What is Compressor?

Compressor is an application that transcodes media files into a variety of formats. You can use Compressor to create files for many uses, including:

  • Viewing on Apple devices such as Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod, or iTunes using high-definition (HD) or standard-definition (SD) formats (including H.264)

  • Publishing to video-sharing websites including Facebook, Vimeo, and YouTube using QuickTime

  • Burning to DVD or Blu-ray disc using H.264, MPEG-2 for DVD, and Dolby Digital formats

  • Podcasting using H.264, AAC, and MP3 formats

  • Creating a package of media for submitting to the iTunes store

Compressor comes with built-in settings that you can use to transcode files into the most common media formats. Compressor also provides preconfigured destinations that transcode files and then perform actions on the transcoded files. For example, if you transcode a source file using the built-in “Publish to Vimeo” destination, the destination outputs a high-quality QuickTime movie file, and then automatically publishes the movie file to your Vimeo account.

In addition to transcoding source files, you can use Compressor to:

  • Create custom settings and destinations: You can use a variety of formats to build custom settings and destinations tailored to your unique transcoding workflows. For example, you can create a custom setting with specific frame dimensions or with video and audio filters applied. And when you create a destination, you can apply a job action that is performed after the file is transcoded—such as sending an email message or running an Automator workflow.

  • Create settings to transcode Final Cut Pro X and Motion projects: You can create a custom setting in Compressor and then use it to transcode Final Cut Pro or Motion projects. For example, you can create a setting that outputs a file with the bit rate of your choice.

  • Transcode files using a network of shared computers: If you need more processing power and shorter transcoding times, you can create a group of shared computers to distribute and speed the transcoding process.

  • Create Compressor droplets: If you need to provide a very simple workflow for yourself or other users, you can create a Compressor droplet, a standalone application that lets you transcode media files in the Finder, by dragging and dropping.