Challenge: Automate This...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by willxm, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. willxm macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Ok guys, I have had enough... I just can't get this to work. I would appreciate if someone could help me do this. I want to automate the process of converting and .avi file into an appletv friendly .mp4. Basically I want to to be able to drag an .avi into a folder called something like "To be converted" where it is then converted via visualhub or some other program to an mp4. Basically I want some drag and drop functionality.

    What would make this even better is if say the mp4 was automatically added to itunes and the original .avi was deleted (to help with the clean up process)

    Any takers to this challenge?
  2. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2006
  3. nathanbal macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2007
    how do you convert an avi file to an mp4 at the moment?
  4. SBE110 macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2008
    Successes & Failures with AVI conversion for ATV

    Hi guys - here is how I do the conversion & (semi) automation - but also some remaining problems (btw: my first post in MR;-)

    1. I use the Elgato Turbo.264 Stick (which frees the CPU almost completely) for AVI-to-MP4 conversion, with the Elgato Software that came with the stick.
    The software is easy-as-A-B-C, allows a variety of settings (FR, 16:19 & 14:9 etc), batch processing possible etc) and saves the mp4 files in iTunes movie folder which then triggers iTunes to synch automatically with my ATV.
    So the only thing that remains is once I have recieved my AVI files in a certain folder to 'throw' them all for batch-processing into the Elgato SW.
    (I have not yet tried to use Automator for this).

    2. As an alternative, you can also use Quicktime Pro (29.95$) for the conversion AVI to MP4 - without any HW converter it eats up all your CPU for the next few hours; but QTPro can also use the Elgato stick, and then you have the same advantages as under 1.
    In addition, you can edit (=cut) the movie to the desired length (e.g. if there is unwanted ads at the beginning or the recording runs longer than the movie). Plus, QTPro can definitely be used with the Automator to automatically read new entries in a folder.

    So much for the "good" part - I just throw files into the Elgato SW, and some time later they appear on my ATV.

    The problem that I have with this is the following:
    After H.264 encoding, all files have a audio-unsynch-creep: slowly but surely the audio & video streams es-synchronize over the runtime of the movie, and after 20 - 30 minutes you can see clearly that lip movements and audio are out-of-synch.
    In the "original" AVI files this is not the case (for background info: the AVI files are DivX encoded, with Xvid Codec; using DVDs with the original AVI files, I had this de-synch sometimes, but stopping & restarting the DVD from usually fixed it.)
    I have read all sorts of explanation & solution with muxing / demuxing etc. which I might be able to use - but the charme of the initial "drag-drop-&-ready" solution would be gone, and I don't want to spend 15-2- minutes active handling for every conversted movie I want to watch.

    Any ideas?:confused:
  5. OlBlueHair macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    I kind of don't see the problem. All you have to do, instead of dropping it into a folder named "to be converted" is drop it directly into Visual Hub. Visual Hub then adds it to iTunes for you...just remember to set where you want the new mp4 file to stay to be in your iTunes library after it is written.

    The only thing you have to do is delete the original avi.

    So, one drop onto visual hub then delete the old's not alot of work.

    Or, download or rip a bunch of avi's into your to be converted folder then it's still just one drop of that folder onto visual hub, then delete the avi's. What exactly is there left to automate?
  6. natasha69 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2007
    but but, it doesn't do my laundry and buy groceries for me as well... ;)
  7. pkoch1 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2007
    it would take more work to drop them into the folder, then open the automator script than it would to drop it into visualhub and click "go" wouldn't it?

    or can you make the trigger for the automation when you drag it in the folder?
  8. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    Err... yeah... All you have to do is drag the files you want to convert into the VisualHub box labeled "Drag the files to be converted below" and then click the start button. How much more automated do you want it to be?
  9. willxm thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2007
    I didn't explain myself very well, apologies. It is amazing how many sarcastic responses get posted around here, some of which are rehashes of sarcasm already laid out by a previous poster. But anyway... I built a workflow to solve my problem. Here is what it looks like:

    TVShows (a RSS torrent app) downloads the show torrent.

    Torrents are then sent to a torrent application where the avi is downloaded and sent to folder labeled "To be converted".

    Once a file is added to this folder it automatically triggers (via "folder watching") an "extract files" script sending the avi(s) to visualhub to be converted from avi to mp4.

    The mp4 is then added to my itunes library where i can watch it on my tv via appletv.

    Once this is complete the workflow cleans up by deleting the origninal torrent file as well as original avi.

    Sorry I wasn't clear in what i was asking for. As easy as "drag and drop" into visualhub is, the entire process from start to finish gets repetitive and messy if your converting multiple files. In the case of a dl, say it finishes in the middle of the night, with my solution you dont have to go back the next day and convert/clean up.

    *I did not come up with this solution entirely alone, I used premade automator plugins, other forums, and a whole lot of trial and error/ guesswork.

    Thanks to those trying to help.
  10. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2007
    Any chance of you posting the script(s)? I wasn't one of the sarcastic responses and I could use this method myself.

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