Workshop – An Introduction (part 1)
Thursday, July 24, 2008 Filed in: Video
Successfully getting a
video file delivered to your audience
usually means it will be compressed (heck
it’s often compressed just so we can
work with it in the first place). Making the
video file available to your target audience
is your goal, but the challenges of
hardware, connection speed, and even
operating system can affect the decisions
you make. Let’s take a common sense
approach to getting your video out there.
The ‘Illities’There are four major facets
that will shape your compression approach. I call
them the illities to make them easier to
– How easy is the file to get
from one device to another? Is the compressed
file small enough to transfer via the Internet
(and at what connection speed)?
– Can the file be viewed by
multiple applications and/or web
– Are the codec or hardware
requirements within your budget? Are there any
licensing fees involved?
– Does the image or sound
quality match your audience’s
The LanguageThere are several bits of lingo
that will pop-up when working with compression.
Here are the most common with their plain English
This is like the
global family or classification of a file. It
includes those such as MPEG, QuickTime, Windows
Media, AIFF, etc. It is the ‘global’
Processing: A benefit of many compression
utilities as it allows you to set up several
files to run. This is a key benefit as it allows
you to walk away and leave your computer working
much data per second there is in your file. The
higher the number, the larger the file.
Most common will be
the choice between stereo and mono. Stereo files
use two channels of audio data and occupy twice
the space as mono files.
The process of
shrinking the file using mathematical algorithms.
Modern compression techniques are significantly
more effective than their historical
Compressor/Decompressor. The algorithm ot code
allows for further shrinking of the files. In
some cases, compressors cost additional money to
the content creator. Decompressors are usually
free to improve the distribution plan and market
To turn an analog
source (such as audio waves) into a digital file.
This is also called capturing by some.
Ratio: Computer pixels are square in
shape, digital video pixels can be rectangular or
non-square. The video editing software or
playback device (such as a television) usually
compensates for this. If you plan to show the
video on a computer, you will need to manually
resize the document to the right shape.
Also called sample
size, which is the number of bits used by the
computer to describe the analog data. Audio CDs
are usually 16-bit, however newer DVD audio discs
are frequently 24-bit. Bigger is higher quality.
number of samples captured per second. Audio CDs
are usually 44.1kJz while digital video is
usually 48 kHz. Bigger is higher quality.
Rate (VBR) Compression: One of the most effective
ways to create smaller files. The computer
analyzes the video file before compressing the
data. Encoding this way is far slower, but if you
can choose this method for superior results.
Coming next... 10 steps to better