Media Apple FCP X

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1549: What Is Handbrake?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Handbrake is a free, general-purpose media compression program.

Topic $TipTopic

HandBrake is a free open-source video transcoder available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

HandBrake takes videos you already have and makes new ones that work on your mobile phone, tablet, TV media player, game console, computer, or web browser—nearly anything that supports modern video formats.

Features:

  • Convert nearly any video to MP4 or MKV
  • Crop and resize video
  • Restore old and low-quality video
  • Remove combing artifacts caused by interlacing and telecine
  • Pass-through audio without conversion for certain audio types
  • Downmix discrete surround sound to matrixed surround or stereo
  • Adjust audio volume levels, and dynamic range for certain audio types
  • Preserve existing subtitles, and add or remove soft subtitles (subtitles stored as text)

HandBrake does not:

  • Combine multiple video clips into one
  • Pass-through video without conversion (video is always converted)
  • Create Blu-ray, AVCHD, or DVD discs
  • Transcode into professional codecs such as ProRes, DNx, or GoPro Cineform

HandBrake also does not defeat or circumvent copy protection of any kind. It does not work with video files employing Digital Rights Management (DRM). This includes but is not limited to, copy protected content from iTunes, Amazon Video, Netflix, or other online providers, and many commercial DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Here’s the link to learn more.


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1550: Use Nesting to Add Power to Watch Folders

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Adobe Media Encoder Watch folders are flexible, useful & easy.

The Adobe Media Encoder logo.

Topic $TipTopic

Adobe Media Encoder (AME) supports creating nested watch folders, which is a great way to perform multiple actions at once.

A Watch Folder is an automated way to compress (or transcode, actually) any media file using AME with settings that you apply to the Watch Folder itself.

Here’s a tutorial I wrote that explains how to create a simple watch folder setup, then extends that into nested watch folders which can accomplish multiple compression tasks automatically and hands-free.

NOTE: Here’s the link.

EXTRA CREDIT

You can also program AME to automatically transfer compressed files to a website when compression is complete. We used this feature a LOT during our live coverage of NAB for the Digital Production Buzz.


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… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1525: Monetize Images Using Blockchain

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

NFTs verify ownership and provide potential royalties.

(Image courtesy of Alesia Kozik, at Pexels.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Alejandro Medellin, first appeared in Shutterstock.com. This is a summary.

The seemingly-overnight meteoric rise in popularity of NFTs (non-fungible tokes) has confounded many, including myself, begging the question: What are NFTs? Are they a cryptocurrency, a form of digital media, a speculative asset? The answers are no, kind of, and yes.

NFTs are digital assets whose ownership is verified by thousands of computers around the world using blockchain technology. Turning a regular digital asset into an NFT is called “minting,” which “tokenizes” the digital asset on the blockchain. NFT’s are sold using cryptocurrency, so the buyer and seller need a cryptocurrency wallet to participate in the transaction.

The digital asset itself is no different than non-NFT media, but its verification on the blockchain gives owners of the NFT legitimacy. While some people may buy NFTs because they like the content, many are treating NFTs as speculative assets, which are purchased because they may increase in value and sold for profit. With many NFTs selling as one-offs or in limited quantities, the digital scarcity increases the value of an NFT over time.

When an NFT is sold, and the transaction is verified on the blockchain, owners have digital proof of their purchase. That doesn’t mean they own the original asset or the copyright for that asset. They just own access to the NFT version of that thing, which is verified and cannot be changed unless sold. The blockchain verifies the transaction, which acts like a digital receipt that validates ownership of the NFT.

NFT ownership can be bought and sold, which is verified each time on the blockchain, but the original creator of the NFT is permanent. Typically, artists receive payment once when they sell their artwork, but selling an NFT is different. Each time an NFT exchanges hands, the original creator of the NFT receives a cut of the profit, which is a royalty payment. With the hope that NFTs appreciate in value over time, creators could make more on royalties than the initial price of the NFT.

The entire article is worth reading – as NFTs are simply another revenue source for our digital assets. The link is at the top.


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1516: What is FFmpeg?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

FFmpeg: Open-source transcoding software for the media industry.

Topic $TipTopic

Underlying many popular transcoding or media viewer applications, like VLC Player or Handbrake, is FFmpeg.

FFmpeg is a free and open-source software project consisting of a large suite of libraries and programs for handling video, audio, and other multimedia files and streams. At its core is the FFmpeg program itself, designed for command-line-based processing of video and audio files.

FFmpeg is part of the workflow of hundreds of other software projects, and its libraries are a core part of software media players such as VLC, and has been included in core processing for YouTube and iTunes. Codecs for the encoding and/or decoding of most audio and video file formats is included, making it highly useful for the transcoding of common and uncommon media files into a single common format.

NOTE: One of the license stipulations to using FFmpeg is that it can not be sold, it can only be given away. And, it can’t be bundled with any transcoding software that is sold.

You may not have used it directly because it can only be accessed via the command line in Terminal. But numerous applications exist to provide a front-end to FFmpeg.

Examples include:

  • Handbrake
  • ffWorks
  • VLC Media Player
  • Blender
  • Google Chrome
  • Plex
  • and many, many others.

Wikipedia link

FFmpeg website: link

EXTRA CREDIT

It should be noted that Apple has issues with FFmpeg:

In some instances, unauthorized codec implementations have been used in third-party software and hardware products. Using any unauthorized implementation (such as FFmpeg and derivative implementations) might lead to decoding errors, performance degradation, incompatibility, and instability.

Apple link


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… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1508: Streaming Subscribers Pass 1 Billion Worldwide

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Tradition media is down, streaming media is way up.

Image credit: Ranker via TV Technology.

Topic $TipTopic

According to TV Technology (link) global streaming subscriptions jumped well past 1 billion. Reporting on the Motion Picture Association’s annual THEME report, TV Technology wrote that the total number of online video subscriptions jumped to 1.1. billion at the end of 2020.

TV Technology writes:

MPA’s categorization of online video subscriptions specifically refers to streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+. In 2020, 232.1 million new subscriptions were added across the world, a 26% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, cable subscriptions decreased by 2% in 2020, dropping to 530.7 million globally.

In terms of revenue, the pay-TV subscription market, which excludes online video in the MPA report, was $233.1 billion. Despite a decrease in subscriptions, cable actually grew its revenue by $871.4 million to $111.6 billion, keeping it as the largest subscription video market. Online video is the third largest subscription market and increased $14.3 billion (34%) in 2020.

When looking specifically at the U.S., online video subscriptions shot up to 308.6 million, an increase of 32%. Virtual pay-TV subscriptions also saw an increase, adding 12.1 million subscriptions in 2020, up 29%. Cable and satellite subscriptions both declined.

However, like the global market, cable remains the largest subscription market in terms of revenue in the U.S.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here’s the Motion Picture Association report.


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… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1509: 2 Newsletters to Track Broadcast Media

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These cover technology, business and trends.

Topic $TipTopic

There are two reports I get every day that are very helpful in tracking what’s going on at the high-end of the media industry: broadcast and film.

First, is TV Technology. They are a part of Future US Inc., an international media group and leading digital publisher of dozens of special-interest publications.

TV Technology website: www.tvtechnology.com

Future US website: www.futureplc.com/brands/


The other is a daily newsletter from the NAB called “NAB Smart Brief.”

NAB’s Smartbrief is a daily snapshot of broadcast industry news pulled from numerous leading media sources. Smartbrief contains summaries of the news that matters to you, written by expert editors to save you time and keep you informed and prepared.

Smart Brief website: www.nab.org/news/smartBrief.asp


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1507: Enable Hardware Acceleration in AME

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Hardware acceleration for 10-bit HEVC is possible – but requires a very recent computer.

Hardware acceleration settings for HEVC in Adobe Media Encoder.

Topic $TipTopic

Adobe Media Encoder (AME) takes advantage of hardware acceleration for compression that is built into recent Macs. Here’s how to turn it on.

HEVC hardware acceleration for 8-bit media requires a relatively recent Mac. (My 2017 iMac supports accelerating 8-bit, but not 10-bit.) However, HEVC hardware acceleration for 10-bit media, which is required for HDR files, requires a Mac with either a T2 or M1 chip.

NOTE: The T2 chip first appeared in 2018 in MacBooks and 2019 in iMacs.

Assuming you have the right chips in your computer, hardware encoding is enabled in AME via compression settings.

  • Search for an existing HEVC compression setting (it’s in the System Presets > Broadcast category) or create your own using MPEG-4 as the root.
  • In the Export Settings panel (top red arrow):
  • Set Performance to Hardware Encoding
  • Set Profiles to Main for 8-bit video, or Main 10 for 10-bit video.

NOTE: My computer doesn’t support hardware acceleration, which is why Main 10 isn’t selected in the screen shot.

And that’s it. Hardware acceleration will speed encoding anywhere from 10X to 30X.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1496: Caption Formats Supported by Premiere Pro

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

All these options exist because there is no single preferred standard.

Topic $TipTopic

The reason there are so many caption formats is that every distributor has a different preference. Here’s a list of the caption formats supported by the 2021 release of Adobe Premiere Pro (v. 15.0.0):

  • SCC
  • MCC
  • XML
    • DFXP (W3C TTML)
    • SMPTE-TT
    • EBU-TT
  • STL
  • SRT
  • DFXMP

Captions can only be embedded in these three pro video formats:

  • MXF OP1a
  • DNxHD
  • ProRes

EXTRA CREDIT

To illustrate the diversity of captions, here’s a link to an article showing which caption formats are preferred and supported by social media.


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1502: Media Encoder Supports More Codecs

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Adobe continues to increase its support for HDR.

Topic $TipTopic

With the release of the 2021 update to Adobe Media Encoder, AME now supports more codecs.

Specifically, AME added support for:

  • ARRI Alexa Mini LF (ARRIRAW) footage Adobe Media Encoder now offers a comprehensive, cross-platform (Windows and macOS) solution for workflows, from camera media through to delivery.

Here’s a link to all of AME’s supported codecs.

In January, Adobe took another step in its move to support HDR media more extensively throughout all its applications. The default working color space and Gamma curve has been modified for all RED files.

File type Default working space in older versions of Adobe Media Encoder Default working space in Adobe Media Encoder version 14.8 and later
Red files Color space: Rec 709 Color space: RedWideGamutRGB
Gamma curve- BT.1886 Gamma curve: Log3G10
Komodo files Color space: Rec 709 Color space: RedWideGamutRGB
Gamma curve- Log3G10 Gamma curve: Log3G10

NOTE: All old projects continue to have the previous settings and are not impacted by this change. You can choose to change the colour space and Gamma space as per your requirements.


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1506: M1 Macs Accelerate 10-bit HEVC Compression

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

HDR requires 10-bit codecs and hardware acceleration.

Key settings in Apple Compressor to enable hardware-accelerated HEVC 10-bit compression.

Topic $TipTopic

I spent this last week learning more about the media capabilities of the M1 Mac.

The new M1 chip from Apple (part of the three new Macs launched last week) can accelerate encoding H.264, 8-bit HEVC, and 10-bit HEVC using hardware. This vastly speeds compression of these codecs.

NOTE: HDR media requires using a 10-bit codec, which is why compressing 10-bit HEVC quickly is important.

To enable 10-bit compression in Apple Compressor:

  • Create a new setting using the MPEG-4 category.
  • Change Codec to HEVC (top red arrow)
  • Set Encoder Type to Faster (this enables hardware acceleration)
  • Set Profile to 10-bit (this is bit-depth is required for HDR.
  • Be sure Multi-pass is disabled (Multi-pass disables hardware acceleration)

NOTE: Hardware acceleration for 10-bit HEVC is also possible for any Mac that has a T-2 chip.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here’s a tutorial on configuring an M1 Mac for video editing.


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