Adding Source Media Files to a Batch to Create Jobs

You need to import the source media files into the batch in the Batch window before you can add any transcoding settings to them. Once they are imported into the batch, the source media files create a job, which is the first step to getting the files transcoded. There are special methods to use when importing surround sound source media files.

Adding Standard Source Media Files to Batches

Following are the details for adding standard (non–surround sound) source media files to a batch.

To add source media files to a batch
  1. Open Compressor.

    The Batch window opens with an empty batch tab named Untitled.

    Figure. Batch window with an empty batch named Untitled.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Job > New Job With File (or press Command-I), navigate to the relevant media file folder, select one or more source media files, and then click Open.

      Note: Choose Job > New Job With Surround Sound Files (or press Command-Control-I) to create a new job using a set of audio files for surround sound output. See Adding Image Sequences to Batches for more information.

    • Click the Add File button (in the Batch window toolbar, if visible), navigate to the relevant media file folder, select one or more source media files, and then click Open.

    • Control-click an empty area of the batch and choose New Job With File from the shortcut menu. You can then navigate to the relevant media file folder, select one or more source media files, and then click Open.

    • Open your source media file folder and drag one or more source media files into the batch.

      Figure. Source media files being dragged to an empty batch.

    Note: You can combine the above steps by selecting all the source media files you want to transcode before opening Compressor and then dragging them to the Compressor application icon. This opens Compressor and adds the media files to the default untitled batch at the same time.

  3. Save the batch by choosing File > Save As (or pressing Command-Shift-S).

  4. Enter a name for the batch and choose the location where you want to save it in the dialog that appears.

  5. Click Save when done.

The tab in the Batch window changes to match the name of the file.

Note: If your Finder preferences are set to show the extensions, the extension .compressor appears in the tab along with the name.

You are not actually required to name and save your batches, and for quick jobs you might decide not to. However, naming and saving a batch makes it easy to go back and resubmit it later if you find that the output files were not as expected or if your needs change. It also makes it easier to figure out what is in the History window and in Batch Monitor if you submit multiple batches in a short period of time.

The batch now contains your selected media files, each in its own job. Source media files with video content also include a thumbnail image and a scroller that you can use to scroll through the video.

Figure. A job in the Batch window.

You can change the source media file assigned to a job.

To change the source media file assigned to a job
  1. Select the job for which you want to change the source media file.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Job > Source > File, navigate to the relevant media file folder, select one or more source media files, and then click Open.

    • Control-click the job and choose Source from the shortcut menu. You can then navigate to the relevant media file folder, select one or more source media files, and then click Open.

    • Drag a new source media file to the job.

Any targets you had already configured remain and are now applied to the new source media file. You can also remove a source media file from a job if needed.

To remove a source media file from a job
  • Control-click the job and choose Clear Source from the shortcut menu.

To remove a job from a batch
Do one of the following:
  • Select the job and press Delete.

  • Control-click in an empty part of the batch and choose Remove All Jobs from the shortcut menu.

These jobs are now ready to have a target added to them. Targets include the settings and destinations required to make this a job that you can submit for transcoding. See Finalizing Jobs and Submitting Batches for information on adding targets to jobs. Also see Creating, Previewing, and Modifying Settings for information on how to create your own settings.

Adding Surround Sound Source Media Files to Batches

There are two methods you can use to add audio files to a batch to create a surround sound job: an automatic method that relies on file naming to map the audio files to the proper channels and a manual method that allows you to manually assign the audio files to the channels.

Each method results in a job to which you can add a setting that supports surround sound audio outputs, such as Dolby Digital Professional, AIFF, and several audio codecs in the QuickTime Movie output format.

Important: Some of the output formats have multiple configurations for the surround sound audio channels. Be sure you know which configuration your intended playback device requires. For example, the AIFF output format provides four different configurations for 5.1 (six-channel) audio outputs, with the difference being the order of the channels.

Assigning Files to Surround Sound Channels (Automatic Method)

Compressor offers some streamlined channel assignment techniques that can save you time.

To assign files to surround channels with channel identifier codes
  1. Append the channel identifier code of the target surround channel to the filename of each source audio file. (See the list below for the appropriate channel identifier codes.)

    • -L: Left front channel
    • -R: Right front channel
    • -C: Center front channel
    • -Ls: Left surround channel
    • -Rs: Right surround channel
    • -S: Center surround channel
    • -LFE: Low frequency channel (Subwoofer, LFE)

    For example, to assign an AIFF file to the left surround channel, rename the file as filename-Ls.aiff (where filename is the name of your file). (The channel identifier codes must include the hyphen, as shown.)

    Note: Mac OS X may add a file extension like .aiff. This will not interfere with this channel assignment method.

    This procedure works only when you drag and drop files into the Batch window. If you drag the files onto the Compressor application icon, they will appear as separate source files, each in its own job.

    Note: If you are creating Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) surround sound streams, you will not use all the channels listed in the table at once. See Audio Tab Settings for a diagram of the Dolby audio coding modes.

  2. Drag the renamed source audio files to the Batch window.

    If the following conditions are met, Compressor automatically collapses the entire group of files into what appears as a single surround source media file in the Batch window:

    • The files in the group must be named correctly. (See the list in the previous step.)

    • The total number of files in the group must be fewer than seven.

Assigning Files to Surround Sound Channels (Manual Method)

Follow these steps to use the manual method for assigning individual audio files to surround sound channels.

To manually assign source audio files to channels of a surround sound stream
  1. Do one of the following to import the source audio files:

    • Choose Job > New Job With Surround Group (or press Command-Control-I).

    • Click the Add Surround Sound button in the Batch window.

    • Control-click in the batch and choose New Job With Surround Group from the shortcut menu.

    The channel assignment interface opens.

  2. Do one of the following to assign a source audio file to a particular channel:

    • Drag the source audio file from the Finder to the icon for a specific channel (for example, “L”).

    • Click the icon for a specific channel (for example, “L”) and use the Open dialog to locate the source audio file intended for that channel.

    The file is now assigned to the “L” (Left Front) Channel.

    Figure. Surround sound channel assignment interface.
  3. Repeat step 2 for each of the source audio files that you intend to include in the surround stream.

    Note: If you are creating Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) surround sound streams, you will not use all the channels listed in the table at once. See Audio Tab Settings for a diagram of the Dolby audio coding modes.

  4. When you have finished adding source audio files to the channel assignment interface, click OK.

    The group of surround files appears as a single surround source media file job in the Batch window.

About Surround Sound Jobs

Once you have created a surround sound job, the batch window shows the surround sound icon in the source media file thumbnail and the Inspector window shows the channels and their assigned files.

Figure. A surround sound job in the Batch window, and the corresponding Surround sound channel assignment interface.

You can change any of the file assignments in the Inspector window.

To change a surround sound file assignment
  1. Click the speaker icon of the channel you want to change.

    A file selection dialog opens.

  2. Locate the file to assign to that channel and click Open.

See Creating Dolby Digital Professional Output Files for information on creating Dolby Digital Professional output files. See the Soundtrack Pro User Manual for comprehensive information about creating surround sound audio files. If you are planning to make DVDs using DVD Studio Pro, see the DVD Studio Pro User Manual for more information about the DVD authoring workflow.

Adding Image Sequences to Batches

You can import a sequence of still images into Compressor as a single image sequence job and then apply an output frame rate and an audio file to the job. From that point, you treat the job as you do any other Compressor source media file, adding settings, destinations, filters, and post-transcoding actions to create an output media file with the desired video and audio formats and characteristics.

To add a still image sequence job to a batch
  1. Open Compressor.

    The Batch window opens with an empty batch tab named Untitled.

    Figure. Batch window with an empty batch named Untitled.

    Note: If the Batch Template Chooser opens automatically, click Cancel to close the Batch Template Chooser. To prevent the Batch Template Chooser from opening when you open Compressor, click the “Don’t show this dialog again” checkbox, or, in Compressor Preferences, choose For New Batches: Show Blank Template.

  2. Do one the following:

    • Click the Add Image Sequence button and navigate to the folder containing the image sequence files you want to import.

    • Choose Job > New Job With Image Sequence (or press Command-Option-I) and navigate to the folder containing the image sequence files you want to import.

  3. Select the folder containing the image sequence files you want to import.

  4. Click Open.

    The new job appears in the Batch window.

    Figure. Batch window with image sequence job.
  5. Select the job in the Batch window.

    The Inspector window displays the A/V Attributes tab containing information and controls for the new image sequence job.

    Figure. Inspector showing A/V Attributes tab.
  6. Do any of the following:

    • Confirm the selected image sequence files. (Click the Info (i) button for the complete list of files.)

    • Confirm the video format information in the Video section.

    • Use the Native Field Dominance pop-up menu to adjust the field dominance for the source files. (The choices are Progressive, Top First, and Bottom First.)

    • Use the Frame Rate pop-up menu to adjust the frame rate for the source files by choosing from a list of standard frame rates.

    • Click Choose Audio to locate, select, and add an audio file to the image sequence job.

      Note: Compressor supports the following audio file types for image sequences: AIFF, MP3,  MPEG-4 audio-only (.m4a), and QuickTime movie (.mov).

Note: You can also use Compressor to output an image sequence. For more information, see Creating Image Sequence Output Files.