Using Mencoder Profiles

Posted by gmendoza on January 21, 2011 under Tech Tips | 5 Comments to Read

Here’s a quick tip on using Mencoder profiles that serve as shortcuts for all of your favorite settings. This can save you a lot of time, especially when your encoding syntax is lengthy and difficult to remember.

Profiles are stored in the mencoder.conf file located in the appropriate place for your operating system. For Linux users, you can create a personalized file in your own home directory, ~/.mplayer/mencoder.conf.

Here’s the syntax you might use on a single-pass XviD project without using profiles.

mencoder -oac mp3lame -lameopts aq=0:q=0 -ovc xvid -xvidencopts \
fixed_quant=2:max_key_interval=25:vhq=2:bvhq=1:chroma_opt:quant_type=mpeg \
input.avi -o output.avi

Compare that with the following examples of some of my favorite profiles, and how easy it is to use them.

XviD Single-pass Profile Example

[xvid]
profile-desc="MPEG4/MP3 encoding"
ovc=xvid=1
xvidencopts=fixed_quant=2:max_key_interval=25:vhq=2:bvhq=1:chroma_opt=1:quant_type=mpeg
oac=mp3lame=1
lameopts=aq=0:q=0

mencoder -profile xvid input.avi -o output.avi

XviD 2-pass Profile Examples

[xvid-pass1]
profile-desc="MPEG4/MP3 encoding - PASS 1"
ovc=xvid=1
xvidencopts=pass=1:max_key_interval=25:turbo=1:vhq=0
nosound=1
o=/dev/null
passlogfile=xvid-pass1.log

[xvid-pass2]
profile-desc="MPEG4/MP3 encoding - PASS 2"
ovc=xvid=1
xvidencopts=pass=2:max_key_interval=25:vhq=2:bvhq=1:chroma_opt=1:quant_type=mpeg:bitrate=2000
oac=mp3lame=1
lameopts=aq=0:q=0
passlogfile=xvid-pass1.log

mencoder -profile xvid-pass1 input.avi
mencoder -profile xvid-pass2 input.avi -o output.avi

x264 2-pass Profile Examples

[x264-pass1]
profile-desc="x264 encoding - PASS 1"
ovc=x264=1
x264encopts=pass=1:threads=0:subq=1:frameref=1:bframes=3:b_pyramid=normal:weight_b=1:keyint=25
nosound=1
o=/dev/null
passlogfile=x264-pass1.log

[x264-pass2]
profile-desc="x264 encoding - PASS 2"
ovc=x264=1
x264encopts=pass=2:threads=0:subq=6:frameref=5:partitions=all:8x8dct=1:me=umh:bframes=3:b_pyramid=normal:weight_b=1:keyint=25:bitrate=2000
oac=mp3lame=1
lameopts=aq=0:q=0
passlogfile=x264-pass1.log

mencoder -profile x264-pass1 input.avi
mencoder -profile x264-pass2 input.avi -o output.avi

x264 Single-pass Profile Example

[x264]
profile-desc="x264 encoding"
ovc=x264=1
x264encopts=crf=20:threads=0:subq=6:frameref=5:partitions=all:8x8dct=1:me=umh:bframes=3:b_pyramid=normal:weight_b=1:keyint=25
aspect=16/9
oac=mp3lame=1
lameopts=aq=0:q=0

mencoder -profile x264 input.avi -o output.avi

Adding Chapters to Videos Using MKV Containers

Posted by gmendoza on August 4, 2010 under Tech Tips | 4 Comments to Read

If you would like to add chapters to your video files, such as XviD, x264, OGG, etc., simply use the Matroska multimedia container format.

For those of you that have never created Matroska files, visit the Matroska website to find the right software for your platform. If you’re using Ubuntu Linux, install the mkvtoolnix package from the repositories. It contains all the tools you need to start working with MKV files.

sudo apt-get-install mkvtoolnix

The easiest method of creating your chapter definitions is with any text editor, using the following format. Feel free to change the name and time values accordingly. Save the file anywhere you can remember, e.g. chapter.txt.

CHAPTER01=00:00:00.000
CHAPTER01NAME=Chapter 01
CHAPTER02=00:05:00.000
CHAPTER02NAME=Chapter 02
CHAPTER03=00:10:00.000
CHAPTER03NAME=Chapter 03
CHAPTER04=00:15:00.000
CHAPTER04NAME=Chapter 04
CHAPTER05=00:20:00.000
CHAPTER05NAME=Chapter 05

If you want to create a chapter file from an existing DVD, dvdxchap is a great tool for the job if you’re using Linux. It’s part of the ogmtools package. For more info, check out the OGMtools project web site.

Installation and three examples of how to use the tool are below.

sudo apt-get install ogmtools

dvdxchap /dev/dvd > chapter.txt
dvdxchap ./VIDEO_TS/ > chapter.txt
dvdxchap video.iso > chapter.txt

mkvmerge is the only tool you need to create an MKV file. In the following examples, your source video file is called video.avi, and your destination file is video.mkv.

A simplified version of the mkvmerge syntax is as follows.

mkvmerge video.avi --chapters chapter.txt -o video.mkv

I typically like to set my default language to English, and also turn off header compression for all tracks since some players don’t play nicely with compression enabled. The syntax and example output is displayed below.

mkvmerge video.avi --default-language eng \
--compression -1:none --chapters chapter.txt -o video.mkv

mkvmerge v4.2.0 ('No Talking') built on Jul 28 2010 16:47:39
'video.avi': Using the AVI demultiplexer. Opening file. This may take some time depending on the file's size.
'video.avi' track 0: Using the MPEG-4 part 2 video output module.
'video.avi' track 1: Using the MPEG audio output module.
The file 'video.mkv' has been opened for writing.
'video.avi' track 0: Extracted the aspect ratio information from the MPEG4 layer 2 video data and set the display dimensions to 712/416.
Progress: 100%
The cue entries (the index) are being written...
Muxing took 30 seconds.

That’s really all there is to it. Now any media player that supports MKV chapters will allow you to navigate them. My favorites are VLC, Mplayer, and my Western Digital media player, the WD TV Live Plus.

Verify the contents of your MKV using mkvmerge or mkvinfo.

mkvmerge -i video.mkv
File 'video.mkv': container: Matroska
Track ID 1: video (V_MS/VFW/FOURCC, XVID)
Track ID 2: audio (A_MPEG/L3)
Chapters: 13 entries

mkvinfo video.mkv
+ EBML head
|+ EBML version: 1
|+ EBML read version: 1
|+ EBML maximum ID length: 4
|+ EBML maximum size length: 8
|+ Doc type: matroska
|+ Doc type version: 2
|+ Doc type read version: 2
+ Segment, size 1325519138
|+ Seek head (subentries will be skipped)
|+ EbmlVoid (size: 4029)
|+ Segment information
| + Timecode scale: 1000000
| + Muxing application: libebml v1.0.0 + libmatroska v1.0.0
| + Writing application: mkvmerge v4.2.0 ('No Talking') built on Jul 28 2010 16:47:39
| + Duration: 5004.680s (01:23:24.680)
| + Date: Thu Aug 5 00:26:03 2010 UTC
| + Segment UID: 0x81 0x4b 0xc4 0xf1 0xf4 0x5b 0x6d 0xda 0xc5 0x40 0xc1 0x03 0x3f 0x36 0x0f 0xd9
|+ Segment tracks
| + A track
| + Track number: 1
| + Track UID: 1318207700
| + Track type: video
| + Lacing flag: 0
| + MinCache: 1
| + Codec ID: V_MS/VFW/FOURCC
| + CodecPrivate, length 40 (FourCC: XVID, 0x44495658)
| + Default duration: 40.000ms (25.000 fps for a video track)
| + Video track
| + Pixel width: 480
| + Pixel height: 416
| + Display width: 712
| + Display height: 416
| + A track
| + Track number: 2
| + Track UID: 3206714560
| + Track type: audio
| + Codec ID: A_MPEG/L3
| + Default duration: 24.000ms (41.667 fps for a video track)
| + Audio track
| + Sampling frequency: 48000
| + Channels: 2
|+ EbmlVoid (size: 1099)
|+ Chapters
| + EditionEntry
| + EditionFlagHidden: 0
| + EditionFlagDefault: 0
| + EditionUID: 585228242
| + ChapterAtom
| + ChapterUID: 4059317607
| + ChapterTimeStart: 00:00:00.000000000
| + ChapterFlagHidden: 0
| + ChapterFlagEnabled: 1
| + ChapterDisplay
| + ChapterString: Chapter 01
| + ChapterLanguage: eng
| + ChapterAtom
| + ChapterUID: 3065648262
| + ChapterTimeStart: 00:05:00.000000000
| + ChapterFlagHidden: 0
| + ChapterFlagEnabled: 1
| + ChapterDisplay
| + ChapterString: Chapter 02
| + ChapterLanguage: eng
| + ChapterAtom
| + ChapterUID: 2388361707
| + ChapterTimeStart: 00:10:00.000000000
| + ChapterFlagHidden: 0
| + ChapterFlagEnabled: 1
| + ChapterDisplay
| + ChapterString: Chapter 03
| + ChapterLanguage: eng
| + ChapterAtom
| + ChapterUID: 1448933008
| + ChapterTimeStart: 00:15:00.000000000
| + ChapterFlagHidden: 0
| + ChapterFlagEnabled: 1
| + ChapterDisplay
| + ChapterString: Chapter 04
| + ChapterLanguage: eng
| + ChapterAtom
| + ChapterUID: 1319721142
| + ChapterTimeStart: 00:20:00.000000000
| + ChapterFlagHidden: 0
| + ChapterFlagEnabled: 1
| + ChapterDisplay
| + ChapterString: Chapter 05
| + ChapterLanguage: eng
|+ EbmlVoid (size: 101)
|+ Cluster

Strip All Unwanted MP3 ID3 Tags

Posted by gmendoza on June 20, 2010 under Tech Tips | 11 Comments to Read

A while back, I wanted to find a tool that would go through my entire collection of MP3′s and remove all the extra ID3 tags I didn’t want. For example, when I purchase music from Amazon, Rhapsody, and other online music stores, there are a number of tags in the files that track things like the purchase date and sales transaction ID’s. I also like to get rid of annoying comments and other hidden tags that most editors won’t even show you.

In my search for a tool, I came across this very useful post outlining a similar project. In the authors quest to do the same thing, he came up with a shell script that searches for all MP3 files, and removes tags that are not in his list of “good” tags. I usually don’t like to rehash the work someone else has done, but since I use his script so often, I thought it would be useful to repost it with only minor modifications.

Prerequisite: Install eyeD3

The script requires the eyeD3 tag editor to parse and manipulate the tag data. So be sure to install eyeD3, which should be available in your favorite Linux repository.

sudo apt-get install eyed3

Save and Modify Script

Save the following script as strip-tags.sh somewhere in your executable path.

#!/bin/bash
# Script name: strip-tags.sh
# Original Author: Ian of DarkStarShout Blog
# Site: http://darkstarshout.blogspot.com/
# Options slightly modified to liking of SavvyAdmin.com
 
oktags="TALB APIC TCON TPE1 TPE2 TPE3 TIT2 TRCK TYER TCOM TPOS"
 
indexfile=`mktemp`
 
#Determine tags present:
find . -iname "*.mp3" -exec eyeD3 --no-color -v {} \; > $indexfile
tagspresent=`sort -u $indexfile | awk -F\): '/^<.*$/ {print $1}' \
| uniq | awk -F\)\> '{print $1}' | awk -F\( '{print $(NF)}' \
| awk 'BEGIN {ORS=" "} {print $0}'`
 
rm $indexfile
 
#Determine tags to strip:
tostrip=`echo -n $tagspresent $oktags $oktags \
| awk 'BEGIN {RS=" "; ORS="\n"} {print $0}' | sort | uniq -u \
| awk 'BEGIN {ORS=" "} {print $0}'`
 
#Confirm action:
echo
echo The following tags have been found in the mp3s:
echo $tagspresent
echo These tags are to be stripped:
echo $tostrip
echo
echo -n Press enter to confirm, or Ctrl+C to cancel...
read dummy
 
#Strip 'em
stripstring=`echo $tostrip \
| awk 'BEGIN {FS="\n"; RS=" "} {print "--set-text-frame=" $1 ": "}'`
 
# First pass copies any v1.x tags to v2.3 and strips unwanted tag data.
# Second pass removes v1.x tags, since I don't like to use them.
# Without --no-tagging-time-frame, a new unwanted tag is added.  :-)
 
find . -iname "*.mp3" \
-exec eyeD3 --to-v2.3 --no-tagging-time-frame $stripstring {} \; \
-exec eyeD3 --remove-v1 --no-tagging-time-frame {} \; 
 
echo "Script complete!"

To run the script, just execute it from the top level parent directory.

cd ~/Music/
strip-tags.sh

I really didn’t change a whole lot from the original, only making slight tweaks to eyeD3 options. For example, I removed colors from the eyeD3 output when creating the first list of tags, and added a line to remove v1.x ID3 tags since I don’t like to keep them around.

Be sure to edit the list of good tags identified by the “okaytags” variable. My preferred list includes the following:

oktags="TALB APIC TCON TPE1 TPE2 TPE3 TIT2 TRCK TYER TCOM TPOS"

TALB - Album/Movie/Show title
APIC - Attached picture (Album Art)
TCON - Content type (Genre)
TPE1 - Lead performer(s)/Soloist(s)
TPE2 - Band/orchestra/accompaniment
TPE3 - Conductor/performer refinement
TIT2 - Title/songname/content description
TRCK - Track number/Position in set
TYER - Year
TCOM - Composer
TPOS - Part of a set

Enjoy!