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Old 2nd January 2022, 11:27   #1  |  Link
PCU
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Alternatives to Apple Compressor and Adobe Media Encoder

Do you know the exact alts to Apple Compressor and Adobe Media Encoder? (for pro use like broadcast/movies studios)

Last edited by PCU; 2nd January 2022 at 12:56.
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Old 2nd January 2022, 17:21   #2  |  Link
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Not much there for Mac.
If you can't achieve what you need with ffmpeg then you have few expensive options (Colorfront, MTI, Marquise). Telestream Episode was good middle ground, but it's dead. Sorenson Squeeze looks dead as well.
You have to deal with few smaller apps which is not ideal. Lot of products are now cloud based.
There is also cheap Resolve, but not very broadcast friendly, but more high-end finish.

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Old 2nd January 2022, 17:39   #3  |  Link
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Any Windows alt?
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Old 2nd January 2022, 19:04   #4  |  Link
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Not many more. Look at Mainconcept, Dalet, Telestream, Ateme etc. Most are rather expensive. There is not much in mid range level as there is simply no money to be made, so no one is bothered (Episode, ProCoder, CarbonCoder etc. are dead).
Adobe Media Encoder + Resolve+ ffmpeg + bmx cover most needs.
It really depends what exactly are you trying to do. Transcoding is quite broad term.

Last edited by kolak; 2nd January 2022 at 19:11.
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Old 3rd January 2022, 21:15   #5  |  Link
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Yeah, it's sad how the workstation-class high touch compression tool has really just vanished as a product. There's no modern equivalent to Media Cleaner Pro, ProCoder/Carbon, Squeeze, or Expression Media Encoder. Heck, Media Cleaner Pro had features in 1999 that still aren't available now, like live source/output comparisons while encoding. I was on retainer as a consultant with 5 of the 6 compression tool vendors between 2001-2005.

Expression Media Encoder was the best GUI encoder, I think.

Nothing today really offers the ability to visually fine tune preprocessing and encoding settings like some of the older products had. The same processing can certainly be done with ffmpeg, AVISynth, VapourSynth, etc. But those are still lots of independently configured modules configured through text without a unifying GUI design that gives efficient previews of what's actually happening, having separable but integrated presets between preprocessing and encoding, and other great stuff.

Today I often find myself spending an hour in After Effects + intermediate file + x265 for what I could have done in five minutes in Expression Encoder, ProCoder, or Media Cleaner Pro.
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Old 4th January 2022, 03:25   #6  |  Link
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Shutter Encoder is a nice ffmpeg wrapper GUI that's very user friendly for content creators

Resolve is great for comparing files, so long as your files are a supported format!
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Old 4th January 2022, 10:38   #7  |  Link
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Any Windows alt?
What do you need it for?
Are you looking for something to perform things like interlacing/deinterlacing, frame rate conversion, resizing etc and encoding?
Perhaps automatically and via workflows?
'cause that's literally FFAStrans https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=176655 - https://ffastrans.com/wp/
which is what we're based on over here and what I work on together with other guys from other broadcasting companies ever since we tossed Telestream products.
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Old 4th January 2022, 18:00   #8  |  Link
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No love for Vantage So sad.
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Old 5th January 2022, 08:46   #9  |  Link
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No love for Vantage So sad.
Telestream is a greedy company who would like to see the end of open source software and charge even more money than it currently does for sub-optimal results, closed hardware (Lightspeed) made of NVIDIA GPUs that you pay like gold and much more than you would setting them up yourself and you don't have much control over what goes on like resizing which only offers Bilinear, Bicubic and Lanczos (which is pretty hilarious per se in 2022 given that Spline and other resizing kernels have been around for a while, not to say Neural Networks) but on top of that, it doesn't even let you pick the taps value.

To those who are reading and are not familiar with it, in Vantage if you wanna use let's say Mediainfo.dll, which is a free and open source library, to get the info about your source file and create a logic on how to encode it, you gotta pay Telestream 1000. (Yes, for a free, open source, publicly available library that they didn't create nor contributed to). If that's not greedy behavior, I don't know what is...

As long as I'm gonna be here, I'll fight for free open source software like Avisynth and free open source encoders (x262/x264/x265/libavcodec-ffmpeg etc)

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Old 5th January 2022, 14:39   #10  |  Link
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I basically stoped using it- waste of money.
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Old 6th January 2022, 07:26   #11  |  Link
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To be fair, Vantage doesn't solve the problems we're discussing here.

I recently took over administration of a Vantage cluster (having not touched one in ~6 years with my head in the cloud since then) and both rolled my eyes at the slow clunky UI and ... curious design patterns... but then nodding appreciatively at certain things it does incredibly well.

It is indeed crazy expensive too

But in any case, different tool for different problems.
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Old 6th January 2022, 10:50   #12  |  Link
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What do you need it for?
Are you looking for something to perform things like interlacing/deinterlacing, frame rate conversion, resizing etc and encoding?
Perhaps automatically and via workflows?
'cause that's literally FFAStrans https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=176655 - https://ffastrans.com/wp/
which is what we're based on over here and what I work on together with other guys from other broadcasting companies ever since we tossed Telestream products.
Just want to try Hollywood-class encoders.
Can't find anything like Adobe Media Encoder. (free trials or demos)

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Old 6th January 2022, 13:46   #13  |  Link
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I recently took over administration of a Vantage cluster (having not touched one in ~6 years with my head in the cloud since then) and both rolled my eyes at the slow clunky UI
Ehehehe I know the feeling


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I basically stoped using it- waste of money.
Nice.

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Just want to try Hollywood-class encoders.
Can't find anything like Adobe Media Encoder.
I think Adobe Media Encoder uses Mainconcept underneath for things like MPEG-2 (no idea for other codecs as I tested XDCAM-50 only). So... I think Mainconcept would be your best bet. Just send them an email, they're generally very polite, they'll give you a free trial, I'm sure.
About other professional encoders, I know that for consumer codecs at consumer-tier bitrate, ATEME Titan is used a lot.

Over here, open source things aside, we do actually have AVID Media Director which can encode files using the AVID Transcode Service, which is pretty much the same you find in AVID Media Composer, however it's mostly used for news and documentaries made internally and it only works reliably for mezzanine files to be used internally, so nothing a consumer would play. Same goes for hardware encoders like EVS and Omneon as they're focused on broadcast-quality mezzanine files, nothing a consumer would ever use.
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Old 6th January 2022, 15:45   #14  |  Link
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Ehehehe I know the feeling




Nice.



I think Adobe Media Encoder uses Mainconcept underneath for things like MPEG-2 (no idea for other codecs as I tested XDCAM-50 only). So... I think Mainconcept would be your best bet. Just send them an email, they're generally very polite, they'll give you a free trial, I'm sure.
About other professional encoders, I know that for consumer codecs at consumer-tier bitrate, ATEME Titan is used a lot.

Over here, open source things aside, we do actually have AVID Media Director which can encode files using the AVID Transcode Service, which is pretty much the same you find in AVID Media Composer, however it's mostly used for news and documentaries made internally and it only works reliably for mezzanine files to be used internally, so nothing a consumer would play. Same goes for hardware encoders like EVS and Omneon as they're focused on broadcast-quality mezzanine files, nothing a consumer would ever use.


Is there any free trial (or demo) of ATEME Titan available for downloading?

Last edited by PCU; 7th January 2022 at 09:22.
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Old 6th January 2022, 17:37   #15  |  Link
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Is there any free trial (or demo) of ATEME Titan available for downloading?
When I tested it, I did it on a machine in the cloud, not on prem, back then, however you can send them an email and ask if they have a Windows build to use on your local workstation. If they have it, I'm sure they'll happily send a free trial. After all, why losing a potential customer eheheheheh
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Old 6th January 2022, 19:54   #16  |  Link
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Is there any free trial (or demo) of ATEME Titan available for downloading?

If you talk to them they will give you trial. Should be no problem.
Their pricing model is based on your workload (it may benefit big companies and volume, but I'm not sure).
They have strange policy around Titan- almost like they don't want to promote, sell it Maybe they prefer you to buy their hardware boxes.

AME is MainConcept based as well as many tools out there including Vantage. ATEME has own h264/5 encoder and it's quite good.

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Old 6th January 2022, 22:53   #17  |  Link
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Telestream is a greedy company who would like to see the end of open source software and charge even more money than it currently does for sub-optimal results, closed hardware (Lightspeed) made of NVIDIA GPUs that you pay like gold and much more than you would setting them up yourself and you don't have much control over what goes on like resizing which only offers Bilinear, Bicubic and Lanczos (which is pretty hilarious per se in 2022 given that Spline and other resizing kernels have been around for a while, not to say Neural Networks) but on top of that, it doesn't even let you pick the taps value.

To those who are reading and are not familiar with it, in Vantage if you wanna use let's say Mediainfo.dll, which is a free and open source library, to get the info about your source file and create a logic on how to encode it, you gotta pay Telestream 1000. (Yes, for a free, open source, publicly available library that they didn't create nor contributed to). If that's not greedy behavior, I don't know what is...
In Telestream's defense, they've provided significant funding to open source project that their products use. They charge for integration, but the free stuff everyone can get is better because of them.
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Old 6th January 2022, 23:16   #18  |  Link
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When I tested it, I did it on a machine in the cloud, not on prem, back then, however you can send them an email and ask if they have a Windows build to use on your local workstation. If they have it, I'm sure they'll happily send a free trial. After all, why losing a potential customer eheheheheh
And it's really having something that runs on a local workstation that's needed for a good compressionist tool. High speed, low latency access to local files. GPU processing, uncompressed output to screen.

My dream product is one where I can
  • Get reasonable automatic source decode defaults
  • Let me define templates for preprocessing
  • Let me manually override auto and template settings on one or more sources
  • Reasonable auto defaults, template support, and overrides for encoding parameters as well
  • Support for two layers of nodes, so I can go from 1 source -> 2 preprocessing paths -> 4 final renditions
  • single frame and clip previews of the output of each stage, where parameters can be tweaked with near-immediate preview updates
  • Get logs where I can see and reproduce how each output was generated
  • Proper waterfall-order GUI. For example, only show --aq-strength if --aq-mode<>0.
  • Have preview while encoding of preprocessed frame(s) and its encoded frame(s) so I can visually detect issues mid-job.
  • Trivial migration from a workstation project to large scale cloud processing.
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Old 9th January 2022, 16:42   #19  |  Link
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If you talk to them they will give you trial. Should be no problem.
Their pricing model is based on your workload (it may benefit big companies and volume, but I'm not sure).
They have strange policy around Titan- almost like they don't want to promote, sell it Maybe they prefer you to buy their hardware boxes.

AME is MainConcept based as well as many tools out there including Vantage. ATEME has own h264/5 encoder and it's quite good.
I emailed, but received no emails!
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Old 9th January 2022, 20:26   #20  |  Link
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If you don't represent any company then they will most likely ignore you.
You may also need to wait few working days as well.

Last edited by kolak; 9th January 2022 at 20:29.
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