How Many Batches Can Compressor Do at Once?

Apple Compressor allows you to convert or encode several different formats at once. Each conversion or encoding is considered to be one 'job', and multiples jobs can be executed in a single 'batch'. For instance, if you have a video file that you would like to convert into three different formats, you could set up a single project to all three conversions simultaneously, and thus create a single batch.

You can place as many jobs as you want in a single batch, and, theoretically, you can run an unlimited of batches at the same time in Compressor. However, there are many factors that may make possible or not. So, it is important to know what types of factors can limit the number of batches that may be run in Compressor in an efficient and timely manner.

Compressor Batches on Older Computers

While Compressor will run on older Mac computers that have an Intel processor, systems with older CPUs will have a hard time processing multiple batches. In fact, with older single core processor based systems, it is advisable to not only run one batch at a time, it is a good idea to not overload a single batch with too many jobs.

Video conversion and encoding places a lot of stress on the processor and memory in a computer system, and older processors lack the multimedia processing power of today's newer, multi-core CPUs. When Compressor runs a batch job, it will attempt to process all the jobs in the batch at the same time. With an older computer, this can result in encoding times of hours or, in some cases, even days. So, if you are encoding on a machine that is more than a couple of years old, creating single job batches will probably be much faster - albeit, less convenient and efficient.

Batch Jobs on Multi Core Processor Based Computers

Intel's newer multi-core processors allow you to work more efficiently in Apple Compressor. You can think of a multi-core processor as one that has two or more individual central processing units. Although older Pentium 4 processors often came with higher core frequency speeds, or megahertz speeds, today's multi-core processors use multiple CPUs to perform tasks simultaneously. This, in turn, allows applications such as Compressor to perform tasks much faster than ever before.

Because encoding or converting video is a multithreaded task that requires a lot of processing power, Apple Compressor is ideally suited for computers with multi-core processors. In fact, with a computer equipped with a multi-core processor, you can set up Compressor to run in a virtual cluster environment. This means that Compressor will treat the multiple cores in the processor as individual computers and have the virtual computers converting or encoding a video file at the same time.

By using Compressor's clustering feature, you can run more batches at the same time. However, as a general rule, you should only run one batch job per processor core. Therefore, if you have a dual-core processor, you can efficiently process two batch jobs at once. On the other hand, if you have a quad-core processor, you could run four batch jobs simultaneously.

Distributed Computing Basics

With Compressor, distributed computing is similar to multi-core clustering; however, the process involves actually using more than one computer to convert or encode video files. With distributed encoding, not only are you able to use the processors of other machines, you are able to use RAM memory and other hardware resources as well. Depending upon the number of service nodes (or computers) in the cluster, you can run a very high number of batches at the same time.

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