Newbie Questions, Identifying Conversion Settings

Questions:
• Is there an option for a more detailed conversion log file?
• Are the Common Settings\X to Mobile\Output keywords correct?
• Is there any indication on more expanded output keywords? Ideally, I would suggest an optional keyword for all conversion setting fields that can be changed. Is this feature available in another software package other than DVDFab?

Background:

I have been using AnyDvd and CloneDVD2 for years in order to backup my DVD collection. I recently got a WDtv (Western Digital WD HD TV Media Player). Now I am learning how to encode my DVD collection in order to reduce their size. I am using DVDFab6 (version 6.0.1.0). Based on my limited understanding of codecs from reading this forum, my preferred profile choice is: generic.avi.xvid.audiocopy but with high quality video encoding (2 pass).

During the day I copy AnyDVD ISO files to my HD, and then at night I convert them to AVIs. Basic problem is I keep lousy notes. Once the AVIs are created I copy them to an external USB hard drive. I accidently converted ISOs a second time and the output file size was different. Different size means different “Conversion Settings”. This was not the intent but started me looking for way to insure consistency and improve my understanding of the “conversion settings”.

I found and I have used GSpot, MediaInfo and AVIcodec codec analyzers trying to understand what I did. These analyzers revealed lots of interesting information.

I also found: Common Settings\X to Mobile\Output shows output keywords:
All keywords
• SourceFileName Use source file name as part of output file name.
• Volume DVD volume label, name of DVD Disc.
• Title Use selected DVD title as part of output file name.
• Chapter Use selected DVD chapter range as part of the output file name.
• VideoCodec Use selected video codec as part of output file name.
• AudioCodec Use selected audio codec as part of the output file name.
• Year, Month, Day

Observations on File Name Output Keywords:
• Output keywords are not updated if you select a new profile after clicking “Conversion Settings.”
• Title field remains a mystery to me. <Title> outputs <Title 1>, sometimes <Title 5> and even <Title 23>. For DVD movies this field seems to have little value. I can’t figure out where to look for it in the source so I cannot tell if it is correct.
• VideoCodec field outputs the following for AVIs: DIVX codec outputs xvid; XVID codec outputs xvid; H264 codec outputs h264. However, the codec analyzers show the correct (expected) video codec.
• Audiocodec field always outputs mp3 for both audiocopy and mp3 profiles. However, the codec analyzer shows AC3 for audiocopy profiles and MPEG1 layer 3 for mp3 profiles.

Observations on Title Output:
• It appears to be fixed <Volume>.<Title>.DVDRip. Changing the Output keywords does not change the Title field output.

Observation on this forum:
• A commonly post found on this forum many times deals with optimal conversion settings. The universal standard response is you need to experiment and confirm what works best for your needs. Experimenting is made more difficult from the lack of reporting tools, ie log files, expanded output keywords.

Thanks in advance for your help and comments.

Working the problem a completely different way, I decided to use the Profile editor to create my own user profile. I found what I considered to be unexpected differences. Rather than post alot of differences that people might read and say, yes they are different, I suggest and hope someone else will look at the following:

[ul]Open the Profile Editor, then save an unmodified copy of
generic.avi.xvid.audiocopy to MyDocuments.
Compare this user profile, with the as supplied DVDFab profile located in program files … profile directory
==> They are significantly different.
[/ul]

[ul]Compare two similar as supplied DVDFab profiles located in the program files . . . profile directory .
Compare generic.avi.<videocode1>.audiocopy with generic.avi.<videocodec2>.audiocopy.
==>Since both are using source audio, I expect any audio paramaters to be the same and only the video parameters will be different. This is not the case. Both audio and video parameters are different.
[/ul]

So how do I know exactly what conversion settings are actually used when creating an output file?

One last thought, I use an application called “Beyond Compare” made by a company called “Scotter Software” to compare files, etc. It has a 30 day trial period. It makes simple work out of comparing files as it shows the differences sided by side in color.