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Microsoft Expression Encoder


Microsoft Expression Encoder

Microsoft Expression Encoder
Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 on Windows 7
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release September 6, 2007 (2007-09-06)
Discontinued 4 SP2 (4.0.4276.0) / November 2, 2011 (2011-11-02)[1][2]
Development status
  • Discontinued
  • Mainstream support end: September 8, 2015 (2015-09-08)
  • Extended support end: September 8, 2020 (2020-09-08)
Operating system Windows XP or later[4]
Platform .NET Framework, DirectX, Silverlight,[4] QuickTime and AviSynth[5]
Type Transcoding and non-linear video editing
License Freemium
Website /expression.commicrosoft

Microsoft Expression Encoder[6] (formerly Expression Media Encoder) is a transcoding and non-linear video editing software application for Microsoft Windows. It can create video streams for distribution via Microsoft Silverlight.


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
  • Features 3
  • System requirements 4
  • Limitations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Expression Encoder is a transcoding and linear video editing program. It features a graphical user interface based on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) as well as a command line interface.

Expression Encoder can export videos to H.264 or VC-1 formats. It can prepare video streams for distribution via Microsoft Silverlight; it supports Silverlight player controls and Silverlight templates.

Microsoft Expression Encoder is available in different editions:[7][8]

  1. Pro edition, the full-featured commercial incarnation of the product available through retail or volume licensing outlets as well as the BizSpark program
  2. Pro edition without codecs, which lacks royalty-incurring codecs and is available to DreamSpark, WebsiteSpark or MSDN subscribers; this version does not support H.264, Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), AVCHD, MPEG-2 and Dolby Digital (AC-3) formats
  3. Express edition, which is free of charge but feature-limited; this version does not support H.264 encoding or Live Smooth Streaming and Silverlight DRM


Version 1.0 was released to manufacturing on September 6, 2007.

A beta of version 2.0 was released in March 2008 which included new VC-1 codecs (Advanced, Main, and Simple profiles) and better Silverlight support. Version 2 was released to manufacturing in May 2008. Expression The first service pack added H.264+AAC encoding support for devices. According to Microsoft, Expression Encoder 2 was not a replacement for Windows Media Encoder, despite having many similarities.[9]

Expression Encoder 3 added multi-channel audio output, more built in device profiles, like support for Zune HD, Xbox 360 and iPod Touch, as well as profiles for online services such as Facebook and YouTube. It also added Expression Encoder 3 Screen Capture, which allows users to create video screen captures.

Version 4 added IIS live smooth streaming, screen capture improvements and an H.264 encoder based on the MainConcept SDK.[10] Expression Encoder 4.0 SP1 was released in January 2011 and added CUDA-enabled GPU-assisted encoding, HE-AAC, screen captures as a live source, live broadcasting templates, Selective Blend de-interlacing and other features.[11] Service Pack 2 (SP2) with about 300 bugs fixes was released on November 2, 2011 and added new features such GPU-accelerated video encoding and the removal of 10 minutes screen recording limit.[1][2]


Some of Microsoft Expression Encoder features include:

  • Smart encoding and smart recompression for WMV if the source is also WMV and no frame operations are performed,[12] cuts editing, serial batch encoding, Live encoding from webcams and DV camcorders
  • Decoding/import format support because of DirectShow
  • Smooth streaming (720p+ video using HTTP) with optimized client (Silverlight) and server (IIS with smooth streaming)
  • Integrated WebDAV publishing.
  • Publishing API that has been used to create plugins for Silverlight Streaming, Amazon S3, and YouTube[13]
  • Importing XAML overlays created in Expression Design and customizing their timing, animation, opacity, placement and looping
  • JavaScript trigger events
  • Windows Media 11 SDK and VC-1 SDK integration, native MPEG-2 decoder
  • Adding captions to videos using SAMI or W3C Timed Text format
  • Previewing and comparing encoding settings in real time
  • Screen capture
  • Object model for the encoding engine, SDK downloadable separately

System requirements

System requirements[4]
Operating System Windows XP with Service Pack 3 or later
Processor 1 GHz or higher
RAM 1 GB or more
Hard disk 2 GB free disk space or more
Display 1024×768 pixels screen or larger
Video card 128 MB video RAM
Support for DirectX 9 and Pixel Shader 3
Software .NET Framework 4.0
Silverlight 4 or later
QuickTime 7 or later (optional)[5]


Microsoft Expression Encoder cannot encode video streams in Windows Media Video formats older than version 9.[14] Expression Encoder requires QuickTime to decode MP4 container format,[4] although Media Foundation, a component of Windows 7, can natively decode this format.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 with Service Pack 2 (SP2)". Download Center.  
  2. ^ a b "Expression Encoder 4 SP2 released!". Expression Encoder blog.  
  3. ^ "Expression Encoder 4". Microsoft Support Lifecycle.  
  4. ^ a b c d "System Requirements".  
  5. ^ a b c "Supported file formats". Expression Encoder 4 User Guide.  
  6. ^ "Microsoft Expression Encoder Homepage".  
  7. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions".  
  8. ^ "Comparison of Window Media Encoder, Expression Encoder 4 (free), and Expression Encoder 4 Pro".  
  9. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions".  
  10. ^ Zambelli, Alex. "Expression Studio 4 launch–Blend, Web, Encoder, Design". Alex Zambelli's Silverlight Media Blog.  
  11. ^ Lang, Jamie. "Expression Encoder 4 SP1 released!". Expression Encoder blog.  
  12. ^ "Microsoft Expression Encoder 3 FAQ". Expression Encoder blog.  
  13. ^ "Expression Encoder Plugin for YouTube". Bounding Box Games. 
  14. ^ Juteau, Eric. "How to Encode files to WMV 8 using Expression Encoder 3 ?". Expression Studio Forums.  
  15. ^ "Supported Media Formats in Media Foundation".  

External links

  • Official website
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