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Permlink Replies: 8 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: 28-Nov-2010 17:55 Last Post By: jGromit
jGromit

Posts: 26,485
Registered: 01/31/06
Video compression and conversion
Posted: 26-Nov-2010 15:49
 
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Looking for some recommendations....

My own stuff is all JPG's - still images. But as I update the family website, I'm getting more and more videos that need to be dealt with. Most of them are already MP4's, which is fine, since my Matrix skin will display them nicely.

The problem, of course, is that the files are huge, a bit too large for comfortable web use. They're usually at least 30MB, and sometimes well over 100MB. For this kind of material, I don't need to preserve the videos in all their hi-def glory. After all, we're talking about short films that document world-shattering events like the 6-month-old grandnephew's first encounter with mashed peas (very funny ).

So, I'm looking for some recommendations for a software package that will let me get MP4's down to size by reducing the dimensions, changing the data rate, etc. While I'm at it, it would probably be good if the package would also allow conversion from other formats, like WMV's.

A free package would be nice, but if there's a piece of pay-for-it software out there that really stands head and shoulders above the crowd, I'm willing to shell out some cash.

I'm firmly planted in the Win7 world, so MacSoftware won't do the trick.

Thanks!
ctwist

Posts: 999
Registered: 09/27/03
Re: Video compression and conversion
Posted: 27-Nov-2010 16:20   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
 
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I use Super. This is free, and can convert most video formats. It can also resize the video and adjust the quality.

The download page is well-hidden, and the site attempts to trick you into downloading alternative trial software. You will have to navigate through a few pages to find the correct download link.
jGromit

Posts: 26,485
Registered: 01/31/06
Re: Video compression and conversion
Posted: 27-Nov-2010 17:00   in response to: ctwist in response to: ctwist
 
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Thanks - I'll give it a shot.

You're not kidding about "well-hidden!" It's as if they really don't want you to have it. :)
mrag

Posts: 3,402
Registered: 07/26/03
Re: Video compression and conversion
Posted: 27-Nov-2010 17:28   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
 
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Laza has a sticky in the Turtle Forum with a recommendation/thought on video software:
http://jalbum.net/forum/ann.jspa?annID=85

I and I imagine many others would be interested in the final results of your research.

Edited by: mrag on 27-Nov-2010 11:44
Regarding Super-they did work hard to "bury the lead." I assume you've reached the goal when you can download SUPERsetup.exe, a 28.1MB file
jGromit

Posts: 26,485
Registered: 01/31/06
Re: Video compression and conversion
Posted: 27-Nov-2010 17:53   in response to: mrag in response to: mrag
 
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Yup, that's the one!

First impression is that the application is a bit flaky. The user interface tends to fight with the user. I've also gotten some odd errors, like the application "Not responding," and something about an index list being out of bounds. Yet it successfully completed the conversions.

AVG anti-virus also complains bitterly when Super opens one of the codecs (x264.exe), but I managed to add an exception for it.

I'll have to do some more experimenting. One thing that's sorely lacking (unless it's there, and I just haven't found it yet) is something that will give you a rough file size estimate based on the settings you've chosen for things like the size (like 640x480), the bitrate, and so on. You have to do the conversion (which takes some time), then take a look at the output.
ctwist

Posts: 999
Registered: 09/27/03
Re: Video compression and conversion
Posted: 27-Nov-2010 18:53   in response to: ctwist in response to: ctwist
 
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Documentation for Super is lacking. This web page may help. Also, posts here suggest that the latest build (42) is problematic. Old versions can be downloaded from here. Downloads from here are easier than from the author's site.
SkiFreak

Posts: 3,423
Registered: 01/15/07
Re: Video compression and conversion
Posted: 28-Nov-2010 01:17   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
 
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EarlyOut wrote:
One thing that's sorely lacking (unless it's there, and I just haven't found it yet) is something that will give you a rough file size estimate based on the settings you've chosen...

I have used numerous video converters over the years and, from memory, none of them had this feature. Maybe it's too hard to calculate.

To be honest, I have never found a video converter I like, and I have tried quite a few. If you do find one you consider "good", please share... :)
mrag

Posts: 3,402
Registered: 07/26/03
Re: Video compression and conversion
Posted: 28-Nov-2010 06:11   in response to: SkiFreak in response to: SkiFreak
 
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I have not played with movies in a while. But I recall Windows had a free "media encoder" a while ago where you could indicate a final size file you were looking for. I don't know if that capability exists is some form now in Windows Movie Maker or if it is still offered separately.

Actually, if it fits your needs, Windows Movie Maker can be a nice little program and produce some nice 5 minute type movies. Not a Raiders of the Lost Ark, but a party with an intro and ending credits, some music, etc. I would not dismiss it out of hand even it is from Microsoft ;-)
jGromit

Posts: 26,485
Registered: 01/31/06
Re: Video compression and conversion
Posted: 28-Nov-2010 17:55   in response to: mrag in response to: mrag
 
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I'm still just feeling my way around, since I know almost nothing about video formats in the first place (beyond knowing that the JW Player I've embedded in Matrix can handle MP4's and FLV's, so that's my target format).

First impressions of Laza's recommended package, XMedia Recode, are very positive. It seems stable, and the interface is intuitive enough that I've managed to find my way through it, though I don't understand a lot of the settings. Gee, what "Maximum Quantizer Delta" do I want? When in doubt, stick with the defaults. ;)

It also takes a stab at estimating the file size that will result from the settings you've chosen. It's only an approximation, of course, but it seems to do a pretty decent job.

The source video I've been playing with is about 66MB of 1280x720 hi-res MP4, which is overkill for a website. With this software, I've produced a 728x408 MP4, using half the original bitrate (1000 vs 2000), and the resulting file, with no visible loss in quality, is under 7MB, which is more practical.

I did some experimenting with converting to FLV, but I've had trouble preserving the aspect ratio - probably just user error, so I'll revisit it.

The price is certainly right - it's freeware, and even the PayPal donate button on the site is discreet.
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