Share Monitor

The Share Monitor gives you detailed information about the encoding process. Unlike the Batch Monitor of previous versions, the Share Monitor does not open by default, though it can be set to open automatically in Compressor Preferences. You can open it by clicking the Share Monitor button in the upper right of the jobs window.

Figure 21 Share Monitor

The Share Monitor allows you to selectively view various encoding or completed batch processes. The little i button at the end of the job name opens a popup with more information. You don’t need to open the Share Monitor, though it can be helpful. Much of the information is also available in Compressor in the History window.

Figure 22 History

In History, if you twirl open the disclosure triangle for the job you’ll see the output file name and on the right a magnifying glass, which is a button that will take you to the file in its destination location.

Chapter Markers

One of the features missing in FCP is the ability to add chapter markers for DVDs or QuickTime files. Fortunately this can be done in Compressor in a couple of different ways, either directly in the Preview window, or from a text file containing the information.

To add a chapter marker, go to where you want the marker to appear in the Preview window and use the M key to add the marker. This adds a compression marker. Once the marker is added press Command-E to edit the maker. Change the Type popup to Chapter.

Figure 23 Adding Chapter Marker

In version 4.0.2 markers created in Compressor preview are automatically chapter markers and don’t need to be edited except to name the chapter, otherwise each will simply appear as Chapter.

To create chapter markers from a text file you need to make a simple text file using TextEdit. The file cannot be in Rich Text Format. The file needs to have the exact timecode for the marker location and the name you want to use for the chapter. The timecode must have hours:minutes:seconds:frames separated by colons or semi-colons. After the timecode add a tab and then the chapter name. The time and the name must be separate by the tab to create the tab-delineated file that Compressor will read.

To add the text chapters, click on the marker popup in the lower right of the Preview and select Import Chapter List.

Figure 24 Import Chapter List

You can add markers in both ways, both manually and by importing a list; all the markers will be maintained.


A Droplet is a tiny application that lets you apply a compression setting to a media file. You can put the Droplet anywhere you want. Usually you just leave it sitting on your desktop. You can make any preset, Apple or custom, into a droplet. Simply select it and click the Droplet button in the Settings tab.

Figure 25 Droplet Button

Give the Droplet a name, something useful, like what settings the Droplet applies to your media. Select where you want to save the Droplet, and select the destination folder for the output files.

Compressor does not have to be, nor does it even launch when using the Droplet. To use the Droplet simply drag the files you want to compress onto the droplet. The Droplet window will open, which allows you to confirm the setting, the output file name, and the destination.

Figure 26 Droplet Window

With the Droplet window open, you can add more files to the job, simply by dragging them into the panel on the left. If you don’t want to bother with this window, you can uncheck it’s appearance in the lower left.

Templates and Job Chaining

Templates allow you combine multiple presets and save them as a single job. So for instance if you repeated need to encode files in H.264 for the web as well as .m4v for Apple devices, and a ProRes master. You can make a job that has these three settings, including the destinations you want, and then with the job selected (not a single setting) use File>Save As Template. The template is stored in Library/Application Support/Compressor. To use your custom template select File>New Batch from Template or Shift-Command-N. The template drop-down will appear and your custom template will appear there. Make sure you open the template first, then add the video into it.

Custom Batch Template

Job chaining allows you to use the output of one compression job as the source file for subsequent jobs. I’m not a great fan of this feature as it means you’re double compressing your media. I think it’s always better to compress from the original master file directly to the output format you want rather than going through an intermediate compression.

This feature is useful if you working from a high resolution master, and going through a high resolution intermediate, ProRes 422 or better. This allows you to do apply some repetitive actions such as deinterlacing in Frame Controls, or gamma and saturation correction in Effects, or retiming, in the intermediate compression and then not have to repeat these in subsequent encoding processes.

To create a job chain, import your master file and apply a setting maintaining the resolution that applies the effects and corrections you want. Then select the setting in the first job that you want to use as the input file and use Job>New Job from Target Output. A new job will appear with a chain link icon.

Figure 27 Job Chaining

Job chaining can be useful, just use it wisely.


Qmaster allows you to do distributed compression to any computers on your network that have Compressor 4 installed.

To set up Qmaster open Compressor on each machine you want to use and from the menus select Apple Qmaster>Share This Computer. In the dialog check on Share this computer and select Services only. Also check on Compressor under Services.

Figure 28 Qmaster Sharing Dialog

In Encoder settings make sure Allow Job Segmenting is checked on; and when you submit the job, make sure you check on This Computer Plus

That’s it for our quick look at Compressor! I hope you found it useful and get a lot out of working with Compressor.

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