Exporting media using Adobe Media Encoder CS5, CS5.5, CS6, & CC

This article will help you get started with exporting media with Adobe Media Encoder. If you want to learn how to export media from Adobe Media Encoder, you can start from the beginning of the article and work your way through. However, Adobe Media Encoder is so intuitive, perhaps you only want to know which are the best settings to use, or how to encode to multiple formats. Scroll directly to those topics if that is the information you are looking for.

Getting Started
To get started with learning Adobe Media Encoder (affectionately known as A.M.E.), see this video tutorial: Overview of the Encoding Workflow by Jan Ozer and video2brain. This is an excellent video tutorial to get you started in understanding how to use Adobe Media Encoder.

To get started in the exporting process, click the Timeline, or select the sequence in the Project panel. Then, choose File > Export > Media. The Export Settings dialog box opens with  the sequence imported into the Queue. You will choose format and preset in the Export Settings dialog box by clicking pop-up menus to choose the format and preset for the encoded movie clip. See “Choosing media formats for export in the Export Settings dialog box” for information.

Add media to Adobe Media Encoder
You can also use Adobe Media Encoder as a standalone application to encode media files from third party applications, and from other users which provide you source files that need encoding. Choose File > Add Media, or click the Add button (the Plus sign icon) to add files to the Queue. You can drag files to the Queue from Windows Explorer for Mac OS Finder. You can also double-click the Queue to launch an Open dialog. Choose files in the dialog, and then click the Open button to add them to the Queue.

Adding and dragging sequences and compositions into Adobe Media Encoder
With the applications both open, you can add sequences directly from Premiere Pro, or compositions from After Effects directly to Adobe Media Encoder. Choose File > Add > Adobe Premiere Pro Sequence, or File > Add > After Effects Composition. An Import dialog box launches. Choose the sequence or composition in the dialog, and then click OK. The sequence or composition is then imported into Adobe Media Encoder.

You can also drag a sequence from Premiere Pro or a sequence from After Effects directly into the Queue. A good technique is to drag the sequence or composition, then press Alt (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) + Tab to switch applications to Adobe Media Encoder. Once Adobe Media Encoder is the application in focus, drop the sequence or composition into the Queue.

Choosing media formats for export in the Export Settings dialog box
Now that media is in the Export Settings dialog box (or the Queue), make choices for the video format and preset. If you are in the Queue, you can return to the Export Settings dialog box. Click either the current format, or preset and the dialog box will open. For information about the Export Settings dialog box, see this page in Help. Once you’re in the Export Settings dialog box, make choices specifically for your the kind of media you need for your device.

In the Export Settings dialog box, click “Format” to see a menu of all the available media formats. Choose the most appropriate format.

Media formats

Media formats

Here are suggestions for common media formats:

  • Web video (Vimeo, etc.): H.264
  • Blu-ray: H.264 Blu-ray
  • DVD: MPEG-2

Not sure which media format to choose? You can make this choice easier by asking one question: “Which device will play this media?” The answer you give will greatly narrow down those choices. See this video about the topic of choosing the proper media format.

See this article: File formats supported for export in Help.
See the FAQ entry, “What are the best export settings?”
Available codecs for Adobe Media Encoder are in this blog post.

Choosing presets
After you have selected the proper media type (codec), the next stage in encoding media would be to choose the proper preset. To choose a preset, click “Presets” to see a menu of available presets. From the menu, choose the appropriate preset for your target device, an obvious choice should be available.

Encoding and Batch encoding
Now that you have the media in Adobe Media Encoder, and have chosen a format and a preset, it’s time to encode the file. Click the Export button to begin encoding. Click the Queue button, if you have more movies to add, or if you want to encode in the background.

Sometimes you need to encode multiple clips to a single format, while other times, you have to encode a single clip to multiple formats. You can do either in Adobe Media Encoder by exporting media in batches using the Queue, or by using watch folders.

Encoding a portion of a sequence
If you would like to  encode only a portion of a sequence, do one of the following:

  • Set the Work Area in Premiere Pro for which you wish to export.
  • In Premiere Pro CS6, set In and Out points.
  • In Adobe Media Encoder, change the In and Out points by dragging the work area bar in the Export Settings dialog box and then clicking the In and Out buttons.

Once you have selected the export range, choose one of the following in the Source Range menu:

  • Entire Sequence
  • Sequence In/Out
  • Work Area
  • Custom

Create a SWF, DVD or Blu-ray disc by using Send to Encore via Dynamic Link
If you are creating a DVD or Blu-ray disc, you can circumvent Adobe Media Encoder by using Send to Adobe Encore via Dynamic Link instead. For details, see this article in Help. You can also create an Auto-play DVD (sometimes called a first play DVD) using this method. See this article for details.

Create video for HTML5
If you need to encode video made especially for HTML5 applications, see this video tutorial entitled, “Producing for HTML5” by Jan Ozer and video2brain.

Use Adobe Media Encoder for background rendering
You can use Adobe Media Encoder for background rendering for Adobe digital video products. Karl Soulé shows you how in this video: Save Time with Powerful Background Rendering Using Media Encoder.

Additional online resources

Video tutorial: Gems inside of Adobe Media Encoder by Dennis Radeke
Help article: Compression Tips
Video tutorial: Publish your DSLR projects with Adobe Media Encoder by Richard Harrington
See this page for a quick-start guide to using Adobe Media Encoder for exporting media.
See the video tutorial, “Get results with the Adobe Media Encoder,” by Richard Harrington.
See this video by Jan Ozer for What’s new in Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5

Recommended resources for sale
video2brain: Producing great video with the Adobe Media Encoder
MacProVideo: Core Adobe Media Encoder

10 Responses to Exporting media using Adobe Media Encoder CS5, CS5.5, CS6, & CC

  1. Excel says:

    Great tip Kevin. Just what I was looking for. Thanks.

  2. jeane says:

    Somehow I managed to get my exports directed to a particular folder in a past project, but now ALL exports go to this folder, but I’d like them to route to their respective projects.

    All the information I can finds states that exports always export to their SOURCE folders, however, this is not the case for me, and there does not seem to be an obvious way to fix this.

    Can someone from ADOBE please help me to reset this export folder back to the default.

    Thanks very much in advance!

  3. Matt Dubuque says:

    Hi Kevin, Great blog!

    To be sure I understand, you state above that you suggest “H.264” for the media format for a Blu-Ray project.

    Did you mean you suggest choosin the “H.264 Blu-Ray” option, or simply the “H.264” setting which is right next to it?


  4. kmonahan says:

    Hi Matt,
    Go with H.264 Blu-ray. Best of luck!

  5. Khonexaisy says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I learn to do music karaoke. I export video and music ( music with vocal and without ) to media encoder CS5.
    how do you set Audio in media encoder cs5 for play like normal karaoke. I did but did not work and still got both vocal and music together came out. (I want to sing along with music)

    Would please help me how to set it. Thank you very much to your time. and good luck.

  6. JRivera says:

    I am trying to figure out if you can export a file from a project in PPr to Media Encoder to render then switch projects in PPr while ME is rendering that file. When I have done this ME has crashed or noted an error.

  7. sadia says:

    i have render video with after effects cs6 with h264, its size was 700mb, and i cannot upload with vimeo, i want to make this video under size 500 mb, i have adobe media encoder cs6 activated, now please please guide me any, what should setting will i do in media encoder that my video go to under 500 mb.please guide me

  8. Tricochem says:

    In CS6 Premiere I have tried to copy a sequence to a Jump drive and then watch it in a TV set , the TV says inappropriate codec or so. What is the way to do this and using what format and preset, please.