A lot of times, your journey through the settings in Microsoft Expression Encoder is not necessarily linear. Sometimes you will go through your usual workflow, but then decide to go back and change one of your previous settings. However, that change may create a conflict with a setting you had previously specified elsewhere, and you may not be immediately aware of that. Encoder is aware, though, and has various ways of alerting you.
The most obvious is an error message that pops up and indicates what’s wrong. There’s no problem noticing that. However, there is another way that Encoder presents important information that is just slightly more subtle: a colored icon that quietly appears on either a tab or the Encode button. You will need to hover over this icon to view a message that tells you what conflict you’ve set up or give you some additional information about how the setting you chose may affect your output.
These icons come in different colors and types. There are the Info icons, the Warning icons, and the Error icons. Let’s take a look at each one.
The Info icon
This icon usually gives you important information that could result in an error, but also can give you general information. It also may alert you to try a particular setting that may enhance the quality of your encoding job.
These tend to appear more for template issues, but it can appear for others. Some of the messages that you will see, or scenarios that trigger the message, include the following:
- The current File Output Mode is incompatible with the audio source profile. This will appear if you set the audio profile to encode using the source settings, but set your main output to be smooth streaming.
- This template does not support adaptive streaming. The media item will not be added to template output. This is fairly self-explanatory. You will need to change to a template that supports smooth streaming if you want to use a template.
- The output file will contain multiple streams with different bit rates, but the template supports only a single bit rate. The template will play back only the highest bit-rate stream.
- The selected output template does not support the selected audio codec.
- The chapter bar in this template supports thumbnails, but not all your markers have them. If you want to display thumbnails for all your markers, make sure the “Thumbnail” check box for each one is selected in the Metadata panel.
- The gallery bar in this template supports thumbnails, but not all your media files have them. If you want to display thumbnails for all your media files, make sure to select a thumbnail type on the Output panel.
- File contains only audio, but the template also supports video.
- File contains video, but the template supports only audio.
- Item contains caption script commands, but the currently selected template does not support captions.
The Warning Icon
This is a caution, or warning icon, and, intuitively, displays a graphic of a caution sign.
When you hover over it, it will likely display a message alerting you to additional information about your choice or cautioning you when you have set properties that will cause the output to differ from your expectations. It may also display a reminder, something akin to “Just so you know…”
Some of the messages that you will see, or scenarios that trigger the message, include the following:
- If your video requires re-encoding because of changes you have made, you can get various warnings, just in case you did not intend to re-encode your video. For example, you may receive the warning in the above graphic if you add a video overlay to a file.
- You can also get a similar message to the one above if you trim a single video and attempt to encode using the source settings, the video will have to be re-encoded because it was edited. Or if you have header or footer video that has different settings than your source, you will receive a warning that alerts you that the header and footer video will be re-encoded if you choose to use the source settings for the encode.
- A template that needs regenerating because you changed a setting that was set for the previous template generation.
- Item contains script commands that are not supported when encoding to H.264. This is fairly self-explanatory. In this instance you may either need to delete your script commands, or use another codec.
The Error Icon
This is an Error icon and it displays a more menacing graphic:
When you hover over it, it will likely display a message alerting you to conflicting or wrong settings that will prevent you from encoding your content. Often, this tends to show the same message as the Info icon.
Some of the messages that you will see for the Error icon, or scenarios that trigger the message, include the following:
- Thumbnail time is out of range. Set thumbnail to a region on the timeline that has not been edited. This happens if you set a thumbnail to represent a particular frame in the video, and then you trim the area containing this frame.
- No audio overlay selected. Please select a valid audio overlay file before encoding. This usually means that you have selected the audio overlay checkbox, either have not selected an overlay file, or the file path is invalid.
- No video overlay selected. Please select a valid video overlay file before encoding. This is the same error as above, except it applies to video.
There are other messages you may receive. But, the key thing to know is that if you see one of these, usually simultaneously on the Encode button and the Templates panel, you need to hover over it to find out why it appeared.
Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next time.