3 - Converting formats. Point and click your way to contributing.A few words on encoding before you start.
To encode something is to change it from using one type of codec to another.
It's important to remember that each change in codec requires decompressing the information from the first codec, and re-compressing it with another. This will inevitably cause the information to lose quality as each re-compression happens, because each codec has it's own algorithm, or method, of doing the compression.
Also good to remember, is that while scaling up or down can be done, scaling up is generally a bad idea. Each compression method creates "artifacts" in the data, and scaling up will just enhance those artifacts. It's always a better idea to scale down from a higher quality source.
In the following examples we'll be following the steps from downloading, through converting and splitting a file. The file download will not be part of it, as an example only, but the rest will be converting a 1080p MKV file to a 720p AVI and splitting it into chunks and also converting that same 1080p file to a SD file and adding subtitles to it.
After that, the process is the same for any other file you might want to work with!
In this case, I'm using the public domain film "Night of the Living Dead" by George Romero from 1968... I just "happened" to "come across" a 1080p copy....Downloading files with Jdownloader.
The first step in watching any film is having a way to download it.
Jdownloader is an awesome program for this, it watches your clipboard for any possible links you may copy and checks them for online availability. You then choose whether or not you actually want to download it.
The first thing you should do is set up your preferences, for me most everything is set at defaults, except for the download folder, which I moved to an empty hard drive to make sure I have lots of space!
You can get to the settings tab by clicking either:
Premium > Premium Settings
Addons > Addons Manager
When you click on a link for a file storage site for the first time, you'll see something like this...
You only have to click it once per site... then you will be done with it!
Once you've tried and done it once, you won't have any problems!
IF you have set a group of links to download that are RAR or HJSPLIT files, Jdownloader will extract them for you automagically.
If you need a password for them, double click the line with the icon just above one of the files that is passworded. A small area below will open up and have a spot for the password to be entered into.How to use RAR files outside of Jdownloader using WinRAR.
For most everything you do with WinRAR (mostly extracting), you'll never have to open the actual program window to do it.
Here are a couple youtube videos that explain how to use the program...
This one is on installing and using the program from it's program window:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q8hAdmNHpY
And here is one that shows you how to use it from Windows Explorer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_RXnTtu3n8Convert MKV to AVI with XMedia ReCode.
OK.. so we have our file we want to convert... In this case "Night of the Living Dead 1080p.mkv", and we have XMedia Recode installed and ready to go.
The first thing you have to do is open the program and have it ready to run. Once it is ready, click on the "Open File" button:
Now you navigate to where you have the file saved and double click it to open it:
When the file is opened by the program it will show up in the white area just below the toolbar, with all it's relevant information.
Now you have to set the Output Format to what you want it to be. In this case, I'm setting it to Xvid and keeping the AC3 codec:
Now, I have to tell it how big I want the video to be... So I head to the "Filters/Preview" tab, click the drop down and select "Resolution". Then, making sure I have "Keep aspect ratio" ticked, I set the height of the video to 720. When I click into the width box, it should snap to the correct value to keep the aspect ratio.
Now I go to the "Audio" tab and select "Copy" from the dropdown. This lets the program know I want to keep the AC3 audio from the original video. If I wanted to change the audio to something else, or up/downconvert it, I would select "Convert" instead and set the values according to what I wanted.
Now comes the part that decides the quality of the finished video, deciding on the bitrate! XMedia Recode comes with a Bitrate Calculator built in, under Options > Bitrate Calculator.
Since we know the size of the original file, was about 1.9 GB, we want to keep our xvid version fairly close to that file size as well, this is because Xvid doesn't compress nearly as well as x264 and will always result in larger file sizes for the same material. Also, if we keep it close to the 2GB mark, when we split it later, it will be as big as possible without going over and we'll only have two files!
Then we make sure the "Video" Tab setting for framerate is set to "Keep Original", And then click the "Add Job" button to add the job to the queue.
Now, you could simply press the encode button and let it re-encode your movie for you, but let's get the SD version set up as well...
Then only things to change are the resolution:
And to set the bitrate. For SD files, I try to shoot for a size in the 700MB to 900MB range. Experimentation is fun! once have that ready and set the framerate to "Original" in the "Video" tab, you can click the "Add Job" button.
and the video is ready to be encoded using the "Encode" button
Now you'll see a status screen that lets you know the progress of the encoding. When it's finished, your files are ready!
When it's done rename your files to something more meaningful than "Night of the Living Dead 1080p_1.avi" and "Night of the Living Dead 1080p_2.avi" to something more in fitting with their descriptions... Like 720p instead of 1080p_1 and SD instead of 1080p_2.Convert / Repair audio with XMedia ReCode.
Most of the time, you'll get files that play fine, but every once in a while, you'll get files that play strange noises instead of what they are supposed to when played in Divx Player, but play fine in a program like VLC.
I've only ever found this in files that are using the MP3 codec, but it is possible for it to happen with the AC3 codec as well.
Since we know the audio is there, thanks to VLC, it just means that the codec Divx player is using isn't properly decompressing it and all you hear is gibberish.
To fix this, just re-encode the audio using a high quality setting in XMedia Recode, and set the video to just copy (reverse of doing the video encoding).
These will illustrate the idea:
Video copy selected, options are greyed out because they are not used.
Settings for MP3 audio, setting to highest quality seems to always work for me.
Settings for AC3 audio, simply recoding the audio should fix the sound issues.Adding subtitles to your AVI video with AVI ReComp.
A friend of mine, who happens to be deaf, asked me to add subtitles to some movies for him. He knows no other language than English, but it's very important to him so that he can enjoy the movie! Likewise, if the movie was in, let's say, French... and you don't know the language, it would be important for you as well!
Here's how you do it with AVI ReComp:
First, Under the "Source & Output" tab, click on the "Open AVI" button and navigate to the file you want to add subs to. Double click the file and the filename, along with it's path, will show up in the little white box underneath.
Do the same with where you want the output file to be by clicking on the "Save AVI" button and selecting where you want to save it.
Next click on the "Additions" tab and make sure that the "Enable/disable" box is checkmarked. now click the "Load subtitles" button and navigate to where the subtitle file is and double-click it.
Now, you are almost done... simply click on the "Queue" tab and click on the "Add to queue" button... The filename of the new file you will be creating with the subtitle will be listed in the "Job List" box just below.
Once you click the "Start" button, the program will create the new video file for you, with subtitles now hardcoded right into the file!Splitting / Joining AVI files with VirtualDUB.
This is where I see a lot of puzzled posters, wondering why the video is split up into multiple parts. The answer is above and obvious, it's too big to download as a free user! We're doing you a favor!
For those who absolutely refuse to watch it in parts, or just want to save it in their collection, you can re-join all the split parts...
Here's how you do, using VirtualDUB.
To show you this, we'll split the file, and then re-assemble it
First once you have the program running and ready to go, open the file by going to the "File" > "Open Video File..." menu and clicking on it. Select your file and it will load it up so you can work with it.
If you get an error about audio possibly being out by 0 ms, you can safely ignore it.
Now that it's loading, you have to tell Virtualdub that you don't want to do any re-encoding to the file... If you don't it will automatically try to re-encode the segments when you try to save them! You do this going to the "Video" menu and clicking on "Direct Stream Copy"
The audio should already be set to this as well, but double check it to be sure!
What you look at the VirtualDub window, you'll the video area is divided into two seperate sections... The first one is the input
video, the second is the output
Now, you need to look down to the slider bar across the bottom of the window...
This is the time bar, and it's here you pick where you want to pick your start and stop points for the parts of the video you are creating.
Below are buttons, they do the following:
1 - Stop
2 - Play (Input side)
3 - Play (Output side)
4 - Move to the first frame (Start of the video) <--- We'll use this
5 - Move back one frame <--- We'll use this
6 - Move forward one frame <--- We'll use this
7 - Move to the last frame (End of the video)
8 - Move back one keyframe <--- We'll use this
9 - Move forward one keyframe <--- We'll use this
10 - Move slowly back to last scene
11 - Move slowly to next scene
12 - Mark beginning frame <--- We'll use this
13 - Mark ending frame <--- We'll use this
To the right of this is an information area, telling you what frame you are on and what the time is in the video.
The first thing you need to do is set the start frame to the first frame in the video, you do this by clicking the 12th button (Mark beginning frame). This tells Virtualdub you want to start here.
Since we are simply cutting this video in half, drag the slider to the far right, or click the 7th button (Move to last frame) and check the information are to see what frame number it is.
Divide this number by 2 (for two parts) and move the slider to that number. You can use the keyframes buttons to jump closer faster, and the double arrow buttons to move a frame at a time, till you reach that number... Once you have, click the 13th button (Mark ending frame)
now that you have done this you'll see that a section of the video has been highlighted. This is the section of the video you'll be saving as the first part of the video...
To do that, click on "File" > "Save as AVI"
The program will then ask where you want to save it and what you want to call it... I usually use the original file name and add 1 of 2 at the end, before .avi so it's easy for me to find.
In this case I'm calling it "Night of the Living Dead 720p 1 of 2.avi"
Once it's saved, simply click the 6th button (Move forward one frame) and click the 12th button (Mark beginning frame), then click the 7th button (Move to last frame) and then click the 13th button (Mark Ending frame) and then do the "File" > "Save as AVI" again, changing the name to, in this case "Night of the Living Dead 720p 2 of 2.avi".
That's all there is to it!
To combine a file is even easier...
Starting from scratch (just running the program) all you have to do is load the first video:
Then, make sure the video is strictly being copied:
As well as the audio:
Then you select the second half of the video by clicking on "File" > "Append AVI Segment":
Select the second section of the video and then click "File" > "Save as AVI"
In this case, we only have two sections so that's all we have to do... But, if you have more to add, instead of saving right away, just redo the "Append AVI segment" for each extra portion you want to add.Storing your files with 2Shared (<cough, cough>).
I could make a tutorial with images, etc... but 2Shared already took care of it for me...http://www.2shared.com/tutorial.jsp