Last week, I delivered an internal session to Microsoft employees on Cloud Computing, where I highlighted that we’re all in the cloud. This is not the subject of this post, but in case you want to know more of what Microsoft is doing for the cloud and cloud computing, you can visit the following site: http://www.microsoft.com/cloud
We were recoding the session via Live Meeting, and after we were done, I wanted to come up with one file of the recording that simply reruns the session with 1) video showing the presentation, and 2) audio of what we were saying. Simple and straight forward.
The live meeting recording generated a lot of files that I simply didn’t want to have, so I just picked up two files from the recoding folder:
- \Apr 06 16.05 [So What the Heck is Cloud Comput...]\Sharing\8b019d7f-aa09-4a6b-8edad9ae.wmv
- \Apr 06 16.05 [So What the Heck is Cloud Comput...]\Audio\Audio1.wmv
Since I’m a big fan of Microsoft Expression, I turned to my favorite: Expression Encoder 3. I searched for the option to combine (or merge) the audio (Audio1.wmv) with the video (8b019d7f-aa09-4a6b-8edad9ae.wmv) and found it called Audio Overlay. You may be wonder why I didn’t use Windows Live Movie Maker, which provides the same mechanism of overlaying audio and video. The reason is that Expression Encoder provides me with more control on the details of quality and encoding more than what Movie Maker can give, besides that it’s much faster as well.
Here are the steps on how to overlay an audio file to a video file in Expression Encoder:
Step 1: Import your video file in Expression Encoder
You can choose to import your video file from either the File menu or in the Media Content panel.
Choose your file, happened to be 8b019d7f-aa09-4a6b-8edad9ae.wmv in my case. Encoder will start analyzing your file and will make it ready for editing. As you can see in the Encode panel on the right, there are no audio information for this imported file:
Step 2: Choose to overlay you audio file to the imported video
Go to Enhance panel on the right, and choose “Audio Overlay” at the bottom.
Now, if you test out and play the video file, you’ll see the audio is played as well. No need to move or shift the audio as the Live Meeting took good care of that when recording and both audio and video files are matching in size.
Step 3: Choose the quality of your output
Go back to the Encode panel, to be able to control the output quality by expanding both Video and Audio options:
The options that suits me is to change the bitrate to 164 Kbps, which matches the original recording, since I don’t want to get a bigger file! On the size mode, I reverted that back to “Source” to keep the original dimensions. Video options will look like this in my case:
If you’re lazy, or don’t want to get into the details of bitrates and sizes and stuff, then you can choose one of the presets from the “Presets” panel. This will allow you to choose something that suits your publishing requirements for devices (iPhone/iPod, Zune, Windows Mobile…), online services (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, …), or for Silverlight with IIS streaming.
Keep in mind that you can generate your output embedded in Silverlight with different templates that are all beautiful.
Step 4: Start encoding
All you need to do now is to click the Encode button, get your cup of coffee and relax. It took me 40 minutes to encode a 1:10:00 video file with overlay.
In this post, I wanted to show how easy it’s to work with Expression Encoder, and the details that you can get for decoding and encoding video and audio files. I was emphasizing the overlaying, but you can see that you get a lot of good options in generating suitable output with optional templates for Silverlight. Enjoy!