Multiple audio tracks in movies playing in iPhone? How?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by ahe, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. ahe macrumors member


    Feb 12, 2003

    I have been trying and researching this for a couple of days now, without any success... Let's see:
    I have ripped some of my DVDs to full resolution AVI files with 2 audio tracks (spanish and english language tracks). In QuickTime Pro, one of the tracks is activated by default when playing, but if you click cmd-J, you can see the other track and enable/disable any of the two.

    Now, what I want to do is have another video file optimized for the iPhone, but I'd like it to contain multiple audio tracks. The other step woulb de embedding subtitles with Muxo, but that's another story, I still have to be able to generate an MPEG-4 H.264 file from QuickTime Pro that keeps both audio tracks/streams. I have tried exporting for the iPhone, and also exporting to MPEG-4 but I see no option that will allow for for audio tracks to be exported to the new file. :confused:

    I also tried doing it with VisualHub, but it seems to be doing the same: it only keeps the default audio track and discards the other.

    Is this even possible? I'm assuming it must be, otherwise I wouldn't have those files with multiple audio tracks in the first place.
    Thanks in advance,

  2. ajthomason macrumors 6502

    I don't think that H.264 MP4's can hold two audio tracks and only play one... you could try setting one as the right track and the other as the left, and use the balance in Quicktime to enable/disable one, but if you try playing it on your iPhone, it will play both at the same time.

    Even if the MP4 container can hold both tracks, the iPhone will not be able to change them - so you'll be stuck with the default one.
  3. ahe thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 12, 2003
    Hi, thanks a lot for your reply.

    For a moment I thought you were right, but then went on to see the specifications of the MP4 container and it seems to allow for multiple audio streams (plus a host of other niceties):

    Although both of them are pretty suspicious-looking websites, other sources appear to confirm this:

    So I guess that it can be done, although the iPhone hasn't the ability to select the audio track.
  4. ahe thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 12, 2003
    CONFIRMED! It CAN be done... but still, how?

    I knew it could be done... I just remembered that Steve Jobs demonstrated this capability during the MACWORLD 2008 Keynote, when he introduced the (then) latest firmware.

    Just check the video, at 19:25 (that's 19 minutes, 25 seconds), he shows the new button is used for selecting BOTH AUDIO AND SUBTITLE TRACKS. :D

    I've been doing more tests today with QuickTime Pro, but still no luck. It seems every damn piece of video software removes one of the audio streams, leaving only the default one.

    Any chance that someone out there can shed some light?
    Thanks in advance,

  5. alabanco macrumors member


    Mar 23, 2008
  6. emk2203 macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2009
    Encoding news, yes. iPhone replay news, ...

    With MediaCoder 0.7.1, you can encode several audio streams no problem (Mkvmerge GUI shows they are there), but even with the latest iPhone GS Software (3.0.1), I have yet to find options for switching audio or subtitles.

    Can anybody help out here?

  7. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    I guess no one's ever seen that button cuz nobody can manage to get multiple tracks into the video files

    of course, I'm sure if it's purchased from iTunes....
  8. alabanco macrumors member


    Mar 23, 2008
    Ok. If you want to switch between audio streams while playing video that has them it is quite easy. You will see small button on the left in overlay controls.

    Is it right that with MediaCoder 0.7.1 you can add streams to your video like I do with VirtualDubMod on PC ?

    To convert videos - Handbrake
  9. ebobster1976 macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2011
    reviving an old thread...

    iphone/ipad and multiple audio streams of mp4 was working wonderfully until I just updated to 4.3.2 and found that wonderful button has vanished and worse, they no longer just play the first track by default!

    Why?? Have Apple screwed up here? Anyone have any ideas/clues or different experiences?

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