In Mac OS X Lion, Apple has added a new feature of Media Encoder Service. One can go to the finder services section; select one or more video/audio sources files in the Finder, and click Finder’s contextual menu-action menu, or Services menu in Finder application menu to find the option “Encode Selected Video Files” or “Encode Selected Audio Files” to encode the files in a form that a Mac, a PC or an Apple mobile device can use.
To encode videos, one can determine the parameters and vertical sizing of the encoded video which includes 480P, 720P, 1080P, Audio Only, and Apple Pro Res. Simply click to select the quality which best meets your needs.
The range of devices supported targeted by the chosen encoding settings: Higher quality, and Greater compatibility. A greater compatibility produces a lower quality video that is compatible with a larger range of devices such as iPad, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4, Apple TV, Mac and PC etc.
The particulars of the encoding parameters, such as output format, data rate, Resolution and the device compatibility are determined by the combination of the two popup menus (“Setting” and “Encode for”). In addition, the Apple devices that support the chosen encoding parameters are listed for reference.
While to encode audios, one can determine the type and amount of compression to be applied to the source audio files: High-Quality (128 kbps, 44.1 kHz), iTunes Plus (256 kbps, 44.1 kHz), Apple Lossless, and Spoken Podcast (22.05 kHz). The Destination popup menu will let users select the directory that will contain the output files.
One can also request delete the source files after they have been processed. Personally, I would recommend you not to choose this option. When ready to proceed, simply press Continue and your new encoded file will be created.
Definitely, the Encode Media action makes the encoding of video/audio content much easier, done without requiring the user to have technical knowledge of compression and audio settings. But there still have some shortcomings with this built-in encoder. Below are some common problems I collected from the internet:
Question 1: “I told it to encode and an .m4v file showed up for a bit (said it was zero KB in size and would not open) and then a bit later promptly vanished.”
Question 2: “when encoding there is a total lack of progress bar or any pop up window at all. A new file just appears next to the source file and when it finishes you can open the compressed/encoded file.”
Question 3: “I tried using this new feature in Lion by right clicking on a movie file, and selecting Encode Selected Video Files. After setting the options I wanted, I got the error in the picture. Any ideas why this is happening? It is saying the source file is not found but it is for sure there.”
For users who meet those problems listed above or get some commercial DVDs for importing to iTunes on Mac OS X Lion, I would recommend you to have a try with Enolsoft iMedia Converter for Mac which provides all-in-one solution for video conversion, DVD ripping and audio conversion, supports a large range of output video/audio formats and portable devices such as iPad, iPhone, PSP, PS3, Xbox, Zune, Playbook, XOOM, Smartphone, iRiver, Apple TV and more.