The Expression Encoder workflow
Microsoft Expression Encoder is an advanced audio-and-video–encoding and live-broadcasting application especially suited for generating content that takes full advantage of the rich graphic and interactive capability of Microsoft Silverlight playback scenarios. You can also generate Windows Media video and audio files that are optimized for other web playback scenarios, or appropriate for playback on portable devices.
The general workflow for creating an encoded file in Expression Encoder includes the following tasks:
Choose your project.
Import your source video.
Modify your video.
Set preview and encoding options.
Choose an output format.
Upload your video to a remote device.
Each of these tasks is explained in the following sections.
Choose your project
You can create your content in one of three different project types: a Transcoding Project, a Silverlight Project, or a Live Broadcasting Project. A project is a workspace that is specifically equipped to create a certain kind of output.
For more information about projects, see About projects.
Import your source video
You begin your work by creating an encoding session, or job. A job can contain several imported videos. For example, you can create one job that consists only of car-racing videos, and you can create a second, separate job that consists only of boat-racing videos. You can output each of these videos to its own target, which could be anything from a simple WMV file to a smooth-streaming, high-definition Silverlight presentation that includes a highly interactive, graphically rich template. You can create and save any number of jobs.
For more information about creating a job, see Importing your media.
Modify your video
After you have imported all the videos that you want to process, you can trim or cut segments from them. You can also add clips such as leaders or trailers, markers, and script commands to them. You can perform other refining edits and processing adjustments, such as adding overlays or changing the volume level of the audio.
For more information about modifying your media, see Editing your media.
Set and preview encoding options
After you refine your media to your satisfaction, you can set your output format and encoding options for each clip in the job. An output format specifies the container that will include your media, along with the codec type. Expression Encoder can output your media in the following audio and video formats:
Windows Media Video and Windows Media Audio.
MP4 and AAC.
IIS Smooth Streaming.
At this point, you have two choices. You can manually set your options, or you can use one of the many included presets to quickly set the key parameters for your video. Presets are preconfigured profiles that include format and encoding settings that are suitable for a wide variety of audience and playback scenarios.
If you want to choose your option manually, set your output format and other encoding options in the Encode panel. If you want to use presets, add one from the Presets tab.
One key encoding option is the ability to encode using multiple streams. If you host your web site on a computer that has Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7, and the Smooth Streaming extension for IIS7, you can take advantage of the Smooth Streaming technology. You can use this technology to stream content to Silverlight clients that can dynamically adjust playback rates and quality to account for changes in bandwidth.
For more information about Smooth Streaming, see About IIS Smooth Streaming.
As you add settings, you can continually preview them by using the intelligent encoding and A/B Compare features in Expression Encoder to make sure that you are making the best decision for your project and for your audience.
Encode your video
Finally, when you have finished your modifications, you can encode your video. You have two choices of output methods: you can encode either with or without Silverlight templates. You will generally encode without templates in a Transcoding Project, and encode with templates in a Silverlight Project.
For playback on the web, Expression Encoder is optimized to take advantage of the media capabilities of Silverlight. Silverlight is a technology that supports a true subset of the XML-based XAML. With Silverlight, you can create next-generation, rich web-client experiences, and deliver a lightweight client that supports vector graphics, 2D animation, rich audio and video integration, and a rich .NET Framework programming model. Silverlight is also cross-platform, supporting Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and versions of Apple Macintosh OS X not earlier than 10.4.8. Silverlight works in different browsers, supporting playback in all versions of Windows Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. After you have encoded your media, you can publish it to your website using a variety of bit rates and even multiple streams.
If you encode with a template, you can use default templates based on HTML or XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) to create a Silverlight media playback experience that features graphically rich skins and unique interactivity. The output template feature is extensible; you can create your own well-formed templates from other development programs, such as Microsoft Expression Blend, and add them to Expression Encoder.
For more information about encoding a file for Silverlight, see the following topics:
You can also choose not to use a template and still create a high-quality .wmv or .wma file that can play back in media players such as Windows Media Player.
Publish your media
After you have created an encoded file, you have several options. You can post it to your blog or web page, or you can transfer it to your mobile device.
For more information, see Publish your media.
In addition to creating files, you can create and encode a live multimedia session that you can stream to users from your workstation, or from a Windows Media server. You can integrate multiple live and file-based sources into your broadcast. Expression Encoder will encode and output your presentation dynamically. You can also choose to create a live smooth streaming broadcast.