Transcode batches with multiple computers

Transcoding a series of large files on one desktop computer can be processor-intensive and time-consuming. Distributed processing decreases the time it takes to transcode a batch by distributing the work among two or more computers. After you set up a distributed processing system, Compressor sends portions of your batch to each of the available computers in your group of shared computers. When the transcoding is complete, the output files appear in the location you specified when setting up the batch.

The simplest distributed processing system uses two computers. A more complex system can include many computers.

To set up distributed processing, you turn on access to your computer and then create a set of shared computers. If you can’t find a computer on your network, you can manually add it to the computer list.

Distributed processing cannot be used for jobs sent to Compressor from Final Cut Pro X or Motion.

Important: Before you begin, verify that all the computers to be used for distributed processing have the same version of Compressor installed.

Make your computer available to other computers on your network

  1. Choose Compressor > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).

  2. Select My Computer.

  3. If necessary, turn on “Allow other computers to process batches on my computer.”

  4. To control access to your computer, select the Require Password checkbox and enter a password in the text field.

    The password will be required to use your computer for transcoding.

Create a group of shared computers

You can create a group of shared computers to use to transcode your batches.

  1. Choose Compressor > Preferences (or press Command-Comma).

  2. Select Shared Computers.

  3. At the bottom of the list of shared computers (on the left), click the Add button .

    A new “Untitled” group is added to the list.

  4. Double-click the “Untitled” group to select it, type a new name for the group, then press Return.

  5. In the list of available computers (on the right), select the checkbox next to each computer that you want to add to the set.

    If a computer doesn’t appear in your list of computers, you can add it to the list using the computer’s IP address (described in the next task).

If you’re using an Xsan, be sure to turn automatic file sharing off. For more information, see Manually configure file sharing.

If you need to remove a group of shared computers, select the group and click the Remove button .

Manually add a computer to a group of shared computers

If a computer doesn’t appear in your list of available computers, you can add it manually.

  1. Select the shared computer group (in the list on the left) to which you want to add a computer.

  2. Click the Add button at the bottom of the list of networked computers (on the right).

  3. In the window that appears, enter the computer’s host name or IP address, and click Add.

The new computer appears in the selected shared computer group.

To temporarily disable the computer that you manually added to the group, deselect the computer’s checkbox.

To remove the computer that you manually added to the group, select the computer (in the list on the right) and then click the Remove button .

Transcode a batch using a group of shared computers

After you’ve created a shared computer group and added computers to the group, you can configure and submit a batch of jobs for transcoding as you normally would.

  • Before pressing the Submit Batch button, click the Process on” pop-up menu and choose the group of computers that you want to use to process your batch.

    Selecting a group of computers from the "Process on" pop-up menu

View the progress or history of a batch that was transcoded by a group of shared computers

After submitting a batch to be transcoded by a group of shared computers, you can find information about the transcoding status.

  • Open any of the following views:

    • Active view: After you submit a batch, the Compressor window automatically switches to Active view to show the progress of the transcode.

    • Completed view: Click the Completed button at the top of the Compressor window. After a batch is transcoded, information about the job, including the settings and job action used to transcode the source file, is displayed here.

    • Network Encoding Monitor: Choose Window > Network Encoding Monitor (or press Command-E). The Network Encoding Monitor displays information about how your computer is being shared, including processor usage, batch processing information, disk space usage, and data activity.

    • Logs window: Click the Open All Logs button in the Network Encoding Monitor to display the Logs window. You can use the log information displayed here for troubleshooting distributed processing issues. You can save this information to a file and process it with XML tools and UNIX scripts.

      Important: The log file is deleted when you close the Logs window.