Adobe Media Encoder CS4 is the biggest feature improvement/add of the entire CS3 to CS4 Suite upgrade. This, now stand-alone encoder, has combined all the features that Premiere Pro users have been wanting out of the export feature with the already existing Flash Encoder CS3 to make an all-in-one web and versatile media output program.
Adobe Premiere Pro users can now batch export multiple sequences, a big feature that is a must for professional editors. Many times a render, even with the best of the best computers out there, can take 20-30 hours, depending on how much integration with After Effects your Sequence (Timeline) has, as well as the number of effects (especially 3rd party) that it is utilizing. I had a sequence in a Premiere Pro 2.0 project a few years ago that took more than a full weekend to render. I began it when I left work on a Friday around 6pm, and came back Monday only for it to be at 95%; it finished around noon that day. However, many renders only take 6 hours or less, so let’s say you are making a wedding DVD. Professional editors typically will not split up every segment into a title, but rather have the entire wedding as one title, with multiple chapters; so that is one sequence. Then you have another sequence for the menu background, and a third sequence for the intro/first play video clip. Now, these might only take a few hours or minutes each, so you can now drop multiple sequences into Adobe Media Encoder CS4 and come back the next day, and everything will be complete. No need to wait for a render, before you can start the next one. This way you can get them all queued up, and let the computer handle the automation itself.
(click image to enlarge screenshot)
The second benefit that Adobe already had, yet it is now conveniently combined into the media encoder, is FLV/flash export. Before, you had to export your Premiere Pro or After Effects sequence to an AVI file, then drop that AVI file into a separate program called Flash Encoder CS3 which would then make it into an FLV file for web streaming. Adobe has cut the process in half, by now allowing you to go directly from unrendered Sequence to FLV in one step. Many Premiere Pro users might argue that this could have been achieved before using File/Export within Premiere Pro, however, the Flash Encoder CS3′s method of exporting a FLV is much different than the former Adobe Media Encoder’s method of exporting an FLV from within Premiere Pro. The previous stand-alone Flash Encoder’s algorithms (which were superior to Adobe Media Encoder’s algorithms (in CS3) are now built into the new stand-alone CS4 Media Encoder.
Here is a previous post with a sample of the FLV/Flash export feature capabilities of the Media encoder:
Adobe really hit one out of the park on this feature add when the recognized that users wanted the features and benefits of batch exporting, but the quality that Flash Encoder produces with streaming FLV files. Adobe could have gotten rid of the encoding algorithms in the former Flash Encoder and just used the faulty ones already existing in the media encoder export function; however they didn’t. They mixed the best features from both former CS3 operations to make the best stand-alone media encoder available. Adobe Media Encoder CS4 is really the most overlooked feature of the new suite, and I cannot believe that Adobe did not hit on this in their CS4 debut webcast, as it is the most welcome and advanced feature-add of the entire CS Suite upgrade.
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