, the files look awful. (This may be true of similar codecs, like XviD and DivX, but I'm not sure--might be a good idea just to be safe).

    Have a look at OpenShiiva, while you're at it. It's not nearly as good as ffmpeg at giving you exactly the file size you ask for, but it's a lot easy to use and produces very good quality.

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