Batch convert quicktime movies to specific codec using folder actions

Hey guys,


I cannot script to save my life. Everything I can do is thanks to some very helpful people on this forum. So I thought I’d ask outright, as the search field has not yielded the specific bits I need. Due to my poor scripting skills I also can’t quite figure out how to modify the existing stuff out there without hand holding…so here goes…

I want a folder action that does the following.

Drag any quicktime movie into it, (Usually it is jpeg2000 compressed from our editorial department, these files are big and unwieldy)

Have a script/automator batch convert and create a duplicate movie with the same name, but with an underscore and the word proxy before the .mov The new movie, should be re-compressed as a photo jpeg codec, at 100%. The movie dimensions should remain the same as the source.

So… I have figured out that automator can do all of this, with the exception of the specific codec of photojpeg. It will create an H264, or a pro-res, but not allow the choosing of a specific codec.

Anyone have a brilliant idea on how to do this? I’m stuck!

Also, H264 is not the end of the world, but After Effects has to think about them a bit too much, and re-conform audio etc…it’s a whole thing. I’m trying to make it as painless as possible for my artists, so that their workflow is smoother and things run faster using proxies.


Thank you!

Hi hackofalltrades,

If you want to drag and drop files there are several ways that you can do this. Firstly, you can use an AppleScript droplet where the dropped items’ references are sent to the droplet. You can also create an app in Xcode. There are several other ways. Search for droplet.


Hi hackofalltrades,

To tell you the truth, I have never heard of H264. It doesn’t seem right. Instead of folder actions, I’d rather use a droplet and divert or copy the files to some other place. Are you trying to copy the file? Not sure. I might need to read your post again.


I reread your post and can you tell me if there is a QuickTime pro?

Yes, using quicktime pro as the backbone would be ideal. Basically just having a different codec is all I am looking for.

The reason I suggest a folder action/automator script is that it could be built in to our pre-existing folder structure.

When we start a new shot, we have a script that auto generates a shot folder. (Derived from another discussion on this site)

So… if this could be made into a folder action that EVERY file that is dragged into the footage folder, the folder would auto-batch convert the high res jpeg2000 quicktimes into proxy movies of the same dimension, then we’d be golden.

It’s all about increasing the speed of the aritsts. I can have the coordinator simply drag and forget the files… everything happens in the background. When the artist is ready to work on a shot, the proxies are already pre-made for them.

make sense?

You’ve probably watched it today. It’s one of the most common codecs used in Flash and Silverlight used for internet video streamings like YouTube and Vimeo. It’s also an encoding used for Blu-Ray disks. it’s encoding is also used for digital cable and satelite (DVB-C and DVB-S). Last but not least FaceTime and iChat both use H264 compression. Some just refer it to as MPEG4, which is incorrect because MPEG4 itself is not a standard just the name of a continuously evolving project. Since Mac OS X Tiger it’s a standard encoding supported in QuickTime (read: iTunes etc…)

Yeah, I missed a lot jumping from Jaguar. Thanks DJ. As always you are a light.