Apple Devices settings in Compressor
The built-in settings in Compressor based on the Apple Devices format offer a choice of two codecs: H.264 and HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265). Two of the Apple Devices settings—Apple Devices 4K (HEVC 8-bit) and Apple Devices 4K (HEVC 10-bit)—automatically apply the HEVC codec to your output file.
The other Apple Devices settings use H.264 as the default codec, but you can change the codec to HEVC in the Video inspector if your computer is running macOS 10.13 or later. HEVC is a recently established compression standard that supports larger frame sizes (including 8K), HDR10, and Dolby Vision 8.4 metadata for high-dynamic-range video. Dolby Vision 8.4 is a format designed to optimize HDR content for Apple devices. HEVC playback requires a recent-generation Apple device running macOS 10.13 or later, iOS 11 or later, iPadOS 13 or later, or tvOS 11 or later.
Note: You can also create custom settings in Compressor that use the Apple Devices transcoding format. However, keep in mind that the built-in Apple Devices settings (in the Settings pane) analyze your source media and assign optimal properties to ensure the best possible transcoding results.
The properties of Apple Devices settings are located in the General, Video, and Audio inspectors (described below).
Displays the setting name and transcoding format, as well as an estimated output file size. When you add a setting to a job or change the setting’s properties, Compressor automatically updates this summary.
Name: Displays the name of the setting.
Description: Displays the description of the setting.
Extension: Displays the extension of the output file (.m4v).
Allow job segmenting: If you’ve set up distributed processing, select this checkbox to have Compressor process the output file using your shared computer group. See Transcode batches with multiple computers using Compressor.
Default location: Choose an item from the pop-up menu to set the default save location for transcoded files.
Format: Use this pop-up menu to specify whether the output includes video and audio, video only, or audio only.
Optimize for network use: Select this checkbox to create a file that will start playing after only a small portion of the file has been downloaded from the network.
Sets the processing algorithm used to adjust the frame rate during transcoding. Select one of the following options:
Set to percent of source using: Modifies the output clip’s speed by a percentage of the source clip’s speed. Enter a value in the percentage field or choose a preset value from the adjacent pop-up menu (with a down arrow).
Set to: Sets the duration of the clip. Enter a timecode duration in the field or click the arrows to increase or decrease the time.
So source frames play at [frame rate] fps: Nondestructively changes the playback speed of the clip without discarding frames or creating new frames. This property has no effect unless the “Frame rate” value in the Video inspector is different from the source file’s frame rate. For example, if you add a 10-second source file with a frame rate of 24 fps to Compressor, set the “Frame rate” property in the Video inspector to 25 fps, and then select “So source frames play at 25 fps” in the General inspector, the resulting duration of the transcoded clip (at 25 fps) will be 9 seconds and 15 frames.
For more information, see Retime video and audio using Compressor.
This area in Compressor contains a single property, the “Embed closed captions” checkbox. Select the checkbox if you’ve added CEA-608 closed captions to a job and you want the captions inserted into the output video file. See Intro to supporting captions in Compressor.
Specifies how metadata is embedded in the transcode. See Work with metadata annotations in Compressor.
Use Job Annotations: Includes the metadata from the Job Annotations listed in the Job Inspector. This is the default setting.
Pass through source file metadata: Passes the existing metadata from the source file to the transcode. Ignores Job Annotations listed in the Job Inspector.
Remove all metadata and annotations: Passes no metadata to the source file.
Include metadata from the source file that cannot be displayed as a job annotation: Available when Use Job Annotations is selected. Includes the metadata from the Job Annotations listed in the Job Inspector and passes the existing metadata from the source file to the transcode.
Pixel aspect ratio: For settings that use the H.264 codec or HEVC codec, the pixel aspect ratio is automatically set to Square.
Frame rate: Use this pop-up menu to set the playback rate (the number of images displayed per second) for the output file. See Retiming options in Compressor.
Field order: For settings that use the H.264 codec or HEVC codec, the field order is automatically set to Progressive (complete frames are scanned).
Color space: Use this pop-up menu to convert the source media to a new range of colors reproducible on specific display devices. Options include standard color gamuts (viewable on all display devices, including legacy devices such as standard-definition and high-definition TVs and computer displays), wide color gamuts (for displays capable reproducing a wider range of colors, including most 4K TVs and newer Mac, iOS, and iPadOS devices), and wide color gamuts with high dynamic range (HDR). The default option is Automatic, which allows Compressor to choose the best color space based on the applied setting. See Intro to wide color gamut and HDR in Compressor.
RAW to log: Use this pop-up menu to select how ProRes RAW conversion is done. Choose Automatic to allow Compressor to choose the conversion method. You can also choose a manual setting to override the default. This option is available only if the source is ProRes RAW.
Camera LUT: Use this pop-up menu to select the camera lookup table (LUT) applied to the source. Select a custom LUT to transform your video from one color space to another. This setting is enabled if the source is ProRes RAW and if “RAW to log” is set to a value other than None. This setting is also enabled if “Camera log” in video properties in the Job inspector is set to a value other than None.
Codec: Choose one of two available transcoding formats, H.264 or HEVC.
Encoder type: Use this pop-up menu to set the type of encoder. This pop-up menu is enabled when Codec is set to HEVC. Choose from two options:
Faster (standard quality): Encodes the output file using a faster codec, with standard quality.
Slower (higher quality): Encodes the output file using a slower codec, with higher quality.
Important: Not all options are available on all hardware.
Profile: Use this pop-up menu to set the quality of compression used in the output file. When Codec is set to H.264, this setting defaults to High. When Codec is set to HEVC, choose one of two options to set the color depth (the number of bits used to represent color in each color channel—red, green, and blue) of the output file:
8-Bit Color: Provides a good balance between picture quality and file size. (This option is available only on recent Mac computers that support hardware encoding of HEVC.)
10-Bit Color: Provides better picture quality but with larger file sizes. (Because this option uses software encoding, performance may be significantly slower than 8-bit hardware encoding.)
Multi-pass: Select this checkbox to turn on multi-pass encoding that uses additional analysis of video frames to produce a high-quality output file. Multi-pass is available when Codec is set to H.264 on an Intel-based Mac, and when Codec is set to H.264 or HEVC on a Mac with Apple silicon that’s running macOS Monterey 12 or later and has “Encoder type” set to “Faster (standard quality).” For faster (single-pass) transcoding, turn off this feature by deselecting the checkbox.
Include Dolby Vision 8.4 metadata: Select this checkbox to have Compressor include Dolby Vision 8.4 metadata in the output file. Dolby Vision 8.4 is a format designed to optimize HDR content for Apple devices. If this checkbox is selected, “Color space” is set to Rec. 2020 HLG, Codec is set to HEVC, and Profile is set to 10-Bit Color.
Bit rate: Select the Automatic checkbox to have Compressor calculate the appropriate bit rate for the output file, based on the frame size of the source file and device compatibility. If the checkbox is not selected, you can set the bit rate by dragging the slider or entering a value in the text field.
Frame sync: Select the Automatic checkbox to have Compressor calculate the key frame interval rate.
Note: When Frame sync is enabled, the value in the seconds field defaults to zero (.0), but the actual value is determined during the encoding process.
If the checkbox is not selected, you can drag the slider or enter a value in the text field to set the key frame interval (number of frames) at which you want key frames created in your output file.
Encode for: When Codec is set to H.264, select either “Best quality” (to have the file play back on newer devices) or “More devices” (to encode at a lower quality that’s compatible with more devices). When Codec is set to HEVC, this setting defaults to “Best quality.”
Cinematic: This pop-up menu is available on macOS Monterey 12 or later. It allows you to specify how to handle metadata in video that was recorded in Cinematic mode (on iPhone models that support Cinematic mode video). There are three options:
Ignore: Ignores any Cinematic mode metadata in the source file. If the source file contains no Cinematic mode metadata, Ignore is selected and the menu is dimmed.
Pass-through: When the “Enable video pass-through” checkbox is selected, Cinematic mode metadata passes through unmodified to the destination file, and the menu is dimmed and unavailable.
Render: When Cinematic mode metadata is present and the “Enable video pass-through” checkbox is not selected, you may choose to render the Cinematic mode video to the destination file.
Note: If you’re running macOS 11 or earlier, the Cinematic pop-up menu is unavailable. If the source file contains Cinematic mode metadata and the “Enable video pass-through” checkbox isn’t selected, the warning “Cinematic mode video can only be rendered when running under macOS 12.0 or later” is displayed in the Errors & Warnings window.
360° metadata: Use this pop-up menu to choose the type of 360° metadata, if any, included in the output file:
Automatic: Compressor chooses the metadata format based on the properties in the Job inspector and the transcode setting you applied. The format chosen is listed to the right of the pop-up menu.
None: No 360° metadata is attached to your output file.
Spherical Video V1: The 360° metadata format most commonly used by sharing sites, including YouTube and Vimeo.
Spherical Video V2: A less common, but more up-to-date, 360° metadata format used by YouTube and Vimeo.
For more information, see View 360° video metadata using Compressor.
Compatible with: This list shows devices that will play the transcoded file (compatible device types are marked with a green circle that contains a checkmark ). When you change the setting’s properties (frame size, frame rate, codec, and so on), the compatibility list is automatically updated.
Cropping and padding
Customize the final cropping, sizing, and aspect ratio in Compressor using the Cropping & Padding properties. Cropping removes video content from an image. Padding scales the image to a smaller size while retaining the output image’s frame size.
Cropping: Use this pop-up menu to set the dimensions of the output image. The custom option allows you to enter your own image dimensions in the fields; other options use predetermined sizes. The Letterbox Area of Source menu item detects image edges and automatically enters crop values to match them. This is useful if you want to remove a source file’s letterbox area, by cropping out the black bars above and below the widescreen image.
Padding: Use this pop-up menu to set the scaling of the output image while retaining the output image’s frame size. The custom option allows you to enter your own scaling dimensions in the fields; other options use predetermined dimensions.
For more information about these properties, see Intro to modifying frame size in Compressor.
The following properties in Compressor provide instructions for image analysis, including frame resizing, clip retiming, and deinterlacing:
Resize filter: This pop-up menu sets the resizing method. There are several options:
Nearest Pixel (Fastest): Samples the nearest neighboring pixel when resizing an image. This option provides the fastest processing time, but it is more likely to show aliasing artifacts and jagged edges.
Linear: Adjacent pixel values are averaged using a linear distribution of weights. Produces fewer aliasing artifacts than Nearest Pixel, with a small increase in processing time.
Gaussian: Adjacent pixel values are averaged using a gaussian distribution of weights. This provides a medium trade-off between processing time and output quality.
Lanczos 2: Adjacent pixel values are averaged using a truncated sinc function. This option is slower than Gaussian but provides sharper results.
Lanczos 3: Similar to Lanczos 2 but averages more pixel values. This option is slower than Lanczos 2 but may produce better results.
Bicubic: Adjacent pixel values are averaged using a bicubic function. The processing time and output are most similar to Lanczos 2 and Lanczos 3.
Anti-aliased (Best): Provides the highest output quality, but can take substantially longer to process.
Retiming Quality: This pop-up menu sets the retiming method. There are four options:
Fast (Nearest Frame): Linearly interpolates frames using nearest neighbor frames.
Good (Frame Blending): Blends neighboring frames using a filter to produce good-quality interpolation.
Best (Motion Compensated): Uses optical flow to interpolate using areas of movement between neighboring frames to produce high-quality output.
Reverse Telecine: Removes the extra fields added during the telecine process to convert the film’s 24 fps to NTSC’s 29.97 fps. Choosing this item disables all the other Quality controls. See Use reverse telecine in Compressor.
Adaptive details: Select this checkbox to use advanced image analysis to distinguish between noise and edge areas during output.
Anti-aliasing level: Sets the softness level in the output image. Double-click the value and then manually enter a new value or drag the slider to the right to increase softness. This property improves the quality of conversions when you’re scaling media up. For example, when transcoding SD video to HD, anti-aliasing smooths jagged edges that might appear in the image.
Details level: Sets the amount of detail in the output image. Double-click the value and then manually enter a new value or drag the slider to set the value. This sharpening control lets you add detail back to an image being enlarged. Unlike other sharpening operations, the “Details level” property distinguishes between noise and feature details, and generally doesn’t increase unwanted grain. Increasing this value may introduce jagged edges, however, which can be eliminated by increasing the “Anti-aliasing level” slider.
Dithering: When selected, adds a certain type of noise to images to prevent large-scale distracting patterns such as color banding. If your image has excessive noise after rendering, deselect this checkbox.
For a list of available video effects and instructions on how to add a video effect to a setting, see Add and remove effects in Compressor.
Channel layout: Use the pop-up menu to set the audio channel layout.
Sample rate: Use this pop-up menu to set the number of times per second that music waveforms (samples) are captured digitally. The higher the sample rate, the higher the audio quality and the larger the file size.
Quality: Use this pop-up menu to select the quality of the audio output.
Bit rate: Use this pop-up menu to set the bit rate to use for the encoded audio.
Bit rate strategy: Use this pop-up menu to select the strategy used to encode the audio. There are four options:
Constant bit rate: Uses the value set in “Bit rate” to determine the bit rate for the encoded audio.
Average bit rate: Uses the value set in “Bit rate” to determine the target average bit rate for the encoded audio. This option provides a more consistent bit rate than variable bit rate.
Variable bit rate constrained: Uses the value set in “Bit rate” to determine the maximum bit rate for the encoded audio.
Variable bit rate: Encodes the audio using a variable bit rate determined by Compressor.
Include Dolby 5.1 Audio Track: Select the checkbox to add surround sound as a Dolby Digital audio track for playback on Apple TV.
For a list of available audio effects and instructions on how to add an audio effect to a setting, see Add and remove effects in Compressor.