Alternative to Handbrake wanted.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jwar1976, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. jwar1976 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi all,

    I got my 2015 MacBook Pro today and am really enjoying using it. However I have discovered when using handbrake, despite it being a 5th Gen i5, it is slower to encode than my 3rd Gen i5 on my probook, I take it this is because of the lack of Intel Quicksync being allowed to be used on the MacBook Pro ?.

    Anyhow I was wondering if there were any alternative video encoders which can be used on the MacBook Pro, which will allow me to encode from say a 12gb 1080p MKV File, to a lower sized MP4 File ?. Or maybe perhaps than quicksync can be enabled via source code, or by installing boot camp onto the MBP and having handbrake through Windows.

    Any help or advice would be appreciated

    Many thanks
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #2
    I don't know anything about the source of Handbrake, but QuickSync can be used on macOS; and in fact, Final Cut Pro uses QuickSync.

    I would imagine that what you want can be achieved with FFMPEG.
     
  3. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    You are probably using different settings. You can either select a faster encoder tune, disable decomb and interlace detection if your video is not interlaced. Or switch to H.264 (VideoToolbox) and use QuickSync, but quality won't be as good as when using x264 encoder.
     
  4. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #4
    My understanding of QuickSync on the Mac is that the ability to use it is limited in macOS. So it's not a direct option in HandBrake for the Mac and from the documents I see on the web, it's also not available in the macOS version of ffmpeg. If it's available as part of the H.264 (VideoToolbox) as the previous poster says, you don't have the ability to control the "Quality" parameter.

    I haven't done testing with the H.264 (VideoToolbox), but I have done some (60+ videos) for the H.265 (VideoToolbox), which is only available on Macs with the T2 chip. Without the ability to control the Quality parameter, for the H.265 (VideoToolbox), the fidelity to the original video (quality) was overall slightly better than the "Fast" default setting using the software x265 encoder, but the compression is bad so much so that really, the H.265 (VideoToolbox) was pretty much useless for the videos I wanted to compress. (I have yet to test the latest version of HandBrake - 1.2.2.) So if the H.264 (VideoToolbox) works the same way (you'd have to test it with the type of videos you want to compress), it might be faster but for no good purpose. Maybe FCP uses QuickSync features that Apple does not choose to make available to other developers on macOS - I don't know.
     
  5. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Welcome to the wonderful world of hardware encoders :)
    The HEVC hardware encoder is available on recent intel cpus too, you don't need the T2 chip. It's a different encoder thou, so you will have a different result.

    Apple uses the same encoder. But FCP default bitrate is so high you won't notice too many artifacts.
     
  6. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Interesting - it would be good to know what hardware it's using when using the VideoToolbox - do you know if that's documented?

    For the OP, one solution would be to run Windows on the Mac for doing video transcoding if the use of QuickSync that was there with the older computer is supported when using Windows on the Mac.
     
  7. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #7

    Hm. Fascinating. I've never looked into developing software utilising QuickSync. I assumed it to be publicly available since FCP uses it, and there'd be no reason to make it a private Apple-only feature. In fact, only reasons against since it'd make the platform as a whole seem less capable than competitors.

    I just did some research, and it does seem like the API for QuickSync is public.
    https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/intel-media-sdk/topic/531632


    "I am using MacX Videoconverter Pro from the App Store and it has an Quicksync option, which really makes it much faster and does consume less CPU power, so the MBA 13 i7 is still usable well while converting"
    From:
    https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/220177/intel-quicksync-on-osx
     
  8. jlc1978 macrumors 68020

    jlc1978

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    #8
    I use iVI Pro. Reasonably priced and does a great job of converting files and ripping DVDS. You can control file size by video quality. A 20gb MKV come sour at about 4gb with my settings.

    http://southpolesoftware.com/wp/ivi-pro-v4/
     
  9. jwar1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks for the replies everyone, once again, so much useful information. I will take a look at the recommendations and see how I get on with them. In the next couple of months, I will be building up a i7-8th gen tower, which will be my main photo editing and video encoding machine, but as I am currently away from home quite a bit, I thought I would put the MBP to good use.

    I have just installed Windows 10 via boot camp and have tried Handbrake, but there isn’t much difference to that of the one on Mac OS, so will be trying the other recommendations of software.

    Thanks again to all that have advised, once I have got to grips with the software, I will post results, in case it helps others.
     
  10. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #10
    The issue seems to be not that you can't get QuickSync on macOS, but that it's limited. Supposedly that's why HandBrake and ffmpeg don't include them in their Mac versions. So in the first link from Intel (from 2014), Intel says you have to go through the Apple API's to use QuickSync. Ideally, you should be able to get the full QuickSync feature set that you have on Windows on macOS. But that doesn't not seem to be the case. Even on Linux, the ffmpeg folks say the feature set is limited.
    https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/HWAccelIntro
    (search the document for "libmfx")

    That's unfortunate but it's good to know.
     
  11. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

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    #11
    FF Works (www.ffworks.net). I looked for a while for a Handbrake replacement, and ffworks is absolutely fantastic. It's not free, but it's worth every penny. It uses FFMPEG and guides you through installing it. The conversions are fast, and my favorite feature is that it very quickly does passthrough conversion to just wrap a different container around the file if you're ok with whatever audio/video settings are already in the file. Seriously, it's worth it.
     
  12. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    There is so much disinformation in this thread…

    First, you can use QuickSync on macOS, via VideoToolbox, it's a bit limited (no quality based option) but it works the same as on Windows. And you can use it in HandBrake.

    Second, all those applications uses the same encoders (x264, x265, etc…) so the only speed different is caused by the different settings you use.

    The "app x is faster than app y" is simply wrong.
     
  13. jwar1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    I am currently trying out MacX & IVl, and trying out different profiles to keep resolution but have highest compression. When I used to use handbrake, I used to have a variable bit rate of 1880, on MKV files that were 1080p. All files are played back either on my iPad or my TV via Kodi on a Firestick. I will also take a look at this video toolbox.
     
  14. jwar1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Wow that does look like a great program. I done a high quality encode on MacX earlier, but that only knocked a 8gb file down to 5gb. So then tried that 8gb file on Handbrake and was amazed that it was giving me on average 55fps, so only took around 70 minutes to squash it down to 1.7gb, without any loss of quality.

    However when I tried Handbrake again on a different MKV file of a slightly larger size of 11gb, it only gave me on average 30fps and it took about 3.5hrs to squash down to 2.2gb. As almost 100% of my files are 1080p MKV, it would be great if I can continue to compress down to a fraction of the size, without any loss of quality & also without it taking hours to do, especially as my Synology is gradually getting full.

    I will take a look at the FF Works and see how much compression I am able to get without loss of quality.

    Thanks again for the information.
     
  15. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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  16. jwar1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Thank you for that, what is the compression like on dvdfab or are there set h264 profiles ?

    Many thanks
     
  17. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #18
    Right. Thanks for the reference.
    I read Apple's APIs for this a bit (not super thoroughly). It's clear that you don't access QuickSync directly in any way whatsoever, but if it weren't restrictive, Apple's approach would be brillant. It's a generalised encode-accelerator that automatically uses appropriate hardware accelerators for chosen settings. - Again, a shame if it's limited in when it's possible to get it to use QS compared to the Windows APIs from Intel, but it's a cool approach regardlelss.

    And you added a bit to the misinformation :)

    A codec is not the same as an encoder. The programs may be encoding with the x.264 codec, yes, but the encoder is the program that arranges the data to conform to the codec, and you can write that algorithm in many different ways, whilst still ending up with a file that conforms to the codec you chose in the end. Now if all the apps used the same encoder that'd be a different story; Like FFMpeg or whatnot; But I'm not convinced they do. An h.264 file encoded with QuickTime, with identical settings to one encoded with FFMpeg could have different time or space complexity for the output whilst delivering the same result in the end.
     
  18. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    x264 is an encoder, the format is h.264. So much for correcting my post… and I was talking about free or almost free software. A small developer won’t write a new encoder, they don’t have the resources.
    QuickTime is know to have a terrible h.264 encoder anyway.
     
  19. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #20
    I stand corrected with respect to x.264. I always just viewed x.264 and h.264 as synonyms without really knowing why there were two names for it, but I now see that x.264 is a VideoLAN encodder. So sorry for the incorrect correction.

    I wouldn't say QT's encoder is terrible, but it's not something I'd use professionally. But there's also Apple's ProVideoEncoder used in Final Cut and Compressor. The point I was making was, however, just that different pieces of software can indeed have different characteristics performance wise even with the same codec as output.

    And you're right that FOSS (and most comercial software for that matter too) won't go out of their way to develop their own encoder when perfectly good options already exist. - But there's more than one to pick from as well.
     

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