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View Full Version : Encoding with ffmpegx for ipod




bepster
Oct 24, 2005, 10:32 AM
Hi!

did some encoding with ffmpegx, cause it seems like it's the only app that converts .avi to mpeg-4.mov on os x, right?

so when I do that, I end upp with a file that QT can play, but the picture is all messed up... hard to discribe (english is not my first, or second language!) but I'll try:

there are large coloured bits and pieces everywhere, you can not reallt see the real pic, not watchable!

this is really bugging me, cause I am looking for a better quality when I am playing my avi-movies on the TV, than encoded to h.264..

thanks guys,
bep



Sky Blue
Oct 24, 2005, 10:36 AM
yeah, i'm having probs with ffmpegx too. We need guidelines dammit!

bepster
Oct 24, 2005, 04:49 PM
so nobody wants to help us out here just because we don't understand all this high-end-encoding stuff??

...thanks for nothing then I guess!

snowmoon
Oct 24, 2005, 04:55 PM
Post the FULL command line that ffmpegx passes to ffmpeg and I MIGHT be able to help.

bepster
Oct 24, 2005, 05:28 PM
I'll do that, snowmoon, thanks...
I found this in an apple forum! take a look at this, what do you guys think??

"OK. I used ffmpegX to encode it with these settings:

Video tab:
- Video Codec: XviD [.MP4] (ffmpeg)
- Video Bitrate: 600-700
- Video Size: 480 x work out the height to keep the aspect ratio of the original file.
- Framerate: Keep the original

Audio tab:
- Audio Codec: AAC (MOV/MP4/3GP)
- Audio bitrate: 128
- Sampling: 44100
- Channels: Stereo
- Mode: CBR

Options tab:
- High Quality checked
- Two-pass encoding checked

If you need to deinterlace the picture the option is in the Filters tab.

To learn what all the options do check the ffmpegX Documentation.

So if you want to convert video from a DVD use HandBrake and from any other source use ffpmegX.

Hope it helps."

snowmoon
Oct 24, 2005, 06:13 PM
I don't know what to tell you, everything looks ok. The bitrate seems a tad low for 480xY movies, but to each their own. If you plan on only using the video in the ipod there is no reason to go over 320xY and if you plan on using the video out 640xY is good for all but 4:3(fullscreen) titles.

ffmpegx uses plug in tools. I would download handbrake and then point ffmpegx to the copy of ffmpeg hidden in the program directory. It appears that the ffmpeg that ffmpegx asks you to download might be old and poorly updated.

Sky Blue
Oct 24, 2005, 06:31 PM
I don't know what to tell you, everything looks ok. The bitrate seems a tad low for 480xY movies, but to each their own. If you plan on only using the video in the ipod there is no reason to go over 320xY and if you plan on using the video out 640xY is good for all but 4:3(fullscreen) titles.

ffmpegx uses plug in tools. I would download handbrake and then point ffmpegx to the copy of ffmpeg hidden in the program directory. It appears that the ffmpeg that ffmpegx asks you to download might be old and poorly updated.


how does one do that? when converting to mpeg, mine gets to 30%, then goes straight to finished?

snowmoon
Oct 24, 2005, 06:35 PM
how does one do that? when converting to mpeg, mine gets to 30%, then goes straight to finished?

I would need to see the logs. it's quite possible that ffmpeg is running into a corrupted stream.

If you have handbrake installed, use the command line tool to "cd" into handbrake.app and find the embeded copy of ffmpeg, copy it out and then use the ffmpegx prefrences to use THAT copy rather than the one that ffmpegx tells you to download.

RustyM
Oct 24, 2005, 06:51 PM
how does one do that? when converting to mpeg, mine gets to 30%, then goes straight to finished?

Mine does the same thing, but at about 5-9%. The finished video files are broken. All the frames of the video are speed up in the first 5-9% of the file. The rest of it is white. The audio plays normal throughout.

RustyM
Oct 24, 2005, 06:58 PM
If you have handbrake installed, use the command line tool to "cd" into handbrake.app and find the embeded copy of ffmpeg, copy it out and then use the ffmpegx prefrences to use THAT copy rather than the one that ffmpegx tells you to download.

Hmm, I looked inside handbrake.app and didn't see ffmpeg around.

snowmoon
Oct 24, 2005, 07:20 PM
I'll install it tomorrow and see what's up.

freeny
Oct 24, 2005, 10:23 PM
avi files are pc at heart and aren't very mac friendly. you either get the sound and no video or visa versa. and most of the time you get neither. I have never seen any program that works every time. your best bet is to get the 3ivx MPEG-4 codec plug-in and a copy of divx doctor http://www.3ivx.com/divxdoctor/. both free. this will turn your .avi into an editable and playable .mov. I would say this works 90% of the time. there are of course some avi's that just wont play on the mac.:(

snowmoon
Oct 24, 2005, 10:46 PM
avi files are pc at heart and aren't very mac friendly. you either get the sound and no video or visa versa. and most of the time you get neither. I have never seen any program that works every time. your best bet is to get the 3ivx MPEG-4 codec plug-in and a copy of divx doctor http://www.3ivx.com/divxdoctor/. both free. this will turn your .avi into an editable and playable .mov. I would say this works 90% of the time. there are of course some avi's that just wont play on the mac.:(

3ivx is just another wrapper ( IIRC ) around ffmpeg. You just need a copy of ffmpeg that has ALL the options compiled in. The biggest problem is that there are no "official" ffmpeg releases to base a comparison on. You can build the CVS version with some or all of the optional libraries compiled in.

Makes me want to sit down and build a nice complete ffmpeg binary for osx so that we can end this debate.

Sky Blue
Oct 25, 2005, 04:11 AM
3ivx is just another wrapper ( IIRC ) around ffmpeg. You just need a copy of ffmpeg that has ALL the options compiled in. The biggest problem is that there are no "official" ffmpeg releases to base a comparison on. You can build the CVS version with some or all of the optional libraries compiled in.

Makes me want to sit down and build a nice complete ffmpeg binary for osx so that we can end this debate.

yes, it makes me want you to do that too ;)

famousactress
Oct 25, 2005, 04:27 PM
I was finally able to get divx content encoded for the ipod, after struggling with pretty much every problem mentioned here (including getting files to work great in quicktime and itunes, but not updating to ipod)..

The trick for me was to make sure to select the 'XviD [.MP4] (ffmpeg)' setting on the Video tab next to 'Video Codec'. After that things work wonderfully and I'm able to encode video that plays on my ipod.

Don't know if this solves anyone else's problem, but it helped me.

Additionally, I emailed the maintainer of ffmpegX and his video ipod is apparently in transit. Once he gets it he'll test it out, write a howto, and I hope add an easy drop down 'ipod video' option like the one he has for psp.

Good luck.

famousactress
Oct 25, 2005, 04:47 PM
Okay... so now my only issue is that I can't get subtitles written onto the outputted file using this codec. When I was using the H.264 mencoder, ffmpegX enabled the feature.. When ffmpegX is using ffmpeg, I seem to be out of luck getting subtitles burned onto the video. If anyone else figures this one out then let me know.

I looked at the ffmpeg documentation and it doesn't seem to support this feature itself... I suppose I can encode twice (once to get the subtitles onto the video via mencoder, and then again to make it 'ipodable') but that's no fun. If anyone finds a better way, feel free to let me know.

maddav
Oct 25, 2005, 05:19 PM
There's a guide here (http://howto.diveintomark.org/ipod-porn-conversion-guide/) for encoding 'iPod with Video' compatible "Porn" via ffmpegx, though it seems to work with regular videos too :p Be warned, it takes AGES.

:)

famousactress
Oct 25, 2005, 05:40 PM
Did you actually get that to work? I tried those exact steps and no matter what I did I was never successful with mencoder's H.264 encoding. It would play great on Quicktime and import to itunes.. but when it came time to update the ipod.. no dice.

I'm actually suspecting a lot of the folks writing howto's out there are simply making sure their videos play well with itunes and quicktime and assuming that they'll make it to the ipod intact.

iDM
Oct 25, 2005, 10:04 PM
Alright i am exhausted trying to get this whole ffmeg stuff to work. I followed the instructions on this website: http://arstechnica.com/guides/tweaks/ipod-video.ars/4 without any success. I tried with two different files but i keep getting outputs of very weird file extensions such as........ nineinchnails_theperfectdrug.mov.ff.mp4

nineinchnails_theperfectdrug_00602498831557_dl.mov.ff.mp4

rhcp_zephyrsong_dl222.264

ZepMusVid.264

rhcp_zephyrsong_dl.mp4

ZepMusVid.aac.mp4

but none of these work. I even downloaded a file that claimed to be ipod video ready it was H.264 30fps and the right res. This seems like such a damn hassle, i guess maybe that's what apple wanted though so they could only sell their music videos and tv shows. Can anyone help i'm glad to try and type of file with any type of setting and to post the log read out. Please HELP!!!

P.S. I was able to get a video podcast to play but i really wanna see a "cool" video play on this thing, rather then 2 heavy set dudes talking.

XjeffX
Oct 25, 2005, 10:27 PM
I'm finishing up a long how-to on this very subject. In my opinion it is very fast and easy, even at near-dvd quality for good tv-out viewing.

On my dual 2.0 g5 it took about 8 minutes to convert a 22 minute episode of American Dad.

Check back later tonight and I'll post a link to my website with full instructions on how to do this.

iDM
Oct 25, 2005, 10:39 PM
I'm finishing up a long how-to on this very subject. In my opinion it is very fast and easy, even at near-dvd quality for good tv-out viewing.

On my dual 2.0 g5 it took about 8 minutes to convert a 22 minute episode of American Dad.

Check back later tonight and I'll post a link to my website with full instructions on how to do this.

I know beggers can't be choosy but i really hope this isn't the same FFmpegx because well i tried that in 5 or 6 different combinations on 3 different videos and they keep spitting out all of these weird extensions .ff.aac.mp4, .264, .aac.mp4 all kinds of weird crap, also please tell me that you have tested these on an ipod because spitting out a video that works in quicktime is alot different then getting it to play on these extremely anal res specs required by apple!!!! I'm kinda annoyed by all the hoops we have to jump trough, why didn't apple just make the encoding of these files easy through itunes or make it available on quicktimes after all i dropped 300 bones on this damn thing

XjeffX
Oct 25, 2005, 10:53 PM
I know beggers can't be choosy but i really hope this isn't the same FFmpegx because well i tried that in 5 or 6 different combinations on 3 different videos and they keep spitting out all of these weird extensions .ff.aac.mp4, .264, .aac.mp4 all kinds of weird crap, also please tell me that you have tested these on an ipod because spitting out a video that works in quicktime is alot different then getting it to play on these extremely anal res specs required by apple!!!! I'm kinda annoyed by all the hoops we have to jump trough, why didn't apple just make the encoding of these files easy through itunes or make it available on quicktimes after all i dropped 300 bones on this damn thing


I've been testing it for the past two days and it works perfectly. It's easier than everybody is making it out to be.

I agree that it should be easier though because I can't see many average mac users being able to do this. Then again, why would apple want to make it any easier for people to use this as the pirating device it is? :) I mean who converts xvid videos for home use? Obviously 99% of people that need this are doing so for less than legal reasons.

Give me about 20 more mins.. I'm distracted by the world series :cool:

XjeffX
Oct 26, 2005, 02:24 AM
It's up. Sorry for the delay. Hopefully this helps every out a bit. Let me know if there is anything that should be added.

http://www.jeffpatch.com/?postid=101

Sky Blue
Oct 26, 2005, 03:55 AM
It's up. Sorry for the delay. Hopefully this helps every out a bit. Let me know if there is anything that should be added.

http://www.jeffpatch.com/?postid=101

hmm, pretty much the same as the others.
I would love some one to do instructions on how to do the MtR >ffmpegx route, as Handbrake hardly recognises my DVDs (no valid title) and ffmpegx spits out files QT doesn't like.

Sky Blue
Oct 27, 2005, 08:44 AM
When i rip a DVD in Mac The Ripper, I end up with a bunch of VOB files. In ffmpegx which VOB file to I point it to?

madmaxmedia
Oct 27, 2005, 04:45 PM
Hey snowmoon, do you know if the iPod can support mp3 sound tracks in MPEG4 videos?

If you guys are having problems with ffmpegx settings, you can use DivxDoctor and QT Amateur (basically sidesteps the need for QT Pro) to do the same thing.

Download DivxDoctor (and 3ivx codec too if you want) from:
http://www.3ivx.com/divxdoctor/

Download QT Amateur from:
http://www.mikeash.com/?page=software/qtamateur/index.html

First convert your AVI to MOV with Divx Doctor, then use QT Amateur to convert the MOV into iPod-compatible MOV or MP4.

bepster
Oct 27, 2005, 07:16 PM
I was checking out this guide here http://arstechnica.com/guides/tweaks/ipod-video.ars/4

and wondering why the mpeg4 encoding wasn't mentioned, since this is about dvds where the quality is so important!

I am encoding my dvd to a mpeg4 file with mpeg4 video/ acc audio and 640x352...

that should work on the ipod, shouldn't it???

I don't get how people can use h.264 when the quality is so bad...

bep

madmaxmedia
Oct 27, 2005, 07:23 PM
I was checking out this guide here http://arstechnica.com/guides/tweaks/ipod-video.ars/4

and wondering why the mpeg4 encoding wasn't mentioned, since this is about dvds where the quality is so important!

I am encoding my dvd to a mpeg4 file with mpeg4 video/ acc audio and 640x352...

that should work on the ipod, shouldn't it???

I don't get how people can use h.264 when the quality is so bad...

bep

That should play fine, as I have successfully played 640 x 360 MPEG4 on my iPod.

I think most people are simply unaware that such resolutions are possible with MPEG4 on the iPod. Everyone sees the '480 x 480' Apple spec, which is A) kind of weird and B) interpreted as meaning a max resolution of 480 x 360 for 4:3 ratio, and around 480 x 320 for widescreen.

dukeblue91
Oct 28, 2005, 09:24 AM
I got tired of messing around with all this stuff, and paid $15.00 and got Forty-TwoDVD-VXPlus.
It works great and faster than anything else I have used.
You can try it out for free.
Look for it on Version Tracker.

bepster
Oct 28, 2005, 03:31 PM
That should play fine, as I have successfully played 640 x 360 MPEG4 on my iPod.

I think most people are simply unaware that such resolutions are possible with MPEG4 on the iPod. Everyone sees the '480 x 480' Apple spec, which is A) kind of weird and B) interpreted as meaning a max resolution of 480 x 360 for 4:3 ratio, and around 480 x 320 for widescreen.

It's all about the magic number of 230400, right?

cool, I can't wait to get my ipod!!

madmaxmedia
Oct 28, 2005, 03:35 PM
It's all about the magic number of 230400, right?

cool, I can't wait to get my ipod!!

I'm pretty sure. I have now played 640 x 360 on my iPod, which is exactly 230,400 pixels. And 720 x 306 has been confirmed by others.

The specs for the Broadcom chip actually say VGA MPEG4, but I don't think 640 x 480 will play.

bepster
Oct 28, 2005, 03:39 PM
I'm pretty sure. I have now played 640 x 360 on my iPod, which is exactly 230,400 pixels. And 720 x 306 has been confirmed by others.

The specs for the Broadcom chip actually say VGA MPEG4, but I don't think 640 x 480 will play.

could you try, madmax?

I really want my movie to look as good as possible...

oh boy, I learned A LOT about encoding from you guys the last couple of days :)

madmaxmedia
Oct 28, 2005, 03:59 PM
could you try, madmax?

I really want my movie to look as good as possible...

oh boy, I learned A LOT about encoding from you guys the last couple of days :)

Interesting- I tried, but iTunes wouldn't let me copy a 640 x 480 clip into my iPod. So maybe iTunes is actually using 230,400 pixels as the limit for allowing transfer to the iPod.

RustyM
Oct 28, 2005, 10:30 PM
Interesting- I tried, but iTunes wouldn't let me copy a 640 x 480 clip into my iPod. So maybe iTunes is actually using 230,400 pixels as the limit for allowing transfer to the iPod.

I can confirm the 720 x 304. It looks very nice on my 36" tv

iDM
Oct 29, 2005, 11:57 PM
Hey snowmoon, do you know if the iPod can support mp3 sound tracks in MPEG4 videos?

If you guys are having problems with ffmpegx settings, you can use DivxDoctor and QT Amateur (basically sidesteps the need for QT Pro) to do the same thing.

Download DivxDoctor (and 3ivx codec too if you want) from:
http://www.3ivx.com/divxdoctor/

Download QT Amateur from:
http://www.mikeash.com/?page=software/qtamateur/index.html

First convert your AVI to MOV with Divx Doctor, then use QT Amateur to convert the MOV into iPod-compatible MOV or MP4.

Any idea why after i tell it to encode(QT amateur) nothing happens?

iDM
Oct 30, 2005, 04:06 PM
Is there a reason no one can seem to help me with getting video on my iPod, i usually am responded to in a couple of hours. I have followed every detail of both QT amateur and FFMPEGX. I have tried different combinations in both. I tried batch export with multiple videos in QT amateur and i tried just export with it but when i click export nothing happens. With FFMPEGX i have had the following problems when trying both the PSP encoding and the MPEG-4, and MPEG-4 Xvid outputs. I have either gotten files that do not play in QT or will not play in iTunes. I have also gotten files that appear with weird extension names such as .mov.acc.ff, .mov.aac, .mov.ff, .ff, just about every combination you could think of. I also when trying the PSP setting in FFMPEGX and resetting the video res to the required heights, it begins exporting but before getting to 1% it makes an error sound and says failed.Finally the other thing that has been happening is the file outputs are very weird and small sizes.(i.e. a 55mb music video outputs to 7mb but still won't play and often it outputs to zero kb) I have logs from a couple of the tries if that would help anyone, please please pretty please with sugar on top help me get a working video on my iPod, i'm tired of viewing Democracy Now and Digital Life Podcasts as the only videos that work i wanna watch so much other stuff. Thanks in advance!