Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > best Handbrake settings for DVD library

best Handbrake settings for DVD library
Thread Tools
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 12, 2007, 07:00 PM
 
I'm tired of messing with DVDs and CDs - I'm moving to a file server, hopefully with Apple TV as the media center (if not, then Xbox w/ XBMC, which I already have).

Ideally, I want to take my DVD library and rip them to mp4 or Xvid files, throw them on a file server, and point iTunes at it (for Apple TV) or my Xbox. I want top quality, but I'm hoping to do a little compression. That is, I could do a raw movie-only rip with MacTheRipper, but I think I would prefer a movie-only rip with some MPEG-4 compression to save a little space. If I can shave off even 25-30% without noticing the difference in quality, I'll be happy.

Anyway, it seems that Handbrake is the way to go. But I'm a noob. I've Google'd for optimal settings, but it seems like most people want them compressed heavily or specifically for iPod playback, which is not what I want. I want something basically indistinguishable from a DVD for playback on my 100" projection system in the basement.

There are a few key settings, and I need to know how to set them...

1) Quality. Should I go with "average bitrate" or "constant quality"? And once I choose that, what setting do I want? The bitrate option looks totally open-ended. The default is 1000kbps. Is that good enough? And if I go with the other, do I want 100%?

2) 2-pass encoding. I think I'd want this.

3) Encoder. I went with FFmpeg.

4) File format. I went with mp4file. There are a few choices - any input on what would be best?

5) Audio bitrate. Should I crank this up to the max (320kbps)? When I do audio AAC, I usually do 192kbps. But in a dedicated home theater with surround, would I want better? How much will this affect the size?

One last semi-related question. If I do this and put the mp4 files in iTunes (and uncheck them so they don't end up on my iPod), can I download DVD cover art somewhere? I'd like it to look good in FrontRow. Also, does XBMC support this? Is it basically like ID3 tag info for audio files?
( Last edited by Zoom; Feb 12, 2007 at 07:05 PM. Reason: typos, clarifications)
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 12, 2007, 07:03 PM
 
One more thing. I also will want to rip some of the extras - particularly some of the shorts, like "Jack Jack Attack" and "For the Birds" - my daughters love these. Is there a tool to help you identify those parts of the DVD? Handbrake and MacTheRipper just seem to show you the total times and chapter count. Ideally, I'd like Handbrake to be able to play each segment at least, so I can tell what it is before I select it for ripping. (Someone needs a "DVDDB", like Gracenote/CDDB, with all this info in it.)
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2007, 02:31 AM
 
I've been tinkering with doing something similar with my DVD collection, mostly because I can't access Video_TS folders via Frontrow. I've tried converting mpeg-2 to mpeg-4 with Popcorn2, but the options seem limited. The conversion progress is extremely slow, and I haven't been able to achieve the quality of DVD yet, but I haven't tried all the options. Maybe I will give handbrake a try.
One nice thing about Popcorn2 is that you can easily select the extras you want, preview them, and rip them.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2007, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
1) Quality. Should I go with "average bitrate" or "constant quality"?
You want constant quality. There is always a tradeoff to be made between higher quality or lower bitrate. When it's time to make that tradeoff, you want the app to choose quality, not to sacrifice quality just to maintain some bitrate you don't care much about anyway.

And once I choose that, what setting do I want?
I usually use a quantizer of 5, but I'm more concerned about small file size than you are. A quantizer of 4 should be plenty, but if you really want to go nuts, use 3. Lower quantizer means higher quality.

2) 2-pass encoding. I think I'd want this.
No you don't. The ONLY reason to use 2-pass is to hit a precise file size. This feature was invented for people who want to squeeze a movie onto a CD (where if you go over you have to try again, IOW manual 2-pass). You don't care about precise file sizes, so you don't want to waste your time and more importantly your video's quality by having the program reduce the quality in order to hit some arbitrary file size.

3) Encoder. I went with FFmpeg.
If you intend to use TV you had better make sure your codec is keeping it Simple Profile, not Advanced Simple Profile which is more popular in the open-source community (ie ffmpeg's programmers). I don't know exactly how to do that with ffmpeg, but 3ivx is good at it, so long as you don't turn on MPEG Quantizer.

4) File format. I went with mp4file. There are a few choices - any input on what would be best?
mp4 and mov are equivalent in quality. don't use avi. mp4 might get supported metadata in Front Row better than mov. Stick with mp4.

5) Audio bitrate. Should I crank this up to the max (320kbps)? When I do audio AAC, I usually do 192kbps. But in a dedicated home theater with surround, would I want better? How much will this affect the size?
Audio fidelity is far less important in video than in home stereo. The audio content is just not as demanding on the encoder, and also your senses just aren't as sharp when you're focused on a movie's story than when you're listening to your music collection. I always use 96 kbps aac for stereo audio in movies, and the lowest vbr option for 5.1 (nominally 256 but usually comes out around 190).

can I download DVD cover art somewhere? I'd like it to look good in FrontRow.
I don't know, but I think it's not possible to add it with iTunes, therefore it probably won't be supported as a tag in Apple media apps. 2 possible workarounds are to use it as the Finder's icon, or to add it as the first video frame (with QTPro or other). Get the icon from IMDB.
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2007, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
You want constant quality. There is always a tradeoff to be made between higher quality or lower bitrate. When it's time to make that tradeoff, you want the app to choose quality, not to sacrifice quality just to maintain some bitrate you don't care much about anyway.

I usually use a quantizer of 5, but I'm more concerned about small file size than you are. A quantizer of 4 should be plenty, but if you really want to go nuts, use 3. Lower quantizer means higher quality.
I don't see this option. If you choose "constant quality" in Handbrake, they give you a percentage slider (0-100%). How does that map to the quantizer?
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2007, 05:26 PM
 
I tried this with The Incredibles, just to check it out. Looks pretty good, but the audio seems to be only stereo. I'll check my XBMC settings, but I thought it was all set up for 5.1. I know I had Handbrake set up for 5.1. Any tips on this?
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2007, 05:29 PM
 
Each codec makes up an arbitrary label for their quantizers. If you really care you can ask the guy who makes handbrake, but it doesn't matter. Just pick a level you like.

What do you mean by "seems" to be only stereo? That's all you hear, or that's what it says it is, and if so in what program?
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2007, 06:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Each codec makes up an arbitrary label for their quantizers. If you really care you can ask the guy who makes handbrake, but it doesn't matter. Just pick a level you like.

What do you mean by "seems" to be only stereo? That's all you hear, or that's what it says it is, and if so in what program?
I don't seem to hear the rear channels or even the center - I've watched this movie off of DVD enough to know that it sounds funny, but that's about as far as I've had time to investigate it.

It takes about 2 hours to process a movie - it's very time consuming to "find a level I like". I was hoping to get some pointers from people who have already gone through all this. :-)
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2007, 09:07 PM
 
1. In what app?

2. Then don't encode the whole movie. Rip just a scene (with any DVD ripper, like 0SEx, yade, Mac the Ripper), and find one that represents light/dark and action/still well, and try some.

One man's trash is another man's treasure. Video compression and quality is highly subjective, and this is for you, so only you can really decide what's best. Based on other codecs I can tell you that 80-95% will probably be where you'll settle on, but beyond that you have to try them.
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Smallish town in Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 13, 2007, 09:38 PM
 
Be careful with h264, many times the resulting file is slightly darker than the original. If you want to make a good quality rip, I recommend using a constant bit rate of 2000kbps, or try setting a target file size of 1.5gb.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: The Tollbooth Capital of the US
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 14, 2007, 10:50 AM
 
I've found that using Popcorn 2 is also EXTREMELY slow but I like some of it's features. It lets you take a screen shot of a scene from your DVD to use as album art. It also shows you the chapters and lets you choose which you want to rip. I just wish it wasn't so slow.
"Evil is Powerless If the Good are Unafraid." -Ronald Reagan

Apple and Intel, the dawning of a NEW era.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Feb 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 14, 2007, 09:26 PM
 
I would really avoid the average bitrates in handbrake. It doesn't seem to be implemented very well. I've seen cases, and others have reported it too, where the FFmpeg encoder hits a wall and increasing the bit rate does not increase the file size. This can happen around ~ 2000 kbps with DVD video scaled to 640x480. I saw someone suggest that this was because there was no more information to encode, ie the quality was already at a maximum. But if you can find some dark scenes, you'll probably noticed some very awful blockiness in the darker regions, which may also be washed out a bit. I have not been able to eliminate this blockiness except by using constant quality and cranking the slider up to 100%. Even at, say, 96% constant quality the blockiness is just as pronounced as at lower bitrates.

Having said that, I can't reproduce seeing this on most LCD screens because they just aren't bright enough. But on a CRT, when looking at still frames, it is very clear that the quality of certain frames is significantly poorer than the original MPEG2 encoding on the DVD, which is what your original question was about.

To give you an idea of how quickly this encoder starts discarding information, I have a clip that is 372 MB at 100% quality, 131 MB at 96% quality, and 55 MB at 90% quality.

And I also find that H.264 as implemented in HandBrake can actually be much WORSE than MPEG-4. On a test clip I've been using, H.264 at 90% quality looks noticeably worse than MPEG4 at 100%, despite that fact that the H.264 file is more than twice as big. As I said above, the quality loss is only blatantly apparent in dark scenes, but it's not hard to detect in other places as well if you have the original MPEG-2 video for comparison.

Most likely you'll end up accepting some of this quality loss. I've been trying to resist it but I'm probably going to have to give in since data rates of 9 MBPS can be hard to stomach even with a big hard drive. My two suggestions are to use constant quality (at least 90%) and don't bother with H.264 while you're at high bit rates (I have not tested HandBrake at lower bitrates to see if H.264 performs better there). But you really should investigate other quality settings because the loss may not be noticeable on your TV or flat panel. Instead of encoding an entire disc, pick a short chapter that's a few minutes long and encode it several times with different quality settings.
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 02:28 PM
 
I'm still playing around with this. I'm starting with some shorts, so it doesn't take so long to try various settings. I'm really surprised there's not more info on this on the web. This must be a common task (archiving DVDs on a file server).

Wow... 9Mbps? That's what you get at 100%? BTW, how do you know? Where can you view the bitrate?
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 02:57 PM
 
Nevermind, I found the info on average bitrate.

What's the bitrate of a raw DVD?

Just for comparison, I ripped Boundin' and Jack Jack Attack from The Incredibles DVD. I tried three different settings: constant bitrate at 1000 and 2000 kbps, and then constant quality at 100%. The other settings were:

- MPEG-4/AAC
- FFmpeg
- 128 kbps, 44.1kHz, English AC3 5ch
- framerate "same as source"

Here are the outcomes:

Boundin': 37.5MB (1000), 69.7MB (2000), 294.5MB (100%)
Jack Jack Attack: 35.8MB (1000), 65MB (2000), 190.7MB (100%)

Obviously, the 100% setting made a huge difference. I haven't watched them yet on my 100" projection system.
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 03:00 PM
 
First off, I want to thank you guys for pointing me to Handbrake. This is by far the best app I have seen. And you literally cannot beat the price.

I have been playing for a few days now and here's what I think:
If youre going to use the 'constant quality' setting, you should use the x264 codec. It seems there is much more control over the level of compression with this than ffmgeg or Xvid. I found that about 76% gives a file of similar size and nearly equal quality of the DVD. Using FFmpeg, a quality of 96% results in a major degradation, while 98% is identical to 100% in size. So I'm not sure whats up with that.

I have settled on shooting for a given file size and the x264 (main profile). I set the file size to 90% of the DVD, since I'm not too concerned with compression. This gives between 3500-4500 kbps depending on the title. The ripped video looks good. Nearly indistinguishable from the DVD.

Good times.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 03:32 PM
 
You guys, if you're not going to compress the movie (more than about 1:2), you should just leave it as MPEG-2. Reencoding to another lossy format will ALWAYS reduce quality, and ALWAYS take loads of time. The only reason to ever do that is to significantly reduce the file size (or to get compatibility, but unless this is for your ipod, MPEG-2 is just fine for compatibility with any device you'll ever have).

Also zoom, you should double check your audio settings. If you're having it cram 5.1 AC3 into 128 kbps it's going to sound awful. Even AAC (a better compression codec) can really only go down to about 192 without sound bad (with 6 channels).
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 05:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
You guys, if you're not going to compress the movie (more than about 1:2), you should just leave it as MPEG-2. Reencoding to another lossy format will ALWAYS reduce quality, and ALWAYS take loads of time. The only reason to ever do that is to significantly reduce the file size (or to get compatibility, but unless this is for your ipod, MPEG-2 is just fine for compatibility with any device you'll ever have).

Also zoom, you should double check your audio settings. If you're having it cram 5.1 AC3 into 128 kbps it's going to sound awful. Even AAC (a better compression codec) can really only go down to about 192 without sound bad (with 6 channels).
But I can't access Video_TS folders from Frontrow. I've heard that there is a script that allows this. I will try that before I proceed further with converting my collection.
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 06:41 PM
 
Dealing with a VIDEO_TS folder is a pain. Even in XBMC, you have to "stack" it (I think). And I don't think Front Row will take it. I'm looking at maybe doing an Apple TV, so that's important.

I had assumed the 128kbps encoding was per channel. Was I wrong? Does anyone know for sure? It's the default in Handbrake - I would hope the default would be decent.

Handbrake doesn't seem to remember any of my settings - I have to reset them every time. That's a PITA. Am I missing something?

I don't care too much about file size, I'm mainly looking for a) a single file and b) something that will work in iTunes/FrontRow/AppleTV.

Anyone know how to make a VIDEO_TS folder work with Apple TV and Front Row?

How do you set the DVD cover info? What's the "ID3" info for movies? Can you make it look like a regular iTunes-purchased movie? I'd love to see the DVD cover and get the info.
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 07:21 PM
 
I just tried to play a high bitrate movie on XBMC and it didn't work... it was choppy.

Now, I have a 54MB wifi connection for the XBox, not a LAN connection. But I don't think that's the issue, I think it's the CPU. However, I've played VIDEO_TS files over this link from the XBOX. That's uncompressed, though, so I would think there's less for the Xbox to have to do (CPU-wise).

I'll have to play more with it later.
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 07:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
Anyone know how to make a VIDEO_TS folder work with Apple TV and Front Row?

How do you set the DVD cover info? What's the "ID3" info for movies? Can you make it look like a regular iTunes-purchased movie? I'd love to see the DVD cover and get the info.
DVD Assist is a script that allows you to access Video_TS folders with Frontrow and play them with Apple's DVD player. It's kind of a clever, convoluted work-around that requires some time and effort to set up, but it works just fine so far as I've used it.

You can replace the 'run the movie' file with any movie to act as a preview in frontrow. See the Readme for more details.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 08:08 PM
 
I wouldn't bother with the time and quality loss of reencoding to save 10%.

I rip all my DVDs and dump them on a couple big external drives, then recompress to 1GB (Xvid) for the ones I want to keep on my laptop.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 08:42 PM
 
Who said Video TS folder? Just remux the raw streams into one mpeg file. Of if you're dealing with QuickTime, remux to a mov file (where AC3 audio can be read with a few different free third party decoders).

Remuxing is worlds better than re-encoding, both for video quality and speed.
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 09:03 PM
 
Okay... how does one remux a DVD?
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 17, 2007, 10:01 PM
 
Just rip it with any of a dozen DVD rippers that allow you to choose program streams. I use 0SEx, but that's just because it's the first one that came out for OS X and I didn't bother to shop around (since it works, and they're all equivalent).

If you already have a VIDEO_TS folder, MPEG StreamClip is good for doing things to it. Open the first file, SC does the right thing™, and export to mpeg.
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2007, 08:57 AM
 
I'm still not sure I follow. Tell me technically what you're doing, maybe that will help. You're converting the VOB format to straight MPEG-2? Will that result in a single file? What's the file extension for MPEG-2? Do I need it to be .mov for iTunes and Front Row?

Can you (or someone) explain how to do this with one or more of the following? These are the apps I have.

- Mac the Ripper
- DVD2OneX
- Toast 7 Titanium
- Handbrake
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2007, 11:14 AM
 
I downloaded MPEG StreamClip, but it says I need the MPEG-2 codec from Apple. It's $20. Why so much? Is that what the licensing fee is for MPEG-2??

Is there a free way to get this? If I were to buy QuickTime Pro, would I get this codec included for $30 (doesn't look like it)? How about Popcorn 2? Sounds like this app would do it, too.

Thanks for all this info, btw. Good stuff! I think I'm closing in on this. If all this works, it sounds like the plan will be this:

- rip the entire disk with Mac The Ripper
- post-process the VIDEO_TS folder with something to create an MPEG-2 file

I wish I could use just one app for all of this, but I don't think Handbrake will do MPEG-2 and Popcorn won't rip an encrypted DVD.

Will Toast 7 do any of this? I thought it was supposed to include most of the features from Popcorn, but I don't see them anywhere.
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2007, 11:22 AM
 
How about ffmpegX? It's $15, I think - cheaper than the Apple MPEG-2 codec. Sounds like it will not decrypt the DVD, either, but it's cheaper than MPEG StreamClip.

Wow... just downloaded this... LOTS of options... too many, really. Can anyone tell me the settings I want here??

It's not asking me for money, either. I downloaded some freeware codecs from SourceForge (it told me where to find them) and it seems ready to roll.
( Last edited by Zoom; Feb 18, 2007 at 11:32 AM. Reason: update)
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2007, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
I'm still not sure I follow. Tell me technically what you're doing, maybe that will help.
1. Download 0SEx and open it. 2. Select "prog streams" (program streams). 3. Rip your DVD. You will get one big vob file with your movie in it. That's what you want (it will play anywhere except QT), namely XBMC or VLC.

You're converting the VOB format to straight MPEG-2?
No. Vob stands for Video OBject file. It is a standard format. On DVDs it contains MPEG-2 video and (usually) AC3 audio. There is no "straight MPEG-2," though that phrase might imply elementary MPEG-2 streams (sometimes have the extension .mpv). You don't want those, btw.

Will that result in a single file?
yes.

Do I need it to be .mov for iTunes and Front Row?
I don't know, but if you do, you can install the Apple MPEG-2 decoder and either of the 2 3rd party ac3 decoders, then extract the ac3 audio and re-add it, since Apple's VOB parser discards the audio.

Can you (or someone) explain how to do this with one or more of the following? These are the apps I have.

- Mac the Ripper
- DVD2OneX
- Toast 7 Titanium
- Handbrake
You need to explain what you want to do. If, as you said, you're going with XBMC, just rip the VOB and you're done.
Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
I downloaded MPEG StreamClip, but it says I need the MPEG-2 codec from Apple. It's $20. Why so much? Is that what the licensing fee is for MPEG-2??
Yes, that's nominally the reason. I don't know what the license fee is, but it's probably less than that, and this is probably a deal Apple worked out to compensate the MPEGLA for some other free MPEG-2 usage, like DVD Player.

Is there a free way to get this?
Not legally.

If I were to buy QuickTime Pro, would I get this codec included for $30 (doesn't look like it)?
No.

How about Popcorn 2? Sounds like this app would do it, too.
I don't know about Popcorn, but from what I heard it will just shrink the (MPEG-2) vob files, it won't allow you to play them on anything that doesn't play them already.

- rip the entire disk with Mac The Ripper
- post-process the VIDEO_TS folder with something to create an MPEG-2 file

I wish I could use just one app for all of this, but I don't think Handbrake will do MPEG-2 and Popcorn won't rip an encrypted DVD.
I already told you, use another ripper, like 0SEx. The other one I've used before is yade (yet another DVD extractor). I dislike MTR, so I'm not very familiar with it, but if it forces you to use VIDEO_TS folders that would explain my dislike (I've forgotten the source of it). DVD rippers had moved past VIDEO_TS folders long before OS X came out.

Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
How about ffmpegX? It's $15, I think - cheaper than the Apple MPEG-2 codec. Sounds like it will not decrypt the DVD, either, but it's cheaper than MPEG StreamClip.
Yes it will, but you'll have 10 more threads like this one before you figure out how to get what you want from it. That's the nature of the app, it's too complicated for me, too. It totally ignores the programming principle that the goal is to hide (unneccessary) complexity from the user. It is free to use though, it's nagware, not crippleware.

I do use ffmpeg for extracting streams sometimes, especially from avi files. Find the cli binary in the .app resources folder and type this:

ffmpeg -i infile -acodec copy -vcodec copy outfile.ac3

where infile and outfile are the paths to your desired files (drag files into Terminal to get their paths quickly), and add the proper file name extension to your outfile, if you don't want ac3.

Wow... just downloaded this... LOTS of options... too many, really. Can anyone tell me the settings I want here??
Oh, you already found out. That's what I'm talking about.
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2007, 03:18 PM
 
But you will still need to purchase the MPEG-2 enabler for QT if you want to watch these movies through Frontrow. Or can you access VLC with frontrow somehow?
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 19, 2007, 10:28 AM
 
Not sure why I didn't find this on my own till now... but here's a Handbrake forum thread with lots of settings info.

HandBrake :: View topic - Post Your "Best" Settings Here, and WHY

I'm working a bunch of my geek engineer friends on this issue. I'll try to report back what we come up with, though most of these guys are Windoze types.
27" iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive
MacBook Air 13", 4GB RAM, 128GB drive
iPhone 5 (AT&T)
     
   
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:56 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2015 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2