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Old Oct 8, 2012, 09:34 AM   #1
Molson1020
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iFlicks question...

Quick question regarding iFlicks.

I am ripping my DVD Library using Handbrake into an acceptable iTunes format, but when I bring it into iFlicks to tag it, iFlicks wants to re-encode it for iTunes again. Is there anyway to just tag the file and that's it?
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 02:06 PM   #2
andymodem
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Are you using iTunes Compatible in the drop down menu? iTunes Compatible only updates the metadata.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 02:33 PM   #3
GarrettL1979
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Originally Posted by andymodem View Post
Are you using iTunes Compatible in the drop down menu? iTunes Compatible only updates the metadata.
I think it "web optimizes" as well.
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Old Oct 8, 2012, 06:20 PM   #4
iHailCarlo
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Good program, still using trial. Looks like i will be forced to buy it.
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 01:02 AM   #5
DP812
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Originally Posted by GarrettL1979 View Post
I think it "web optimizes" as well.
I've heard this from a few people, but I haven't noticed any differences between the file before and after it's gone through iFlicks. I recently gave iDentify 2 a chance and it works pretty well, although I don't think it can import into iTunes like iFlicks can (maybe the paid version can, I'm not sure).
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Old Oct 9, 2012, 04:33 AM   #6
Menneisyys2
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UPDATE (24/Feb/2013): see http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...6&postcount=50 for an even easier way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DP812 View Post
I've heard this from a few people, but I haven't noticed any differences between the file before and after it's gone through iFlicks. I recently gave iDentify 2 a chance and it works pretty well, although I don't think it can import into iTunes like iFlicks can (maybe the paid version can, I'm not sure).
iFlicks does optimize automatically its remuxed output while remuxing (and this can't be disabled, even if you absolutely don't need to waste time on this) - I think this might be the case when adding metadata.

BTW, it's very easy to quickly test whether an MP4 (mov / m4v) file is optimized. Here's a full tutorial on it (I copy it here in its entirety as I don't want to promote my blog by just giving you a link to the original. Sorry for the length: when writing tutorials, I tend to be as clear as possible):

Apple TV users and Streaming Video Providers attention: deciding if a video file is optimized

In yesterday's article, along with a lot of benchmark data, I've explained the advantages of optimizing your iOS- and Apple TV-native (that is, MP4, MOV or M4V) video files, should you want to stream it or watch it from a, head seek-wise, inherently slow(ish) medium like an optical disc or a traditional hard disk.

In the current one, I explain how you can find out whether a video is indeed optimized or not. That way, you can save you a lot of time by avoiding re-optimizing it. If the tool you use allows it at all – for example, iFlicks or MP4Tools don't allow for separate optimizations, “only” during at the end of a full, (compared to a quick, manual checking) time-consuming remuxing. (Subler, of course, does it – see yesterday's article on using this feature.)

It's very-very easy to find out whether a particular video file is optimized. I show you two ways of doing it.

1. The easy way

First, an easier, faster but more error-prone way: a simple file viewer like Total Commander (which, should you use OS X, runs just fine under CrossOver and in no way need a full-fledged Windows environment like Parallels to run – this is why I present Mac-like file viewer screenshots below).

First, an optimized file (I've also made it available HERE) put the "MooV" atom at the beginning of the file; pay attention to my red rectangle annotation:



(This is also mentioned in the Subler FAQ)

A screenshot of the same file but before optimization follows. It shows no moov at all and, therefore, easy to differentiate from the optimized one:



This method works under all operating systems – under Windows (and, as you can see, even OS X!) with Total Commander (and with tons of other file viewer apps) etc.

2. The harder but safer way

First, get the latest “ISO Viewer XX executable jar” (where XX is currently 2.0-RC-15) from https://code.google.com/p/mp4parser/downloads/list. Under OS X, just click it; under Windows, you may need to install Java first. When it shows its interface, select File > Open and load your movie file. Now, in the let pane, switch from “Box Structure” to “Track & Samples”.

You'll see some tracks there. With the elongated “Birds” video, there will be three of them, the first being the video and the other two the audio tracks.

First, let's take a look at the video track (just select it on the left) in both the unoptimized and the optimized case.

2.1 The unoptimized video

The unoptimized looks like this (the video is accessible HERE; note: large, 700+Mbyte download! You can check out other videos (for example, the ones I've linked to from my yesterday's article) as well before and after optimizing; their structure look similar but, of course, the file positions will differ):



What can you see in the right pane (assuming it's, as is by default, entirely scrolled up)? The first video sample starts at file position 45672 and is 1311747 bytes long. (This is what the first row means there.) The second starts at 1357419 etc. If you scroll entirely down to the bottom:



you'll see the last (3188th) video chunk starts at position 689,470,298 in the file – that is, some 15 Mbytes (the size of the last video chunk is only 27,442 bytes) before the end of the file (which is at position 704,180,885), meaning there's a lot of info after the last video chunk.

Now, let's take a look at the two audio tracks. Select Track 2 and, as with the video, check out the first record at the top:



The first starts at position 689,497,748 – that is, almost immeditately after the last video chunk, which ends at, as we've seen, position 689,470,298 + 27,442.

The last record at the bottom shows it starts at 700,646,548:



Finally, track 3 (that is, the second audio track) starts at 700,649,108 (immediately after the first audio track finishes):



… and ends at 704,099,532 (almost immediately – some 90kbytes - before the end of the file):



What's the verdict? Yes, albeit the three tracks are all stored as short(ish) chunks, they aren't interleaved: the first chunk of the second stream starts strictly after the last chunk of the first ends and so on. This is what causes a lot of additional buffering while streaming and, with optical / mechanical discs/disks, unnecessary head movement between the current video position and the end of the file to read the audio chunk(s) belonging to the current video chunk(s).

Now, what about the optimized video?

2.2 The optimized video

The video (which is an optimized version of the above one; it's not available online but you can easily create it by just using Subler to optimize) has three track, as before.

The video track samples start at 81,375 and end at 703,986,509 (with the size of 27,442, as in the non-optimized case):

(top)

(bottom)

The first audio track starts at 7,708,602 and ends at 704,128,621:

(top)

(bottom)

The second audio track starts at 7,718,842 and ends at 704,135,227:

(top)

(bottom)

See? The audio track chunks are interleaved with the video track chunks. The video and audio chunks belonging to each other are also very closely stored in the file.

This way, you can easily see whether a particular track is correctly interleaved. Just select the non-video tracks and check where they (more precisely, their first chunk) all start. Close to the start of the file (say, in the first 10 million bytes)? The file is, then, optimized. Around the end of the file? Then, it isn't.

Last edited by Menneisyys2; Feb 24, 2013 at 07:05 PM.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 01:58 AM   #7
DP812
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Wow, lots of stuff there.

Excuse my ignorance with this question, but is it good, bad, or indifferent that iFlicks optimizes the video? Does it effect the quality at all?
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 08:41 AM   #8
mic j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP812 View Post
Wow, lots of stuff there.

Excuse my ignorance with this question, but is it good, bad, or indifferent that iFlicks optimizes the video? Does it effect the quality at all?
It does not impact visual or audio quality. It can help in how fast the file loads.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 08:47 AM   #9
GarrettL1979
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It seems like must people around here like Subler, but I've been really happy with iFlicks. Here is my routine: MakeMKV --> HandBrake (ATV 3) --> iFlicks (iTunes Compability) --> iTunes
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 09:00 AM   #10
mic j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarrettL1979 View Post
It seems like must people around here like Subler, but I've been really happy with iFlicks. Here is my routine: MakeMKV --> HandBrake (ATV 3) --> iFlicks (iTunes Compability) --> iTunes
I prefer Subler because it allows me to remove fields (not just leave them blank as other taggers do). That allows the aTV Description field to be slightly larger. For me (and my wife) the Description field is the most important information to be displayed when choosing a movie to watch. Also, it's free. Not saying iFlicks is not a good program, it's just that Subler meets my particular requirements better.

Also, you indicate that you use iFlicks in iTunes Compatible mode after you have transcoded the mkv using HB. In this mode, are you transcoding twice?
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 09:06 AM   #11
GarrettL1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mic j View Post
I prefer Subler because it allows me to remove fields (not just leave them blank as other taggers do). That allows the aTV Description field to be slightly larger. For me (and my wife) the Description field is the most important information to be displayed when choosing a movie to watch. Also, it's free. Not saying iFlicks is not a good program, it's just that Subler meets my particular requirements better.

Also, you indicate that you use iFlicks in iTunes Compatible mode after you have transcoded the mkv using HB. In this mode, are you transcoding twice?
My understanding is that "iTunes Compatible" only adds meta data.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 10:19 AM   #12
Blaquespell
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In my experience. If the file is already formatted for iTunes (like from Handbrake) it should just add the metadata and then import to iTunes if you have that option set. Alternatively, you can disable the "Add to iTunes" button and choose "Current Location" as your destination and it will only write the metadata. Same can be done if you add the file yourself to iTunes and use the iFlicks service menu entry to update metadata. These methods seem to skip the Optimize stage.

As long as iTunes Compatible is selected, iFlicks will attempt to make it an m4v container, remux either an H.264 or MPEG4 Visual video track with an AAC stereo and AC-3 surround audio track. It can convert DTS to AC-3 in this process without the need for Perian or anything external. It can also add subtitles if they are in the proper format (soft subs) and then optimize the file for streaming.
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Old Oct 12, 2012, 08:05 PM   #13
DP812
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Thanks for the information, Blaquespell. That clears up just about any lingering questions I had.
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 02:45 PM   #14
Menneisyys2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mic j View Post
I prefer Subler because it allows me to remove fields (not just leave them blank as other taggers do). That allows the aTV Description field to be slightly larger. For me (and my wife) the Description field is the most important information to be displayed when choosing a movie to watch. Also, it's free. Not saying iFlicks is not a good program, it's just that Subler meets my particular requirements better.
Also, Subler is about five times faster than iFlicks. If you also optimize for streaming (which isn't needed in a lot of cases), it's still about four times faster. (I've made a lot of benchmarks with tons of MKV's on both 10.8 and 10.7.)
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 07:52 AM   #15
stiwi
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Is it just me or iFlicks settings are very limited? You can't have any influence on the video quality settings except for the in app presets. You can't add / remove subtitles / tracks from the video.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 08:24 AM   #16
DP812
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iFlicks is primarily a metadata app. Use Handbrake for video conversion and subtitles. It's free and does a great job.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 08:42 AM   #17
stiwi
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Looks like iFlicks is getting pretty much the same results for me as using HB with ATV3 presets. There is a lack of customization before processing the video in iFlicks, although you can edit the tracks earlier using Subler, Mp4tools or MKVtoolnix depending on the video type.

Anyway looks like iFlicks does the conversion job better than iVI.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:27 AM   #18
DAMAC3
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I've tried Subler and iFlicks and prefer iFlicks. Most of what I do is just convert files to iTunes compatible and add Metadata. I'll load an entire TV season at a time or even multiple seasons. It does a great job for what I want. I know it is more limited than Subler, but it also seems to be faster at getting all my files identified and cued up. iFlicks might be slower to process files, but I don't care about that. The time I am sitting there cueing everything up is what matters to me.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 03:41 PM   #19
stiwi
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iFlicks handle meta data pretty well but what I don't understand is why it sort actors randomly, instead of showing key actors on top (like MetaZ for example).
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:23 AM   #20
Che Castro
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Question

in the apple tv home sharing movie section using iflicks

i can only see the tagline of movies in apple tv and not the description

is there a button on the apple tv remote to see the description and not the tagline? this is before pressing play on the movie

in iflicks i see that the desription and both tag line are there

but i wana read the description not the tagline on the apple tv




also in iflicks how do i choose mp4 instead of m4v ?
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:34 AM   #21
DP812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Che Castro View Post
in the apple tv home sharing movie section using iflicks

i can only see the tagline of movies in apple tv and not the description

is there a button on the apple tv remote to see the description and not the tagline? this is before pressing play on the movie

in iflicks i see that the desription and both tag line are there

but i wana read the description not the tagline on the apple tv
I believe you can only see the full description when you start playing the movie and press the up button on your remote.

Quote:
also in iflicks how do i choose mp4 instead of m4v ?
Are you converting with iFlicks or do you convert with Handbrake and then drop it in iFlicks? In Handbrake, if you go to Preferences and General, at the bottom of the window, it will say Default MP4 Extension and a drop-down menu where you can select whether the default will be mp4 or m4v. If you have iFlicks set only for "iTunes compatible," then the extension should stay mp4.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:36 AM   #22
Che Castro
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I'm muxing or whatever is called
mkv's to Apple TV format , since mkv is just a container I'm not converting them

But I want mp4 instead of m4v , is there an option for that on iflicks ?



Also some of my mkv movies have separate srt subtitle files , how do I add those to iflicks along with the mkv ?
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:23 AM   #23
DP812
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You may want to use Handbrake. You'll have to convert the files, but it can both save as mp4 and import SRT subtitles.

But if you're not actually converting from mkv to mp4, will it even play on the Apple TV? I tried doing "iTunes compatible" with an mkv file with iFlicks, and while it would allow me to play the movie in iTunes, I got an error when I tried to play it on my aTV. And if I set it to "Apple TV," then iFlicks converts the movie.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:48 AM   #24
Che Castro
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I tested 7 mkv movies & they all played fine on the Apple TV
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 07:52 AM   #25
DP812
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Fair enough. I only tried with one movie and it didn't work without converting first, so it could have been an issue with that file. But that's really not important, just my own curiosity. For what you're asking about—subtitles and changing the file extension—that's not possible with iFlicks as far as I've seen.
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