Creating a Compressor Batch

This section describes the complete steps in manually creating and submitting a complete Compressor batch. For a quicker and easier but more limited method, see Quick and Easy Compressor Workflow: Batch Template Method.

Once you have the necessary settings and destinations available, you can begin to create your batch for transcoding. A batch contains one or more jobs. A job consists of one source media file with one or more targets, which contain the settings and destinations.

You can submit a batch for transcoding only after you have assigned at least one target (setting and destination) to each job (source media file) in the batch. All jobs in the batch are submitted together. Think of batches as documents that can be saved, closed, and opened again. And much like a Final Cut Pro project, a separate tab (that can be torn off) contains each Compressor batch.

  1. Stage 1: Importing Source Media Files into Compressor

    You import source media files into a batch either by using the File Selection dialog or by dragging the files from the Finder to the Compressor Batch window. You can import source media files from any folder that you have access to.

    See Importing Source Media Files for more information.

  2. Stage 2: Assigning a Setting

    Once you have imported your source media file into the Batch window, you need to assign one or more settings to it. This makes it a job. A source media file can be transcoded only after it has at least one setting assigned to it, and you can add a setting to a source media file only after you have either selected a preexisting setting or created one. Your setting must have an output file format associated with it.

    • If you choose a preexisting setting: The output file format has already been assigned.
    • If you create your own setting: You must choose an output file format from the file format menu that opens when you click the “Create a New Setting” button (+) in the Settings tab.

    You can add one setting to multiple jobs in one step by selecting the jobs in the Batch window and choosing a setting from the dialog that appears when you choose Target > New Target With Setting, or by Control-clicking one of the selected jobs and choosing a setting from the New Target With Setting submenu of the shortcut menu that appears.

    If you have a favorite setting (preexisting or customized), you can streamline your workflow by creating a standalone application called a Droplet containing multiple settings, and use the Droplet to submit batches without opening Compressor. See Creating a Droplet from the Settings Tab for more information.

    Note: You can also create groups of settings, which is a quick and convenient way to assign multiple settings to a source media file. See Creating Groups of Settings for more information.

  3. Stage 3: Previewing the Setting Using the Preview Window

    You can either preview a source media file or the source media file with its assigned setting. From the Preview window, you can dynamically preview (in real time) and modify the effects of the filters and geometry adjustments of your setting, play back the media file, view source or output views, crop the output file frame size, change the aspect ratio, and add various markers relevant to the MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264 for DVD Studio Pro, and H.264 for Apple Devices formats.

    See Previewing a Setting or Previewing a Clip for more information.

  4. Stage 4: Assigning a Destination

    You can choose the location to place your output media files by assigning a destination to each target. The destination also defines various aspects of how the output media file is named. There are several supplied destinations in the Destinations tab you can choose from, or you can create your own custom destinations. In addition to assigning a destination by dragging one from the Destinations tab to a job’s target, you can also use the Target > Destination menu or the shortcut menu that appears when you Control-click a target to assign an existing destination to a job. You also have the option of choosing a location that has not been defined as a destination by choosing Other in the above two menus.

    See Assigning Destinations to Source Media Files for more information.

  5. Stage 5: Submitting the Batch for Transcoding

    Once you have created all the jobs you want in the batch and are satisfied with the settings and quality of your output files (having previewed them), you are ready to submit the batch. You do this by clicking the Submit button in the Batch window.

    Note: If you are transcoding a large batch, you should turn off the screen saver application on your computer. This will improve the speed of your transcode because resources are not being diverted to the screen saver.

    See Submitting a Batch for more information.