Inspector Window

The Inspector window has easy access to common transcoding controls (for creating and modifying settings and destinations); a full summary table containing all the details of each setting; and information about source media files, including A/V attributes, closed caption data, annotations, and job actions.

To open the Inspector window
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Window > Show Inspector (or press Command-Option-I).

  • Click the Inspector icon in the Batch window toolbar.

Note: Unlike the other Compressor windows, the Inspector window cannot be resized.

About the Automatic Settings

Several items in the settings panes have an optional automatic mode. When the automatic mode is enabled, Compressor determines the optimal value for the setting.

Figure. Automatic buttons in the Inspector window.

In general, when the automatic mode is active, its item is dimmed and cannot be changed.

  • If the setting has not been assigned to a source media file: The item says “Automatic.” An exception is in the Frame Controls pane of the Inspector window, whose state is undetermined until you have applied the setting to a source media file.
  • If the setting has been assigned to a source media file: The item remains dimmed but shows the value that will be used.

When the automatic mode is inactive, its button is dimmed and you can choose values for an item as usual.

You can turn the Automatic button on or off to change from on (the button darkens) to off (the button lightens).

Tip: It is a good idea to verify the values in the Inspectors for those settings that are set to automatic. Compressor can usually correctly determine the appropriate values; however, there may be instances where there is not enough information in the source media file to determine the correct value. For example, some QuickTime clips might not have proper metadata or the metadata might be incorrect. Additionally, if the source media file uses nonstandard settings (such as the video frame size or frame rate), Compressor chooses the nearest standard value to use.

Media Source Files and the Inspector Window

When you select a job in the Batch window, the Inspector window shows you information about the job’s source media file and allows you to add annotations, closed caption files, and job actions.

Figure. The A/V Attributes tab in the Inspector window showing source media file information.

The Inspector window contains three tabs: A/V Attributes, Additional Information, and Job Action.

A/V Attributes Tab

The A/V Attributes tab contains general information about the source media file and is divided into three sections.

  • File information: This section shows the filename, location, and type of file.
  • Video information: This section, when applicable, shows all video-related information about the file. This includes its frame size, frame rate, and timecode information.
  • Audio information: This section, when applicable, shows all audio-related information about the file. This includes its sample size and sample rate.

Additional Information Tab

The Additional Information tab allows you to see and modify a variety of metadata items that might have been added in other applications such as Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, or QuickTime. You can also add metadata items to the output media file. It also includes the ability to associate a closed caption file with the file.

See Using the Inspector with Source Media Files for more information on managing the closed caption files and annotations.

Figure. The Additional Information tab in the Inspector window.
  • “Closed Caption file” field: Displays the name of the closed caption file currently associated with the source media file.
  • Choose (closed caption) button: Use this button to open a dialog and navigate to the the closed caption file you want to associate with the source media file.
  • Remove (annotation) button: Use this button to remove the selected annotation.
  • Annotation table: Displays the current annotation types and the corresponding annotation text.
  • Revert button: Use this button to revert to the last saved state of the Annotation table.

Job Action Tab

The Job Action tab allows you to apply and/or adjust post-transcoding actions to entire jobs. See Adding Actions for more information.

Figure. Inspector window showing the Job Action tab.

About the Settings Panes

When you select a setting in the Settings tab or a target in a batch’s job, the Inspector shows one of six panes.

Summary Pane

The Summary pane contains the Summary table, which describes all the settings (video and audio settings, geometry, and filter settings) associated with the setting selected in the Settings tab. Information in the Summary table is updated automatically whenever any setting is modified.

Figure. The Summary pane of the Inspector window.

The Summary table includes the following details.

  • Name: The name of the setting selected in the Settings tab.
  • Description: A description of the setting selected in the Settings tab.
  • File Extension: The extension assigned to the transcoded media file. This identifies which format your source media file is being converted to.
  • Estimated file size: When assigned to a source media file, this shows the estimated total file size. When not assigned to a source media file, this shows an estimated size per hour of source media.

    Note: The estimated total file size is not available for all output formats.

  • Audio Encoder: Details of the audio output file format and other transcoding settings, such as sample rate, channels, bits per sample, and codec type.
  • Video Encoder: Details of the video output file format and other transcoding settings such as frame width and height, crop amount (in pixels), frame rate, aspect ratio, codec type, pixel depth, spatial quality, minimum spatial quality, key frame interval, temporal quality, minimum temporal quality, and data rate (in bits per second).
  • Filter: Details of all, some, or none (depending on how many filters you selected in the Filters pane) of the available Compressor filters.

Encoder Pane

You use the Encoder pane to select and configure the output file format and other settings. The file format options and attributes are different for each format.

Figure. The Encoder pane of the Inspector window.

  • File Extension field: The following file extensions automatically appear in this field based on the format you choose from the File Format pop-up menu, and if video and audio tracks are enabled. Don’t alter this field without good reason, because your file may not be recognized if you do.
    • aiff: Represents AIFF.
    • ac3: Represents Dolby Digital Professional.
    • dv: Represents Digital Video (DV) format video.
    • mpg: Represents MPEG-1 multiplexed (video and audio) stream.
    • m1v: Represents MPEG-1 video elementary stream.
    • m1a: Represents MPEG-1 audio elementary stream.
    • m2v: Represents MPEG-2 video elementary stream.
    • m2t: Represents MPEG-2 transport stream.
    • mpeg: Represents MPEG-2 program stream.
    • m4v: Represents H.264 for Apple Devices.
    • mp4: Represents MPEG-4.
    • mov: Represents QuickTime and H.264 for DVD Studio Pro.
    • tga: Represents TARGA.
    • tiff: Represents TIFF.
  • Allow Job Segmenting: This checkbox allows you to turn off job segmenting. It is relevant only if you are using Compressor with distributed processing and with two–pass or multi-pass encoding. (The Compressor distributed processing feature is limited to computers that have either Final Cut Studio or DVD Studio Pro installed.) For more information, see Job Segmenting and Two-Pass or Multi-Pass Encoding.

Frame Controls Pane

This pane of the Inspector offers automatic and customized settings for advanced image analysis in frame resizing and frame retiming.

Figure. The Frame Controls pane of the Inspector window.

Frame resizing would be necessary when transcoding between a high definition format such as 1080i and a standard definition format such as DV-NTSC. An example of frame retiming would be when transcoding between video formats with different frame rates such as NTSC (29.97 frames per second) and PAL (25 frames per second). For more information about the Frame Controls pane, see About the Frame Controls Pane.

Filters Pane

You use the Filters pane to add filters to your setting. You can perform tasks such as gamma correction and noise removal from here.

Figure. The Fiters pane of the Inspector window.

Select the checkbox next to any of the filters you want to include in a particular setting. Use each filter’s sliders or arrow controls to adjust your filter settings as necessary.

Filters are applied to the source media file in the order you organize them in the Filters list. You can reorder filters by dragging them up or down in this list.

For more information about the Filters pane, see About the Filters Pane.

Geometry Pane

You use the options in the Geometry pane to crop and size the media file being compressed and set its aspect ratio.

Figure. The Geometry pane of the Inspector window.

The Geometry pane has three sections:

  • Source inset (Cropping): Use any of the four fields to enter the number of pixels by which you want to reduce the source media file size, or click the “Automatically detect crop settings for letter-box” checkbox to have Compressor enter crop values based on the source media file video content.
  • Dimensions (encoded pixels): Use the Frame Size pop-up menu or these fields to create an appropriate output frame size and aspect ratio for your output media file. Use the Pixel Aspect pop-up menu to set width and height values to conform to a designated pixel aspect ratio.
  • Output image inset (Padding): Use the Padding pop-up menu to calculate the output height or width values. With Custom selected, you can enter values in the fields.

For more information about the Geometry pane, see Adding Geometry Settings.

Actions Pane

You use the Actions pane to activate transcode-completion notification emails and execute post-transcoding AppleScript actions.

Figure. The Actions pane of the Inspector window.
  • “Email Notification to” checkbox and field: Use to enter the address to which you want an email notification sent after the media file has been transcoded, or in the event of an error.
  • “Execute AppleScript on output” checkbox: Select this checkbox to activate any AppleScript you have assigned to the setting after the media file has been transcoded.
  • Choose button: Click to select the AppleScript you want to assign to the setting.
  • Default Destination: Choose a destination from the pop-up menu that you want this setting to use as its default.

For more information about the Actions pane, see Adding Actions.