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Approvals with Windows Media on OSX

By Kevin McAuliffe

These days pretty much everyone has Windows Media Player. Whether you work on a PC at home, or you have one at the office, we are all exposed to Windows Media almost every day, and more and more, we as editors, are asked to provide clients with Windows Media files to approve, as clients don't have QuickTime on their computers, or it is too much of a hassle to get corporate IT to put in on their machine.  It used to be a big hassle to convert files from QuickTime to Windows Media, but Flip4Mac has changed all that. Let's take a look at how easy it really is to give your clients Windows Media files directly from your Mac.
First things first, head over to Flip4Mac's website (http://www.flip4mac.com), and download Flip4Mac WMV.  Once downloaded and installed, you will find a Flip4Mac WMV setting under SYSTEM PREFERENCES>OTHER, and you are now ready to watch Windows Media files right inside QuickTime. 

System prefs

Now, it's decision time. You can watch WMV files for free, but to export files you will need to purchase the Flip4Mac package that is right for your client, and your own personal needs. I recommend the Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro Bundle ($99 U.S.) as it not only gives me the flexibility to import and export WMV's, but it also gives me custom encoding profiles, and let's me create and save my own, which is extremely useful. 
 Creating WMV's With QuickTime
When I'm editing, I like to do things in the background, especially things like streaming videos for clients. My usual process is to export an HD clip in SD resolution (640x360, as my clients don't want or need to see videos larger than that for approval), and use QuickTime to do the conversion for me. The process is simple. Take the clip you exported and open it in QuickTime. Next, select FILE>EXPORT from the drop-down menu. When the next menu opens, it's default is to be on the MOVIE TO QUICKTIME MOVIE, which is normally good for exporting files with the H264 codec for HD QuickTime files, but if you click on the menu, a dialogue window opens, and if you look down the list, you will see MOVIE TO WINDOWS MEDIA as an option.   Select that, and you are almost ready to go.
Windows Media Select

Finally, it's a simple matter of telling Flip4Mac in what resolution you want the file. Simply select OPTIONS, and a new menu windows opens where you can select different presets, or simply create your own based on what you require. Once you are done, select OK, and then give your new movie a title and press save.  In a minute or two (depending on how big your file is), you have your Windows Media file. 
For all you Final Cut Pro users out there that would rather output directly from Final Cut, the process is similar. Simply mark an in and out point in your timeline for what you want to output, then select FILE>EXPORT AS QUICKTIME CONVERSION. Once the menu opens, simply click on QUICKTIME MOVIE to open the drop-down menu, and select WINDOWS MEDIA as your format. Clicking on the OPTIONS button will open a menu almost exactly the same as in QuickTime, where you can select a preset, or create your own. It's that simple.

Flip4Mac is an essential tool in this Windows world, where most clients will appreciate the ease at which they can approve their projects when you send them files exported in the Windows Media format.

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Kevin P McAuliffe is currently a Senior Video Editor working in HD post production in Toronto, Canada. He has been in the television industry for 12 years, and spends his days onlining on a Final Cut Pro HD. Kevin's high definition onlining credit list includes concerts for Coldplay, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Snow Patrol, Sum41, Paul Anka, Il Divo and Pussycat Dolls, to name a few. Also, Kevin is an instructor of Advanced Final Cut Studio 2 at the Toronto Film College. If you have any questions or comments, you can drop him a line at [email protected]

Related Keywords:Windows Media , video file conversion, final cut pro,


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