export to Flash Drive

Posted by John Johnston 
export to Flash Drive
October 06, 2010 10:50PM
Hello all,

Is H.264 the best codec choice for reliable cross platform viewing from a flash drive?

I have a client that insists their industrial (under 5 minutes in length) that I have done my utmost to make great be delivered on flash drives so they can send those to clients for viewing.

I am frustrated because of the quality loss and I have to ensure that whatever I compress to will be smoothly viewable on an average cross platform computer.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance my learned friends!

Re: export to Flash Drive
October 06, 2010 11:01PM
If they are under five minutes, you should be able to make a very decent H.264 MPEG-4 file. In fact, you need to do some testing, make sure you don't make the files at such a high bitrate that your clients won't be able to play them. Quality isn't everything, especially if the file plays like a 0.33fps slide show. Flash drives are getting to be pretty big now; a 16GB one costs just $35, and that can hold even movie files in some HD codecs, provided you don't try to play the file directly off the flash drive.

Re: export to Flash Drive
October 06, 2010 11:03PM
Take a look at Vimeo videos, the HD ones.
Is that quality good enough for you?
If it is, and some are pretty good, you can get that and better with an H264 at a good bitrate.
Vimeo suggests 3000kb for HD videos which then get encoded by them somehow into a flash and HTML5 wrapper. You can go higher if you like and see how size, quality and playback smoothness trade off.
Any old crappy flash drives may not be fast enough to playback an H264 at too high a bitrate so some testing would be in order.
They are almost platform agnostic but you'll always find someone who has a clogged USB bus on an old laptop that can't stream right of the Flash drive without hiccups.

I'm tired and mix-deaf, I hope I answered your question somewhat.

Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: export to Flash Drive
October 08, 2010 12:52AM
Hi Andrew,

Thanks so much for your reply, I will definitely try increasing the bit rate and do some testing...

Yes, those Vimeo HD clips are excellent...I will do some due diligence re: the low, med, and highest common speed denominators...and hope that their clients have relatively recent/decent laptops.

Thanks again!

Re: export to Flash Drive
October 09, 2010 06:28AM
Something to bear in mind is that the speed at which you can read from a flash drive is a function of the bus the drive's plugged into, as well as the drive itself. I learned that obvious fact by making a stupid mistake; I needed to copy a couple gigs to a flash drive, so I just plugged it into the keyboard. The copy operation took nearly an hour. Because the keyboard in question was a lower-speed device. Durr.

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