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Old 11th October 2009, 14:24   #1  |  Link
UncleBruce
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Codecs, planning, debugging

I'm trying to upgrade a computer lab at a university. The lab will need to be able to display MP4 videos (which it cannot do at the moment). The OS is Windows XP, and the image will be frozen (that means that it will revert to the original after every re-boot - which in turn means that I have to get it 100% right the first time).

I will be able to create sample of most of the videos that need to be played.

My questions are:

1) for a given video, how do I figure out which codecs / filters must be installed in order for it to be playable?

2) (the other side of question 1) for a given codec / filter, how do I figure out what it does (and more specifically, what type / sub-type of video it works with)?
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Old 11th October 2009, 16:04   #2  |  Link
JonE
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If you are just after playing them, try VLC Player.

However, if you are trying to get other programs to read the files, and assuming they use DirectShow, first step is to install the Halli splitter and Ffdshow Tryouts.

There are a few other MP4 splitters; one I just know as MP4Splitter.ax by Gabest (turns up in codec packs but I would strongly advise against installing codec packs) and another by Geraint Davies.

To see what's what, use the DirectShow graphing tool, there is GraphEdt which is part of a Microsoft SDK, but way better is Monogram Studio.

You can drop a video file on Monogram Studio and if all the necessary DirectShow components are available it will automatically build a graph that can play the video, as well as showing you exactly which components (filters) were used. If not, you can often manually add a file source then try and connect that to an appropriate splitter (standard AVI, Halli, whatever); if connection succeeds then you know its a decoder and not the splitter thats missing; right-click on one of the splitter's output pins and you can see the appropriate fourCC (amongst other things).

TTFN,
Jon
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Old 11th October 2009, 16:05   #3  |  Link
iffybob
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Gspot will tell you if you have the correct codecs installed to view a file, as for which codecs, there are many codec packs, I use http://sourceforge.net/projects/ffdshow

These should allow you not only to play mp4's but most anything.
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Old 12th October 2009, 17:30   #4  |  Link
UncleBruce
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Codecs, planning, debugging

That only gives me part of the answer.

How do I walk up to a machine and determine if it has the Haali splitter and the ffdshow tryout installed on it? Would GSpot give me any information or clues on this?

How would I recognize any of the alternatives? Is there a utility that will give me a list of splitters?

+++

I tried the utility from Monogram Studios - it was called Graphstudio64. While it displays a lovely graph of mpg files, it was unable to even open any of the mp4 files I tried. (Those mp4's play fine on my machine in quick-time.

GSpot gives me a couple of 'undetermined' (this is on my main machine - where I have not been experiencing any problems at all), and only the MS A/V button works (the GSpot buttons say that GSpot is not yet capable of attempting to render this file type).

I'll take GSpot over to the University lab machines and see what happens there.
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Old 12th October 2009, 17:44   #5  |  Link
burfadel
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I'd suggest using the latest mpc-hc from xvidvideo.ru
use the standalone file, and can be loaded whenever you need it and has most common filters built in.
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Old 12th October 2009, 18:49   #6  |  Link
UncleBruce
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xvid video.ru standalone filters

OK - I've downloaded the set of standalone filters from xvid video.ru that burfadel suggested. There are 35 of them.

Is there a particular place I need to put them so that the playing utilities can find them?

At the moment, they are all in a relatively obscure download directory.
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Old 12th October 2009, 21:13   #7  |  Link
JonE
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The Quicktime player I beleive isn't using directshow to play video but does it natively, so whilst Quicktime itself can play it that doesn't mean that the majority of Windows video apps can also play it.

One place you may like to start is Medialooks. Alternatively you could try here.

Quote:
I tried the utility from Monogram Studios - it was called Graphstudio64. While it displays a lovely graph of mpg files, it was unable to even open any of the mp4 files I tried. (Those mp4's play fine on my machine in quick-time.
Graphstudio shows builds graphs as they would be built by default under windows - you can experiment with other components that would not have been used as standard to see if the are better/ worse before attempting to get the default system to use them.

In Monogram, select "Graph"->"Insert Filter" - this will list all teh DirectShow components on the system, look for any with "splitter" in the title. However, you can't play a particular file simply don't have the right components yet.

You haven't mentioned why you want to play the files - if it really is just play them then try MPC-HC suggested by burfadel, but if you want other applications to play them then you need to persevere with DirectShow I'm afraid.

TTFN,
Jon
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Old 12th October 2009, 21:36   #8  |  Link
clsid
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All you need is:
ffdshow
MP4 splitter
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Old 12th October 2009, 23:45   #9  |  Link
RunningSkittle
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No need for directshow, splitters or filters... just use VLC, Mplayer or MPC-HC and set the file associations according to your needs!

(by the way UncleBruce, burfadel did not mean standalone filters, me meant the standalone executable )

Last edited by RunningSkittle; 12th October 2009 at 23:49.
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