Batch files

For the non-tech a batch file is something from 1427AD (or somewhere around there) that allows you to write, in a text file, the name of a number of programs. When you run the batch file the computer will run each program, and when it ends it will run the next one.

In my job I record the satellite TV in 8 different languages. Each day I run the videos through two encoders and put them onto a streaming server. It takes a long time to do but I can do other things while the processing goes on. But on Monday I got really bored of it.

Now after switching from a free piece of encoding software to a paid for version I can write a couple of batch files. From logging on to a computer 4 times a day to start each process off I now do the following

  1. Put my feet up until 4:25pm *
  2. At 4:25 I get an email saying ‘Files ready to be processed. Connect to server and press ‘squeeze’ (or an email saying ‘something has gone wrong’)
  3. I connect to the server and the correct files with the correct settings are sat there waiting for me
  4. I press squeeze

And that’s it. I’m very impressed. We could make it so I don’t even have to log in to press the squeeze button but that will cost $599. Now I don’t know about you but I can press a button every day to save £300. And at least it forces me to check it’s working each day.


*Obviously I don’t put my feet up, but at least I’m not doing Satellite TV stuff. And this means when I go on holiday I don’t have to hand a 2 page document over telling people what to do.