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Use the H.264 export option. The export will take forever - that is normal for that codec.
That worked well, except it only knocked off 100MB...
Is there anyway to get a smaller file than that while preserving quality?
>Is there anyway to get a smaller file than that while preserving quality?
Yes. And there are guys who get paid a lot of money to make that happen for commercial video. Don't expect to get great results right away. You have to gain experience by experimenting with the many, many possible settings to get video that is anywhere close to the original in quality.
I use Sorenson Squeeze for my H.264 encoding. It's expensive software, but it does the job well using the included presets and some careful tweaking. The Adobe Media Encoder does not offer the control over the encoding process that Squeeze does.
QuickTime Pro ($35US) can also do a decent job, but with less control than Squeeze. And you have to "trick" the software into exposing the controls that it does have. It is about as capable as the AME; maybe a little bit better.
That said, you can get good results with the AME. But like MPEG2, you can generally only get noticeably better quality by increasing the bit rate. And that means bigger files.
One more thing to consider is the output size of your slideshow. iMovies are designed to be shown on the tiny screen of a video iPod. What's that 320x240? What is the size of your Project? Is an iPod your intended play source?
>Jeff Bellune, Thanks for that helpful info...I thought about the Sorenson Squeeze software, but I guess since these are just home projects, I think I'll hold off buying it for now...it's like what? $500 for Pro? Can't remember. I'll keep experimenting! :)
>Bill Hunt, this video project is a slide show made and exported in Premiere Pro CS3 for casual use...so I am not planning to export to iPod. I upload my videos to the web for storage and it just takes forever! LOL
Thanks again for the helpful advice ya'all!
Trial and Error has unfortunately become a big part of all our workflows these days. (To our cost and profit)
eg . Client says can you make it 3mb (originally HD at 1.8gb) so I can email a file to the sales people ... and we all nod and say yeah.
...Then we spend the next hour feckin around to sort it.
>Then we spend the next hour
Don't be so feckin modest! :)
(you forgot the plural form of "hour")
EDIT: But yes, those little specialized tools and sometimes expensive (for example Squeeze), will help that process quite a bit speedwise.