With respect to SirDavidGuy.
I would like to see how good you could make a copy of the same film (using an encoder of your choice) finishing with a total file size of just 680MB. And supprising as it may seem there really is no more apparent loss in detail than you would get if you used say, DivX and there's no motion blur that I can see.
The big 'clone' battle scene that commences at 1:46:25 pays testament to that notion!
Now, I've tried several DivX comp tests using Vidomi. I've used all the different permutations of the programme (ie all 1pass and 2pass modes) but they just don't compare with WM9 (at less than 5MB per min..........) assuming you can even get your software to encode accurately to 680MB - which was my target rate. Hell, I'll even let you go as high as 702MB.
But remember the film must be able to fit onto a standard 80min CD. Not one of those fancy 99min jobbies!
I'm just as upset as anybody else about this revelation, as I have a file server full of movies I've ripped to DivX. I even purchased an Sigma Xcard so I could watch them on my TV and pump the audio thru' my DSS amp.
Anyway, I've encoded two more films since Star Wars II. Goldmember (90min 2.35:1) and Men In Black I (94min 1.85:1) using a higher video bitrate of 955kbps and the results are even better. And they still fit onto a 80min/702MB CD.
Now, for all those people out there who would like to give this a bash 'mchargue' I'm speaking to you........ please remember this process takes a - long - long - time.
However, I have found out how to make some short cuts. But why not try encoding (as I did) a short film or a chapter of a DVD first?
Now, I've got to assume you all know how to use your ripping software and the WM9 encoder. Or I'll be here all year!
Use DVD Decrypter (v220.127.116.11) or similar to rip your DVD. I use DVD Decrypter because it's so flexible: -
01: Use the 'Stream Processing' option and select Demux.
02: Under the 'Tools' tab, select 'Settings'.
03: Select the 'File Mode' tab and in the 'Options', 'File Splitting' box select 'None'.
04: Select the 'IFO Mode' tab and in the 'Options', 'File Splitting' box select 'None'.
05: Select the 'ISO Mode' tab and in the 'Options', 'File Splitting' box select 'None'.
06: Press the 'Decrypt' button.
When finished you should have just 4no files in a folder. The ones you want are the 'Audio' and 'Video' files.
The 'Audio' file will have a .vob file extension. You can rename this extention to .ac3 if you like and force the file to play with the WinMedia9 player or most other DVD software players for that matter.
The 'Video' file will have a .m2v file extention. If you rename this extention to .mpg the WinMedia9 player will play it (without audio ofcourse) and the WinMedia9 encoder software will see it.
-- In my earlier experiments I used VOBedit to achieve the above but this step is not necessary now --
Now fire up the WinMedia9 Encoder: -
If the software opens up with a 'Show new session' dialog box. Get rid of it/close it down.
To encode the 'Video': -
01: Click on the 'Properties' tab.
02: Under the 'Sources' tab go to the 'Source from:' section and select 'Both device and file' option.
03: Uncheck the 'Audio' option.
04: In the 'Video' option click on the tab key and 'Browse for File...'
If you've renamed the file extention to .mpg you should see it, with no problems.
If you've left it as a .m2v you'll have to select 'All files (.)' in the 'Files of type:' option box.
NOW, DEPENDING ON HOW BIG (IN MEGABYTES/GIGABYTES) YOUR VIDEO FILE IS THE WINMEDIA9 ENCODER COULD TAKE A LONG TIME TO INPUT IT. ON MY SYSTEM WITH IT'S 2.8GHz PROCESSOR IT TAKES ABOUT FIVE MINS TO INPUT A 90 MIN VIDEO FILE AND COMPLETE THIS STAGE. IF YOU PERFORM ANY OTHER ACTION ON YOUR PC DURING THIS STAGE THE SOFTWARE WILL CRASH!!!!!!
05: Click the 'Output' tab. Uncheck the 'Pull from encoder (etc)' box
06: Put a tick in the 'Encode to file' box and click 'Browse'. Give your proposed new file a name etc.
07: Click on the 'Compression' tab and in the 'Destination:' box click 'Edit...'
08: A 'Custom Encoding Settings' box will now appear.
09: Under the 'General' tab, go to the 'Media types' box.
10: Make sure the 'Video' box is the only one that's ticked. Under the 'Mode' box down arrow, select 'Bit rate VBR'
11: Click on the tab to the right of the ' General' tab - It should say '300Kbps'
12: In the 'Video size' section put a tick in the 'Same as video input' box
13: In the 'Frame rate' box it should default to the same as your input video file
14: In the 'Video bit rate (average):' box. Type in your required bit rate.
If you want to really test WM9 try a low bit rate such as 615K
15: Click OK
There should be no need to select any further tabs, such as 'Video Size', 'Attributes', 'Processing' etc.
16: Select the green 'Start Encoding' button.
NOW AGAIN, PLEASE REMEMBER, IT MAY TAKE A LONG TIME BEFORE THE ENCODING BEGINS. AS IT TAKES THE WINMEDIA9 ENCODER A LONG TIME TO EVEN INPUT THE FILE AND WHEN THE SOFTWARE DOES START TO ENCODE.
EVEN WITH MY SYSTEM: -
THE FIRST PASS (OF A 94 MIN VIDEO) TAKES APPROX 2 HOURS 19 MINS AND
THE SECOND PASS OF THE SAME TAKES AN INCREDIBLE 6 HOURS 51 MINS........ SO THAT'S OVER 9 HOURS IN TOTAL!
The good news is, when it comes to encoding the audio it's a hell of alot quicker.
And then it's just a matter of muxing (or as Microsoft would put it 'Steaming') the 'Audio' and 'Video' files together.
But that's another story...............