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Overview of Adobe Media Encoder

Read this page to get an overview of the Adobe Media Encoder workspace, including the Encoding panel and the Preset Browser.

Adobe Media Encoder is an encoding engine for Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, and Adobe Character Animator.

For an overview of using all the features in Adobe Media Encoder, see this video by Jan Ozer.

Getting started with Adobe Media Encoder

Using Adobe Media Encoder, you can export videos to video-sharing websites like YouTube and Vimeo, devices ranging from professional tape decks to DVD players, mobile phones, and high-definition TV sets.

Overview of Adobe Media Encoder

Learn about Adobe Media Encoder, a transcoding, and rendering application that lets you deliver audio and video files in a broad variety of formats.

Joost van der Hoeven

More resources

Adobe Media Encoder workspace

There are five main panels in Adobe Media Encoder that you use while encoding your files. You can group panels as tabs in a single frame or float them as separate panels.

Adobe Media Encoder user interface

A. Encoding panel B. Queue panel C. Preset Browser D. Watch Folder E. Media Browser 


After you customize the workspace to your requirements, select Window > Workspace > New Workspace to create a custom workspace.


Many commands in Adobe Media Encoder have keyboard shortcuts to help you complete tasks quickly, with minimal use of the mouse. See this page for default keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Media Encoder.

Encoding panel

The Encoding panel provides information on the status of each item being encoded.

When you encode multiple outputs simultaneously, the Encoding panel displays a thumbnail preview, progress bar, and the completion time estimate of each encoding output. For more information, see Parallel Encoding.


Encoding panel showing parallel encoding progress

Queue panel

You add files that you want to encode to the Queue panel. You can add source video or audio files, Adobe Premiere Pro sequences, and Adobe After Effects compositions to a queue of items to encode. You can drag-and-drop the files into the queue or click Add Source and select the source files to encode.

You can also send jobs directly to the queue from other Adobe applications.  This allows you to keep working while AME renders in the background.  Adobe applications that support export to AME include:

  • Premiere Pro
  • After Effects
  • Audition
  • Character Animator
Queue panel

The items added to the encoding queue are encoded when you start the queue. You can instruct Adobe Media Encoder to start encoding after you add an item to the queue, or wait until you decide to start encoding. You can also set a preference to begin the encoding when the specified amount of time has elapsed after a new item is added to the encoding queue.

You can add, remove, or reorder items in the queue panel. For more information, see Add and manage items in the encoding queue.

After adding video and audio items to the encoding queue, you can apply more presets using the Preset Browser or adjust output settings in the Export Settings or Ingest Settings dialogs. For more information, see this article.

Preset Browser

The Preset Browser provides you with options that help streamline your workflow in Adobe Media Encoder.

Preset Browser

System presets in the browser are organized as categories based on their use (such as Broadcast, Web Video) and device destination (such as DVD, Blu-ray, Camera, Tablet). You can modify these presets to create custom presets, also called User Presets.

In the Preset Browser, you can quickly find a preset using search, or using the enhanced navigation provided by the collapsible folder structure. For more information on the Preset Browser, see Using the Preset Browser.

For more information on encoding using presets, see Working with presets.

Watch Folder

Any folder on your hard drive can be designated as a Watch Folder. Once you select your Watch Folder, any files that you add into the folder are encoded using the selected presets. Adobe Media Encoder automatically detects media files being added to the Watch Folder and starts the encoding.

For more information, see Add a Watch folder to the encoding queue.

Watch Folder

Working with the media browser

Working with the media browser

The media browser lets you preview media files before you add them to the queue. The left side of the panel shows all local and networked drives on your system plus a Favorites section where you can save links to directories you use most often. The right side of the panel displays the contents of the selected drive or directory. You can filter your content based on file type or use the Search field. Folder-based file structures used by camera manufacturers like Canon, Sony, and Panasonic can be easily navigated, as well the contents of After Effects and Premiere Pro projects.

You can add files to the encoding queue by double-clicking them in the Media Browser, or dragging them directly to the Queue panel. To assign specific encoding or ingest presets to your files, drag them to presets in the Preset Browser.

  • To view content as Thumbnails, click the Icon View button.
  • To view content as a list, click the List View  button.
  • To quickly preview the contents of a file, drag the cursor across the thumbnail. You can also click the thumbnail and use the playhead to scrub the movie. Alternatively, use the JKL keys to control playback of the selected thumbnail.
  • To change the thumbnail size of files, use the Zoom slide bar.
  • To view files of a specific file type, select an option from the Files Of Type menu. Repeat the procedure to choose more than one option. By default, all supported file types are displayed.
  • To view files from a specific source, select that option from the View As menu. If ingesting from a device, ensure that it is connected to your computer.
  • To ingest just a specific portion of a file, click its thumbnail and use the JKL keyboard shortcuts or drag the playhead to navigate through the clip. Press the I and O keys to set In and Out Point at the desired frames.

Adobe Media Encoder supports custom duration ingest only by the Transcode option. The Copy option always copies the entire source file.

Working with the tools panel

The new tool bar allows you to switch between multiple workspaces easily. To enable this option, click Windows > Tools or the shortcut key Ctrl+6.

Switch between multiple workspaces using the new Tools bar
Switch between multiple workspaces using the new Tools bar

Once you make changes to your workspace, you can save that workspace. To save a worspace, click the hamburger icon. Select Save as New Workspace. A dialog box appears. Type in the name of the new workspace. Click OK.

Save as New Workspace
Save as New Workspace

Stitching clips together using Adobe Media Encoder

You can combine multiple media files into a single file when adding them to the queue. To stitch media files together, do one of the following:

  1. Select File > Add Source.
  2. Choose the assets you want to stitch together in the dialog and check the Stitch clips together check box.
  3. Click Open to add the stitched clip to the queue.

There are some other ways to combine media files together.

  1. Open the media browser panel.
  2. Select the assets you want to stitch together.
  3. Drag the selected assets to the queue and notice the options that appear at the bottom of the Queue. Drop the files on the text that says Drop here to stitch clips together.  
  4. You can also drag assets from the desktop to create a stitched clip. A new stitched clip gets added to the queue.

The other method is:

  1. Open the Media Browser panel.
  2. Select the assets you want to stitch together.
  3. Right-click the assets and select Stitch Clips Together. A new stitched clip gets added to the queue.

The name of the stitched clips gets automatically set to the first clip in the series since the sources are sorted alphabetically. The name of the stitched clip is in the edit mode by default, so you can type a custom name to change this if necessary. Press the Enter key to change the name. Stitched clips that are not currently encoding can be renamed at any time by clicking the source name in the Queue.


Stitched clips adhere to In and Out Points set in media browser. However, you cannot edit the duration of sources once they have been added to a stitched clip. 

Adding, deleting, and rearranging sources in stitched clips

Stitched clip sources are shown directly below the stitched clip name.  

  1. You can choose to hide or show stitched clip sources by clicking the hot-text toggle available in the right side of the name.  If you want to adjust sources in a stitched clip, ensure that sources are visible in the queue.
  2. To add more assets to an existing stitched clip, you can drag assets from the media browser or desktop and drop them on the list of sources. A blue line appears which indicates at which point in the series the new sources get added.
  3. To delete existing sources from a stitched clip, select them in the list and click the Delete button available at the top of the queue (or press the Delete key on your keyboard). To rearrange sources in a stitched clip, select one or more sources in the list and drag them to a new position. A blue line appears indicating where in the series the sources get placed.
  4. If sources in a stitched clip do not have the same properties (for example, different frame sizes, frame rates, and so on) the properties of the first clip in the series determines the properties of the entire stitched clip.  Sources with differing frame sizes get scaled to fit the frame size of the first clip. Though pixel aspect ratio is maintained letter boxing and pillar boxing can occur.
Stitched clips in the queue


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