Expression Encoder 4: Native Microsoft technology ditched for alien one
Posted by John Dangerbrooks
Update (2012-03-17):Tested the issue on Expression Encoder 4 SP
I was just trying out Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 SP1 on a copy of Windows 7 when I realized that it does not import .MP4 files. That was very strange, since Windows 7 can natively open .MP4 files, play H.264 video (also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or MPEG-4 AVC) and understand AAC audio. A quick peak in the Encoder help files had an unpleasant surprise: Although Microsoft Expression Encoder does support .MP4 files, it does not use Microsoft Media Foundation to open them; rather it requires QuickTime.
Frankly, I hate QuickTime. I categorically hate its useless H.264 codec. But this is very strange! A Microsoft product never ditches high-quality Microsoft technology in favor of a low quality competing one.
Further study of supported file formats shows that Microsoft Expression Encoder supports AviSynth, which is good. It also supports SRT, SUB, SAMI, DFXP and LRC subtitle files, which is again, good. Good, but not like Microsoft. Microsoft Expression Encoder does not look like a Microsoft product.
You can find a vandalized version of the user guide online. See: