How to use Mpeg Streamclip to encode your files for Simian.
Start with the highest resolution source file available for your media. This will ensure that you get the best possible quality of compression.
Open the file in Mpeg Streamclip, then select File > Export to MPEG-4.
Below are two screen shots that show different setting selections for different encoding scenarios. Below the screen shots are detailed descriptions of the options used and why we recommend them. Depending on your situation, you may need to alter some of these settings, but these are what we recommend for optimal web streaming to all audiences.
This option is mandatory. Select the H.264 compression type from the drop down as this is the latest standard and the most compatible.
We highly recommend this option. If the video compressor is H.264, by enabling this option you can make MPEG Streamclip automatically perform two-pass encoding. For H.264, more that two passes will be performed because the compressor performs a detailed analysis of the source movie to achieve excellent encoding results at the expense of very long encoding time; it also takes some space on your destination disk.
This option enables B-Frames (Bidirectional Frames) when encoding with H.264 and HDV. Using B-Frames yields better quality for the same data rate, or lower data rate for the same quality.
Limit Data Rate
This option is mandatory. Check the box to select this option then enter a value into the box to the right. Simian recommends data rates between 1500 to 2000 KB for optimal web streaming performance. Depending on the dimensions of your video, higher data rates may be required to maintain quality. Keep in mid that higher data rates will require a stronger internet connection. If your data rate is higher than what the connection can handle, then they may not be able to play the spot.
The values you see on your screen may vary from the screen shots that are in this guide for this option as they are based off of the dimensions of the source file you have opened. If you are going to encode to the same dimensions as your source file, then we recommend that you keep the default selection of "unscaled". If you are going to encode to a different dimension, then we recommend using the "Other" option and manually enter the dimensions you want into the boxes to the right.
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This option is mandatory. In this field, you can set the frame rate of the exported movie. For most people a frame rate of 30 is normal and will work fine. If you are in the UK or other regions that use the PAL video standard, then 25 may be your normal frame rate and that will work as well.
NOTE: Do not leave this field blank! Even if you are not changing the frame rate from one value to another in the conversion, a value should still be entered for this setting. If you leave it blank, it could have an adverse effect on your other settings and you may not achieve the desired output file.
This setting is optional and only needs to be considered if you are going to export using a different frame rate then the source file. If you set a frame rate for the exported movie which is different from the original movie's frame rate, you can enable this option to improve motion. Each frame in the exported movie will be a mix of two successive frames of the original movie.
This setting is optional and only needs to be considered if you are going to encode your video to a smaller dimension then the source file. If you are scaling the file to a smaller frame size, by checking "Better Downscaling" you can tell MPEG Streamclip to use a wider 2D-FIR scaler, providing even better picture quality. However this wide 2D-FIR scaler is quite slow and the resulting picture (although perfect) may have less sharpness. This option is disabled by default: enable it only if you need a perfectly scaled movie.
We highly recommend using this option. If you have an interlaced file, you may also want to deinterlace it, usually to convert into a progressive format, get a "film" effect and have a better playback on the computer's display. When you check the option "Deinterlace Video", MPEG Streamclip enables a special motion-adaptive deinterlacer, and it deinterlaces the lower field in the parts that contain motion, and preserves video quality of all parts that do not contain motion; the upper field is left unchanged. This option slows down the conversion.
Please note that if you are changing the height of an interlaced stream (that is, you are telling MPEG Streamclip to perform vertical scaling) then you must enable either "Interlaced Scaling" or "Deinterlace Video" (at your own choice), otherwise you will see bad video artifacts in the converted movie.
Mpeg Streamclip automatically enables Fast Start on MP4 videos so the option will appear greyed out.
When the encoding process begins, you will now see a progress bar on your screen. When the progress bar goes away the encoding process is complete and you can now view your new version of the video.
Check to make sure that the video came out with the desired data rate. If not you may have to make adjustments to that setting and re-encode from the source again until you reach the desired result. To check the data rate, simply open the new version of the file in Mpeg Streamclip, then from the application menu, select File > Show stream info. The data rate may be displayed in MB instead of KB, so to convert simply remove the decimal point and add a zero to the end. For instance if it displays 1.56 MB then your data rate is 1560 KB
Once you are satisfied with your new version of the video, you can upload it to Simian. Remember, Simian does not alter your media in any way, so once your file is uploaded to your account, Simian will display it exactly as you have encoded it.