Compressor fun...

Posted by Andrew Kines 
Compressor fun...
December 19, 2007 02:32PM
I just spent about 12 hours over the last two days trying to get Compressor to work. I ended up deleting all Motion and Compressor related files and re-installing as per an Apple Knowledge Base page. As of now it's working, knock on wood. It was a problem where anything submitted to compressor, either from FCP or a self contained file would just sit there and no progress would be made. Quitting Batch monitor wouldn't do anything and it would take a bunch of messing about in Activity Monitor and deleting prefs to get back to square 1. Importing the DV files right into DVDSP would lock it up as well.

My question is, when did the interface change? Before the reinstall it was the "new style" single window with the big strip devoted to each entry. Since the reinstall it's back to what I remember as the older more compact interface. I have run all the upgrades w.r.t. FCP 5.1.4.

Just curious... and happy to be making mpeg2's.

Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: Compressor fun...
December 19, 2007 02:35PM
I'm completely with Andrew...I tried using Compressor 3 for the first time yesterday. The new interface sucks. I couldn't even get the job to go through because "the Batch doesn't have a Name". Hello? Looking through the manual didn't help.

Apple just looooooves *&^%ing with things that aren't broken in the first place.
Re: Compressor fun...
December 19, 2007 02:43PM
Thanks for the back up Derek.
Thing is, this is all FCS1 stuff.
I don't know why the interface would be different if it was the same version of software. Unless there was something screwy in the Software update and somehow I was able to upgrade compressor beyond it's FCS1 limits before, which may have been why it was so messed up.

FCS2 still sits in it's box, unopened, as I haven't the time or space between gigs to upgrade. Plus I am not a fan of what they did to P2 import in v6.x. I like the 5.1.4 version and until those jobs go away for a while, I'll stay at 5.1.4 on the MacBookPro

Weirdness abounds...

Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: Compressor fun...
December 19, 2007 04:26PM
Batch monitor is just that, it monitors the batches. It has no effect on what is going on. Same thing with activity monitor. If compressor goes screwy, here;s an easy way to get back to square one:

In finder, go to the Go menu, select Go to Folder and type /var/spool/qmaster. Delete the files inside and empty your trash. Open Compressor and in the Compressor menu, select reset background processing.

This should clear everything up and make things start working again. If it doesn't, sometimes the complete re-install is the way to go. Not sure about the interface change you mentioned, def sounds like you got some update you weren't supposed to or perhaps there one more Compressor update to go. Who knows?

I was really pissed when they changed the interface because the old one was working just fine and the new one seems more like a beauty upgrade while gutting out the good stuff. They especially made it hard to work with large batches because the one large window makes it hard to see more than a few on screen and then the fact that batch monitor opens into a default state and forces you to click on Your Computer to see any progress was really annoying. That being said, it is a whole lot faster and with Virtual Clusters, it flies. Once more i plug my tutorial, if only because it seems people really like it...

Re: Compressor fun...
December 19, 2007 07:15PM
The new UI is functional to things like job chaining. Are you aware of this feature? IMHO, it justifies any Ui change in the world smiling smiley Essentially, it lets you define the yet inexistent output of a job as a source for another, subsequent job. So, for example, in Compressor 2 if you want to encode to MPEG-2 and do a motion compensated standards conversion in a single job, it incredibly takes as long as a standards conversion x 2 (or 2 passes of standards conversion, if you want). Now, you can do the standards conversion to ProRes or anything, then assign that as a source for the 2-pass MPEG-2 encode. It takes half as long. Another example: instead of rendering Motion projects so that the output is H264 for web, MPEG-2 etc, you can first render to a mastering format, and set the result as source for the distribution formats.

Adolfo Rozenfeld
Buenos Aires - Argentina
Re: Compressor fun...
December 19, 2007 08:13PM
hey adolfo, explain how you set the yet to exist output of a job as a source for another, im not sure how to do that.

That would really be nice as i've found H.264 handles resizes very poorly, it simply likes to switch codecs. So i master to ProRes at my web size and then switch. I'd sure be handy to chain it along, i was just thinking about a feature like that earlier today..
Re: Compressor fun...
December 19, 2007 08:23PM
Set your first encoding job as normal (pick source file, assign preset, customize it, etc.)
Then right click the resulting setting in the main window and choose "new job with target output". You will get a new job, with a large chain icon which indicates.... job chaining smiling smiley
Could be easier to discover, that's true. But it more than justifies the UI changes IMO.

Adolfo Rozenfeld
Buenos Aires - Argentina
Re: Compressor fun...
December 20, 2007 09:47PM
Derek, I just had this same problem with compressor the other day. All of a sudden (no installs, no updates to the computer at all) it stops working. I would submit a batch and it gave me an error that suggested I restart my computer or verify my installation or something like that. So I found a help doc and deleted the preferences. Then I started to get the "no batch name" error. The problem is that when you hit submit, it's supposed to bring up a dialogue box where you give the batch a name.

Apparently Compressor was skipping that step and just telling me it couldn't compress without a name.

I eventually had to reinstall my ENTIRE FCS suite because despite following the help doc's instructions, FCS 2 wouldn't let me re-install ONLY compressor.

So now I'm stuck doing an hour and a half of updates to all my apps just to get compressor working again.


PS: but I kinda like the new interface. tongue sticking out smiley
Re: Compressor fun...
December 20, 2007 10:02PM
Yeah, Andy, same problem I had there -- I was doing a corporate showreel and had to burn 10 DVDs and race against the FedEx deadline when I had that nasty surprise. So I just skipped Compressor entirely.

Some of the functionalities hinted at in the interface would have been good (eg. ability to set a default location for the encoded files), but it's just fussy as hell. Also, as Scott says, the new interface looks pretty but is anti-productivity. Why so much space between lines of information? Why so much dragging? Why so much colour? Why such small text? The new interface simply means longer distances for the mouse to travel just to get something simple done. Grrr.
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