Speeding up Compressor

Is Compressor taking too long to encode? Here are some tips to speed it up.

Don't export directly to Compressor from Final Cut Pro
Although sending your timeline directly to Compressor may seem faster because it cuts out the step of exporting as a QuickTime movie, it is much slower overall because Compressor needs to request each frame one-by-one from Final Cut Pro instead of just reading the data out of the movie clip. It gets even slower if you're using Frame Controls or doing multi-pass encoding.

Just go to File > Export > QuickTime Movie (not QuickTime Conversion) and make sure Setting is set to Current Settings and Recompress All Frames is switched off. This ensures that the movie will not be recompressed unnecessarily.

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Also keep in mind:
  • that your processor may or may not be the weakest link in the chain
  • If your source media is HD pro res or uncompressed and or your reading/writing to the same drive your read write time will likely be slower. For best results use a striped raid for your larger media file
  • Try to use separate drives for source and destination (assuming they're internal, esata or some other high speed connection)
  • using multiple cores in Compressor read more