WWUG Spotlight
Media Cleaner Pro 101

by Jeffrey R. Handy
Bisk Publishing, Tampa, Fla.

The old school: To create a Web movie, export the movie as a QuickTime. In the save dialog, choose options. Choose the video codec you want. Select all of the options you want for the codec: VBR, key frames every 150 frames, peak rate of 80 KBps. Don't forget to look at the "Hints" options and choose "Optimize" for streaming server. OK, now, go into the sound codec options and choose the codec you want. Now, select all of the options you want there. Again, VBR, data rate and.... Well, you get the idea. Compression is a very tedious and time-consuming monster! It can eat up all of your chances at a fair profit margin or even a family life. The example, here, is only for ONE encoding. If you are doing streaming video/audio, you will probably go through those tedious steps three or four times for EACH movie. Once compressed, you would then use a utility called MakeRefMov to make a reference movie that points to each of the different data-rate movies. Now, you have to do all that again, starting from exporting as Quicktime, for the next five or ten movies you want to show on the web. Whew!

Enter Media Cleaner Pro: Behold, the savior of compressionists around the globe! Take the scheme mentioned before. By the time you get the above steps done, you could have encoded all three alternate data-rates with Media Cleaner Pro (14.4k, 56k, T1) and for ALL of your movies, not just one at a time. Media Cleaner Pro is doing to the streaming video market what batch digitizing did for non-linear video production--streamlining workflow. It is a MUST HAVE: allowing you to do more compression in much less time. Anyone compressing videos without Media Cleaner Pro is at a serious disadvantage. When you need better quality, it is no big deal to tweak the settings in Media Cleaner Pro (a.k.a. MCP). You can take a clip, set the in and out in MCP for a quick sample. Then create a few new setting schemes. Set up each scheme to experiment with each setting you want to tweak. Once you find the settings you want save them as a permanent scheme. Don't forget to reset your in and out on the clip. To do this in QuickTime Player could take an entire day. With the help of MCP, you did it in less than an hour. There is also a dynamic preview option, which lets you see what the clip will look like after compressing. I prefer using the former method since you can tweak audio as well as video before committing more time to the compression stage.

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