Friday, October 09, 2009 9:51 PMModerator
Q. What is Microsoft Expression Encoder 3?
A: Expression Encoder is a professional encoding tool that offers enhancement, encoding, and publishing of rich video experiences with Microsoft Silverlight. Convert and compress multiple video formats to SMPTE standard VC-1 video or H.264 for mobile, web, and HD video scenarios. For streamlined workflow, create branded templates with Expression Blend™, and encode on the desktop or server to guarantee a consistent viewing experience on Windows, Mac, and devices. See the Expression Encoder Overview pagefor more information.
Q. Where can I get Encoder?
A. There are two versions: a free version and an IIS Smooth Streaming version that you can purchase. You can obtain the free version here. You can purchase the premium version here.
Q. What's the difference between the free version and the IIS Smooth Streaming version of Expression Encoder?
A. The free version is a feature-filled VC-1 encoding application that supports the following:
· high performance multi-core encoding
· crop/scale/de-interlace operation
· multi-clip editing
· A/B compare
· live encoding
· up to 10 minutes of screen capture
· smart encoding
· Silverlight templates
· audio import and export
· rich metadata support
· presets and custom plug-ins as well as
· full access to the .NET SDK for all above features
The IIS Smooth Streaming version adds:
· H.264 encoding
· Smooth Streaming encoding
· native support of MP4/H.264, TS, M2TS, AVCHD, MPEG-2, ISM, ISMV, AAC and AC-3 files
· Unlimited screen capture durations
You can more information about the differences here.
Q. In what languages is Expression Encoder available?
A: Expression Encoder is available in those languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, and Korean.
Q. What's new in Expression Encoder?
A. This blog postdescribes the new features.
Q. I hear there is a QFE available. Where can I find it?
A. The QFE can be found here.
Q. What was fixed in the QFE?
A. Besides fixing a few stability issues, the QFE also:
· Fixes WTV file support ("IIS SmoothStreaming" version of Encoder is required for WTV files containing AC3)
· Enables some cases of smart encoding of smooth streaming files
· Enables basic ad insertion in smooth streaming output
· Significantly improves the smooth streaming playback experience
· Enables the use of USB microphones in screen capture
A complete list of the changes is available here.
Q. Where is the command-line application?
A. The command-line application is no longer supported. Instead, we suggest using our rich .NET SDK to quickly whip up custom applications for all your automated encoding needs. Note that we've also included a few simple applications, including a Power Shell encoding tool, to kick start your efforts.
Q. Where is the SLS plug-in?
A. Unfortunately, the SLS services are getting phased out and are not supported in Expression Encoder.
Q. Is Expression Encoder supported on Windows Server 2003?
A. Expression Encoder isn't officially supported on Server 2003 because the Windows Media SDK isn’t supported on that platform anymore. This means that some encoding options won't work. For example, the WMA Professional codec is not supported on that Server 2003. However, this lack of support is probably the source of most issues with Server 2003 and you can resolve it by selecting a valid “WMA” audio profile on that platform.
Q. How about Windows Server 2008?
A. Server 2008 is fully supported as long as you install the "Desktop Experience" feature prior to using Expression Encoder.
Q. Can Expression Encoder be run on a server / to batch run jobs?
A. Yes, Expression Encoder includes an SDK to enable those scenarios. Please check the SDK section below for more information.
Q. Where can I find more information about Expression Encoder?
IIS Smooth Streaming
Q. What is IIS Smooth Streaming?
A. IIS Smooth Streaming enables adaptive streaming of media to Silverlight clients over HTTP and provides a high-quality viewing experience that scales massively on content distribution networks. See the Smooth Streaming article on this websitefor more information. IIS Smooth Streaming is available only on the Expression Encoder IIS Smooth Streaming version.
Q. Does Expression Encoder support Live Smooth Streaming?
A. We don't currently support Live Smooth Streaming.
Expression Encoder SDK
Q. Where can I download the .NET Expression Encoder SDK? How about the SDK docs?
A. The Expression Encoder 3 SDK and the documents are now installed with the application. You can access the SDK from the Start menu by clicking All Programs and then clicking Microsoft Expression.
Q. What's new in the Expression Encoder SDK?
A. See this blog entryfor information on the new features of the Expression Encoder SDK.
Q. Which programming languages are supported?
A. We actively test with Managed C++, C# and VB.NET. But all .NET languages should work.
Q. Where are the APIs for the screen capture functionality?
A. Unfortunately, Screen Capture isn't currently available through the Expression Encoder SDK. We are working on fixing this in a future version.
Q. What formats are supported by Expression Encoder?
A. The free version supports the following: WMA, MP3, WAV, WMV, MOV (if QuickTime is installed), DVR-MS/WTV (depending on OS), MJPEG, most AVI and many other formats with the use of a suitable DirectShow decoder.
The IIS Smooth Streaming version adds: MPEG-2, TS, MP4/H.264, AVCHD, M2TS, AAC and AC3 files.
Q. Why can't I use QuickTime files in Expression Encoder with the latest version of QT?
A. See this blog entryfor a solution.
Q. My file X of type Y isn't importing. What gives?
A. Using media files on the Windows platform can be tricky, mainly because of the multitude of formats and codecs available. If not supported natively, you will have to find the right codecs for the files that you are trying to use. Expression Encoder comes with some built-in codecs such as: WMV/VC1, MPEG2, H.264 and AAC. Some other codecs are available from the OS, such as: AVI, MJPEG, DV, MP3, etc. But most other file formats will require the right codec to be installed. In general, if you can playback the file in Windows Media Player, you should be able to import it into Expression Encoder.
Q. Can I encode my WTV files?
A. Expression Encoder supports encoding unencrypted WTV files on platforms that have the proper codecs to support them. Currently, only Windows Vista with Media Center TV Pack and Windows 7 have that capability.
Q. Why can't I import Windows 7 WTV files with AC3 audio in Expression Encoder?
A. There is a known bug with WTV that we have fixed in our QFE (available here).Please note that you will require either the "IIS SmoothStreaming" version of Encoder or a DShow AC3 codec to import those files in Encoder, even with the QFE.
Q. One of my imported AVCHD file is several hours longer than it should be. How do I fix this?
A. There is a fix for this issue in our QFE (available here).
Q. My WTV file has multiple audio streams, but I can't find a way to switch the audio stream in Expression Encoder.
A. For WTV files, the played stream is controlled via the default selected language in the Media Center Edition (MCE). Temporarily changing the stream in MCE prior to importing the file will effectively enable you to choose which stream will be used to playback and encode in Expression Encoder.
Q. Expression Encoder is unstable and/or I get bad preview or encoded output with certain files. How do I fix this?
A. We're sorry you're encountering problems with our application. This can be due a multitude of reasons, but one of these steps may help resolve this:
· Make sure latest video drivers are installed, as well as the latest version of any other video application or codec.
· Try disabling hardware accelerated decoding. To disable this feature, go to the Tools menu and click Options. In the Options dialog box, click Compatibility, and then click Allow hardware accelerated decode to deselect it.
· Try turning off some or all 3rd party codecs. To do this, go to the Tools menu and click Options. In the Options dialog box, click Compatibility. Below the codec list, click Disable All or, in the codec list, click any codec in the list to deselect it.
Q. Why does my 1080p content encoded with the XBOX360 preset look bad?
A. This blog entryhas the solution.
Q. Some of the metadata tags aren't getting imported and/or propagated to my encoded file. How can I fix this?
A. The current Expression Encoder behavior is to transfer only standard metadata tags; all other metadata tags, such as custom tags, are ignored. The easiest way to circumvent this limitation is to use our .NET SDK to infuse the lost metadata by creating your own custom metadata tags. We are investigating better ways to deal with metadata in future releases.
Q. Encoding HD or Smooth Streaming is slow. What can I do to speed things up?
A. The best way to speed encode with Expression Encoder without compromising quality is to have more cores/processors available to the encoding process. Quad-core PC’s extremely efficient at encoding video, especially last generation PC’s (example: Intel i7), are. To an extent, more memory, a faster HDD and a more powerful GPU may help too, but the main bottleneck at this point is the CPU load in most cases. If you want to optimize speed over quality, select the Fastestpreset, which significantly improves encoding speed at the expense of picture quality. To select this preset, click the Presetstab in Expression Encoder, expand the Encoding Qualitycategory, and double-click Fastest.
Q. What is "smart” or "intelligent” encoding?
A. This is the process in which an encoder or editor would be able to directly copy the data from a source file to a destination file without decoding or recompressing the unedited frames. This operation can greatly speed up overall encoding time, but can only be done if specific conditions are met.
Q. Does Expression Encoder support smart encoding?
A. Expression Encoder currently supports smart encoding if you use WMV sources and set them to the “Windows Media” output format. Also, any Video and/or Audio profiles must be set to “Source,” which means that you should not perform any frame operations to the file, such as resize, crop, overlay, frame rate conversion, aspect ratio, etc. Note that some types of WMV sources do not support smart encoding, such as sources that were encoded in QVBR. If smart encoding is not possible due to the source type, Expression Encoder will utilize a normal encoding method.
Q. Is smart encoding supported for smooth streaming output?
A. Our QFE (available here) enables some smart encoding cases of smooth streaming (only available for VC1 smooth streaming).
Q. What are XESC files and how do I use them?
A. XESC is the screen capture proprietary file format. It is currently supported only in Expression Encoder.
Q. Why is my screen capture encoded output blurry?
A. It is likely that wrong encoded settings were selected. Make sure to select only the source frame size in the profile settings. Also, make sure that you specify a bit rate sufficient enough to encode the data at a high quality.
Q. How do I get technical support for my purchased version of Expression Encoder?
A. Visit Microsoft Help.
Q. Is customer support offered with the free version of Expression Encoder?
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Friday, October 09, 2009 9:54 PM
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Friday, October 09, 2009 10:00 PM
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Friday, October 09, 2009 10:04 PM
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Friday, October 09, 2009 10:08 PM
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Friday, October 09, 2009 10:09 PM
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Sunday, October 11, 2009 11:57 PM
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Monday, October 12, 2009 5:53 PM
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Saturday, November 07, 2009 1:10 AM Updating with the QFE information
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Monday, April 11, 2011 4:50 AM
- Edited by Eric JuteauMicrosoft Employee, Moderator Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:06 AM