About Compressor

Compressor is a video and audio encoding application that you can use to create media files for online and DVD distribution. The main features in Compressor are described in the following sections.

Video and Audio Encoding

Compressor can convert QuickTime movies to the following formats:

  • For DVD: MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (both SD and HD), H.264, and AC-3 (for audio)
  • For the web: MPEG-1, MPEG-4, and H.264
  • For iPod: H.264

Note: The H.264 format is stored as a QuickTime movie containing an H.264 video track.

Performing Standards Conversion

Compressor includes a high-quality standards and format conversion feature that can be used to:

  • Convert a video from NTSC to PAL or vice versa with minimal frame rate artifacts.

  • Create both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) versions of a project. For example, you can export an HD sequence in Final Cut Pro to both HD and SD MPEG files for HD and SD DVD releases.

Previewing Video Output

Compressor includes a Preview window with a split screen so you can compare your source video with the result of the effects and filters you apply to the job. The Preview window also contains a timeline that allows you to set In and Out points for encoding. You can also use the timeline to view and edit chapter, compression, and edit/cut markers.

Creating AC-3 Dolby Digital Audio

The Compressor AC-3 encoder is used to encode a variety of multichannel audio configurations, such as stereo or 5.1-channel surround sound, into Dolby Digital audio streams for use with DVD Studio Pro.

Batch Processing and Distributed Processing

You can encode movies individually or you can submit multiple movies to a batch processing queue. Apple Qmaster, included with Compressor, reduces encoding time with distributed processing, which distributes your video encoding tasks to multiple computers on your local area network. Each computer needs to be configured as an Apple Qmaster node.

Important: Distributed processing when sending to Compressor directly from Final Cut Pro also requires each computer to have Final Cut Pro installed.

See the Compressor User Manual, available in Compressor Help, for information about configuring computers for use in a distributed encoding process.

Compressor Droplets

Compressor Droplets are small applications you create in Compressor to perform specific encoding tasks. If you have particular compression settings you use routinely, you can save them as a Compressor Droplet and then drag your media files to the Droplet whenever you want to create a compressed version of your media.

See the Compressor User Manual, available in Compressor Help, for more information on creating and using droplets.