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Old 23rd March 2007, 08:15   #1  |  Link
zambelli
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WMCmd.vbs WME9 script update released - 10/11/07

I'm starting a new thread devoted to WMCmd.vbs script updates (as the old one was more about the WVC1 beta codec package).


WMCmd.vbs
Windows Media Encoder Command Line Script Utility

Disclaimer: Although I do work for Microsoft, please understand that this is not an official Microsoft update. WME9 is considered a legacy product so it's unlikely there will be any official WMCmd.vbs updates coming from Microsoft in the future.



The latest version was released on October 11, 2007. You can download it here:


What is it?
Windows Media Encoder 9 Series is best known as a standalone encoder application, but it actually shipped with an entire encoder SDK that allowed 3rd parties to develop their own WM encoder interfaces. A proof-of-concept command-line utility written in VBScript and based entirely on the encoder SDK was included with WME9. That is WMCmd.vbs. When run from the command-line with cscript.exe, this utility provides all the power and (most of the) features of WME9 to the advanced user who prefers the speed and robustness of a command-line encoder.

Why an update?
The original script was released with WME9 in 2002. No subsequent updates to WME9 (such as the x64 release) updated the script, but as updates to the codecs were released through new WMP and WM Format releases, it became obvious that changes to the old script were necessary to get the most out of the new codecs.

What's new?
The updated WMCmd.vbs added support for WVC1 (WMV9 Advanced Profile) encoding, WMA10 Professional encoding, advanced WMV9 settings, AviSynth input, better progress reporting, additional metadata support, revised documentation, video quality presets, etc. The full changelog is posted here and here.


Requirements:
  • Windows Media Encoder 9 Series or its SDK
  • Windows Vista users should also download and install hotfix KB929182 before using WMCmd.vbs.
  • Although WME9/WMCmd.vbs will work with both WM Format 9 (WMP9) and WM Format 9.5 (WMP10) codecs, it is recommended that you update to the latest WM Format 11 codecs, currently available for download in XP and included in Vista. Advanced video encoding settings will only work with v11 codecs.

Full command-line help: http://www.citizeninsomniac.com/WMV/WMCmd.txt (also available when you run "cscript.exe wmcmd.vbs" without any arguments)


Changelog:

10-11-2007:
-----------
  • Added -v_qp option as an alternative to -v_quality for 1-pass VBR encoding (which is in fact a fixed QP encoding mode). Whereas -v_quality uses an abstract 0 to 100 scale, -v_qp maps directly to quantizer parameter values in the 1.0 to 31.0 range (in 0.5 increments).
  • Encoder registry settings are now removed immediately after the encoder session is started because the codec only reads them once at the beginning of the encode so there's no reason for them to hang around until the end of the encoding session. This ought to improve parallel encoding jobs interoperability too.
  • The script no longer indiscriminately destroys existing encoder registry settings. At the beginning of each encoding session it saves the existing registry settings and then restores them at the end. This improves usability in cases where one set of advanced encoder settings is set externally (manually or via PowerToy) while another is used from the command-line.
  • Deprecated -v_percopt in favor of new -v_adz option because valid range for -v_percopt didn't make much sense. -v_percopt will continue to work as before but it is no longer documented. -v_adz value range now matches that of "Perceptual Option" (Adaptive Dead-Zone) in WMV9 PowerToy. If both -v_percopt and -v_adz are specified, -v_percopt values will override -v_adz values.
  • Redefined and fully documented -v_preset quality presets. They should now better reflect their speed and quality rankings.
  • Made -v_compopt 1 into an Advanced Profile exclusive option because some of its components were exclusive to Advanced Profile. It's best to be on the safe side.

5-21-2007:
----------
  • Added -log option for redirecting all text output to a file.
  • Updated some descriptions for advanced video settings.
  • Added a FAQ section to this release document.

4-14-2007:
----------
  • IMPORTANT CHANGE: Remapped -v_mslevel (Motion Search Level) values to correctly reflect the codec implementation. 0 is now the default luma search and 3 and 4 are adaptive chroma modes.
  • Added an -a_input option that allows specifying an alternative audio source to the one present in the main -input source. This makes it possible to use separate video and audio source files from the command-line, as it's always been possible in the WME9 GUI.
  • Updated the documentation, expanded sections on dquant and perceptual optimization options. Very useful options for preserving fine detail.
  • Fixed a bug where simultaneous encoding jobs would get simultaneously killed as soon as one encoding job finished.

3-22-2007:
----------
  • Added a -v_preset option that introduces 5 intuitive video quality presets:
    Fast, Good, Better, Best and Insane. Unlike the -v_compopt 1 preset that is defined within the codec, -v_preset values are defined in the script and can be easily changed and refined in future versions.
  • Added -v_complexity as an alias for -v_performance expressed on a 0-5 scale.
  • Fixed bug that sometimes caused the script to hang or overwrite certain parameters when an external configuration file (-config) was loaded.
  • Improved the unknown source duration workaround by having the script automatically add the new file extension (like Avisynth .avs) to the list of formats WMP is allowed to play. No more security dialogs on first launch!
  • Added profile compliance checking for advanced WMV9 settings - will not set certain registry keys if Simple or Main profiles are selected.
  • Added code to check if WMEncoder object is initialized correctly before proceeding with encode.
  • Removed the -help? option which launched WME9 CHM help file from cmd line.
  • Removed old Complex Profile (CP) support entirely - translates to AP now.
  • Changed Lookahead maximum value to 30.
  • Updated the documentation, corrected some vague and erroneous descriptions.
8-25-2006:
----------
  • Fixed a bug in configuration saving (-s_config) and loading (-config) functions that prevented command-line parameters containing quotation marks from being processed correctly.
  • Added code to check whether specified video profile (-v_profile) is supported by the video codec used (-v_codec). For example, can't use SP or MP with WVC1.
5-19-2006:
----------
  • Added support for WVC1 encoding (WMV9 Advanced Profile video codec).
  • Added support for WMA10 Professional low-bitrate encoding and changed WMA codec identifiers to be version-agnostic (i.e. WMASTD instead of WMA9STD)
  • Added command-line parameters for advanced video settings otherwise exposed only through the registry. For details, see: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...dsettings.aspx
  • Added support for Avisynth (.avs) script sources and worked around a related duration bug in the source plugin.
  • Rewrote the encoding progress screen so that it estimates encoding time, ETA and encoding speed.
  • Added command-line parameters for music centric metadata such as album, track number, release year, genre, etc.
  • Added metadata summary to the output screen.
  • Added documentation for the new advanced video settings to the inline help.
  • Reorganized inline help documentation and grouped settings in a more intuitive way.
  • Fixed bug where encoder script would sometimes hang at the end of encoding process.
  • Improved error handling for bad source files.

Last edited by zambelli; 11th October 2007 at 09:36.
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Old 23rd March 2007, 08:19   #2  |  Link
zambelli
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Copying here from an old post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by zambelli
Yep, the encoder script now supports .avs inputs. The truth of the matter is that it always did. You see, WME9 has a concept of source plugins which allows it to treat file inputs, screen captures and device captures in a very similar fashion. It uses its own AVI source plugin to read AVI files, and that plugin cannot retrieve the duration property from AVS scripts - for one reason or another. So the AVS workaround was to retrieve the duration using some other method. Wmcmd being VBScript based, it wasn't possible to use DirectShow or VfW, so I used the next best thing: WMP ActiveX control. If for some reason the duration can't be retrieved again (i.e. XP with absolutely no WMP present), you'll still be able to encode - you just won't have the pretty progress bar to tell you how long you need to take the lunch break for.
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Old 23rd March 2007, 08:47   #3  |  Link
zambelli
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The most interesting addition to the 3-22-2007 release might be the new -v_preset parameter, so let me elaborate on it a bit...

Dealing with WMV9 encoding at home and at work, I would often get asked about "best" encoding parameters for various scenarios. As I was updating the script with other things recently, it occurred to me that some of these "best encoding practices" could be added as presets to the encoder script, allowing people to easily improve WMV quality (or encoding speed) without worrying too much about all the various parameters. Consider it an attempt at a one-size-fits-all quality solution, similar to the --preset switch in LAME MP3 encoder, for example.

The closest we had to this up until now was the -v_compopt 1 switch, but that one was actually implemented inside the codec. The new presets are implemented entirely in the script which means we can tweak and refine them as we come up with better encoding settings.

The current presets are as follows:
  • fast - Up to 1.5x faster than default with an acceptable quality tradeoff. The preset sets:
    • Complexity = 2 (-v_performance 40)
    • Lookahead = 30 (-v_lookahead 30)
    • Loopfilter = On (-v_loopfilter 1)
    • Overlap Filter = On (-v_overlap 1)
    • Motion Search Level = Auto w/ Integer Chroma (-v_mslevel 0)
  • good - Similar speed as default but with more accurate motion search. This one is probably safe to use when otherwise you'd use no advanced features. The preset sets:
    • Complexity = 3 (-v_performance 60)
    • Lookahead = 30 (-v_lookahead 30)
    • Loopfilter = On (-v_loopfilter 1)
    • Motion Search Level = Auto w/ Integer Chroma (-v_mslevel 0)
  • better - Up to 1.5x slower than default but more efficient in ratecontrol. The big boost here are B-frames, along with expanded MV range and adaptive chroma search. The preset sets:
    • Complexity = 3 (-v_performance 60)
    • Lookahead = 30 (-v_lookahead 30)
    • Loopfilter = On (-v_loopfilter 1)
    • Motion Search Level = Auto w/ Integer Chroma (-v_mslevel 0)
    • Motion Search Range = Auto (-v_msrange 0)
    • Motion Vector Cost = Dynamic (-v_mvcost 1)
    • B-frames = 1 (-v_bframedist 1)
  • best - Up to 5x slower than default but with noticeably better quality. This will probably be "best enough" for most folks. One complexity level higher than "better", with MB-adaptive motion matching. The preset sets:
    • Complexity = 4 (-v_performance 80)
    • Lookahead = 30 (-v_lookahead 30)
    • Loopfilter = On (-v_loopfilter 1)
    • Motion Search Level = Integer Chroma (-v_mslevel 3)
    • Motion Search Range = Auto (-v_msrange 0)
    • Motion Vector Cost = Dynamic (-v_mvcost 1)
    • B-frames = 1 (-v_bframedist 1)
    • Motion Match Method = Auto (-v_mmatch 0)
  • insane - Insanely slow but if time is not a concern... It will provide the highest quality in most cases. True chroma search, Hadamard motion matching... It's painfully slow, so beware. The preset sets:
    • Complexity = 4 (-v_performance 80)
    • Lookahead = 30 (-v_lookahead 30)
    • Loopfilter = On (-v_loopfilter 1)
    • Motion Search Level = True Chroma (-v_mslevel 4)
    • Motion Search Range = Auto (-v_msrange 0)
    • Motion Vector Cost = Dynamic (-v_mvcost 1)
    • B-frames = 1 (-v_bframedist 1)
    • Motion Match Method = Hadamard (-v_mmatch 2)
Setting additional parameters will override any values set by the preset. Using video presets with -v_compopt 1 is not recommended.


These initial presets are based on just my own ideas of tradeoffs between speed and quality. If you have better ideas for presets, please share them.
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Old 23rd March 2007, 15:43   #4  |  Link
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Nice work !
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Old 23rd March 2007, 21:12   #5  |  Link
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Thanks a lot, Zambelli, the presets look really good. Based on my modest experience tweaking these settings, it looks like your "better" preset is going to be the sweet spot for my purposes (compressing recorded HDTV at a reasonable speed).
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Old 23rd March 2007, 22:05   #6  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyn00b View Post
Thanks a lot, Zambelli, the presets look really good. Based on my modest experience tweaking these settings, it looks like your "better" preset is going to be the sweet spot for my purposes (compressing recorded HDTV at a reasonable speed).
Thanks, glad it's working out for you. What kind of slowdown are you seeing with "better" compared to "good" or default? The numbers I posted were done fairly quickly, based on some encodes I did on my Athlon64 3500+, so I'd love to get more feedback about performance ratios in general.
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Old 24th March 2007, 22:47   #7  |  Link
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thanks Zambelli!

in next update AutoMKV will include 5 new profile, based on these preset and with wvc1 as codec

Also thanks for the new vbs! a lot more stable and reliable !

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Old 26th March 2007, 03:34   #8  |  Link
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I'm still a bit unclear on the v_performance setting. By your presets, it looks like setting this higher will improve quality, but in my frame-by-frame comparisons, I've seen no improvement in quality whatsoever -- v_performance 0 looks every bit as good as v_performance 80. The only difference I've seen is that the higher setting will produce a smaller file, and will take *dramatically* longer to encode.
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Old 26th March 2007, 06:34   #9  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jubilex View Post
I'm still a bit unclear on the v_performance setting. By your presets, it looks like setting this higher will improve quality, but in my frame-by-frame comparisons, I've seen no improvement in quality whatsoever -- v_performance 0 looks every bit as good as v_performance 80. The only difference I've seen is that the higher setting will produce a smaller file, and will take *dramatically* longer to encode.
Sounds like you're encoding in 1-pass VBR mode. In that mode higher complexity/performance will only decrease the size of the encoded file because the quality is fixed (hence the name "Quality VBR"). In every other mode the bitrate will stay the same but the quality will improve due to better motion estimation algorithms used.

Also, encoding times change dramatically between 0 and 80. You can go literally from faster-than-realtime encoding to wake-me-up-when-it's-done encoding.
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Old 5th April 2007, 07:43   #10  |  Link
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@Zambelli

can you please look here
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.ph...619#post979619 ? thanks!

feel free to reply here or on automkv thread

thanks again

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Old 5th April 2007, 09:33   #11  |  Link
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thank you

I have one question :
Normally I use ProCoder to encode WVC1.
And i set the WM9 AP Settings with your WMV9 PowerToy.

But i cant find the Complexity Option in the Editor ?
The Option in ProCoder is at Auto and i cant change it.
I think when i set it manually via Registry for WMV9 AP, ProCoder must use Complexity=3 ?
But ProCoder takes more time to encode with the same WMV9 Ap Settings .

And the Lookahead Option ..i can ony select 16 and not 30 in your editor ? 30 not supported at the moment in PowerToy?

EDIT :
2nd Question is now clear.

Ill encode HDDVD/BlueRay to WWVC1 with 1pass CBR 720p 8Mbps 60000Buffer and "better Preset.
Commandline:

cscript.exe c:\windows\wmcmd.vbs -input g:\videoinput.avs -output g:\videooutput.wmv -v_codec WVC1 -videoonly -v_mode 0 -v_preset better -v_bitrate 8000000 -v_keydist 3 -v_buffer 600000 -v_quality 100 -s_config own.weu

Last edited by ACrowley; 8th April 2007 at 16:28.
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Old 6th April 2007, 05:19   #12  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACrowley View Post
I have one question :
Normally I use ProCoder to encode WVC1.
And i set the WM9 AP Settings with your WMV9 PowerToy.

But i cant find the Complexity Option in the Editor ?
The complexity can't be set via the registry - it needs to be set by the encoder application.

Quote:
The Option in ProCoder is at Auto and i cant change it.
I think when i set it manually via Registry for WMV9 AP, ProCoder must use Complexity=3 ?
But ProCoder takes more time to encode with the same WMV9 Ap Settings .
The default complexity is 3, but if ProCoder is taking longer - perhaps it's not using the default complexity. You could try encoding something in ProCoder, measuring the time it takes to encode, and then try encoding the same source in wmcmd.vbs with various complexities - and see which complexity takes the same amount of encoding time. Don't use any advanced settings for that test though.

Quote:
And the Lookahead Option ..i can ony select 16 and not 30 in your editor ? 30 not supported at the moment in PowerToy?
Well, I changed the range in the script, but the Lookahead distance maximum is in fact hardcoded to 16 - so I'll probably be changing that back in the next script release. I got a little ahead of myself on that one.

Quote:
cscript.exe c:\windows\wmcmd.vbs -input g:\videoinput.avs -output g:\videooutput.wmv -v_codec WVC1 -videoonly -v_mode 0 -v_preset better -v_bitrate 8000000 -v_keydist 30 -v_buffer 600000 -v_quality 100 -s_config own.weu
If using CBR mode, you generally don't want to use quality 100. That'll force the encoder to drop frames when the bitrate gets too low to maintain high image quality. If the encoder reports dropped frames or a framecount significantly smaller than the source framecount, change quality to 50 or lower. Otherwise, you can leave it for this encode.
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Old 6th April 2007, 06:23   #13  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zambelli View Post
If using CBR mode, you generally don't want to use quality 100. That'll force the encoder to drop frames when the bitrate gets too low to maintain high image quality. If the encoder reports dropped frames or a framecount significantly smaller than the source framecount, change quality to 50 or lower. Otherwise, you can leave it for this encode.

Mh... i never had Problems with dropped Frames from 1pass CBR encodes and quality 100. Not with SoftwarePlayers or Xbox360.
Xbox360 Playback is the main reason for my encodes
When i set it down to 50 isnt the Quality lower ?

And the encode is definitely faster with wmcmd.vbs copared with ProCoder..for the first look.
This encode now with wmcmd.vbs and the same WMV9 AP Settings took around 20h.
Its a 1080p HDDVD/VC1 164minutes 2.35:1 AR.
I encode to 1280x528( cropped) 8mbps WVC1 and the commandline from above.
With ProCoder a similar encode (same avs script,WVC1 Settings) took minimum 24h to encode !

However, i will use wmcmd.vbs in the future, so i have safely full control over all WMV9 AP Settings

A question about ProCoder:
What is the encoder doing in CBR 1pass encodes ?
I mean the File writing beginns until the Process Bar is in the Middle around 50%..other WMV encoders in 1pass CBR Mode starts to write directly at the beginning
Is it a kind of caching or analyzing whether ist 1pass ?

Last edited by ACrowley; 6th April 2007 at 09:43.
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Old 7th April 2007, 23:36   #14  |  Link
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hey how do i create presets for this encoder
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Old 8th April 2007, 09:20   #15  |  Link
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for truly preset integrated in wmcmd.vbs (like these one ceated by Zambelli, fast, insane,better,good...) you must edit the wmcmd.vbs and add some line of code (not much... )

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Old 8th April 2007, 09:52   #16  |  Link
zambelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzqw View Post
for truly preset integrated in wmcmd.vbs (like these one ceated by Zambelli, fast, insane,better,good...) you must edit the wmcmd.vbs and add some line of code (not much... )
And if anyone has feedback about existing presets or suggestion for how to tweak them - I'm all ears.
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Old 8th April 2007, 10:35   #17  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zambelli View Post
And if anyone has feedback about existing presets or suggestion for how to tweak them - I'm all ears.
Possible to active adaptative bframe ... ???
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Old 8th April 2007, 15:08   #18  |  Link
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First i thought it was my mistake, but its true

From my current encode to WVC1 720p 9Mbps 1pass CBR :

cscript.exe C:\windows\wmcmd.vbs -input d:\test.avs -output d:\test100.wmv -v_codec WVC1 -videoonly -v_mode 0 -v_bitrate 9000000 -v_preset better -v_keydist 30 -v_buffer 60000 -v_quality 100


The End Filesize is calculated to 7.5gb, but with Quality 80 its only 5,2 GB ?!


Test Sample encodes on H264 1080p Source:

These are the Statistics fter wmcmd.vbs encoding :
1 : v_quality 80 :

Video :
Codec: Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile
Expected bit rate: 9000000 bps
Average bit rate: 5912122 bps
Expected fps: 25
Dropped frame count: 0
Total coded frames: 535
Average sample rate: 25
Dropped bytes: 0 bytes
Total bytes: 15847906 bytes

Overall:
Encoding time: 171 seconds
Average bit rate: 5912122 bps
File size: 15933546 bytes
File duration: 21,393 seconds


2. v_quality 100

======== Encoding Completed ========

Video :
Codec: Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile
Expected bit rate: 9000000 bps
Average bit rate: 8986305 bps
Expected fps: 25
Dropped frame count: 0
Total coded frames: 535
Average sample rate: 18,848
Dropped bytes: 0 bytes
Total bytes: 24957774 bytes

Overall:
Encoding time: 177 seconds
Average bit rate: 8986305 bps
File size: 25077546 bytes
File duration: 21,393 seconds



So you can see with quality 80 the Output Filesite is smaller Q 80 is only 15MB, Q 100 is 23.9
The Average Bitrate with Q 80 is only at 5.9Mps
With Quality 100 its more efficient ?! with 8.9mbps

No dropped Frames with Q 100...i never had any dropped Frames in the past

So, whats up here ? Why controlls Quality Targetsize / Bitrate in 1pass CBR Mode ?

Mh...maybe ill switch to 2pass VBR

Last edited by ACrowley; 8th April 2007 at 17:11.
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Old 8th April 2007, 17:33   #19  |  Link
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I am very interested in encoding for maximum quality so the insane profile looks great. Would I gain anything from changing -v_performance to 100 and motion search level to luma and chroma? I have a dual quad core system, so hopefully that will cut the increased encoding time a little.

There seems to be very few people now using a two pass vbr system. Is there any reason for this bar encoding time? I want to encode my HD material to HQ files that will work on my Xbox360, getting as much out of the source as possible. Surely 2 pass VBR is the way to go?

My cmd line is as follows;

cscript.exe C:\Windows\wmcmd.vbs -input C:\test.avs -output C:\test.wmv -v_codec WVC1 -videoonly -v_mode 4 -v_bitrate 8000000 -v_peakbitrate 15000000 -v_preset insane -v_keydist 15 -v_buffer 60000

Last edited by Clown shoes; 8th April 2007 at 19:45.
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Old 8th April 2007, 21:33   #20  |  Link
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I'm having problems encoding my audio with WMCmd.vbs I'm using an avisynth script Nicac3Source("C:\WMV encoding\Test\SAMPLE PID 081 T01 3_2ch 448Kbps DELAY 199ms.ac3", DRC=1) and my cmd line is cscript.exe C:\Windows\wmcmd.vbs -input C:\audio test.avs -output C:\audio.wma -a_codec WMAPRO -a_mode 0 -a_setting 440_48_6_24 -audioonly when I run my .bat it closes immediately. Any obvious mistakes I'm making?
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