Adobe Premiere – Exporting Your Video, Which Way is Faster, Queue or Export?

Since Adobe Premiere CS5 was released, I noticed that when I would export my videos, I had to choice of using either Queue or Export and I noticed that one way was much faster than the other.

And, apparently so has a few other people, judging by the number of people that have emailed my about this.

When you export your videos from Adobe Premiere CS5, CS5.5 and CS6, you select File > Export > Media and it will open the Export Settings window. You then select the export settings you want to use and at the bottom of the Export Settings window box, you are giving two choices for exporting Queue or Export.

If you select Queue, this opens the Adobe Media Encoder and the job is added to the its queue. Note: Queue is often referred to as AME Queue or Adobe Media Encoder Queue.

If you select Export, the video is exported immediately. This is also called Direct Export.

Did you know that one of these export methods can be up to 5 times faster than the other method?

Let me show you the results I got when using Queue and Export. Note: all of the text were run with the Mercury Playback Engine in GPU mode and with MRQ set to On (MRQ= Maximum Render Quality setting).

The source footage was a 5 minute timeline of 1440 x 1080 footage and I exported it to 720 x 480. The timeline has about 15 GPU effects, including dissolving between clips.

When I exporting to MPEG2-DVD
AME Queue took 38 minutes
Direct Export took 8 minutes

When I exported to DV AVI
AME Queue took 3 times longer than using Direct Export

When I exported the same footage to H.264 AME Queue was 15% Faster than Direct Export

Okay, from the above results you are probably thinking great I will use Direct Export on everything except when I need to export to h.264. Well, hold on a minute.

I decided to run another test with different footage that was shot in 1280 x 720 and was 4 minutes in length.

I exported it to an h.264 file at 1280 x 720.
AME Queue took 19 minutes
Direct Export took 6 minutes

With this test, Direct Export was faster than using Queue, which is opposite from my first test above. As I ran more tests using different footage here is what I found out.

1. If you are tanscoding or downscaling footage, almost every time Direct Export was 2 to 5 times faster.

The exception to this is when I exported certain footage to h.264.

For example, when under Export Settings, with the Format set to h.264 using AME Queue was usually faster.

However, under Export Settings, with the Format set to QuickTime and then below under the Video Tab, with Video Codec set to h.264, Direct Export was faster for me.

2. Depending on the source footage and any effects you are using, Direct Export will be faster.

3. If you are going to export in the same resolution you are working in, Direct Export was either faster or about the same depending on the test footage I used.

4. With CS6, in all the tests I ran, Direct Export was faster by up to 5 times, included exporting to MPEG2-DVD format.

5. When I ran these same tests on different computers, as expected the results varied. However, Direct Export was faster.

I recommend you run your own tests on your computer. Try to use a clip that is 5 to 10 minutes in length. Try exporting to the different video formats that you usually export to and test to see if AME Queue or Direct Export is faster.