Microsoft Expression Encoder

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Microsoft Expression Encoder
Initial releaseSeptember 6, 2007; 16 years ago (2007-09-06)
Final release
4 SP2 (4.0.4276.0) / November 2, 2011; 12 years ago (2011-11-02)[1][2]
Operating systemWindows XP or later[3]
Platform.NET Framework, DirectX, Silverlight,[3] QuickTime and AviSynth[4]
Available inEnglish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, and Korean[5]
TypeTranscoding and non-linear video editing

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. This utility is created to record the screen for various purposes like YouTube, Twitch, Sharing etc.


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

Microsoft Expression Encoder is available in different editions:[5][7]

  1. Pro edition, the full-featured commercial incarnation of the product is 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 or Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) formats in its output, nor can it open AVCHD, MPEG-2 and Dolby Digital (AC-3) formats.
  3. Express edition is free of charge but feature-limited. This version has the same restrictions as the Pro edition without codecs, but also does not support live streaming.


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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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,[11] 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[12]
  • 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[edit]

System requirements[3]
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)[4]


Microsoft Expression Encoder cannot encode video streams in Windows Media Video formats older than version 9.[13] Expression Encoder requires QuickTime to decode MP4 container format,[3] although Media Foundation, a component of Windows 7, can natively decode this format.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 with Service Pack 2 (SP2)". Download Center. Microsoft. January 28, 2011. Archived from the original on November 26, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Expression Encoder 4 SP2 released!". Expression Encoder blog. Microsoft. November 2, 2011. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "System Requirements". Microsoft. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Supported file formats". Expression Encoder 4 User Guide. Redmond, WA: Microsoft. 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions". Microsoft. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012.
  6. ^ "Microsoft Expression Encoder Homepage". Microsoft. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
  7. ^ "Expression Encoder 4 Pro Overview". Microsoft. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012.
  8. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Microsoft. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2009. Q. Does Expression Encoder replace Windows Encoder? A. The two products serve different purposes. Windows Media Encoder continues to be a freely available solution for encoding video for live and on-demand scenarios. Expression Encoder 2 is purpose built to enable you to produce rich interactive Silverlight Media Experiences. Expression Encoder 2 also uses the newest VC-1 SDK for better Windows Media quality and faster encoding that the previous technology used by the Windows Media Encoder.
  9. ^ Zambelli, Alex. "Expression Studio 4 launch–Blend, Web, Encoder, Design". Alex Zambelli's Silverlight Media Blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  10. ^ Lang, Jamie. "Expression Encoder 4 SP1 released!". Expression Encoder blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on July 29, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "Microsoft Expression Encoder 3 FAQ". Expression Encoder blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  12. ^ "Expression Encoder Plugin for YouTube". Bounding Box Games. Archived from the original on January 24, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  13. ^ Juteau, Eric. "How to Encode files to WMV 8 using Expression Encoder 3 ?". Expression Studio Forums. Microsoft. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012. Unfortunately, we don't support exporting anything under WMV9 (also called WMV3), which shipped with XP and above (simply use Baseline or Main).
  14. ^ "Supported Media Formats in Media Foundation". MSDN Library. Microsoft. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012.

External links[edit]