Preparing Compressor for Transcoding with Custom Settings

Compressor contains a number of preconfigured settings that allow you to start transcoding immediately. If you want to transcode your source media files immediately and don’t need to create your own settings, you can follow the steps described in Quick and Easy Compressor Workflow: Batch Template Method instead. Or if your workflow is not covered by any of the batch templates and you want to start transcoding immediately, you can also try the steps in Quick and Easy Compressor Workflow: Manual Method.

However, if you want to create your own settings and destinations, and customize other attributes such as filters, cropping, frame resizing, and actions settings, you need to follow the steps outlined below. If the custom settings you create here can be used for all your transcoding needs, you won’t need to go through these steps again. However, if you need to create new settings and destinations for each transcoding project, you’ll need to repeat these steps each time.

  1. Stage 1: Creating a Setting

    Unless you are using a preexisting setting or a batch template supplied with Compressor, you will need to create your own settings. This is done using the Settings tab and begins with choosing an output format from the File Format menu that opens when you click the Add (+) button. See Choosing an Output Format for more information. In addition, you also have the option of adding filters, geometry settings, and post-transcoding actions and then previewing your setting to ensure satisfaction. See Creating a Setting from Scratch for more information.

    You can also streamline your workflow by putting your settings into groups. See Creating Groups of Settings for more information.

    After you have created a setting, you can further customize it with additional adjustments such as filters (to adjust image quality or add effects such as letterboxing), pixel size (geometry values), and post-transcoding actions. These additional adjustments are all managed in the Inspector window. See Adding Filters to a Setting, Working with Frame Controls, Adding Geometry Settings, and Adding Actions for more information.

  2. Stage 2: Previewing the Setting

    It’s a good time-saving measure to preview your setting before submitting the batch. This can be done using the Preview window and ensures that the quality of the output media file is acceptable. The Preview window consists of a split screen displaying the content of your source media file in its original form in one half, and the content of your output media file in the other half.

    From the Preview window, you can do any of the following:

    • Play the media file.

    • Dynamically preview effects (in real time).

    • Modify the effects of the filters and geometry settings of your setting.

    • Compare source or output versions.

    • Crop the output file frame size.

    • Change the aspect ratio.

    • Add various markers (compression, chapter, or podcast).

    Note: Frame Controls settings cannot be previewed in the Preview window. To preview Frame Controls settings, do a test transcode of a small section of your source media file. (See Transcoding a Portion of the Clip with the Preview Window for more information.)

    See Previewing a Setting or Using the Preview Window for more information.

  3. Stage 3: Creating a Destination

    By default, your transcoded file is saved in the same folder as your source media file (Source). However, if you want to store your transcoded files in a different location, you can create a new destination in the Destinations tab. Using this tab, you can choose any folder, volume, or remote server for which you have permissions and access to be a destination, and add useful file identifiers for your transcoded output file. Once you have created sufficient destinations, you won’t need to open the Destinations tab again.

    See Creating and Changing Destinations for more information.