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July 3, 2005

Ripping It Up

In my last post I said that Nero Vision Express (NVE) had helped me out al sorts of ways, but turns out there were some problems that were easily fixed by using a different tool. NVE provided a really good interface for working with vob files, but it choked on some codecs. It handled resizing and adjusting the frame rate of the source great. I even had success with most video codecs that I tried. But, I couldn't get any audio codecs to work correctly. Also, NVE never allowed me to specify properties for audio codecs, so I think that was the major problem.

So, my method was to use NVE to produce an AVI with compressed video (XviD, either single or two-pass) with uncompressed (PCM) audio. I would then run the AVI through VirtualDub to compress the audio. Not the cleanest way of doing things, but it worked. The whole time I was asking myself, "self, how come VirtualDub can't handle vobs directly?" Well, it turns out that a "hacked" version can.

Enter VirtualDub-MPEG2 [free-codecs.com] and it's sidekick AC-3 ACM Decompressor [free-codecs.com]. With these two pieces of software I was able to directly input vobs to VirtualDub, apply transformations, encode and save off as an AVI. Looks like I jumped the gun on my praise of NVE.

All in all I think that NVE has the potential to be a great piece of easy to use software, but in the end it's just broken. The ability to compress audio is a must and the ability to batch encoding jobs would be a killer feature. I guess when a new version of the Nero suite is released I can evaluate it again, but for now I'll be using VirtualDub-MPEG2 and the AC-3 ACM Decompressor.

Posted by Guy at July 3, 2005 3:15 PM