Compression Tip

MP4 DetourI’ve found many forums where web designers and video editors have had serious issues making mp4 files play best for iOS and Android devices.   The issues stem from two compression programs in particular:   Apple’s Compressor, and Adobe Media Encoder.

Problem with Apple Compressor:
Compressor (no, not a very creative name for the application) is not recommended for making MP4 files.  Although Compressor is great for h.264 in QuickTime mov wrappers, the mp4 quality (bit for bit) is horrible.   There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a crisp, clean video go to waste because Compressor does such a lousy job making mp4 files.  Simple solution – don’t do it.

Problem with Adobe Media Encoder:
The  problems with Compressor seem to lead editors to find an alternative – then get stumped with an audio issue in Adobe Media Encoder (AME).  I discovered the solution accidentally and was surprised that Adobe support had not addressed this resolve in the forums.  The problem is that many people are losing audio altogether when making an mp4 from AME.   Solution – Make sure your video has only 2 channels of audio.    When you export a video from your editing program that has multi-channel audio, then AME will discard ALL audio information.   Uploading multi-channel audio to YouTube has been problematic in the past as well.

Whether you’re an editor or web designer, hopefully these two little tidbits will help!