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Checking Progress in Compressor

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/4/2011

Learn two ways to check the progress of your digital video editing project's compression in Apple's Compressor.

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    Shrinking the Video

    Compression can be a lengthy process for even the smallest video project. To get the file down to the right size for distribution and DVD authoring Compressor has to go through and eliminate certain frames. When going through this process there are a couple ways to find out how much time you have to wait.

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    The History tab is often considered the standard to see how the compression process is going. In the top bar above the project window, directly below the task bar, is a button that says History and has a picture of a file cabinet with a file popping out of it. When you select this a window comes up with a list of the history of that program’s use. It lists a series of dates that Compressor has been used by this computer or user. The top of these is listed as Today, and so you click on the triangle next to it to reveal the activity from today. It will drop down a display that lists all of the projects that are done or are currently being done. The top one will be yours and here it lists how much of it has been done and how long it has been compressing. If you click on the second triangle a more detailed menu will drop down and give you the specifics on both the audio and the video compression. Each active compression will have a bar that shows you how much has been completed.

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    Batch Monitor

    Another way to do this is to use the Batch Monitor. The Batch Monitor is in the bar close to the History button and has a picture of a box that looks like a digital seismic readout. When you click on it a similar window to the history option will pop up, but give you even more information about the compression. On the right side of the project bar is a “i" icon that you can click on to get information about how much percentage of the project has been compressed and what your estimated wait time is.

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    Just Estimates

    The times that these ways give you are always tentative so you should never count on them to be completely accurate. Unfortunately compression relies on a number of factors, many of which you will not have full control of.