Compressor: How To Use the Preview Window

The compressor preview window can be used to play your source media file in the way it was formatted originally, or you can use it to preview your source media file with its assigned settings. You can use the preview window to preview a clip, transcode part of the clip, and add markers to a clip. These options are discussed in a little more detail below.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Compressor

Previewing a Clip

Open your preview window. Open the preview window by double clicking the media file in the Batch window. Choose a source media file or clip from the Batch Item menu. Select a preview screen size using the Preview Scale menu. Hit the Play button so you can preview the file.

Transcoding Clip Portions

There are filter adjustments on the preview module, but the encoding panel and the frame controls are not there. You will need to open the Preview window to choose a part of your media file to transcode.

Select a clip from your Batch Items module. Drag the play head over to the spot you want to begin transcoding and click Set In Point. Next, drag the play head where you want the transcoding to end, then click Set Out Point. The part of the media that will be transcoded will be the portion in the middle of the beginning and end points you just made. 

Adding Markers Using Preview Window

Several varieties of markers can be imported using Compressor, including a whole list of chapter markers. There are only a few output file formats that will support markers. Compressor can import and create Chapter markers, Podcast markers, Compression markers and Edit/Cut markers. These all show up in green on the Preview module time line. 

Adding Chapter Markers

Drag the play head where you will add the marker, and enter the time code value in the time code field. Click Marker button and select Add Marker from the pop up module. Press the letter M, and a blue marker will appear on the time line. In the Markers menu, select Edit. Choose the Podcast or Chapter from the module, and enter a name for this marker. You have the choice to enter a URL in the URL section. 

You can assign an image to the marker. To do this, you will have to choose None which has nothing associated with it, Frame In Source which allows you to choose a frame, or From File which opens a dialog to select a still image. Click OK. 

Note: The time line marker will turn purple if it is now a chapter or podcast marker. You can edit other markers in the time line. Optionally, you can also import a marker chapter list.

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