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Old 2nd March 2005, 20:48   #1  |  Link
absinthe
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AVC in AVI vs. Mp4 wrapper?

I used Nero Recode for the first time recently for AVC compression, which of course output an Mp4 file.

I decided to give the open-source x264 codec a shot, so I installed and created a short sample file using the same procedures I use to create XviDs (i.e. I did it with VirtualDub). VirtualDub of course puts out an AVI file.

I can't play back my file, basically. I've installed ffdshow, but I think I read somewhere in the forum about an installer flaw that doesn't register the codec.

Regardless, my question is: do AVC files have to be in an MP4 file ... or can they be in an AVI?

-abs
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Old 2nd March 2005, 20:52   #2  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by absinthe
Regardless, my question is: do AVC files have to be in an MP4 file ... or can they be in an AVI?
an avc stream can be in any container which is capable of handling the stream

eg .avi cant handle arbitrary coding orders of avc
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Old 2nd March 2005, 21:22   #3  |  Link
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Ok, thanks

So now my question(s) is (are):

-What do I use for a front end in order to output AVC in an MP4 wrapper? (I don't use AutoGK or other one-click tools).

-I did see a tutorial that mentioned "MP4UI" for multiplexing. Can I just create the video through VirtualDub (into an AVI), and then use MP4UI to import the video from the AVI?

-Can I have an AVC Mp4 without any audio?

-Am I right about ffdshow not being registered? I prefer to watch everything in Media Player Classic.

-Lastly, as a matter of curiosity, can Nero Showtime play back open-source x264 files?

Sorry to revert to newb status ....

-abs
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Old 2nd March 2005, 21:32   #4  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by absinthe
Ok, thanks

So now my question(s) is (are):

-What do I use for a front end in order to output AVC in an MP4 wrapper? (I don't use AutoGK or other one-click tools).

-I did see a tutorial that mentioned "MP4UI" for multiplexing. Can I just create the video through VirtualDub (into an AVI), and then use MP4UI to import the video from the AVI?

-Can I have an AVC Mp4 without any audio?

-Am I right about ffdshow not being registered? I prefer to watch everything in Media Player Classic.

-Lastly, as a matter of curiosity, can Nero Showtime play back open-source x264 files?

Sorry to revert to newb status ....

-abs
-If you plan to backup dvd's you can always try my autoAC GUI, very easy to use. http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=90732
-If you use virtualdub and avi you have to convert the avi into a raw stream first to mux it into an MP4.
-Yes you can have an AVC MP4 without audio.
-In FFDSHOW you must configure it to decode h264 video streams(make sure you have the latest build first).
-Yes Nero Showtime can play open-source x264 files. But you can also use mplayer or Osmo4.
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Old 2nd March 2005, 21:45   #5  |  Link
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mp4ui cant handle avc!
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Old 2nd March 2005, 22:41   #6  |  Link
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Use mp4muxer for AVC.
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=89803
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Old 3rd March 2005, 02:01   #7  |  Link
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Ok, so I've grabbed mp4muxer and its needed tools, but I still can't create anything playable. I'm inputting mp3 audio and an AVI file containing AVC that was output by VirtualDub. I assume the output file is this "tmpf4.mp4," but for some reason the proggie also outputs the files "dummysub.srt," "tmpf3.h264," "tmpf5.xvid," and "vdummy.mp4.," all of which appear to be basically empty or dummy files.

I can't play the file in MPC, Osmo, or Nero Showtime. ffdshow is installed, but I don't see anywhere in its config where I can set it up for mp4/AVC decoding.

Here's the log from mp4muxer:
Quote:
LogWindow - Status
1] "C:\WINDOWS\system32\mp4creator.exe" -c "D:\\dummy.aac" "D:\\vdummy.mp4"
Dummy MP4 -> D:\\vdummy.mp4 generiert
skipping aac extraction (1) - no mp4 input!
skipping aac extraction (2) - no mp4 input!
2] "C:\WINDOWS\system32\avi2raw.exe" -v "D:\h264test.avi" "D:\\tmpf3.h264"
3] "C:\WINDOWS\system32\avi2raw.exe" -e=8 -v "D:\h264test.avi" "D:\\tmpf5.xvid"
skipping h264 extraction - no mp4 input! <- This doesn't look right!
skipping mp4box aac -> mp4 migration. - no aac converted tempfile found...
4] "C:\Program Files\GPAC\MP4Box.exe" -add "D:\x264.mp3" "D:\\vdummy.mp4" -out "D:\\tmpf4.mp4"
skipping aac -> mp4 conversion
skipping -> mp4 conversion
h264/xvid processing...
5] "C:\WINDOWS\system32\mp4creator.exe" -c "D:\\tmpf3.h264" -rate 25 "D:\\tmpf4.mp4"
6] "C:\WINDOWS\system32\mp4creator.exe" -c "D:\\tmpf5.xvid" -rate 25 "D:\\tmpf4.mp4"
7] "C:\WINDOWS\system32\mp4creator.exe" -c "D:\h264test.avi" -rate 25 "D:\\tmpf4.mp4"
Keine Untertitelspur 1 gefunden...Generiere Dummy-SRT
dummy.srt generiert.
using Dummy Subtitle File.
skipping also Sub 2 File. No Subs added.
8] "C:\Program Files\GPAC\MP4Box.exe" -add "D:\\dummysub.srt" "D:\\tmpf4.mp4" -out "D:\\CompleteVideo.mp4"
9] "C:\Program Files\GPAC\MP4Box.exe" -optimize "D:\\CompleteVideo.mp4"
Löschen der Tempfiles erfolgreich.
Fertig!
I'm still trying to figure out what I can use to do nothing but encode video using the x264 codec, besides VirtualDub that is.

-abs
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Old 3rd March 2005, 04:39   #8  |  Link
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Also, why does the command line indicate "rate 25?" My video was 29.97.

-abs
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Old 3rd March 2005, 10:30   #9  |  Link
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Quote:
Ok, so I've grabbed mp4muxer and its needed tools, but I still can't create anything playable. I'm inputting mp3 audio and an AVI file containing AVC that was output by VirtualDub. I assume the output file is this "tmpf4.mp4," but for some reason the proggie also outputs the files "dummysub.srt," "tmpf3.h264," "tmpf5.xvid," and "vdummy.mp4.," all of which appear to be basically empty or dummy files.
There are lots of ways to do this actually!

A simple way is to use mencoder and MeGui from Doom9

here

That will output in avi for now, although mp4 support is planned I believe.

Also, have you tried Gknot? The recent betas support x264. (again in avi)

Your method in Virtualdub should also work just fine - it sounds like playback is the problem here.

To play it back you just need a recent version of ffdshow that has been configured to decode h264. (its just an option in the properties of the decoder) then you should be ableto play it in media player classic.

Alternatively have you tried a recent build of videolan for playback?
Or perhaps mplayer, that will also playback x264, most likely ffplay will too.

Videolan builds

(and even possibly for transcoding/encoding if its fixed now.. I've not checked)

Stick with it!

Ivan
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Old 3rd March 2005, 14:01   #10  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by absinthe
Also, why does the command line indicate "rate 25?" My video was 29.97.

-abs
So mp4muxer will not work for you, sorry for this
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Old 3rd March 2005, 14:25   #11  |  Link
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That will output in avi for now, although mp4 support is planned I believe.
Actually, MP4 output is already possible.. it just doesn't seem to work for everybody (obviously it works on my box or I'd have never released it). The next build which contains tons of improvements, is days away now. Hopefully, all the MP4 problems will be gone by then.
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Old 3rd March 2005, 14:48   #12  |  Link
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isn't "ac3-in-mp4" impossible (at least by the specs?)
/me jumps to the video mp4 bandwagon when hd-dvd/blu-ray hit the streets
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Old 3rd March 2005, 15:08   #13  |  Link
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So is MeGui something I can use to feed in an AviSynth script, config the codec, and output in an Mp4?

I really don't like 1-clickish tools. I gave a quick look at AutoAC, but it doesn't seem to allow enough configuration. I.e., I tried a DVD of TV episodes. AutoAC just asks for the IFO file, so I pointed it to that, and it seemed to indicate it was only 43 minutes long. But that's just one of the episodes on the disc (they're all in one titleset).

-abs
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Old 3rd March 2005, 15:41   #14  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by twist3d
isn't "ac3-in-mp4" impossible (at least by the specs?)
It is not impossible, but not very convenient either...

Quote:

/me jumps to the video mp4 bandwagon when hd-dvd/blu-ray hit the streets
Is the MP4-container gonna be used for them?
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Old 3rd March 2005, 15:58   #15  |  Link
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So is MeGui something I can use to feed in an AviSynth script, config the codec, and output in an Mp4?
Exactly. RAW output and AVI output is also supported. In the future, AAC encoding (and muxing in MP4) will also be supported. You can access all x264 options, pretty much all the XviD options and a good number of the lavc mpeg-4 options and can configure the rest by changing the autogenerated commandline.

And you can have your own profiles for video and audio encoding (as many as you like.. just select input, output, load profile and you're set to go), and there's a flexible queueing system like you know it from VDub (with imho some improvements over it like a more accurate start/end time, indication of the average FPS and codec and encoding mode for each job).
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Old 3rd March 2005, 16:09   #16  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by absinthe
So is MeGui something I can use to feed in an AviSynth script, config the codec, and output in an Mp4?

I really don't like 1-clickish tools. I gave a quick look at AutoAC, but it doesn't seem to allow enough configuration. I.e., I tried a DVD of TV episodes. AutoAC just asks for the IFO file, so I pointed it to that, and it seemed to indicate it was only 43 minutes long. But that's just one of the episodes on the disc (they're all in one titleset).

-abs
If you have discs with episodes in one titleset you can always use dvdshrink to split them and then AutoAC. I know that's not a smart way but it's the only one right now.
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Old 4th March 2005, 02:35   #17  |  Link
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Ok, I was able to create a short, 1-minute sample mp4 that did in fact play in MPC. Odd, though, that MPC said was it 5 min 27 sec long, when it fact it was only 1 min 10 sec long.

Anyway, that was just video. Now I guess I need a way to mux in audio, until MeGui can do that. Do I need to learn command lines for mp4creator??

-abs
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Old 4th March 2005, 05:22   #18  |  Link
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Ok, this is taking a great deal of playing around ... but anyway, I've managed to encode with x264 via MeGUI. I had to play around with the mp4creator command line, but I was able to mux audio into the file.

I'm not sure the mp4 guide here at doom9 is accurate insofar as the letter c in the command line doesn't seem to work; I had to replace it with "create" ... ala
Code:
mp4creator -create=myaudio.mp3 -H -I rate=29.97 meGuiOutput.mp4
Encoding was slooooooooooow. I'd like to give a whole movie a try but I'm afraid it would take days. And I haven't even started to play with any of the parameters yet. What settings to use? 2-pass? CQ? 2 B-frames?

There just has to be a better reference to the command lines somewhere. There's so much else to be done. What if, for instance, I wanted to strip the audio OUT of the file, or the video, or mux in other items, etc.? ...

-abs
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Old 4th March 2005, 08:37   #19  |  Link
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launching mp4creator without parameters will give you a list of what you can do And with reasonable settings (15 reference frames is NOT! reasonable.. if you look at the codec comparison ateme suggested 3 ref frames and would've fared much worse if they went for insane reference frame settings), x264's speed is quite okay on a decent box (>3GHz is decent these days It should be around real-time on my box, so 4h for a 2h movie.
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Old 4th March 2005, 20:07   #20  |  Link
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Well, I'm definitely going to have to hurry along with that next upgrade, cuz my Athlon 1600 XP took about an hour to do 2 passes on a 2-and-a-half minute sample file! Whoa! I thought I'd read that AVC compression was faster. I'm sure that was in reference to the Nero product, but I've used that too and it took quite some time to encode a whole 2-hour movie. I'd say at least 50% longer than XviD.

Anyway, as a test I've ripped the trailer from the DVD of one of my favorite movies, the 'Mothman Prophecies.' It has a lot of dark colors, is progressive and anamorphic, and even has a 6-channel soundtrack. I haven't examined the output that closely yet, but the skin tones in it are definitely blue!

I've reencoded the AC3 to AAC with BeLight, and now my query is: how to mux the AAC in with the video. The procedure I outlined above (with mp3) won't work as BeSweet outputs AAC in an Mp4 container, but Mp4creator won't accept mp4 as an input type. It wants an *.aac file.

How can I strip the AAC out of the MP4 container? I've looked at the mp4creator command list, but I don't see anything about it. There really oughta be a better reference ...

Thanks!

-abs
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