11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 19, 2009 10:29 PM by Jim_Simon

    Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding

    pmasters8941 Level 1

      I have a client that has a pretty extensive collection of videos that were encoded using H.264/AAC in an mp4 container. He has since expressed his desire to move the F4V format as apparently server side scripts can pull and display the metadata on his web pages. He wanted to know if his original MP4 files can somehow be placed in the F4V container and then populate the metadata filed which is much quicker than having to go back and pull all his sources and re-encode.


      Personally I had advised him to stick with mp4 if he wanted to increase interoperability between web and device playback but he is insistent on using F4V.


      Does anyone know if Adobe has any tools to take Mp4>F4V and/or F4V>MP4? I would rather he know now before he locks himself into the F4V format.


      Thanks for any help.


      P.S. Are there really any other advantages to using F4V over the MP4 container other than metadata capability?

        • 2. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
          pmasters8941 Level 1

          Hey Jim, Thanks for the links but not exactly what I am asking as those two solutions actually transcode the files which naturally result in a quality loss. Seeing how the only difference between F4V and MP4 is the actual container and not the video/audio streams inside it, it would seem there should be a simple sofware program to demux either file format and remux into the other. Otherwise, using F4V just locks you into their format. Does that make sense?

          • 3. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
            Jim_Simon Level 8

            It does.


            The links were the result of a very cursory Google search.  Perhaps a more studied effort on your part will turn something up.


            Also check www.VideoHelp.com.  It a good resource for this type of thing.

            • 4. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
              pmasters8941 Level 1

              Appreciate the advice but what's the sense of a user-to-user forum if the response is "use google"? Trust me, I used google before ever asking a question. Again, it appears that those programs TRANSCODES (re-encodes) the source file. He doesn't want to re-encode anything, just demux/remux from one format to another.

              • 5. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                I used google before ever asking a question.


                You'd be surprised how many people don't.  So it's a pretty good answer when the exact answer isn't known.

                • 6. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  You know, there is a double-edged sword, with doing the Google (or Adobe forum) searching for someone. A user does the hard work, and the OP then comes back with, "hey, _____ I read all of those. Give me something that I do not know." If the subscribers do not know what has been found, and what has been tried ("tried everything" does not cut it), they cannot know if they will help.


                  Jim did the right thing, IMO, by listing some of the top hits. If they have been seen and tried, he could never know this, given the details provided.


                  For me, if I do not have a bookmarked link, I mention the possible search criteria, and let the OP do the hard work. Even then, too many have already "been there, done that," even if they seemed to have missed all of the high points. I'm with Jim on this one - sorry.



                  • 7. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
                    pmasters8941 Level 1

                    No problems but I am not looking for anyone to take a side. I asked a simple question after doing a lot of research on my own. Trust me, these forums are the LAST place I would ever ask a question to avoid responses like Jim. I am sure he is a good guy but this isn't my first rodeo and let's face it, there is not a ton of information out there on the F4V format, unless you want to call articles and posts of people ******** about it.

                    • 8. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
                      Colin Brougham Level 6

                      As far as I'm aware (not being a web video guru or anything, just a guy that puts basic video on the web), MP4 containers CAN store metadata, like your usual title, subject, author, and similar fields. However, MP4 cannot contain cue points like those used in FLV files for triggering events in Flash applications. That's the rationale for the F4V container, apparently: it's an MP4 container of a different color that allows for cue points. Here's a post on The Flash Blog about this, and how that functionality is actually broken, and here's a post and video from a guy who is, umm, not a fan of F4V. I guess you just need to figure out what functionality you need, and that will determine the container.


                      Since F4V is an Adobe-proprietary thing, and it doesn't appear that there are any Adobe-specific tools to deal with F4V muxing (beyond what's built into the encoding apps), I think you'll be out of luck when trying to convert an MP4 into an F4V. You might want to check out Yamb (Yet Another MP4Box GUI) which is a helpful tool for dealing with MP4 files. It also has the ability to "tag" or edit the metadata of an MP4 file.

                      • 9. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
                        Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I had to laugh: I googled a bit to see just how  hard or  not it was to stir up some info.  (Bottom line, I find nothing on point.  (In Jim's defense, you didn't say without retranscoding; in yours, there was no reason for Jim to suggest that harder work on your part with  Google might be helpful once you explained what you wanted.)  But I digress:


                        The laugh was that I was going to suggest that you post this in the Flash forum; but one of the few things Google turned up was your unanswered post last month (here and in the Flash forum) posing a related question.


                        At first it seems very reasonable; if you encode something with a codec and place it in a wrapper, shouldn't you be able to rewrap it without reencoding?  But are there many such converters for any formats?  (The canopus type 1 to type 2 dv avi converter would be one.  Are there others?)  But flash formats are very likely to involve elements beyond mere wrapping if for no other reason than proprietary packaging.


                        The ultimate bottom line is always to keep copies of each piece prior to encoding that can be reencoded.  Will AME do both flavors?  I don't have CS4, but the batch abilities is one of its great benefits.  (Did they ever fix that?)  Does the flash encoder do batch encodes?

                        • 10. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
                          Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Colin, couldn't you have waited another 5 minutes to finish posting?  Your response is so much better than mine.  But  wow, we joined 10 days part and have the same number of posts.  Don't you love the new information on the forum?  But why do you and Jim have the same picture?


                          Now that I look, you have a huge number of "I answered your question" points.  I thought I was doing okay for my meager number of posts, but you must be getting the right answer every time!  Now I really feel inadequate.


                          I almost replied to my own post since it was last in line, and realized people would think I was the wine snob, so I cancelled it and started over.  (Talk about somebody with a good "answer" to post ratio!)


                          Mods:  Sorry for this post that really belongs in the lounge, but you know how real life conversations are - you're standing in line at the bank, and there you are talking about wine or fishing or the weather and you realize it's got no place in a business setting....

                          • 11. Re: Advice Needed on encoding/transcoding
                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                            there was no reason for Jim to suggest that harder work on your part with  Google might be helpful once you explained what you wanted.


                            My reason was that I thought it might turn up something useful.  I hadn't done the work myself, and was not yet aware that the OP had.  So, it seemed a logical suggestion given the information to hand.