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Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 - Introduction

written by: PapaJohn•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/29/2010
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5-1/2 years since the last release of Microsoft's Media Encoder 9 package, evolving file types and codecs make file conversions increasingly more important to those working with digital video. This series of articles will focus on Expression Encoder 2 from the perspective of file conversions.

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    File Conversion with Microsoft Expression Encoder 2

    File conversions are a routine and necessary part of digital video work. Sometimes you need to convert one on the way into your video editing software, and at other times a conversion is needed to get your completed video to where you want it viewed. More and more the viewing experience is on the internet, and a key feature of the Expression Encoder is producing a canned package for the cross-platform Silverlight player.

    One of the mainstays for Windows users is the Windows Media Encoder 9, which continues to support features like screen captures while the Expression Encoder 2 aims to make things easy to get videos online.

    The Expression Encoder 2 is full featured for 30 days, but rather than turning into a pumpkin when the trial period is over, it continues to function for conversion use as a free Express version.

    The list of file types the Encoder accepts as inputs is impressive, including .mov, .mod, .mpeg, .3gp, .avs, .dvr-ms, .m2v, .vob and .mp4. It promises to convert over 100 file types.

    The Encoder’s features include clipping out unwanted scenes, adding a leading video or following trailer, and applying a still or animated overlay such as a logo or animated gif.

    Here’s the link to the Microsoft website where you can download the Encoder 2.

    I installed it on my XP and Vista laptops and advanced the clock on one by a month to jump start getting one into the Express version.

    My first check of new video software is with a test file that has each frame numbered. As I go forward and backward one frame at a time I check the numbers. After making a new file from the numbered test file, I check it to see which frames made it all the way through. As a user of Movie Maker and other Microsoft video apps I’ve come to expect most frames to make it fine, a few to be dropped, and some to appear twice or more in the new video. Sometimes the issue is with the video editing or conversion app, but sometimes it's the viewing software, not the frames in the files. If you're missing a frame or two, don't jump to the conclusion it's the converter.

    My test file is online and free for the downloading. It’s a DV-AVI file with each frame having a big bold number on it from #0 to #99 Download a copy, check your players and editing software. I'd be interested in knowing which numbers you’re missing or seeing twice or more.

    Then join me in this series of in-depth tutorial articles that focus on the setup and use of the Express version of Expression Encoder 2.

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