How to Enable the Video & Audio Encoder Tools in Mac OS X

Jan 16, 2012 - 13 Comments

An excellent new feature in Mac OS X introduced in 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion (and beyond) are several built-in media encoding abilities, allowing anyone to encode and convert video and audio files to other formats right on the desktop or from any Finder window. Having covered a tip on how to convert video to audio using these media encoders, we discovered the feature isn’t enabled by default for all Mac users. If your Mac is missing the “Encode” menu options, or you want to adjust them, toggling the menu encoder is very simple.

Media Encoding in Mac OS X Lion

Note: you will need OS X 10.7 or later, Lion & Mountain Lion and beyond include this option, but earlier versions of OS X do not.

Enable Video & Audio Encoding Tools in Mac OS X

  • Launch System Preferences from the  Apple menu
  • Click on “Keyboard” and then click on the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab
  • Select “Services” from the left, and scroll on the right for “Encode Selected Audio Files” and “Encode Selected Video Files”
  • Enable Encoding in OS X

  • Check the box next to both of those options and close out of System Preferences
  • Confirm encoding tools are now enabled by right-clicking on an audio or video file and looking for the Encode option

Now that the OS X media encoder is enabled, you can right-click on media files to convert one video file format to another, convert 1080p video to lower resolutions like 720p and 480p, convert video to audio tracks, and audio to m4a which can then be turned into ringtones and text tones.

The resulting pop-up encoder window looks like this:

Convert audio to video in Mac OS X

Conversion is surprisingly quick and produces high quality media files, the precise resolution is dependent on which output option chosen. Lengthy 1080p video files can take quite a while to convert, so give the movie time to encode to the new format or resolution.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

13 Comments

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  1. Kicker13 says:

    I think it is only hidden on upgrades from Snow Leopard

  2. John says:

    My settings were already like that in Lion also. Thanks to this while I was in the dialog box I checked out the other options. In the Mission Control settings I found the way to customize swithcing between desktops similar to Spaces. Very cool.

  3. Mark says:

    I need to convert *.mkv to DVD.
    Any ideas?
    Thx

  4. Robin says:

    Neither myself or my wife have the Encode options to check in the Keyboard shortcuts/services menu :(

  5. me says:

    How to add encoders ?
    There isn’t mp3 !

  6. Lana says:

    Is there anyway to convert FLAC using this no?

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