Codec Hell

OK I’ve experienced codec hell on Windows, and while the Mac is much much better, as soon as you do something off the beaten path, well it gets complicated. I wanted to use some clips from a commercial DVD in a presentation (gasp!) and after wandering around the forums for a while, I bought the Apple MPEG2 codec and then used MPEG Clipstream to rip the entire DVDs. Then I exported to Quicktime and slurped the movie into iMovie. From there I found the clips I needed, created some small projects, and then exported to several formats for PC viewing — and the target PC only has WMP and I can’t change the software load on it. MPEG4 — too much compression, looked terrible. Various QT formats — some look ok but none would play in WMP. Finally settled on AVI as the format — first used the default cinepack compressor with default settings — worked fine but too much compression! Re-cinepacked at the highest quality settings and looked/worked ok. and then redid as DV-NTSC which also looks/works good but is pretty big.

This would all be so much easier if Apple/MSFT could agree on some basic codec loads for their machines.