How to change mpeg-1 export settings in compressor.

I would like to start by saying that I don’t know why anyone would ever want to use MPEG-1. I do get requests to make them, and sometimes I am unable to convince the person to go with another codec. It is a terribly outdated codec and most people requesting them are using terribly outdated spec sheets, or are just themselves outdated. Nonetheless the situation occurs where I am forced to make one and it was always fraught with problems. Compressor has a mpeg-1 preset, but it doesn’t let you modify it at all. Unless I want to pick the default size of 352×240, I am out of luck (That has always seemed to be a very strange default preset as well)
These are the default settings of the Mpeg-1 preset

Recently one of my coworkers figured out something really useful. It turns out you can build a custom preset off of the mpeg-1 one, then find it in the finder, open it in a text editing app, and modify it to end up with whatever frame size you want!

In Compressor search for mpeg and right click on the mpeg-1 preset. Select duplicate. Now quit compressor and browse to home>library>application support>compressor> and you will find your preset.

Open that in your text editor of choice and you will see something like this:

I am sure you can modify whatever you want in there, but this is what I changed to get a larger frame size.

Tweak to your hearts delight. Save it. Restart compressor and you will have your new preset!

Based on Chapper’s comment, I looked into it, and it turns out that this method used to be as easy as described above, but something (possibly a pro app update?) has thrown another wrench into the mix. There are three variables that compressor will choke on and will need to be changed. In the pic below you see them highlighted in red.

You are going to replace the two instances of “-100” in automatic framesize with “0” and set the framerate to your desired framerate. Now save, restart and you should be good to go!

~ by ross on November 4, 2010.

7 Responses to “How to change mpeg-1 export settings in compressor.”

  1. Hi there,

    I’ve tried this before & run into a problem. Although the changes are evident in the inspector when viewing the preset, they revert to the original Mpeg-1 settings when they are applied to a clip. Any ideas?

  2. Thanks for the heads up Chappers! I think i figured it out. Old compressor presets have a different variable for the framesize. I also set the framerate to be hard coded, but I don’t know if that is the cause of the weird behavior. Regardless, as I updated above I ended up getting it to work with a new preset. Good Luck!

  3. OMG!!!!
    You are one of my all-time heroes for putting this out there.
    This is what sites like this are for. I completely agree that there is no good reason to use Mpeg-1 except when you are asked to. I still have clients from big corporates who are not allowed to have QT on their work machines- these are important marketing people!
    Anyway, thank you a hundred times over….

  4. This is incredible! Thank you so much for pointing this out.
    And for Apples side: it’s ridiculous that they are kidding us professional users over and over again.

  5. Hi

    Its really useful
    thanks a million

  6. Has this been successfully tested with Compressor 4? I could never get this method to work with Compressor 3.5 and now again with 4. There must be some other line of code that this document is referencing for the MPEG1 description. The “0” fix above in the automatic fields no longer works. I have been able to get some success setting both the sizes in “bounds” and “automatic” to be 1280 and 720, but there is an odd purple and green edge on the right that looks like audio meters. I would love to use Compressor again instead of Episode.

  7. this worked great, but how can I get a better quality of the movie?

    now you see al squares when a tiny thing moves.
    I converted a 12sec animation in size 1024×768 and it is just 3mb….

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