You would be better off addressing the issue why you are not having "success" with AME
I can assure you that it works perfectly properly as it should. (all other factors considered)
Drop some details on us - like what vers CS? and what your hardware is, and what your workflow and source material is.
Well I have been encoding clips for web since CS3. At the time I was trying
to encode h.264 mp4's or quicktimes from premiere or from after effects.
Perhaps I wasn't setting the encoding right but I was getting relatively
larg files and or disappointing quality encodes. I then learned to export a
quicktime with animation codec, at high quality, and transcode it using MPEG
streamclip or Handbrake. They did a superb job and I had an easier time and
a lot of control with the h264 settings in these programs. It was just an
Now that I am on CS5, its actually the first time I use Adobe Media Encoder.
So perhaps it does a good job, and I just haven't figured it out yet. I am
testing out some settings at the moment, trying to find a similar
configuration from Handrake, to see how AME handles it, because if it works
well it would be sweet.
Oh and I realized that to export clean AVI I needed to use microsoft
uncompressed AVI with uyuv. The other AVI settings looked horrible. Is that
what people send to tape?
I have taken and transcoded an uncompressed AVI clip at 720x480 using AME's h264 and then taken the same clip into Handbrake to compare results. It was hard to assign similar H264 quality settings as the options in AME are very basic. You can basically choose Variable bit rate or Constant bit rate, and then ascribe a target bit rate. And that seems to be about it. In handbrake, the codec settings are much more granular. So I set off to create an encode that would have the same file size. Here are my results:
In AME I ended up with a 46 mb clip (it is over 3 minutes long) that looked pretty good. The render time was HALF of Handbrakes. With Handbrake, my clip was 45 mb, and it looked about the same as the AME clip, except that when there was a lot of fast movement on screen, the image quality was better, less blocky. While I really appreciate the speed from AME, the extra 2 minutes it took to transcode in Handbrake are worth the extra image quality and high end finish. It is hard to tweak the setting much more, in the absence of options inside of AME. Again, Handbrake is made to encode h264 from the ground up, and I also recognize that AME can be very useful in encoding other formats as well. Unless someone can show me otherwise, I think Handbrake will get you a better h264 encode than AME.