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Compression for Great Digital Video: Power Tips, Techniques, & Common Sense: Power Tips, Techniques and Common Sense (DV Expert Series) Paperback – 8 Jan 2002

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..".the depth that Ben goes into is incredible."

About the Author

Ben Waggoner has been compressing video for nearly 20 years. He cofounded the pioneering digital media services company Journeyman Digital, launched Terran Interactive's consulting services division, and was principal of Interframe Media. Ben joined Microsoft in 2005, and is now Principal Video Strategist for Microsoft's Silverlight platform.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9a2eb0b4) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2eeb64) out of 5 stars MUST HAVE for anyone working in DV Production 8 Nov. 2002
By James Diefenderfer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Compression for Great Digital Video
Ben Waggoner
Full Disclosure: I am not a compressionist nor have I ever met Ben. Although, he has answered more than one of my questions in the COW Cleaner Forum.
This book is for compressionists, people who want to be compressionists, and people who on occasion need to pretend they're compressionists (pg. 3). With this clear objective stated up front, Ben opens up and let's his brain pour out over each and every page, all 447 of them.
Right from the beginning I was more than a little intimidated and excited at the same time, just from reviewing the Table of Contents. Ben organizes his knowledge into 25 chapters, a glossary, index and a CD-ROM. I will not list all 25 chapters but trust me, if you can think of it Ben covers it.
The first section (Chapters 1-11) is about general principles of vision, compression, and how compressed video operates (pg. 3). No matter what compressionist category you think you fall into, you will learn something in these first chapters, even if it turns how to be how much you forgot since grade school.
The next section (Chapters 12-24) covers specific video tools and technologies (pg. 3). Ben covers them all and yes, I read them all even the ones that I do not use. Most of the information here I was already formula because when I first started working with Cleaner I studied (yes, studied) the manual. However, now that I have my feet wet the information covered here makes more sense.
The last Chapter (Chapter 25) consists of three extensive tutorials that highlight many of the concepts, formats, and tools discussed throughout the book (pg. 3). They cover; Streaming, Progressive Downloading, and Animation for Video Games. So, if your work covers any of these your in luck, if not (such as me) than you may need to read certain Chapters again to pick up what you missed the first time. The CD only contains short snippets of each projects source files. If you'd like the full-length content you will have to order a DVD-ROM from Ben's website. I have to cry foul here, sure you don't need the full-length content to `get the point' but no where on the outside of the book does it tell you that you will only get snippets. I mention this for those of you that get angry over `thin slim' CD's.
Compression for Great Digital Video is an easy and delightful read. It's not very often that you come across a book that covers this much technical information and yet still manages to be clearly understood. Ben fully explains everything that he mentions and often he even provides additional references should you require more information. This book is a MUST HAVE for anyone who find themselves compressing digital video.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2eebb8) out of 5 stars Balance of breadth and depth 21 Oct. 2004
By half - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is not meant for beginners. The reviewer who gave the book one star is simply clueless, who obviously chose to ignore the preface, which clearly says that "this book is for compressionists ..." (i.e., not for total beginners, who should see Digital Video for Dummies).

The author of this book manages to do exactly what he promises, which is to detail the use of a vast number of tools, to generate digital video in countless formats, on innumerable types of media. The possible permutations when all tools, formats, and media are taken together is simply mind-numbing, which is why such a book is necessary in the first place. Any dedicated amateur (or even professional) compressionist needs to know whether there is a better way to do what he or she stumbled across by accident on the vast Internet. This book very clearly describes many of the best combination of tools and strategies to produce the best content possible. The writing style is very fluid and friendly, although I would stop short of calling the book an easy read, because the amount of information is too overwhelming for a straight read; instead, I would use it almost like a reference and jump to a particular chapter to refresh my memory and skills just before undertaking a new compression task.

With so much information to write about, I am sure the book was an organizational nightmare for the author, and although he did an overall great job in organizing it, there are still numerous spots where he could have done a better job of introducing a topic before using it to explain other topics. Examples that come to mind: referring to DirectShow without describing it, or creating examples based on video editing tools like Cleaner without first introducing the tool (there are others).

All in all, this is a book that I will continue to use often.
HASH(0x9a62c1c8) out of 5 stars Must have for all production libraries 5 Nov. 2007
By guest - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers it all in the technical world of content delivery. I wish I had this book much earlier. Even though it is not current in the area of HD, it covers enough ground to make the numerous delivery fomats clear. This book should be required reading for all students of broadcasting.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2f1300) out of 5 stars A must have..... 22 Oct. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As somebody who compressed video - and 2D & 3D animations, a couple of years before Ben, I still found this to be a great book, a good read and well laid out. I'm sure I'll be refering to this book every now and then for a good time to come.
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2f1234) out of 5 stars A must have..... 22 Oct. 2002
By D. Loshak - Published on
Format: Paperback
As somebody who started compressing video - and 2D & 3D animations, a couple of years before Ben, I still found this to be a great book, a good read and well laid out. I'm sure I'll be refering to this book every now and then for a good time to come.
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