Windows Media Encoder is a production tool developed by Microsoft which enables content developers to convert both live and prerecorded audio, video, and computer screen images to Windows Media formats for live and on-demand delivery.
Windows Media Encoder 9 Series can encode video using Windows Media Video version 7, 8 or 9. Audio encoding uses a number of Windows Media Audio version 9.2 or version 10 (if the version 10 codecs are installed) profiles and a Windows Media Audio 9 Voice speech codec. Content can also be created as uncompressed audio/video.
This version of Windows Media Encoder enables two-pass encoding to optimize quality for on-demand (streamed or download-and-play) content. It also supports variable bitrate (VBR) Encoding for download-and-play scenarios. True VBR can be applied over the entire duration of a high-motion sequence, ensuring the highest quality. This version also enables scripted encoding with the wmcmd.vbs VBScript file allowing content developers to encode large numbers of pre-recorded media files. Bundled with the program are applications Windows Media File Editor, Windows Media Profile Editor, and Windows Media Stream Editor.
Windows Media Encoder can be downloaded as an application. This application is actually a "wrapper" or GUI of the encoder itself. Developers can write their own applications using Visual Studio to perform the same functions found in the application. These applications can be used to automate audio and video production.
The latest Windows Media Encoder 9 Series comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition
Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition is a related product to Windows Media Encoder. It includes support for segment encoding and multiple audio channels, and can encode VC-1 content. However, this was only made available as a beta release but was pulled off even before it was released.