QuickTime H.264 movies from FCP for the Web

By Ken Stone

We've all seen Flash videos at YouTube. The Flash codec does an excellent job of reducing long videos into very small files, but there is a price to be paid, the quality of these videos can be very poor indeed. Even with the new 'higher quality' YouTube videos, the quality is not representational of the video that we work with in Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express. Additionally, YouTube is not the only game in town. Many of us place videos at our own web sites and at other web sites as well. When working in FCP, we struggle to maintain the highest quality video possible. For the web, we need to use a codec that will deliver high quality video, Flash is not up to the challenge.

QuickTime Pro has a codec that will do what we need, deliver high quality video at lower data rates then then the codecs that we used in the past. The codec is H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) and comes in a variety of flavors. So versatile is the H.264 codec that it is used in a number of different applications. It is used in Blu-ray and the now defunct HD DVD (Toshiba), it is also used by some cable and satellite broadcasters. A number of new video cameras also now use H.264 as an acquisition format. And of course, the topic of this article, for web distribution. read more...

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