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[post:118#1113]
Devil Doll

01/06/2006 09:50 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Track 1 is the video stream. XVID as codec means that your MPEG4 player will be able to handle it, and it can be used in an AVI container without further conversion. (Which means you don't have to install another exotic codec to play the video - that's the good news.)

Apparently you have more than one audio streams in this Matroska container (unless these are remains of different extraction experiments, you might want to use a fresh output directory and repeat the extraction process to be sure). Track 2 is MP3 and can be used in an AVI container already; Tracks 3 and 4 are OggVorbis and would have to be converted to MP3 before being used in an AVI container.

Next tool to install: My suggested universal audio format converter would be Switch (Installer download: http://www.nch.com.au/cgi-bin/dld.exe?file=http://nch.com.au/switch/switchsetup.exe), a simple GUI program for playing and converting audio streams. You can use this for two purposes: 1. play tracks 2 through 4 to check what they are (probably different languages for the same video, such as Japanese audio and English dub) to find out the one you want to use (AVI should have only one audio stream, most players wouldn't understand more than one audio stream although it's possible in theory IIRC), 2. convert the exotic formats like Ogg Vorbis to MP3.



Ogg Vorbis compresses better than MP3 does, so an Ogg Vorbis audio stream of, say, 128 kbit/sec contains more quality than an MP3 sound stream of 128 kbit/sec. To conserve the quality of the original audio stream one should use about 50% more volume in MP3 than in Ogg Vorbis, i. e. convert 128 kBit OGG to 192 kBit MP3 and 64 kBit OGG to 96-128 kBit MP3. Note that the file size will increase by the same factor, i. e. if you're converting an anime series whose original file sizes were exactly fitting to a specific number of CDs resp. DVDs you'll lose this attribute unless you are willing to make compromises (such as reducing sound quality, shrinking the video stream as well or whatever).

So your next step is to select your audio stream and convert it to MP3 if necessary, then post here again.

As you don't see subtitles in your experimentally burned DVD it looks like your Matroska container was using soft subs (the most difficult but most likely scenario), which means that during your extraction process there must have been more tracks (track 5 and up) of some still unknown stream type. Please load the original Matroska container again into MKVextractGUI and tell me the types of available streams - there must be some subtitle streams like the one I highlighted in the image below.

[post:118#1114]
Devil Doll

01/06/2006 09:59 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Corrections to previews posting (as I can't edit it):

I mixed up the number of the tracks but I hope you understand what I mean. Track 2 could be used without further processing, Track 4 and 5 would have to be converted. I agree about Track 3 probably being the subtitle stream.

http://www.nch.com.au/cgi-bin/dld.exe?file=http://nch.com.au/switch/switchsetup.exe is the download address for Switch (Rebecca's software made some unexpected automatic line wrapping).

[post:118#1115]
Devil Doll

01/06/2006 10:05 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> But whereas your demonstration above shows both Video and Audio, I could only get mine to show either one or the other (i.e., only the data on one track at a time).

That's because you were applying AVIcodec to individual stream files. If you load some of your normal AVI or OGM containers you'll get the information about all streams in this container (unfortunately AVIcodec 1.2 still can't load Matroska containers directly but some future version probably will, it's announced for version 1.3 already).

[post:118#1116]
Stretch

01/06/2006 05:28 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

>Please load the original Matroska container again into MKVextractGUI and tell me the types of available streams - there must be some subtitle streams like the one I highlighted in the image below.

Track ID 1: video (V_MS/VFW/FOURCC,XVID)

Track ID 2: subtitles (S_TEXT/UTF8)

Track ID 3: subtitles (S_TEXT/UTF8)

Track ID 4: audio (A_VORBIS)

Track ID 5: audio (A_VORBIS)

Tags ID

[post:118#1117]
Stretch

01/06/2006 06:10 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I'm having a hell of a time trying to download and install the "Switch" program. It has required me to approve of license agreements three or four times, and seems to want me to "select related programs" (but I want to keep this simple). Even so, what I get is only a miniature version of the example above, and the "remove", "play", "stop" and "convert" operations are not available--only "add file(s)", "add folder" and "settings". Have I not completed the install process?

[post:118#1118]
Stretch

01/06/2006 08:00 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Okay, I managed to transfer the Track 4a file to Switch, which made all the options except "stop" become available. I pushed "Play" just to see what would happen, and after awhile got the message "The Component OGG decoder has been installed successfully" (plus even "stop" became available). Then I clicked on "Convert" but nothing seems to have happened. I noticed that the "Output Format" could be reset to mp3, which I did and told the program to "Convert" yet again. Then I also noticed the "Encoder Settings" button--Ah! This is why my screen appeared so small compared to yours, Devil Doll! So, should I reset the Bitrate from 128 to 192? I did, and "Converted" yet again. I was warned that converting the same file several times would overwrite the original version, which I said was okay. While trying to send my converted file, which I've redesignated Track 4a2 to MKVextractGUI 1.5.5, I noticed that Track 4a was listed at 33,497 KB whereas the modified Track 4a2 was at 11,166 KB. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I played the Track 4a2 and the audio didn't sound as good as usual. So maybe modifying the Bitrate didn't have any effect.

[post:118#1119]
Devil Doll

01/06/2006 08:18 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

You can only get the "play" option of a file you're "added" into Switch before, but even after starting the program I have all those buttons, just some of them disabled until I load some audio stream. I'm a little surprised about the installation problems... did I post a wrong link? http://www.nch.com.au/switch/ offers different versions of the program but the Freeware version there is enough for our purpose (just ignore all attempts to sell some software to you, of course they'll suggest you to purchase the Pro version instead).

As for your list of tracks: The Track 2 in MP3 you mentioned earlier must have been from some other video as here Tracks 2 and 3 are subtitles (unfortunately of a format I still don't know - I had hoped to find a format name such as "SSA" or "SRT" where your posting displayed "UTF8".. which file name extensions did these files get?), Tracks 4 and 5 are the audio streams (maybe you can play them with WinAmp or some other OggVorbis capable program just to find out which one is the language you're looking for). If you have some other method for converting OggVorbis to MP3 (like playing it in WinAmp and use the DiskWriter Output Plugin to create a MP3 file...) feel free to use it - all that matters is that you have a MP3 version of the audio stream you want to put into the AVI container.

As for the subtitles... can you please open these files with a simple text editor, copy a couple of lines somewhere in the middle of the file and post them here so that I can guess the file format? I have experience only with SSA and SRT subtitle formats... if this is some other format we'd probably need another converter step (fear not, this would just be another conversion tool to install). Alternatively you can mail these subtitle files to the (we did exchange mail in December 2004...).

[post:118#1120]
Devil Doll

01/06/2006 08:24 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Which quality (kbits per second) does AVIcodec tell you about the audio streams you extracted from the Matroska container? Multiply this by 1.5 and set that value as quality parameter for the MP3 bitrate (kbps) in Switch (and use "Constant Bitrate" & "Stereo"). The output file should become 1.5 times bigger than the OggVorbis input file, and have about the same sound quality.

[post:118#1121]
Stretch

01/06/2006 10:17 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

>The Track 2 in MP3 you mentioned earlier must have been from some other video as here Tracks 2 and 3 are subtitles.

Yeah, these were actually two completely different episodes of different shows--I should have mentioned that... The show with the strange UTF8 subtitles is an episode of "Hyper Police" fansubbed by the Lime outfit (they seem to have just copied the commercial dubs and subs after the series was withdrawn from distribution). The Hyper Police episodes always run with both English dubbed dialogue and English subtitles--maybe that will explain something to you.

>which file name extensions did these files get?

On the MKVextractGUI 1.5.5 page the two subtitle tracks are listed as Track2.srt and Track3.srt--there's that "srt" abbreviation you mentioned!

>Tracks 4 and 5 are the audio streams (maybe you can play them with WinAmp or some other OggVorbis capable program just to find out which one is the language you're looking for).

Track 4 is definitely the English Dub, and after awhile I got Track 5 to run through Switch and found it to be Japanese--this was the first time I'd ever heard the original language version (cool!).

>As for the subtitles... can you please open these files with a simple text editor, copy a couple of lines somewhere in the middle of the file and post them here so that I can guess the file format?

I hope this is what you're looking for; Track2:

141 00:11:00,059 --> 00:11:03,324 Shot by your own friend! What more could you ask?

142 00:11:03,429 --> 00:11:05,158 Natsuki! Finish him off!.

143 00:11:06,599 --> 00:11:07,827 What?

144 00:11:13,005 --> 00:11:14,233 What's going on?

As for track 3, this is everything it contained:

1 00:00:00,233 --> 00:00:00,699 .

>Which quality (kbits per second) does AVIcodec tell you about the audio streams you extracted from the Matroska container?

Audio : 35 MB, 160 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = Mpeg-1 audio Layer 3 (MP3), Supported

Thanks for taking the trouble to check this info out!

[post:118#1122]
Devil Doll

01/07/2006 12:02 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> I hope this is what you're looking for; Track2: > 141 00:11:00,059 --> 00:11:03,324 Shot by your own friend! What more could you ask?

"SRT" already gave me the information I was looking for, but this line confirms it.

>>Which quality (kbits per second) does AVIcodec tell you about the audio streams you extracted from the Matroska container? > Audio : 35 MB, 160 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = Mpeg-1 audio Layer 3 (MP3), Supported

?! But it was an Ogg Vorbis stream before... I wanted to know the quality of the Track4/Track5 streams (as extracted from the *.mkv file) to double-check your parameters for transcoding into MP3 in Switch. If you're fine with the 160 kbps MP3 version of te audio stream already then just ignore question.

Anyway, let's make the next step and create an AVI container without subtitles. We won't need this file later, but the procedure would work if the subtitles had been part of the video stream already (which may happen in Matroska containers now and then), and the subtitle treatment we'll be doing later is just a minor modification of what we're doing now.

1. Get VirtualDubMod. (This one - http://www.free-codecs.com/VirtualDubMod_download.htm) You'll get a ZIP file, just extract the content into some directory of your choice. Current version is 1.5.10.2 (I just updated right now), but 1.5.10.1 would be fine as well.

2. Start "VirtualDubMod.exe" from this directory.

3. "File" / "Open Video File", then select the Track1.avi you're extracted from the Matroska container (the Xvid stream).

4. "Streams" / "Stream List" - this shows you an empty window of non-video streams. Click on "Add", then select the MP3 version of the audio stream that you want to use with this video stream.

5. "File" / "Save as...", then select the name of the AVI container file you want to create from these two streams. This should take a few minutes (merging video and audio stream together into one file), depending on file size and your machine's speed.

Create this AVI file, then play it to check whether the audio is in synch with the video. If it's too early or too late you can specify a time offset after Step 4. by selecting the added audio stream with the right mouse and selecting "Interleaving"; finding the exact offset might be a guessing game but you just keep VirtualDubMod running, change the "delay" value, repeat Step 5. and check again for synchrony.

You now have an AVI file with an Xvid/MPEG4 video stream and an MP3 audio stream. Not the final version, but quite close already; if you use the English dub you might be finished already. To get the subtitles into that thing we'll need another little software installation plus two more steps between 4. and 5. - we'll do that during the next lesson.

[post:118#1123]
Stretch

01/07/2006 01:30 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Whoops, that 160 kbps figure was for track 2, a subtitle track. I guess I got confused because it mentioned "Mpeg-1 audio Layer 3 (MP3)". Here are the figures for Track 4:

Audio : 33 MB, 192 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = Mpeg-1 audio Layer 3 (MP3), Supported

The figures for Track 5 are identical.

[post:118#1124]
Stretch

01/07/2006 01:35 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I think the kbps figures are at 192 instead of 128 because I set the Switch Bitrate there to increase the figure by 50%.

[post:118#1125]
Devil Doll

01/07/2006 08:58 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

I now assume your OggVorbis file was 128 kbps, so 192 kbps for the MP3 would be reasonable. (Note that in case you would then no longer be able to burn a complete series to one DVD as file size increases, audio quality might be one parameter where you could accept a minor loss of quality rather than video quality.)

Now back to our conversion procedure: Build the AVI container from Track1.avi and Track5.mp3 as described above, name it "nosubs.avi", and KEEP IT. Right now I've successfully tested another tool (which I had installed already but never used so far) that would take exactly that AVI container as input and then add a subtitle file via drag & drop, works exceptionally fast with reasonable quality and doesn't require configuration work at all... looks like the perfect solution for you.

The required software download would be http://files.divx-digest.com/software/subtitle/VobSub_2.23.exe - a package of video filters for soft subtitles. You may already have installed this thing if you're able to play softsubs; if not, just install that product into some directory of your choice (I don't remember the exact procedure but this is an installer program).

After you have done that, go into the "softsub" directory within that installation directory and start the "submux.exe" program. (You may ask your Windows explorer to search your harddisk for that file name to find our whether you have the product already installed.) A small window will appear:

Now you can drag & drop the files "nosubs.avi" (from the previous conversion step) and "Track2.srt" (the non-empty subtitle file extracted from the Matroska container) into that window, and then click on "Mux". The program will now ask you for the name of the final video (AVI container with subtitles, chose a name of your liking), then work for about 30 seconds or so. YOU'RE DONE NOW, that's the AVI file you want to burn on your data DVD. Play it with your video player program to check everything is as you wanted to be.

This solution looks more user-friendly to me than the extension of VirtualDubMod I had in mind before, which would require you to understand what happens during that final step. On the other hand, the VirtualDubMod method would allow you to specify the result much more precisely (allowing for change of quality & file size, change of video codec and whatever), so if you're interested in the gory details we can still go that alternative path as well.

[post:118#1126]
Stretch

01/07/2006 01:04 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I am confused by the term "container". What is the difference between a container and, say, a file?

I have downloaded VirtualDubMod 1.5.10.2, "extracted all files" (unzipped it?), and got to the "File" / "Open Video File" stage. I managed to select Track 1, but then got this message:

"Couldn't locate decompressor for format 'XVID' (unknown). VirtualDub reguires a video for Windows (VFW) compatible codec to decompress video. Directshow codecs, such as those used by Windows Media Player, are not suitable. Only 'Direct Stream Copy' is available for this video."

Earlier in the process, I got this message:

"Warning-Matroska Support: Many features offered by this format aren't supported in this program:

-Variable frame Rate

-Advanced Chaptering

-Advanced Tagging

-Advanced Subtitles such as SSA, ASS or VobSub

-Native AVC Support

So, that's as far as I've gotten so far.

[post:118#1127]
Stretch

01/07/2006 02:34 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Okay, I'm not sure if that "couldn't locate decompressor" message meant "this task is impossible" or if it meant "here are some problems, but you can continue nevertheless", because I just pushed "enter", and something happened--a pointer moved from left to right accross the track at the bottom of the page, but nothing appeared in the main window. Time to go to work...

[post:118#1128]
Devil Doll

01/08/2006 01:44 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> I am confused by the term "container". What is the difference between a container and, say, a file?

A container is a file that contains a set of streams, whereas these streams can alternatively be stored into separate files (which is what the Matroska extract function is doing). A MP3 file would be no "container" in my terminology as it contains the pure stream and nothing else IMHO, the same applies to subtitle stream files. Matroska (.mkv) and OggMedia (.ogm) are other types of containers, all of which could contain streams of various codec types (such as DivX or XviD for video, OggVorbis or MP3 for audio etc.).

Your DVD player needs a container file (of the AVI type) to be able to play a video, it wouldn't be able to read a video stream outside a container. (Actually, the Matroska extract function stores the XviD stream into an AVI container with just that video stream as there is no other useful format anyway; that's why AVIcodec can display its data as this program can read AVI containers and list its content.)

> "Couldn't locate decompressor for format 'XVID' (unknown). VirtualDub reguires a video for Windows (VFW) compatible codec to decompress video. Directshow codecs, such as those used by Windows Media Player, are not suitable. Only 'Direct Stream Copy' is available for this video."

Ah, I see.

There are two ways of reading and interpreting a video stream: 1. Your video player program on your PC can find the corresponding codec (for XviD, in this case) and forward the video stream to this codec to uncompress it, or 2. it can use the DirectShow component which may or may not support that codec as well (depending on the DirectShow version). I don't know exactly what your player will do if both methods are available but I guess this is configurable somewhere within Windows.

In your case you apparently have some DirectShow version with XviD support installed already, that's why you were able to play the Matroska container; you never needed the real XviD codec so far. But the DirectShow component can only output its data to the graphics processor of your PC (as it believes there's no other need for these data). We now need these date to modify them (by merging them with the subtitles and then recompress the video stream) to finally save it into a file, and ultimately into an AVI container together with the MP3 audio stream. So you need a real XviD codec to be able to modify XviD streams. (I had this codec installed already because I have to create XviD streams as well, and you'll be using this codec for that same purpose when recompressing the video stream after merging with the subtitles.)

Another download, please: http://www.xvidmovies.com/codec/ , "Koepi's binary" (XviD is originally developed for Linux but Koepi offers a version ported to Windows). Version 1.1.0 final was released on December 30th, 2005 (hey, just one week ago! I want that new version as well... I just downloaded and installed it). Start the installation program, select a directory to install XviD to; you'll be asked whether this codec should be used for handling other MPEG4 streams as well (such as DivX), which I leave unchecked (I already have support for these other video types). The XviD codec could handle DivX streams as well (and in this case you'd have to install one or two codec less one day...) but I have DivX 6.0 installed anyway.

Having done this, try once again loading the video stream with VirtualDubMod - does it work now?

[post:118#1129]
Devil Doll

01/08/2006 01:51 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

To be more precise: For commercial DVDs which are using MPEG1/2 video formats your DVD player actually does read streams from separate files (and even separate directories). The logical structure of all the parts of a video (such as video streams, audio streams, subtitle streams, chapter definition and many more features) on a MPEG DVD is described by a structure of directories and files... and as only one such structure (with fixed directory names) can be on one DVD there cannot be more then one video in that format on the DVD.

Container files like AVI, MKV or OGM contain some equivalent of that directory within a single file, that's why you can have any number of videos in containers on a data CD resp. DVD: Each video has its own structure inside the container file.

[post:118#1130]
Devil Doll

01/08/2006 01:53 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

You can use the AVIcodec tool (see above) and load arbitrary files of a commecial video DVD to find out which types of streams are stored in which type of files on that DVD. For example, *.VOB files are video streams, usually with the MPEG2 codec.

[post:118#1131]
Stretch

01/08/2006 11:35 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I have downloaded and installed the "Koepi's Binary" program, and this time when I selected Track 1b for VirtualDubMod I didn't get the "Cannot Locate Decompressor" message :) Is it okay for me to delete the "zipped" version of XVIDmovies, or do I still need that?

The VirtualDubMod screen was still blank, but something must have happened, because I noticed "Track1b.avi" at the top of the screen. I went on to "Streams/Stream List" and decided to select Track 5b (Japanese). Two versions were listed on the menu, one with the Nero Media Player logo and one with the AVIcodec logo; I chose the latter. The message "Parsing OGG Media File" appeared. Then I proceded to "File/Save As". Once I selected a title, the video (but not audio) of the Hyper Police episode started playing--I was displeased at first, but noticed figures for "Time Elapsed" and "Total Time (Estimated)", so I guessed this was supposed to happen. This process took around 15 minutes. When finished, however, I could get the video to run again but there was still no audio. At one point I had noticed that the "Current audio sample" box on the VirtualDubMod control panel showed "0/0" which suggested something was wrong with the sound track I had selected. I started over using Track 4b (English) but the process failed, and presented me with the message "Not enough disc space to write additional data". Disc Space?! I tried a third time and got the same result. I shut down VirtualDubMod and restarted, in hopes of clearing the "disc space". I went to the menu of Tracks and told the computer to delete the three unsuccessful pairs of video and audio tracks (containers?) and got the curious message that they were too big for the recycle bin and did I want to permanently delete them? (I've never gotten such a message before, even when deleting complete TV episodes). I deleted them, and on the fourth try the dubbing process was completed (using the Nero Media Player Track this time). This time when I test played the episode there was audio, and I don't detect any discrepancy in timing. The Gods be praised! Oh, and thank you, too, Devil Doll.

[post:118#1132]
Devil Doll

01/09/2006 12:46 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> Is it okay for me to delete the "zipped" version of XVIDmovies

Yes.

> The VirtualDubMod screen was still blank

The program has two windows, the left one to show the video before processing and the right one afterwards. The left one's display is disabled by default, you can enable it with "options" / "display input video" of F9.

> but something must have happened, because I noticed "Track1b.avi" at the top of the screen.

Which means you have successfully loaded the video stream from that AVI container. So far, so good.

> The message "Parsing OGG Media File" appeared.

Then it was the wrong audio stream... this was the one you extracted from the MKV container whereas you'd need the version you created by converting it to MP3. (That's why I HATE the windows setting of disabling file name extensions... the icons really tell you NOTHING because anyone can assign any icon to any extension, and you have done so randomly and unknowingly during your previous software installations. Please ignore these icons and tell your Windows to display file name extensions AT ANY COST!)

VirtualDubMod can read and use OggVorbis streams - because it can create OGM containers as well, and they would allow OggVorbis streams (but your DVD player wouldn't be able to play these containers). You want to create an AVI container, so the OggVorbis stream is of no use for you, you must use the MP3 audio stream.

> the video (but not audio) of the Hyper Police episode started playing--I was displeased at first, but noticed figures for "Time Elapsed" and "Total Time (Estimated)", so I guessed this was supposed to happen.

I'm not exactly sure what "playing" means here. Depending on which video mode you selected (in your case: "video" / "direct stream copy") it should take a lot less than 15 minutes.

> When finished, however, I could get the video to run again but there was still no audio.

At least no audio you could play, because you used the wrong stream.

> At one point I had noticed that the "Current audio sample" box on the VirtualDubMod control panel showed "0/0" which suggested something was wrong with the sound track I had selected.

I told you that OggVorbis streams can't be put into AVI containers, that's why we were doing the conversion to MP3 in the first place.

> "Not enough disc space to write additional data". Disc Space?!

Looks like you used "Full Recompress" instead of "Direct Stream Copy", and actually uncompressed the stream without compressing it again. This would explain a) why it took 15 minutes and b) why your disk was full - uncompressed videos can be GIGANTIC in size!

Compared to what you did so far, be sure about the following things: 1. Use the right audio file (Japanese in MP3 format), and 2. use the "Video" / "Direct Stream Copy" processing mode in VirtualDubMod (you don't want to modify the video stream yet, you only want to put two streams into a new container for the time being). The processing should then take about 30-60 seconds, no more, and the file being created should be the sum of the sizes of your two streams being used.

[post:118#1133]
Stretch

01/09/2006 11:33 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I did some looking around on the VirtualDubMod page, and found that in the "Video" category, the program seems to have been set by default on "Full Processing Mode" instead of "Direct Stream Copy". This time the process of combining the video and audio streams only took around 30 seconds, and timing seems perfect.

[post:118#1134]
Stretch

01/09/2006 11:35 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

That is, I changed the video setting to "Direct Stream Video" before re-running the program (in case this wasn't obvious).

[post:118#1135]
Devil Doll

01/09/2006 06:40 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Fine! So you are now able to create an unsubbed video with the audio stream of your choice.

The final step, i. e. applying the subtitles to that AVI container, would be the one I described in http://anime.mikomi.org/forum/showpost.html?num=118#1125 already... good luck!

[post:118#1136]
Stretch

01/10/2006 01:36 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

When I click on the link you listed for the VobSub 2.23.exe program, I get this message:

"Why do I keep on getting redirected here?

Our files can only be downloaded if you clicked on a link to them on an authorised site (eg. DVD, DivX Digest, Nickyguides). Sites that illegally hot-link or direct-link to our files will find that the link will redirect to our anti-leech page. We use the same anti-leeching method used by other leading digital video sites such as Doom9.net."

This was only the first of a number of reasons why I might not have gone directly to the download page. I'll try to reach the page in a more roundabout manner.

[post:118#1137]
Stretch

01/10/2006 01:51 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Okay, I went to the DivX Digest page via AOL, found VobSub 2.23.exe and have downloaded it. Now, let's see if I can make it work...

[post:118#1138]
Devil Doll

01/10/2006 01:55 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Whenever you experience problems like that, just truncate the URL directory level by directory level until you fall onto a page that works, then navigate from there.

http://www.divx-digest.com/software/vobsub.html is the page you want to visit. The VobSub_223.exe program there is what I linked to; the installation program will give you the software for both subtitle conversion methods I've been referring to, one being the "submux" standalone program, the other being the VSFilter plugin for VirtualDubMod. (The DirectVobSub product is for dynamically overlaying a video file with the content of a subtitle for viewing - but not storing - a video, something you may have installed already.)

Submux alone (the simple method) can burn in a subtitle file into a video container (and nothing else); VirtualDubMod with the VSFilter tool (the complex method) can do that "burning in" during the "full recompress" phase, then allowing you to influence a number of other parameters (such as video codec, video quality, video screen size and whatnot).

[post:118#1139]
Stretch

01/10/2006 02:41 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I've made it to the SubMux Drag&Drop board, and I have no trouble dragging the combined Audio & Video files there. I have three different Track 2 files, for three different episodes (there should be four since I've gotten to this stage with four different episodes, but I'm guessing I forgot to change the titles of one and it got overwritten by the next one). But I can only get the Drag&Drop board to accept one of the Track 2s, the one entitled simply "Track2.srt" (like I said, I'd altered the titles of the others). When I drag these track 2s with altered titles to the board, nothing happens (their designations don't appear on the board like those of the combined audio/video tracks did). So, I go with the Track2.srt and what I think is the appropriate audio/video track (the last one I completed) and push "Mux". The program asks me to assign a name to the new combined audio/video/subtitle file (container?) but when I push "enter" I'm told the program couldn't load Track2.srt!

[post:118#1140]
Stretch

01/10/2006 03:25 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Since the Track 2 file with the unchanged name got the farthest in the program, I thought I'd rename one of the other track 2 files "Track2.srt" and see if it would work that way. Before doing so, I figured I'd alter the name of the file that was currently known as Track2.srt so that I didn't have two with identical names. When I did this, the message came up:

"If you change a file name extension, the file may become unusable"

So maybe that's why the Track 2 files with altered names could never be dragged into the Drag&Drop box to begin with. Of course it still doesn't explain why the file with the unaltered name couldn't be "loaded".

[post:118#1141]
Devil Doll

01/10/2006 07:46 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

<rant on>

I strongly believe that two thirds of your problems with handling a PC come from using that *@§$%& Windows Exploder. PLEASE throw away that piece of crap and NEVER use it again, and instead get some REAL filemanager that doesn't lie to you about the display of file names (and no, the file doesn't become unusable - it only becomes intransparent to that damned Exploder who makes you believe it's the only program in the world and you must not understand what it's doing behind your back so that you blindly rely on these fancy icons without enabling your brain). You never actually see what you're doing because the Exploder only tells his version of the truth, which apparently doesn't include the reliable display of filename extensions. The worst thing of this tool is that it will even be invoked as the file selector box of any other program (including VirtualDubMod, for example) so you actually NEED to configure it properly; I did that several years ago and don't remember how it was done as I never used that thing again. Before you've done so you can't even be sure whether the file names you've been shown are what they appear to be, and that's crucial for the many conversion steps we've to do.

And PLEASE don't extract more than one video into the same directory. One file at a time. As you see your task is confusing enough even for one video at a time; you only make things worse by randomly merging/overwriting files and completely losing track of what these actually are.

<rant off>

[post:118#1142]
Stretch

01/10/2006 11:19 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Well then, I copied all my track files to a different directory and deleted the originals from the MKVextractGUI-1.5.5 page, shut down all the programs, then started over from scratch with a new Hyper Police episode. The program still cannot load track2.srt! At least it can't be because the subtitle track wasn't from the same episode as the audio/video one. If I can, I'll ask my sister about a new "file manager" tommorrow.

[post:118#1143]
Stretch

01/11/2006 11:50 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

It turns out that my sister is unfamiliar with the term "file manager". Though she knows far more about computers in general than I do, she admits she has never tried to perform operations such as seperating and recombining the tracks of TV episodes, so there's not all that much help she can offer.

I am confused by just what I should do: On the one hand you say I should "throw away" Windows Explorer, yet you also said that this "tool" (were you still talking about Windows Explorer in particular, or about file managers in general?) "will even be invoked as the file selector box of any other program", which suggests I might actually need it ("so you actually NEED to configure it properly")--how do I reconfigure something I've thrown away?

I appreciate all the help you have provided, but if your conclusion is that this project is no longer worth the effort you have been applying to it, just say so and we can call it off--not being able to "burn" subtitled Matroska Pack shows won't kill me, and I already have learned enough to burn the dubbed ones.

[post:118#1144]
Devil Doll

01/11/2006 02:04 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Hm... the problem MAY be due to the content of the subtitle file itself.

IIRC there have been different versions of SRT functionality allowing for different degrees of influence on the visualization of the subtitle text. I just reproduced your scenario and got the same error message, using a SRT file that was using HTML-like tags to make text appear in italics and stuff... maybe submux doesn't support these additional features of SRT files yet.

There would be several possible workarounds: 1. Remove these additional tags from the SRT file (which would be a lot of work, so I'd rather advise against that as we don't know whether it will fix the problem), 2. convert the SRT file to the SSA format (which would require another tool to be installed, and I'm not quite sure which one to suggest). The SSA format is much more complex; if submux can handle this then the functionality would at least be on the same level as for the "advanced SRT" file, and probably even better (because you can then tweak a lot of things such as font, size & color of the subtitles; I'm using SSA scripts for my own fansubbing projects). I've used submux to apply SSA files to video streams only for a short test, I don't know exactly how much of SSA this program actually supports.

In the meantime I read the submux "manual" - and they advise to convert to SRT to SSA before muxing. They suggest using "subresynch.exe" (in the same directory as "submux.exe")... but this program apparently understands as little of SRT format as "submux" itself. I scanned my list of installed tools but I don't seem to have another SRT-to-SSA converter any more. I googled a little and found http://www.divx-digest.com/software/srt2ssa.html - but again this converter wasn't able to read my SRT file.

Alternatively we can always go the more complex (and more powerful) way - using VirtualDubMod plus a subtitle filter plugin (which is the method I'm used to). I'd just have to find out from where I downloaded that subtitle filter plugin I've been using for ages... and I've only been using SSA filters, I'd have to find a filter that can interpret SRT subtitles (I've seen one such filter somewhere), or you'd have to convert the SRT subtitle to SSA first (which is what I've been doing in some earlier projects... that's why I had hoped the "submux" program would work in your case, as to spare you from two more steps and two more software installations). My problem is that the SRT format is ancient (but as such supported by many programs) and I have little experience with it; VirtualDubMod itself is also ancient (and no longer supported) but it worked fine for me so far, it's just not that easy to find plugins for that old tool nowadays.

One possible SSA filter for VirtualDubMod would be the "subtitler-2_4.zip" from http://virtualdub.org/virtualdub_filters .

Just as a possible good read about the scenario I found the page http://www.videohelp.com/srtsubsvirtual.htm - they describe basically the same I did so far, including the SRT-to-SSA conversion. But if your SRT file is somehow broken I have no clue how to reasonably work around that situation, other than reading, understanding and manually fixing that subtitle script file.

[post:118#1145]
Devil Doll

01/11/2006 02:11 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

As for the Windows Explorer, the problem is that Microsoft does a great job of complicating things. The Windows Explorer is a tool to copy & rename files (which I call "file manager"), but at the same time it is a system component that will be invoked by most every program to read directory contents in case you want to select a file (for opening, saving etc.). So you can't avoid being bothered by this Windows component (unless you remove Windows from your PC and use Linux instead...) but you can avoid using it explicitly (which I am doing).

As for your Matroska project I wouldn't say you can't burn Matroska files in general. As of now it rather looks as if that particular Matroska file in question uses some unknown (to me) elements in its subtitle file that prevents the available conversion tools to correctly read that file's content - whereas the procedure would work for other videos with "simpler" SRT subtitle files (and most definitely for Matroska containers with SSA subtitles that are the better idea anyway, and thus might be more likely to find). But not having your subtitle file at hand I have no clue what the actual problem is.

[post:118#1146]
Devil Doll

01/11/2006 02:14 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

To make that clear: I am willing to continue the effort but I have no clue what's the problem with your particular subtitle file. So can you mail this file to me, or upload it to any server in the web where I can download it? (The subtitle file alone would help me, I don't need any other file such as the video.)

[post:118#1147]
Devil Doll

01/11/2006 02:29 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

I just made a little experiment. I have some SRT subtitle file with HTML-like tags (as described above) to let some subtitles appear in italics, and I experienced the same problems as you. I removed these tagy (search & replace in my text editor), and THEN submux was able to load the file. Could you please have a look into your subtitle file and tell me whether there are any strange tags within the text elements, looking like HTML code, i. e. enclosed in "<...>" brackets? (Such as "Hello".) These would explain your problem.

[post:118#1148]
Devil Doll

01/11/2006 02:32 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Damn... I forgot this board interprets HTML code... and it still doesn't provide an edit feature, and the preview only works for the first line... so I try again:

I just made a little experiment. I have some SRT subtitle file with HTML-like tags (as described above) to let some subtitles appear in italics, and I experienced the same problems as you. I removed these tagy (search & replace in my text editor), and THEN submux was able to load the file. Could you please have a look into your subtitle file and tell me whether there are any strange tags within the text elements, looking like HTML code, i. e. enclosed in "<...>" brackets? (Such as "<i>Hello</i>".) These would explain your problem.

[post:118#1149]
Stretch

01/12/2006 11:42 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I took a look at the subtitle file, and I don't see any brackets anywhere. This file is the equivalent of the one from which I included a few lines in post 118#1121, and includes only ordinary punctuation (plus numbers). There are no "funny" symbols whose meaning wouldn't be apparent to anyone who could read--I hope this is the file you were talking about. I have misplaced your E-mail address, and it's not listed on the Reviewers page, but mine is listed, so perhaps you could contact me with your address...

[post:118#1153]
Stretch

01/13/2006 01:36 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

All of the Matroska Pack episodes I've been working with were fansubbed by "LIME", except for a copy of "Green Green 13 Erolutions", fansubbed by "ARDK" (doesn't it make you proud to know that the help you are providing is being used to make such high caliber productions available?). So I thought I'd try to take this one through all the steps and try to re-attach subtitles to it--the subtitles tracks for this one were in ASS mode, i.e., "Track3.ass" (who thought up such a name for a program?). Audio and video tracks recombine without any problems, but again the SubMux drag&drop board refuses to accept these ASS tracks--they cannot be dragged into the box.

I have E-mailed you the subtitle track2 for Hyper Police episode 4.

[post:118#1155]
Devil Doll

01/13/2006 09:33 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

ASS (Advanced SubStation) is a sequel version/format of SSA (SubStation Alpha); try renaming the file from *.ass to *.ssa and then drag & drop it into the submux tool. Both file formats are basically compatible, the ASS format just supports some additional formatting directives. So if you're lucky it may work, perhaps you'll not get some of the subtitle animations (fading, karaoke and stuff). If you're unlucky and the ASS file contains directives that "submux" decides to not understand (and not be willing to ignore), the loading might still fail...

Anyway, ASS is much closer to what you want to get than SRT was, which may spare you from one conversion step.

For more details about both formats see http://www.matroska.org/technical/specs/subtitles/ssa.html .

[post:118#1164]
Stretch

01/16/2006 12:14 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Well I'll be damned! I simply "renamed" the subtitle file as "Track3.ssa" (all the while thinking that I must have misunderstood your instructions, because surely such a simple step couldn't solve a problem which has been driving me insane). Yet, for once I didn't get the message about the track refusing to load. A new control panel appeared, with strange terms like "Interleaving", "Interleaving Parameters" and "Throughput Statistics"--since I had no idea what these were about, I just clicked "OK". Something happened, a count of some sort was displayed, and when it ended, I found the file in "My Documents" and tried to play it. The English subtitles have been included once again! However, it's far from perfect--the timing seems "off" somehow, and some subtitle lines seem missing altogether. Nevertheless, this is the first time I've gotten this far, so I'm not complaining.

[post:118#1165]
Devil Doll

01/16/2006 09:49 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

The SSA subtitle format is kind of a command language, but the file is structured in a similar way as a Windows INI file.

Open the file with a text editor (Notepad will do). You will see several sections, started with a keyword in square brackets, followed by a number of lines.

The first section of an SSA file is the "Script Info" section. One of the lines it may contain is the "Timer: 100.0000" command where you can set an alternate speed for the timing of the subtitles (if your video runs on a different speed than the subtitles assume). The value is a percentage value, so 100.0000% implies the timing to be appropriate for the video. If you believe the difference between subtitles and spoken words is constantly growing then you might try fine-tuning this parameter (which is a guessing game unless you know the reason for the deviation, in which case you might be able to calculate the factor). On the other hand, if you believe the difference between subtitles and spoken words is stable over the whole video then you would have to shift the whole subtitle script appropriately - of course there are tools for doing that (and I have even written one such tool for myself).

If some subtitles are missing then they corresponding lines may contain errors, such as wrong syntax of the line, or a wrong timing interval specification. Or - in your special case - these line might contain advanced directives (embedded in curly brackets this time) of the ASS formatting language that the simple SSA interpreter of "submux" doesn't support yet (I told you earlier that this might happen). I would have to look at these lines in detail to give a more detailed diagnosis; or you might try to edit a copy of this script and just remove these formatting directives from the subtitle text. Or - probably the better alternative - use a more powerful (and more complex) procedure to hard-code this script into the video stream: VirtualDubMod plus a filter capable of interpreting the full ASS syntax. Welcome in the world of fansubbers (typesetters) who write & edit such scripts...

[post:118#1166]
Devil Doll

01/16/2006 09:59 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

As for the "interleaving"... in fact this is just what you need to fix the timing offset for your subtitles. I have the German version installed here so I don't have the same names of your dialog fields, but on the right side of this dialog the upper parameter seems to be the relative speed of the subtitle script compared to the video/audio (i. e. 100), and the lower parameter seems to be the absolute timing offset between the subtitle script and the video/audio.

So I suggest you toy around with the lower parameter a little: Guess the time interval by which you consider the subtitles too early resp. too late, type this value (in 1/100 seconds) into that interleaving parameter field (as positive resp. negative number, you have to try out which one is which direction), and check whether the result is what you expect it to be.

[post:118#1167]
Stretch

01/16/2006 02:06 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

The solution was surprisingly simple: I went back to "Interleaving Parameters", and found that "Frequency (ms)" was set at 1000 while "Audio Preroll (ms)" was only set at 750. So, I figured why not set Audio Preroll at 1000 to match the other figure, and see what happens? I did this, saved the new version, and when I replayed it, found that the timing of the subtitles now matches the audio and video perfectly!

[post:118#1168]
Devil Doll

01/16/2006 09:17 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

As for the missing lines of the ASS sub, are you willing to solve that too?

You did already install VobSub 2.23, right? (http://www.divx-digest.com/software/vobsub.html) If not, do it now; if you already did with standard parameters, repeat this installation now.

During the installation process, open the "plugins" subdialog and select the "TextSub for VirtualDub and AviSynth" line - this is what we need to make VirtualDubMod merge subtitles (of multiple formats, including SSA and ASS) into a video stream).

Specify some directory of your choice to install that stuff to (doesn't really matter which one).

The next question is the important one: Select the directory where you previously installed VirtualDubMod into. (I made a screenshot for this step but currently the server where I use to upload these is down...) The installer needs this information because it will now create the file "textsub.vdf" in the "plugins" subdirectory of the VirtualDubMod installation. (You can check this after completing the installation, the file should have 24576 bytes.)

Post again here when you have competed this installation. What you'll be able to do then is basically what I already described in http://anime.mikomi.org/forum/showpost.html?num=118#1122 plus merging your *.ass file (with its full content and functionality) into the video stream (which requires two additional steps between Step 4. and 5.).

[post:118#1169]
Devil Doll

01/16/2006 10:18 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

[post:118#1170]
Stretch

01/17/2006 03:34 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Please keep in mind that fixing the ASS subtitles isn't nearly as important to me as fixing the SRT ones. Green Grreen Erolutions is the only anime episode I have with ASS subtitles, whereas I have a number of currently unburnable ones with SRT subs. I only turned to Green Green to see if I could accomplish anything there because all the SRT episodes were at a standstill. It sounds like the SRT episodes won't get any better until I download a new file manager.

That being said, I wondered if the subtitles had really been "missing" from my first version of Erolutions, or was the sync so bad that they only seemed to be missing? That is, were all of the English subtitles present, but running at the wrong times so that sometimes characters were speaking in Japanese but there were no subtitles running at the same time? Unfortunately, I had deleted the flawed version, so I recreated it, complete with the differing "Interleaving Parameters" (1000 and 750). I figured I'd compare the subtitles from the faulty version with the corrected one, and see if any lines were actually missing. Yet, somehow this time the subtitles are perfectly timed! Then the thought occured to me that maybe the version I had deleted still exists in my "Recycle Bin". Indeed, I found it there, but again somehow the timing is now perfect! Have these files somehow corrected themselves? Was something not yet complete the first time I watched it? Well, since no subtitles are now missing from any of the three versions, maybe like I said, they had only seemed to be missing the first time. One possible (and embarassing) explanation: I was expecting English subtitles for the strange noises the boys made as they leered at nude ice sculptures!

Since ASS subs are less important than SRT ones, and I suspect no subtitles ever went missing to begin with, do I still need to download VobSub again? I probably did download the "standard" version, since I didn't specify any changes.

Is anybody reading this stuff other than Devil Doll and myself?

[post:118#1171]
Forbin

01/17/2006 03:56 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

I'm reading it. But I don't convert that way. I put it on my PC and then record it using my DVD Recorder. Quality suffers but it only takes about 30 mins per file. It's now in DVD format. I'm also waiting for the K-Lite pack to support Mpeg-4 files.

[post:118#1172]
Devil Doll

01/17/2006 05:22 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> Since ASS subs are less important than SRT ones, and I suspect no subtitles ever went missing to begin with, do I still need to download VobSub again? I probably did download the "standard" version, since I didn't specify any changes.

It sounds promising that the procedure actually seems to work for ASS subtitles renamed to SSA - then again I don't know whether that file actually used ASS elements that aren't supported by an older SSA interpreter. (The "Green Green Erolutions" version I have here is the German fansub, being a hardsubbed AVI container already.)

As I told you (via mail) I can merge your SRT file with "submux" just fine, thus I assume some problem on your machine (that's why I came up with the whole "file manager" discussion). Then again you were able to rename the *.ass file to .ssa and it worked... it's kind of strange. It should work the same way with your SRT file... In your specific case I have no clue why loading the SRT in "submux" file doesn't work on your PC. Using the VirtualDubMod mechanism would give you an alternative way in case something mysterious on your machine prevents you from using the simple "submux" mechanism.

The "Textsub" plugin for VirtualDubMod would be able to handle six different formats of subtitles (SRT, SSA, ASS, VOB, SUB, PSB) so the method I am using would be kind of universal. You didn't find that many SSA files so far but trust me you'll get more of these the more popular MKV containers will become (and MKV containers are the only ones that can hold H.264 video streams, the likely successor of MPEG4 and the next generation of encoding quality). OGM containers only support SRT subtitles but MKV containers leave their creator the choice, and given the fact that SRT subtitles don't support any formatting stuff (no colors, no fonts, no screen coordinates, no three dimensional directions of writing, no movement, no fading, no karaoke animation...) whereas SSA (and its successor ASS) support all of these you can bet that SRT subtitles are a dying race. Whenever you see an anime with English translation of a sign in a shop window within the picture you know the subber needed specific settings for font, font size, color and 3D direction to correctly typeset this subtitle, which cannot be SRT then - so it's either hardsubbed already or SSA/ASS.

[post:118#1173]
Stretch

01/18/2006 01:10 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

>you were able to rename the *.ass file to .ssa and it worked... it's kind of strange. It should work the same way with your SRT file...

Are you saying that SRT files have some sort of "twin brother" format that they can be redesignated as, which might have the same effect as redesignating ASS files as SSA ones? Sounds too good to be true...

[post:118#1174]
Devil Doll

01/18/2006 01:43 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

No, I didn't mean it this way.

I just meant that while renaming *.ass to *.ssa you apparently knew what you did, so I don't see why you should have done anything wrong while drag&dropping a *.srt file as apparently the displayed file name extensions are correct. Still that *.srt file works here and not on your machine... that's why I suggest trying the VirtualDubMod procedure as you're already quite close to the solution there, and due to the lack of any other idea in respect to "submux".

[post:118#1175]
Stretch

01/19/2006 02:30 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I have downloaded the specialized version of VobSub, with "TextSub for VirtualDub and Avisynth".

>The next question is the important one: Select the directory where you previously installed VirtualDubMod into. (I made a screenshot for this step but currently the server where I use to upload these is down...) The installer needs this information because it will now create the file "textsub.vdf" in the "plugins" subdirectory of the VirtualDubMod installation. (You can check this after completing the installation, the file should have 24576 bytes.)

I selected the VirtualDubMod file itself (not just "C: drive" as I was first inclined) for this step. VirtualDubMod now has a folder called "Plugins"--I assume it wasn't there previously. Inside it is "textsub.vdf"--but somehow it has a size of 36KB, not 24576 bytes. It seems to have "grown" a little--is that bad? Furthermore, I cannot get rid of the VobSub 2.23 Setup panel, even though it says "Installation complete--setup was completed successfully". Clicking on the close box only brings an all too familiar tone, which I interpret as "Don't you know you shouldn't be doing that?". In spite of being told the process is complete, have I missed a step? I guess the only way to get rid of this panel will be by shutting down the computer.

[post:118#1176]
Devil Doll

01/19/2006 04:07 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

You would be able to terminate the installation program from the task manager. Right mouseclick on the task bar (the bar where your running programs have small rectangles), select "task manager", select "processes", click on the "name" field to sort the entries by "name", search for the vobsub line, select it, right mouse click, select "terminate". (I'm only guessing the exact texts.) I have the windows task manager permanently running so that I can always look at system ressource workload and stuff.

The exact file size may indicate you have a different version of VobSub than I have. We'll see whether this makes a difference. The "plugins" directory did exist before, it was just empty.

Now let's do the real deal and encode an AVI with a subtitle stream (it shouldn't matter which format the subtitle file has as long as it is covered by textsub.vdf). We start with the individual stream files for video, audio and subtitle; if you already joined video and audio to an AVI file that's fine, I tell you below where the difference would be.

1. Start "VirtualDubMod.exe".

2. Select "File" / "Open Video File" to open the video stream file (Track1.avi from the Matroska container). If you already joined video and audio into some AVI container, then open this AVI container instead and ignore step 3.

3. In VirtualDubMod, select "Streams" / "Stream List" - this shows you an empty window of non-video streams. Click on "Add", then select the MP3 version of the audio stream that you want to use with this video stream.

4. Select "Video" / "Full Compressing Mode". We need that because we have to uncompress, merge and recompress the whole video stream in order to merge the subtitles into it.

Now you have to be a little creative: You must chose HOW to recompress the file, which means you choose a codec (DivX, for example) and a quality. I give you an example for DivX and 1000 kb/sec; we'll talk about alternatives later.

5. Select "Video" / "Compression"; you'll see a long list of available codecs. Select the codec of your choice ("DivX 6.0 Codec").

6. Click "configure" to fine-tune the compression parameters of the selected codec; select a bitrate of "1000". Click "Ok" and "Ok".

7. Select "Video" / "Filters". Click on "Add". Scroll downwards; select the "TextSub 2.23" filter from "Gabest" (the one you installed today). You'll see which version number this filter has and which subtitle formats it supports; maybe you don't have version 2.23.

8. Click "Ok". You're now prompted for the subtitle file that is to be interpreted by this filter. Navigate to the file you want to merge into the video stream, select it; click "Ok" and "Ok".

9. Just for your convenience: Select "Options"; make sure both "Display input video" and "Display output video" are checked. (By default the display for output is enabled, for input it is not.)

You may now navigate around in the video using the icons of the VirtualDubMod program window. Try using the arrows with the yellow key - they're jumping from key frame to key frame (usually from scene cut to scene cut). Observe how the left window shows the input stream (without subtitles) while the right window shows the output stream (with sutitles). Check whether the subtitles are as you like (font, size, position, whatever).

10. "File" / "Save as...", then select the name of the AVI container file you want to create from these two streams. This should take a few minutes (merging video and audio stream together into one file), depending on file size and your machine's speed.

As for codec and quality: If in doubt, then load your video stream into the AVIcodec tool and check the current values for codec and quality, and just use the same values during encoding. Note that the quality is what the file size depends on, and about 90% of the total file size of a video container is the video stream. For example, if you got a series with 26 episodes of 230 MB each you may compress the video stream down to 175 MB (losing about 20% of quality) so that the whole series would then require one DVD instead of two. Increasing the quality will not help as you can't fabricate information out of thin air; significantly decreasing quality will result in a more blurry image showing artefacts. As a rule of thumb, 1000 kb/sec DivX is very food quality, 700 kb/sec is average quality. Some codecs even provide a tool where you can select the target file size and the codec calculates the required maximum quality...

If you have the XviD codec installed I recommend using XviD for encoding instead of DivX as the quality for a file of the same size is slightly better than DivX; of course this assumes your standalone player can play XviD streams as well as DivX streams (this depends on the individual player).

Both codecs have tons of other parameters; my advise is to not touch anything there, just leave the default values.

[post:118#1177]
Devil Doll

01/19/2006 04:27 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

When I'm subbing an anime I perform steps 1 through 9, then edit the subtitle file with my text editor. textsub.vdf automatically reloads the subtitle file if I save it to disk, so I can instantly watch the change in the right window of VirtualDubMod. For example I can check whether the color of a character's subtitle matches this character's hair color, whether the translation for some street sign is positioned within the sign in the scene, or whether a subtitle display ends exactly with a scene cut... only when I want to create the final video container I perform step 10.

[post:118#1178]
Stretch

01/19/2006 06:05 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

>1. Start "VirtualDubMod.exe".

I'm actually using VirtualDubMod 1.5.10.2--I hope that's OK.

>4. Select "Video" / "Full Compressing Mode".

Are you sure you didn't mean "Full Processing Mode"? I don't see "Full Compressing Mode" listed as an option.

>5. Select "Video" / "Compression"; you'll see a long list of available codecs. Select the codec of your choice ("DivX 6.0 Codec").

DivX 6.0 Codec wasn't listed, so I selected "XviD MPEG-4 Codec", which is supposed to have "no known restrictions".

>6. Click "configure" to fine-tune the compression parameters of the selected codec; select a bitrate of "1000". Click "Ok" and "Ok".

XviD MPEG-4 has a different control panel, but I finally figured out how to set a "Target Bitrate" at 1000. I hope this has the desired effect.

>7. Select "Video" / "Filters". Click on "Add". Scroll downwards; select the "TextSub 2.23" filter from "Gabest" (the one you installed today).

No problems here!

>8. Click "Ok". You're now prompted for the subtitle file that is to be interpreted by this filter. Navigate to the file you want to merge into the video stream, select it; click "Ok" and "Ok".

At this point I'm show a board entitled "TextSub setings", but when I click "Open" I'm given only two subtitle tracks to choose from, whereas there were numerous Video/audio ones available. These are definitely not the tracks I need for the Audio/Video tracks I specified. Given their habit of overwriting each other, I'm guessing these are from the last episode I worked with. Maybe after dinner an idea will come to me...

[post:118#1179]
Devil Doll

01/19/2006 06:51 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Sorry for me mistyping step 4 (did I already tell you how I wish I could edit postings here?).

XviD is fine, even better than DivX as mentioned above.

Looks like everything will work once you have the right group of stream files in the right place (that's why I told you to not extract more than one MKV container into the same directory, as the Matroska Extract software doesn't create files with self-explanatory names).

[post:118#1180]
Stretch

01/19/2006 07:55 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

When I select "TextSub 2.23" in step 7, a board appears which is entitled "TextSub Settings". There's a box with a blinking cursor (am I supposed to enter something here?) above a list of four options for "Default word-wrapping style". There are also "Open" and "Cancel" buttons. If I click on "Open", I'm taken to a list of available tracks in MKVextractGUI-1.5.5 (and I started from scratch, so I'm sure these are the correct ones, plus when I selected TextSub 2.23 the program said it would be able to handle SRT subtitles). But when I highlight and open Track 2, I'm taken back to TextSub Settings, as if nothing had happened!

[post:118#1181]
Devil Doll

01/19/2006 08:21 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

The program is able to open SRT files (it works for me, I can even add two of these filters at the same time, one with an SSA subtitle file and the other with an SRT subtitle file) - if these files are correct SRT files (in which case the file name will appear in the box with the cursor and the "OK" button will be enabled). But if the subtitle file contains anything that isn't supposed to be SRT (such as the aforementioned formatting tags in <...> within the subtitle text) then the file cannot be opened (and you experience the "nothing happened" effect), just like in "submux".

But how can your file not work on your machine when that same file works on mine? (We're talking about the SRT file you mailed me, right? You can use any SRT file for any video just to check the syntax and the successful loading of that file into the subtitle filter, although saving the hard-coded stream to disk wouldn't make a lot of sense if they didn't belong together... you could still prove the feasibility of the procedure this way).

[post:118#1182]
Devil Doll

01/19/2006 08:29 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

This is how VirtualDubMod is supposed to look like after having successfully loaded two different subtitle files. You see the filters (with their respective subtitle file) in the "filters" window, and the right VirtualDubMod window shows you the video with subtitles.

[post:118#1183]
Stretch

01/20/2006 03:30 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I have downloaded "Total Commander" (version 6.53), and thought I'd try to go through the whole demux and remux process, but only use files I had selected from the TC screens, so that hopefully they wouldn't be "corrupted" by Windows Explorer. The MKVextract and Switch steps went OK--I find I can select track files from the TC screen, drag them down to the program icons at the bottom of the screen (which causes the corresponding screens to appear) then drag the tracks to the screens and drop them off. In VirtualDubMod when I click "Add" to include the subtitle track, the usual "Open external source" screen appears, with a list of the tracks. I figured since this step was already present before I downloaded TC, it would be better to find the same track on the TC page and drag & drop it from there--but VirtualDubMod will not accept it (nothing changes when I "drop"). So I decided I'd make an exception to my rule against using non-TC files and get the subtitle track from the old source. virtualDubMod does allow this track to be dropped off--but as usual it refuses to "load". AARGH!!

[post:118#1184]
Stretch

01/22/2006 12:51 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Being frustrated by the evil SRT subtitle tracks, I turned to a different project. I had downloaded a number of episodes of a favorite series of mine, in Matroska Pack format. They play on the computer, but they didn't seem to have any subtitles at all. The idea occured to me to Demux them and see if any subtitle tracks were "hidden" within. Indeed, the tracks did exist, and I was excited to see that they were in ASS format, the only subtitle format I've managed to reattach to an episode. I went through all the usual steps, set both the "frequency" and "Audio Preroll" interleaving parameters at 1000 plus redesignating the subtitle tracks as SSA format. Afterwards, I anxiously replayed the new version--Holy crap! It works! There are now English subtitles, perfectly timed. Three more episodes of one of my favorite shows--Sweet!

[post:118#1185]
Stretch

01/22/2006 01:45 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Ah, crap... somehow the subtitles have vanished when I do a burn preview (I bet I'd get the same result if I tried to burn Erolutions). Well, at least the version stored within the computer now has subtitles.

[post:118#1186]
Devil Doll

01/22/2006 10:13 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Ah!!!! I think I have the solution of the mysterious SRT problem. At least I found out what exactly was the problem with my SRT file that wasn't convertible with all of my SRT converters. It was not the formatting directives... it was something much simpler.

I did mention the tool http://www.divx-digest.com/software/srt2ssa.html in one of my previous postings here. I have this thingy installed, and it can convert SRT subtitles to SSA format - if they don't contain anything that isn't pure SRT syntax. (Such as additional formatting directives.) So while this program doesn't give you additional features (as it won't handle your SRT files if they aren't SRT) it looks like a quick and simple way to check whether your SRT file is "correct".

Now the nice thing about this tool is that it tells you which subtitle block in the file is the first one to show an error. It thus locates the first error within a subtitle file. I checked my "broken" SRT file, and the error was in subtitle no. 1. I did look at this line, and there was nothing wrong about it. So what the heck...?

And then I had the right idea. I opened the file with my text editor in binary mode and checked the line breaks. And - bingo! SRT files that work have Windows linebreaks (CR LF) while the one SRT file that doesn't work had UNIX linebreaks (LF)!

So you might want to do the following:

1. Start "Notepad" from your Windows "Start" menu.

2. Rename your mysterious SRT subtitle file to "subtitle.txt". (Notepad probably won't allow you to open this file if it doesn't have that ".txt" extension. You might have the .txt extension already assigned to Notepad but maybe not, so it's one of those guessing games about how your PC is configured...)

3. Open that file in Notepad.

Does it now look as if the whole file consist of just one endless line? If so, then your SRT subtitle file contains UNIX line breaks instead of Windows linebreaks, which would explain why all your previous attempts failed. If that's the case then please post your result here again. (The appropriate conversion tool would then be WordPad which is a standard Windows program and thus already installed on your machine.)

As for the "burn preview" - if your "version within the computer" now has subtitles then move this hard-coded file into some separate directory (or burn it to a rewritable data CD) and try again (including a test on your standalone DVD player). Does it still have subtitles? Otherwise you might have dynamically embedded some separate subtitle without knowing - your player program does that in certain situations (such as the file names only differ in their extension).

[post:118#1187]
Stretch

01/23/2006 02:36 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

>Does it now look as if the whole file consist of just one endless line?

No, I'm afraid the individual subtitles are still perfectly organized, apparently with no line longer than it would appear on the computer screen.

[post:118#1190]
Forbin

01/25/2006 12:33 AM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

Hey Stretch, K-Lite Mega Codec is on Version 1.49 at http://www.codecguide.com/

It supports playing the Mpeg-4 files like the new stuff from Froth-bite.

[post:118#1191]
Stretch

01/25/2006 01:57 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I recall that you said earlier that you were using a different way of "converting" your anime:

>I put it on my PC and then record it using my DVD Recorder. Quality suffers but it only takes about 30 mins per file. It's now in DVD format. I'm also waiting for the K-Lite pack to support Mpeg-4 files.

So, you attach a DVD recorder to the computer in order to transfer your shows to discs (instead of having the computer itself burn them)? Do you get fewer "codec headaches" that way? How much does quality suffer? Is this K-Lite Mega Codec Version 1.49 the program you were waiting for?

Thanks for the suggestion!

[post:118#1192]
Devil Doll

01/25/2006 03:49 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> So, you attach a DVD recorder to the computer in order to transfer your shows to discs (instead of having the computer itself burn them)? Do you get fewer "codec headaches" that way?

My guess is that this procedure uses the DVD recorder as a "screen" only (from the PC's perspective), taking the data from the graphics chip of the PC. So it wouldn't matter to the DVD recorder whether your video player program on the PC can play the video because it has the codecs installed or whether it has the format supported by your DirectShow version already, and the recorder takes the video stream after whatever embedding subtitles into the stream using whatever software you installed for doing so. The DVD doesn't need to know whether this video stream was composed on the fly on the PC. This way you can record every movie you can play with any software on your PC - but you still need codecs and stuff for being able to play the video in the first place. So you do still need the software to read Matroska containers and softsubs - but you don't need to understand any difference between playing and recording (which you had to learn when using VirtualDubMod, as DirectShow can only read streams, not write them, while most codecs can both read and write a format).

On the other hand, you don't have any flexibility then. You cannot select the codec for the resulting video (the recorder does that for you, and it only supports the codec it ships with), you (probably) cannot select the output quality, and thus the file size. You get the "one size fits all" solution. And you probably get it in DVD format, i. e. one video per disk. If you want to produce these nice 175 MB AVI fansub files you might have to "rip" the DVD you burned this way - and then again meddle with all the issues about codecs and stuff, as you would then need codecs for writing MPEG4 formats even if your DirectShow installation already supported these. Your tool for this part might then again be VirtualDubMod or some similar program.

Forbin, what about downloading AVIcodec (see above) and posting the technical parameters of one of those videos? (Video codec, audio codec, kpbs quality for each stream, file size, video runtime.)

"MPEG4 files" is a very vague term as it refers to any file that contains a video stream in any of the many available MPEG4-compatible video formats. "Support MPEG4 files" would mean to support each and every container (MKV, OGM, AVI, WMV, ...) with each and every MPEG4-compatible video stream (DivX, XviD, WMV9, ...), thus covering a multitude of codecs and container splitters.

[post:118#1193]
Devil Doll

01/25/2006 04:16 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

The exact content of the K-Lite pack (in its different expansion stages...) is described in http://www.codecguide.com/features_kl.htm . As you are now somehow familiar with terms like DirectShow filters, codecs, subtitle filters and tools you will find that K-Lite is just a combination of all of these. The "Basic Version" is the tiny bit for beginners to be able to play any MPEG4 stuff at all; the "Standard Version" contains the most popular programs so that you will be able to play (but not convert) many formats; the "Full Version" supports lots of more exotic formats and more codecs as to write more different formats.

When installing any of these you will still need to understand what each and every of these tools is meant for. These codec packs don't spare you from thinking - they only spare you from searching the web and hunt for the latest versions of each tool. And as the pack has been updated only days ago it now has up-to-date versions of all of its content, so its list is a good reference as to check your own installation for outdated versions.

[post:118#1194]
Forbin

01/25/2006 04:33 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

Yes and no.

When I said Mpeg-4. Froth-bite (Starting with the Santa video) started using a format that would not play with the 1.03 Mega Lite codec packs. It identified on my PC as Mpeg-4 video. Version 1.49 has solved this (as well as going to a truely free site, the old one went Pay only). So I'm not here to debate WHICH Mpeg4. As far as I know it supports ALL Mpeg-4s. Including OGM containers and MKV formats.

I have a video card that has a SVGA Out on a spare computer (An old laptop). I have a DVD recorder (A Philips DV1100RW I think) that can take that input. I hit record on the Philips and hit play on my PC (Not using it for anything else). It records to a DVD quality format and I can choose just how many AVI's I can stick on there. It features a 2hour - 32 hour mode though I do NOT recommend 32hour mode. It's pretty crappy.

So I hit record (Which can be done early) hit play on the PC, and wait 25 minutes. (Usually watching something else on my primary PC). And I'm done. It's not 100%, it's quality is not as good as a original Divx recording but it does the job and I don't have to spend 5 hours trying to convert a 30 minute file.

[post:118#1195]
Devil Doll

01/25/2006 04:43 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

I don't spend more than 30 minutes to convert a 30 minutes file either - an Intel 3GHz CPU can encode MPEG4 in reasonable quality in about realtime.

I repeat my question about the technical parameters of your video files created by your recorder. (http://avicodec.duby.info/)

There is no such thing as "all MPEG4" as anyone can invent a new MPEG4 compliant format any time. Plus note that K-Lite doesn't support H.264 yet.

[post:118#1196]
Forbin

01/25/2006 04:47 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

I thought I said that earlier. It creates VOB files. The kind all DVD players play. When I used Ulead 3.5 to convert my AVIs to DVD it took over 2 hours for a single AVI (2.4ghzAMD) and it would not do OGMs or anything with Subtitles softcoded. So I just said forget it and went the PC route. So far except for my Codecs in my PC being a little old I have had 0 problems with this setup.

[post:118#1197]
Devil Doll

01/25/2006 07:15 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

So it's as I expected: MPEG2 files of huge size, and one video per disk.

As you have K-Lite installed you could use the "GSpot Codec Information Appliance" program of this codec pack on one of these VOB files to display the exact quality parameters about the video - it works the same as AVicodec does.

[post:118#1198]
Forbin

01/25/2006 07:59 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

More than one video. I get 4 at good quality and 64 if I like watching crap quality on my dvd.

I'll look at the GSpot thing, would be neat to see the info it records at.

[post:118#1199]
Devil Doll

01/25/2006 10:19 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Can you really watch them from DVD then? The problem isn't the size, it's the expectation of the player to get a certain directory structure as "container" (where VOB files, audio files etc. are to be placed in specific paths), thus I didn't expect this structure to allow for more than one container per disk. AVI files, on the other hand, are their own container (holding all streams within one self-sufficient file) and can thus be arranged arbitrarily on a disk.

But maybe you can put one subdirectory for each video on the disk...? In which case it would be size that matters.

[post:118#1200]
Forbin

01/25/2006 11:50 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

You don't have to do any of that subdirectory stuff. The DVD writer creates a Menu that contains a snapshot of each AVI that you add into it. It's pretty easy. If you use a DVD+RW then you can remove and add any number of Videos (Which are stored temporarily on the Units builtin hard drive, that you have recorded earlier.

It allows me to watch AVI's on my portable DVD player nowadays. And the nice thing are the Subs are NOT cut off. My portable player supports overscan.

Now if I wanted I could get a Initial 1751DVM which is a portable player that supports Divx and Xvid but as stretch found out with the DVP642, it doesn't support OGM or MKV files. Which is why I figured out how to convert to VOB. Everything plays when it is a VOB.

[post:118#1201]
Devil Doll

01/26/2006 01:06 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Ah, I see - so each AVI is converted into a VOB 'chapter' within the same DVD-type container (instead of separate containers).

[post:118#1202]
Forbin

01/26/2006 01:26 AM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

Actually a VOB Title. I think it autochapters every 5 minutes.

When I'm feeling REALLY adventurous, I queue up about 20 AVI's, push play/rec, come back the next day and spend out 10 minutes breaking up the single file in 20 smaller ones. That works too.

In fact, now that I think of it, I really don't have to break them up, they are chaptered anyhow. I break them up so they make a nice menu, but after I'm done I just rewrite the disk, no need to spend all that time chaptering them for something I will watch once.

[post:118#1218]
Stretch

02/15/2006 01:31 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I've downloaded episode 5 of Kashimashi in MKV format (it plays just fine on the computer), but I want to convert it to a DVD burnable form. I demuxed it and found that there are only two tracks--the subtitles seem to be "hardsubbed" (if that's the correct term) into the video file. The problem is that somehow in the version I get from VirtualDubMod the audio and video are badly out of sync. I notice that in "Video Frame Rate Control" there's an option to "change so video and audio durations match (26.299 fps)" so I tried that, but got the message "not enough disc space to write additional data". Does anyone know what has gone wrong here, and what I can do about it?

[post:118#1219]
Devil Doll

02/15/2006 02:01 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> The problem is that somehow in the version I get from VirtualDubMod the audio and video are badly out of sync.

Do they have different speed, or just an offset (which you could easily fix in VirtualDubMod alone)?

> I notice that in "Video Frame Rate Control"

Of which software? And did you check "Options" / "Sync to Audio" in VirtualDubMod before?

> Does anyone know what has gone wrong here, and what I can do about it?

It looks like you're trying to recompress the video stream (which you may not even need) and use an uncompressed output format.

Could you please post the exact technical values that AVIcodec tells you about both your video and your audio stream?

[post:118#1220]
Stretch

02/15/2006 11:56 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

>Do they have different speed, or just an offset (which you could easily fix in VirtualDubMod alone)?

I think the audio and video are running at different speeds--that is, they start more or less simultaneously, but the video moves faster and the farther I get into the episode, the more out of sync the two become.

>Of which software? And did you check "Options" / "Sync to Audio" in VirtualDubMod before?

"Video Frame Rate Control" is the control panel I get after clicking on Video/Frame Rate in VirtualDubMod. "Sync to Audio" seems to have been checked by default before I began.

>Could you please post the exact technical values that AVIcodec tells you about both your video and your audio stream?

Video:

File : 152 MB (152 MB), duration: 0:21:43, type: AVI, 0 audio stream(s), quality: 67 %

Video : 152 MB, 982 Kbps, 29.969 fps, 640*480 (4:3), XVID = XVID Mpeg-4, Supported

Audio:

File : 33 MB (33 MB), duration: 0:24:44, type: MP3, 1 audio stream(s), quality: 89 %

Audio : 33 MB, 192 Kbps, 48000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x55 = Mpeg-1 audio Layer 3 (MP3), Supported

As I looked for the answers to your questions, I noticed that the versions of this episode I'd created after getting the message "not enough disc space to write additional data" included only the first two or three minutes of the show, but were only slightly out of sync.

[post:118#1221]
Stretch

02/16/2006 11:21 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

The message "not enough disc space to write additional data" was appearing more and more often as I tried to make changes to the VirtualDubMod settings in a trial-and-error method of trying to fix the synchronization problem. I was deleting a number of the unsuccessful versions of this episode when I got the message that one of them was "too large for the recycling bin". After deleting that one, I don't seem to be getting the message about not enough disc space anymore. But I still haven't found a solution, either...

[post:118#1223]
Devil Doll

02/17/2006 12:11 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

>> Of which software? And did you check "Options" / "Sync to Audio" in VirtualDubMod before?

> "Video Frame Rate Control" is the control panel I get after clicking on Video/Frame Rate in VirtualDubMod.

Okay. And then? This alone doesn't produce an output file. You did "save as AVI", right? Using which recompressing mode and which output codec? I assume you did "full recompress" and didn't select a codec (thus creating a HUGE uncompressed output file filling your harddisk) while you could have done a "direct stream copy" instead.

> File : 152 MB (152 MB), duration: 0:21:43, type: AVI, 0 audio stream(s), quality: 67 %

> File : 33 MB (33 MB), duration: 0:24:44, type: MP3, 1 audio stream(s), quality: 89 %

So the video and audio streams in fact have different playing times, and your idea of changing the frame rate seems to be the right one. I just wonder why playing this video as MKV container worked in the first place... maybe one can set some frame-rate scaling factor in this container which got lost when you extracted the separate streams, requiring you to re-scale the video stream speed now.

[post:118#1224]
Stretch

02/17/2006 01:58 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

>Okay. And then?

The "Video Frame Rate Control" panel selects "no change" unless I specify something else. This was where I tried "change so video and audio durations match (26.299 fps)" (this was under the category of "Source Rate Adjustment") in hopes that this would automatically synchronize the audio and video tracks. When I "Save As" (in MKVextractGUI-1.5.5) the file is saved by default as "Audio-Video Interleave (*.avi)". I set the video at both "Direct Stream Copy" and, when that didn't work, "Full Processing Mode" (which must have been what created the huge file, right?). I never specified a particular codec.

>So the video and audio streams in fact have different playing times, and your idea of changing the frame rate seems to be the right one.

Well, it's good to know that I'm not a complete idiot. Maybe a "Source Rate Adjustment" (of the video frame rate) was useless, and what I need is a "Frame Rate Conversion". This category is set by default at "Process All Frames", but I see an option that would allow me to "Convert to fps". But how many Frames per Second do I need? Maybe divide the total number of frames by the duration of the audio stream? According to File Information/AVI Information, there are 39054 frames, so:

(39054/(24+(44/60)))/60 = 26.317065

Hmm... using this figure as a "Frame Rate Conversion" only seems to make things worse, but when I enter it as "Source Rate Adjustment/Change to __ frames per second", I detect an improvement. Still not nearly satisfactory, though. I've run out of ideas for the time being...

[post:118#1225]
Devil Doll

02/17/2006 05:50 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> I set the video at both "Direct Stream Copy" and, when that didn't work,...

For a mere functionality test I just tried "Direct Stream Copy" with some AVI container, significantly changing the source frame rate, and the result looked as if it had might have worked (at least video and audio were completely out of synch afterwards ;-).

> ... "Full Processing Mode" (which must have been what created the huge file, right?). I never specified a particular codec.

Exactly. Check the "Video" / "Compression" dialog to see the default codec, which most likely will be "Uncompressed RGB" (and that's huge). If you do a recompress you have to specify a codec, or else...

> But how many Frames per Second do I need? Maybe divide the total number of frames by the duration of the audio stream? According to File Information/AVI Information, there are 39054 frames, so: (39054/(24+(44/60)))/60 = 26.317065

That's about the same what you already got as from VirtualDubMod (which suggested 26.299 as you posted above, the difference is a mere 0.069%). Did you try this exact value as source frame rate, with either Direct Stream Copy or Full Recompress and some codec of your liking? And if this were still not exactly in synch then you might check whether the time offset is now at least constant over the whole video, as you can always add a positive/negative offset to the audio stream within the AVI container.

[post:118#1226]
Stretch

02/17/2006 10:05 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

The only codec listed in my "All Programs" directory is "AVIcodec"--but that one isn't an option in the VirtualDubMod "Video"/"Compression" dialog. whenever I specify a codec other than "Uncompressed RGB" the "Save As" step looks like it will take around half an hour--that can't be good, can it? I aborted the process. Time offsets always seem to get worse the farther along the episode progresses.

[post:118#1227]
Devil Doll

02/17/2006 11:57 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> whenever I specify a codec other than "Uncompressed RGB" the "Save As" step looks like it will take around half an hour--that can't be good, can it?

Remember that full recompress means uncompress each and every frame (which is stored incrementally as a relative modification of previous frame) and compress this frame again (using the selected codec), plus reading and writing the whole video stream from/to disk. On my 3 GHz Intel PC a full recompress usually takes about as long as watching the video in question, i. e. 20-30 minutes per anime episode is a normal value, somehow depending on the codec being used and its settings. Using XviD for encoding with "insane" quality settings can easily double this amount of time.

Just imagine the amount of data that has to be handled: IIRC your video has 640 * 480 pixels * 3 color bytes/pixel = 0.88 MB per frame. Now take 39054 of these 0.88 MB frames and you get 33.52 GB of uncompressed data that has to be processed during the "full recompress" procedure for this one video! Can you see now why an uncompressed stream floods your harddisk?

[post:118#1228]
Stretch

02/18/2006 11:25 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

What makes me uncomfortable with the "save as" process taking nearly half an hour is that I feared I would be creating another gigantic file of the sort which leads to me getting the message "not enough disc space to write additional data". Is that accurate, or are you saying that such a lengthy save process is only to be expected (and isn't necessarily bad)?

By chance, I notice that the fansubbing outfit that released this Kashimashi episode has released a "version 2" of the same episode--I wonder if there was something inherently wrong with the version I've been working on? Of course, nothing went wrong until I demuxed & remuxed it.

[post:118#1229]
Devil Doll

02/18/2006 04:16 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> What makes me uncomfortable with the "save as" process taking nearly half an hour is that I feared I would be creating another gigantic file of the sort which leads to me getting the message "not enough disc space to write additional data". Is that accurate, or are you saying that such a lengthy save process is only to be expected (and isn't necessarily bad)?

It is only to be expected. Actually the uncompressed saving works a lot faster than the compressed saving because the compression takes a huge amount of computing power while the disk I/O is almost neglegible. VirtualDubMod shows you the expected file size, and after about one minute the value should become quite accurate. Note that the initial estimate for the file size will always be too large - that's because the episode always starts with an intro section of fast moving, fast changing scenes that can be compressed a lot worse than the normal episode. The fewer scene changes there are from frame to frame the better the compression rate will be.

> By chance, I notice that the fansubbing outfit that released this Kashimashi episode has released a "version 2" of the same episode--I wonder if there was something inherently wrong with the version I've been working on? Of course, nothing went wrong until I demuxed & remuxed it.

If you refer to the DA-TT fansub (which is listed in aniDB with one V1 and two different V2 files for episode 1) there's no specific hint given about the cause for a V2 but they may have fixed translation errors which would be one of the two most likely reasons for a V2 (the other in fact being file format / encoding errors). You may of course visit the releaser's site and search for their release log where they probably explained why they decided to release another version.

Note that the two different V2 files for episode 1 (170 resp. 220 MB) differ about their video codec, one being H.264, the other being DivX5. H.264 provides better compression quality, i. e. smaller files with the same quality, but requires specific software to be installed, and IMHO cannot be a part of an AVI container. So for usability's sake you'd be better off with the larger DivX5 version as you would probably not even be able to open the H.264 stream with VirtualDubMod (as it's a new container that the old VirtualDubMod software doesn't support yet). I've seen that method of parallel releases of MPEG4 (i. e. DivX/XviD)and & H.264 versions a couple of times recently, as H.264 seems about to become the new standard for animes but many users still have insufficient support for this format.

[post:118#1239]
Stretch

02/28/2006 05:46 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Well, a new version of Kashimashi 5 has been released by KnKF-Doremi fansubs--this was the source that I got all previous episodes from, and I didn't have any trouble burning them... so that's one way of solving the problem!

In VirtualDubMod I can only alter "Compression" when the video is in "full processing mode". I haven't kept detailed records of every group of settings I've tried, but I kept getting mega-files that took up too much C drive space until I became frustrated and gave up.

Since then, I think a lot of the trouble I was having with "Not enough disc space to write additional data" may have been because I let a lot of files pile up in GUIextract 1.5.5--since I haven't been having much luck with subtitles, I've been demuxing and remuxing the Hyper Police episodes in dubbed form. I transferred these elsewhere then deleted them from GUIextract, and haven't been getting the same message since. I've now got the entire series saved on a data disc, so your help hasn't been entirely in vain. Thanks!

[post:118#1380]
Stretch

07/17/2006 02:50 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

It's been a while, but all good things (like cooperative computers) must come to an end. My latest problem seems to have begun when I started getting messages that a new version of my BitTorrents program "BitComet 0.59" was available, and urged me to click "OK" to install it. Except there was no "OK" on the message, just "Yes" or "No". I clicked "Yes" and was taken to the BitComet page. I found the page to be confusing, and decided the hell with this, I'm perfectly satisfied with the version I have. But it seems the one thing software providers cannot tolerate is people who take attitudes like this, and to make a long story short, I've lost the ability to download fansubs. When I click on a fansub at AnimeSuki, I'm taken to Windows Media Player--what the f---?! It's as if the computer is trying to play the fansub before it has even been downloaded. As if this wasn't bad enough, whenever I tried to log onto the internet, I started getting a message "Internet Explorer has encountered a problem with add-ons and needs to close". The computer suggested that a program called "Macromedia Flash Player 7" was to blame, and offered two conflicting options: either upgrade the program or disable it. I tried the latter, but that only made matters worse, and I re-enabled the program. Turning the computer off and restarting seems to have fixed this particular problem (otherwise I wouldn't have been able to come here and report it), but I am spooked. Now I no longer get the message urging me to upgrade BitComet. Any suggestions? BitComet is a pretty complex program with all sorts of features I never use, and I wonder if I should delete it and go with a simpler BitTorrents program. Which ones do you use?

[post:118#1381]
Forbin

07/17/2006 03:28 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

I use Azerous which does it's own updates using a torrent file. Don't know about your IE7. I still use IE6.

[post:118#1382]
Jan-Chan

07/17/2006 03:40 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

Humm .. I am currently using the torrent download program BITLORD 0.56 (which can be found at http://www.bitlord.com/download.php). It works very well for me and supports multiple downloads and even allows me to queue up additional downloads - for activation at a later time.

It does have one minor problem in that some torrent-sites or fansub groups do NOT TOLERATE it, so I also have BITTORNADO installed on my PC (see site http://www.bittornado.com/download.html). If I need to use it, I save the torrent to the local hard drive and then launch BitTornado and select the torrent to get it start up.

I am able to run both torrent programs at once with no problem - other than they do have to share the bandwidth.

And if you are going to change your torrent program, pls remember to uninstall the old one first before installing any new torrent programs.

OH YES ... you might want to save the torrent link to your hard drive and then look at it. There have been some space cadets who have been posting torrents as <animetorrent.AVI> rather then in the correct format of <animetorrent.torrent>. If you try to open the torrent link .. your computer will 'see' the .AVI suffix and then lauch a mediaplayer. If you save the torrent to your local hard drive and then RENAME the suffix from a .AVI to a .TORRENT then it should work correctly. (YEP, I had to do this more than a few time.... )

Hope that this helps!

[post:118#1383]
Stretch

07/17/2006 04:40 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

>OH YES ... you might want to save the torrent link to your hard drive and then look at it. There have been some space cadets who have been posting torrents as <animetorrent.AVI> rather then in the correct format of <animetorrent.torrent>. If you try to open the torrent link .. your computer will 'see' the .AVI suffix and then lauch a mediaplayer. If you save the torrent to your local hard drive and then RENAME the suffix from a .AVI to a .TORRENT then it should work correctly. (YEP, I had to do this more than a few time.... )

So, this might explain why the computer tries to "play" the fansubs with Windows Media Player instead of downloading them? But I have no idea how to do this... where do I find the "torrent link"? I wish this was a problem with individual fansubs, but I think it is a bug that has gotten into the system as a whole and affects everything. I tried to download the upgraded BitComet program, hoping this might fix everything, but was directed to Windows Media Player again. BitComet 0.59 (the old one) still works (I can delete or transfer fansubs that are already there), but I can't add any new ones.

[post:118#1384]
Devil Doll

07/17/2006 06:42 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> where do I find the "torrent link"?

like Jan-Chan I assume that your problem isn't located on your PC but on the server where you click the link. Let's have a short excursion into the world of HTTP...

When you click on a link in your web browser then your send a request for the URL of this link to be sent to your machine. A HTTP response contains not only data but a description what these data are meant to be interpreted like, in the form of a "content type", such as "text/html" or "video/x-msvideo" (that's the AVI video container, for example). Your browser configuration (or when using MSIE, your Windows configuration) then decides what to do with that file - it's basically the same as when doubleclicking a file on your harddisk.

So if you click on a link that's assumed to send you a torrent file (see below) and you get your Windows Media Player started then the information about the downloaded file doesn't say "torrent" but "video" instead. The error may be on your machine but it may be on the server as well. Which one is true is something you can check for your self: Enter the URL of the link into the form at http://forum.de.selfhtml.org/cgi-bin/http_trace.pl and read the output. This is a "web browser simulation" that displays all data being sent to and received from a web server, and you'd then see the HTTP "Content-type" that the server is sending you.

Note that the Microsoft Internet Explorer isn't a correctly working HTTP client (i. e. web browser) in the first place, as it tries to "guess" the meaning of a downloaded content instead of obeying the description being sent from the server. So if the server sends you the correct "Content-type" for a torrent file but the wrong file name extension ".avi" then MSIE might be inclined to forward the file to the Windows Media Player instead of your Torrent application (which would be the correct handling). You can check this by using any other browser (my suggestion would be Mozilla Firebird).

If downloading a file with MSIE doesn't work for your and you don't like to change your browser then my second suggestion would be to click on the link you're offered for the download (which we suspect to be the "torrent link") with the right mouse key in your browser to "Save as..." the URL to your harddisk, then manually rename the downloaded file to "whatevername.torrent", and then doubleclick that file, which should result in what you expect to happen (starting the torrent download). A torrent file should be of the size between 10 and 20 kByte (i. e. quite small), containing mostly unreadable binary content, part of which would be the (readable) file name of the video you're about to download (within the first 100-200 bytes of the torrent file's content). By opening the torrent file with a simple text editor you can check whether the file you downloaded by "save as" is likely to be a correct torrent file. If the link on the server were correct and your local configuration were correct as well then this would happen in the background, you wouldn't be aware what is actually happening. But during the whole download time you have that torrent file somewhere on your harddisk (most likely in the same directory where your video downloads to). For your interest: The torrent file basically contains checksums about the individual blocks of your file to be downloaded so that your torrent client can make sure you got the file without any transmission error, and to automatically repeat the transmission for any block whose data appear to be corrupted.

If the problem were actually located on your PC then it might in fact have been caused by the installation of a new version of your torrent client - in principle the installation of any new software is able to overwrite the mapping between file name extensions and applications. So I cannot completely rule out the possibility of your local PC now erroneously mapping the "torrent" file type to the Windows Media Player but it is the by far least likely explanation for your observation. So my bet would be that your torrent client isn't the culprit. (As an aside, I'm using Azureus for torrents and never had any problems with the automated update service of this program.)

[post:118#1385]
Stretch

07/17/2006 07:32 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

With great trepidation I went back to the AnimeSuki page and right-clicked on a fansub I'm interested in ("Utawarerumono 04"). I clicked "Save target as" which took me to the "BitTorrents Downloads" page. I looked closely at the label the fansub had, and it did indeed end with "avi". I backspaced over these three letters and typed "torrent" in their place. I pushed "save" and immediately got the message "Download Complete". I clicked "Open Folder" then "Open"--which immediately took me to Windows media Player. After shouting an expletive (fortunately I'm home alone) I retraced my steps and instead selected "Open With" then chose BitComet from the list of options. The normal message appeared, with the "OK" box to authorize downloading to begin, which I did. I went to the BitComet download list to check if the fansub really was there, and it was! I breathed a sigh of relief. Okay... so things have gotten more complicated, but not too complicated. Thanks for all the help, Devil Doll, Jan-chan and Forbin!

[post:118#1386]
Jan-Chan

07/17/2006 07:42 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

What is a torrent link (or more basic .. what is a web link) ?

When you visit one of the torrent web sites (using internet explorer) such as TOKYO???, or BAKA-??????, or even http://www.animesuki.com/, what you will find are lists of various anime episodes. When you move your mouse over a line item (using IE 6.0) you will notice that the ARROW changes to HAND, which means that you can select this item.

This line item is not actually the torrent file that can be downloaded, but rather a LINK that will connect to somewhere else (in the internet) where you can go to actually find the torrent file.

If you LEFT click on one of these line items, then you will open the LINK and launch/start the torrent file. Try moving your mouse over a item and then RIGHT click your mouse. Up will pop a menu box which will let you do some different things. You can use the PROPERTIES feature to actually find out where the link is going to get the torrent file and what the torrent file name is. You can also use the SAVE AS feature to save the torrent file to your local hard drive.

[post:118#1387]
Stretch

07/17/2006 08:09 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Hmm... it looks like the designations of files (fansub episodes) don't have the "avi" suffix at the AnimeSuki page itself, only at the individual fansub outfit pages (like "Yesy" in this case). I find that even after I have changed the suffix from "avi" to "torrent", if I click "Open" (the download has barely begun, of course) I'm sent to Windows Media Player--I guess this is the default program my computer uses for "Open" commands.

[post:118#1388]
Forbin

07/17/2006 08:10 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

Hmmm..the okly Utawar 4 I could find was on the YesY Server and that one is correct. I wonder if your settings got corrupted.

[post:118#1389]
Forbin

07/17/2006 08:10 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

Hmmm..the okly Utawar 4 I could find was on the YesY Server and that one is correct. I wonder if your settings got corrupted.

[post:118#1390]
Devil Doll

07/17/2006 08:36 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> What is a torrent link (or more basic .. what is a web link) ?

A web link is anything within a web page that you can click on and makes the web browser do something, such as navigating to another page, starting a download, or a number of other things.

The link itself has a link target specified as an URL. When you move your mouse over the link area then the URL of the link target is displayed in the status line at the bottom of your browser window, so that you can see what would happen when you click on that link before actually doing so. http://www.animesuki.com/ is such an URL, an "unique resource locator" or unique address of a content within the web; it begins with a protocol ("http://") that's relevant for the browser as to decide what to do with the received data, followed by a domain name ("www.animetsuki.com") of a server in the world wide web, and finally a local path ("/") of the object on that server you're about to request.

A "torrent link" is a normal HTTP link with a normal URL, leading to the transfer of (usually) a ".torrent" file to the browser, just like a click on a link to a web page leads to the transfer of a HTML page to the browser (to be rendered and displayed in the browser window).

When you move your mouse over the anime names in the list at http://www.animesuki.com/ you can see they offer different target types: Some of these links point to normal web pages, such as pages of other torrent trackers; some links directly point to torrent files (those ending in ".torrent"). Unfortunately AnimeSuki doesn't visualize the type of the link target so you have to try it out - or look at the status line.

> I find that even after I have changed the suffix from "avi" to "torrent", if I click "Open" (the download has barely begun, of course) I'm sent to Windows Media Player--I guess this is the default program my computer uses for "Open" commands.

If that's the case then there might in fact be something fishy on your PC (with the definition of handling ".torrent" files). Can you manually start your Bittorrent application and open the ".torrent" file from some menu in there? Will that also cause the Windows Media Player to be started?

Actually, there's no "default program" for opening all files in Windows but there is a default application for each separate file name extension (such as ".torrent"); you can locally redefine this extension (and this should have happened automatically during the installation of your Bittorrent application, so maybe something did go wrong during that installation, as unlikely as this may be).

What about giving Azureus a try now? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azureus) Its installation is supposed to overwrite the definition of how to handle ".torrent" files in your Windows operating system, so if that's the problem this installation process might fix it on the fly.

[post:118#1391]
Jan-Chan

07/17/2006 08:59 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

Hey .. Stretch ..

How about if I just burn off Utawarerumono (YESY DIVX-encoded AVI files) episodes 1-14 (along with two promos) and then sent them to you? It would save you several hours of download time... Pls consider it done... I will get it in the mail within the next few days.

[post:118#1392]
Stretch

07/17/2006 11:58 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Here's what I get when I tell the computer to "Save target (i.e., episode four of Utawar) as": yesyUtawarerumono-04049B1FE4.avi

>If that's the case then there might in fact be something fishy on your PC (with the definition of handling ".torrent" files). Can you manually start your Bittorrent application and open the ".torrent" file from some menu in there? Will that also cause the Windows Media Player to be started?

I'm not sure if this is what you meant, but I went to BitComet and found a command called "Open Torrent" under the "File" category. Clicking that takes me to a catalog of my BitTorrents files--except the only things shown are setup files with the BitComet logo and the files which contain episodes of entire series--but they are all empty! Nothing with the windows logo is shown. Weird. Anyway, several of the fansubs which I began downloading by changing "avi" to "torrent" are finished, and play just fine using Media Player Classic. In my BitTorrents Downloads file there's now a message that says I "modified" the program today at 7:57PM. I think this is a reference to me finding a BitComet logo there while I was figuring out how to download by relabelling the files, and deleting it. Maybe this was part of the setup procedure for the 0.70 program, but because the instructions were so vague I never realized that there were still steps I had to perform (I just assumed nothing was happening and gave up). Could this have anything to do with the troubles I've been experiencing? The messages urging me to download BitComet 0.70 are back. So, I guess the question is, should I try again to upgrade to BitComet 0.70, or switch to Azureus? I'd need to delete BitComet before changing over, right? For now, I'd like to let a couple downloads that are running complete themselves. I'd be happy to accept a burn of Utawarerumono.

[post:118#1393]
Devil Doll

07/18/2006 12:39 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> Here's what I get when I tell the computer to "Save target (i.e., episode four of Utawar) as": [yesy]Utawarerumono-[04049B1FE4].avi

And what's actually in this file? A torrent. As for the Utawarerumono episode 4 from [yesy], the torrent file offered via the download link yesyUtawarerumono-04049B1FE4.avi.torrent has two file name extensions, the first one being ".avi" and the second one being ".torrent" (implying that this is a torrent file triggering a download of an avi file). So it seems like your Web Browser (the dreadful MSIE?) is unable to correctly handle that name (there has once been a time when a file wasn't allowed to contain more than one "." within its name - apparently your browser believes you're still running Windows 3.11 ;-). My Mozilla Firefox downloads that torrent unter the correct name and immediately forwards it to my running Azureus client without asking me for anything (or even starting that Windows Media Player...). So this part of your problem has nothing to do with your Torrent client as it happens much earlier in the event chain.

You did exactly what I asked you to do when trying to open the torrent file from within BitTorrent; doing so and selecting your downloaded torrent file for Utawarerumono (after renaming it to ".torrent" from ".avi") should start the download. You'll probably don't see the "Windows Logo" (for AVI files?) there because your file select dialog only selected "*.torrent" files for opening in BitTorrent (as that's the only file type the program is meant to understand, it wouldn't make sense for BitTorrent to open an AVI file).

Then again I cannot comment on BitComet in detail as I never used it myself; I just can recommend Azureus as reliable alternative in case your update problems with BitComet turn out to unnerve you. ;-) But hopefully your BitComment installation will "heal itself" by repeated attempts of installing the latest version of the program.

[post:118#1394]
Stretch

07/18/2006 01:43 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Okay, I decided to attempt to download BitComet 0.70, in hopes that this would be the least complicated step and might fix my problems. I found the setup program in my BitTorrents Downloads file and opened it. I had a problem with the step which wanted me to select a file to place it in (maybe because I hadn't deleted version 0.59--I assumed this setup would do that automatically). I got the message "Error opening file for writing". The options were "abort" (I didn't want that), "Retry" (which did no good), and "Ignore" (which seemed to work on the second try). After that, the process seemed to go smoothly, except when I was finished, I couldn't find the new program! My BitComet page still goes by the designation 0.59 (again, maybe because I should have deleted it?), and the downloading process is unchanged (I still have to type "torrent" over "avi"). I went through the installation process again, this time specifying that version 7.0 be placed in my C:drive file. It's there, but I can't seem to access it--clicking "Open" merely takes me back to the version 0.59 page. Should I take a leap of faith and delete version 0.59?

[post:118#1395]
Jan-Chan

07/18/2006 02:54 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

ummm.. do not delete the program .. uninstall it!! <START> <SETTINGS> <CONTROL PANEL> <ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS> .. uninstall both of the bitcomet programs - the old bitcomet and the new one .. and then install the new bitcomet. This should fix your problem.

[post:118#1396]
AstroNerdBoy

07/18/2006 04:45 PM

Reviews: 416
Posts: 379

Stretch -- may I suggest a new BitTorrent client? It is µTorrent, which is very much like Azureus (as I understand it), only without the resource-hogging. I used to be a BitComet user (and it is a good BT client), but with the changing nature of BT, some trackers will not allow someone using BitComet to connect. This was due to the fact that BitComet would allow public users into a private tracker by ignoring the private flag in a torrent file (as I understand it). Anyway, having a couple of private tracker sites I'm a member of ban BitComet, I switched to µTorrent.

µTorrent has the features of BitComet, but to be honest, I now like it better than I ever liked BitComet. Plus, it uses very little resource on the computer, which is also a plus. http://www.utorrent.com/

On a related note, I would recommend PeerGuardian 2 to everyone who uses any BitTorrent client. PeerGuardian 2 works as a sort of secondary firewall. It has a database (which I update daily) of banned IP addresses from various places (currently, they claim to block over 700-million IPs). So those who might be interested in connecting to your machine for the purposes of ID-ing you as dowloading a certain file are severly limited in doing this.

It can also block HTTP sites on the ban list. Ironically, this site gets blocked I think because of the advertising IPs are on the ban list. However, with both HTTP and BitTorrent, you can create exceptions to allow those IPs you want to be allowed.

Just a thought.

[post:118#1397]
Stretch

07/19/2006 01:32 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I did some fooling aroun--I mean, software engineering--late last night. Being frustrated with BitComet, I figured I'd try to uninstal it and replace it with Utorrent. But a requirement for a test to determine my optimum downloading speed (or something like that) was complicated and confusing, and I decided this was not something to be done in a hurry. I decided it would be best just to put things back the way they were--even if I have to type "torrent" over "avi" repeatedly, BitComet works, and that's good enough for me. It took me awhile to get the Utorrent logo to disappear from my desktop shortcuts (perhaps because I had authorized it as my default BitTorrents program) and to restore the BitComet one. I think I finally managed to replace BitComet 0.59 with 0.70--the trick seems to have been a magical tactic which I call turn-the-computer-off-then-turn-it-back-on-again. As luck would have it, the upgrade doesn't really do me any tangible good, since I still have to replace "avi" with "torrent".

Maybe version 0.59 is still lurking around somewhere within my computer, since I'm not sure I ever "uninstalled" it, but only BitComet 0.70 is listed on the "Add or Remove" page, and it has a size of no less than 1,773 MB (probably due to the countless features that I never actually use). I used to use a much simpler BitTorrent software, but one day (I'm not sure how) BitComet just showed up and basically declared "Hey, I'm your BitTorrents program from now on, and unless you want to gamble with totally screwing everything up, you'll have to live with it!" (at least that was the feeling I got). As long as it works, BitComet is pretty nice, and lots of episodes can be downloaded simultaneously.

[post:118#1398]
Devil Doll

07/19/2006 02:43 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

> But a requirement for a test to determine my optimum downloading speed (or something like that) was complicated and confusing, and I decided this was not something to be done in a hurry.

If you know your maximum line speed (or your ISP contract) you should be able to bypass this step, I guess. Performing a test would be the fool-proof installation variant for those who don't know either of the above; of course you shouldn't run any other application in parallel during the test.

> even if I have to type "torrent" over "avi" repeatedly

Did you try a different web browser for clicking on the torrent links? I still don't believe this browser misbehaviour is related to your Torrent client at all.

> Maybe version 0.59 is still lurking around somewhere within my computer, since I'm not sure I ever "uninstalled" it

Any decent program would cleanly overwrite version 0.59 with 0.70 as default procedure. For many programs this is even the recommended procedure as the new version tends to be able to use the previous version's configuration - no need to fine-tune something anew when it already worked before, and few users would want to have both versions in parallel.

> but only BitComet 0.70 is listed on the "Add or Remove" page

See? Sounds good to me.

> one day (I'm not sure how) BitComet just showed up and basically declared "Hey, I'm your BitTorrents program from now on, and unless you want to gamble with totally screwing everything up, you'll have to live with it!" (at least that was the feeling I got).

I don't believe it "showed up" - more likely you installed it, and it linked itself into every available position of the registry responsible for handling certain file types. (Well, it's not as if other programs wouldn't try to do the same. ;-)

[post:118#1561]
Stretch

11/19/2006 01:13 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Yesterday there was a power outage here, and now I find that I can't reboot my computer (I'm using my father's computer to send this message). The startup process begins normally, but just after "Boot from CD" I get a message that says "We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully" (I use Windows XP). It recommends that I "Start Normally", and after 25 seconds or so, it automatically attempts to do this by shutting down and restarting. But the results are the same, I just wind up back at "We apologize for the inconvenience...". So it's operating in a loop. Other options on the "inconvenience" page are "Safe Mode", "Safe Mode with Networking", "Safe Mode with Command Prompt", and "Last Known Good Configuration". I've tried them all but the results are always the same. Until I turn it off altogether (by pulling the plug), it endlessly attempts this same shut down and restart cycle. I am royally screwed...

[post:118#1562]
Forbin

11/19/2006 02:00 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

Find your windows disk, put it in and after it says do you wish to repair (which is the wrong kind of repair) go to the next install screen and there should be a 2nd repair option.

Be careful, this CAN ERASE your machine.

[post:118#1563]
AstroNerdBoy

11/19/2006 02:12 PM

Reviews: 416
Posts: 379

BTW Stretch -- do you have a UPS device attached to your PC? That'll protect your machine against sudden power loss.

[post:118#1564]
Stretch

11/19/2006 02:20 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I have to go to work (which will be a lot of fun in the pissed-off mood I'm in), but I'll try your suggestions when I get home. There have been blackouts here before, but the computer never responded like this. My father and I tried to "boot from CD" but it didn't do any good. I hope we didn't mess up any of the data I have stored inside.

[post:118#1565]
Devil Doll

11/19/2006 04:33 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

I never had this exact problem but I would probably try booting from the Windows XP CD-ROM first, then trying to access the most precious files on hard disk and save them somewhere (burn them on CD-RW, upload to my FTP server, depending on how much of Windows I get running after the booting from disk) before I try the "repair" option. If there's a chance to backup this stuff before writing on a potentially damaged hard disk, you might want to use that chance as long as you have it.

[post:118#1571]
Stretch

11/20/2006 02:12 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

After talking to a computer expert over the phone, his conclusion was that the power outage was probably accompanied by a power surge, which fried my harddrive. He realized this after I told him that in the Windows XP startup program, on a page dealing with "partitions" the word "unknown" appeared where "Windows" should have been. He concluded that the Windows program had been damaged. He recommended that the harddrive be replaced, and an attempt be made to salvage my stored data by transferring it to a new harddrive. Programs will probably be wiped out and will have to be reinstalled--that'll be a lot of fun. I started making some phone calls to get estimates of what this might cost, and enjoyed some good luck when I recieved a call, from a computer expert my father knows. He has retired, but recommended his son, who runs a computer repair business of his own. I called him, got a good feeling about this guy (in part because he only charges $45 per hour for labor, vs. $90 at one of the other businesses I'd contacted), and immediately delivered the computer to his home/workshop. I really, really wanted to get the repair process underway ASAP; not knowing anything about how serious the problem is was driving me crazy. He said that the very fact that the computer was still capable of trying to restart might indicate that the damage isn't catastrophic. Also, he and one other person asked if the computer had been making any strange noises as it tried to reboot, and were relieved to hear that I hadn't noticed any. So, too soon to say how serious the problem is or how long it will take to get things back to normal. The computer might be ready by Saturday, more likely next Monday. Until then, I'll work off of my father's computer--but how can you call this a computer when it can neither download fansubs nor burn DVDs? All this because some guys were trimming trees and some branches fell on the power lines!

[post:118#1572]
Jan-Chan

11/20/2006 03:16 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

Ouuuu.. that is a hard situation.

A couple of suggestions -

1)Have your computer tech install not one but two hard drives. A 2nd drive might cost you an extra $100, but it will give you some new options.
2)With a 2nd hard drive, you can copy over your program folder to the 2nd drive as a back up
3)Ask your tech if he can set up 'mirroring' on your hard drives. This will back up your primary drive to 2nd drive and provide a lot of redundancy.
4)Call your utility company and ask about the 'liability insurance' of the tree company. Will they cover any costs associated with the power spike?
5)Go immediately and get a 'surge protected power strip' - it costs about $45 dollars and will protect your PC from any such future power spikes.

[post:118#1576]
Stretch

11/20/2006 04:03 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I asked my father about this 'surge protected power strip', and it turns out that he has one sitting idle on a table where a computer used to be... I'll move it to my computer (ten points for ignorance!). I called the technician back about adding a second hard drive, plus "mirroring", but he's not home at the moment.

[post:118#1577]
Devil Doll

11/20/2006 06:12 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

A second harddisk might in fact be a good idea. When I gave away my old PC I let the 60 GB harddisk take out of it and put it into my current PC (where it serves for file sharing activities only, i. e. it is active day and night but I wouldn't care if it stops functioning). Given current prices it might even be interesting to think about an external hard drive, they're only a few dollars more than an internal drive and could easily be connected to every computer of your choice.

I don't think backing up will be a good idea for programs as those programs have to be installed, which means they change system files such as the registry as to embed themselves into Windows. I've heard about some software that were able to create a system image with all installed software from a hard disk in the form of a bootable DVD - that would mean you could reset the system to the last backed up state by overwriting the hard disk with the image.

Backing up to a second hard disk might be more suitable for important files that couldn't be recovered (such as own documents or e-mails), but I'd rather back up those on a rewritable CD resp. DVD (especially because they tend to be highly compressable). Furthermore I have some part on my Web space that isn't visible to visitors, and I periodically upload certain parts of my data there (in compressed form, password protected) so that I won't lose them even if the house burned down.

Mirroring IIRC would make two (identical) hard drives work as one of half their size, thus trading space for security. This might be suitable for a company server that needs to be up 365/24 but I would not use that on my private PC (the "surge protected power strip" is much cheaper, I'd rather double my disk space instead).

[post:118#1578]
AstroNerdBoy

11/20/2006 06:42 PM

Reviews: 416
Posts: 379

Well, I have three HD's in my PC and two external ones. I'm about to buy a third one for backups. ^_^;;;

And while a surge protected power strip is good, I still say a UPS device is best. That not only gives you surge protection, but gives you battery power for several minutes (the amount of time depends on how big a battery it has). Set up properly, the UPS device will gracefully shut down your machine in the event of power loss and battery power getting to a certain level. I have to say that I wouldn't want to have any of my machines not hooked to a UPS device.

[post:118#1579]
Jan-Chan

11/20/2006 06:49 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

I am currently running 4 hard drives on my PC. A 170-Gig primary drive, plus two internal drives and one 200-Gig external USB hard drive.

I back up my programs-folder & my registry to one of my secondary drives on a regular basis and I also burn my programs-folder & registry off to a DVD (just an emergency recovery disk)

Should my primary HD crash, I will still have to rebuild it and reinstall all of my software, but all of my custom settings can be easily restored.

Rebuilding a primary bootable HD drive with some one/two+ years of collected programs, updates and custom setting is something that is not done easily or lightly.

Let us hope that your computer-tech can salvage most -or- a lot of the files from your old hard drive. Who knows, it might even be salvageable. in which case you might be able to use it as a 2nd hard drive.

[post:118#1580]
Jan-Chan

11/20/2006 07:04 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

And OH! DD, my (18-month old) ASUS K8N motherboard supports (on board) Raid0 & Raid1 mirroring and it also has two SATA harddrive connections.

A lot of the new motherboards have built in mirroring features, which only require a matched pair of cheap 80Gig primary drives for bootup support and perhaps a 3rd larger drive for data & downloads.

So mirroring of hard drives is no longer a server-only feature.

http://www.cooltechzone.com/Reviews/Mainboard_Reviews/Asus_K8N:_Based_on_NVIDIA_nForce3_250_200504181042/

[post:118#1581]
Jan-Chan

11/20/2006 07:11 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

UPS or uninterruptible power supply

See posting link for more details

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterruptible_power_supply

[post:118#1582]
Stretch

11/20/2006 07:33 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

So, would it be better to get a second internal hard drive, or an external one? My computer was custom made and has around twice the usual memory; would some of that memory (or something else) have to be sacrificed to add a second internal hard drive? Does a second hard drive operate automatically, or do I have to do something? Why wouldn't a second hard drive suffer the same fate as the first if another power surge occured? Is it detached from the computer when not in use? I am confused by terminology like "backing up" and "mirroring". What sort of policies to you people follow to protect your data? About the only "backing up" I do is burning shows onto DVDs when my memory becomes overloaded. Sometimes I record incomplete series on multisession discs to free up memory space.

In a way, I might actually come out ahead as a result of this fiasco, if a good part of all the superfluous data I've accumulated is done away with--stuff like programs I never use, and files I just couldn't bring myself to delete, even though it was doubtful if I'd ever use them again. Even though I'd burned each episode at least twice, I couldn't bear to delete PaniPoni Dash from Bittorrents Downloads!

[post:118#1584]
Forbin

11/20/2006 08:13 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

I would get a 2nd hard drive (External).

If you get a good one (such as a Western Digital Passport) they do not need any extra power. Plug into the USB port and go!

[post:118#1585]
Jan-Chan

11/20/2006 08:33 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

Print out our discussions here and review them with your computer person. He will be able to help you better understand what our various suggestions are (and what the $ consequences will be.) It is very easy for us to just toss out suggestions and not have to worry about having to pay any $.

We are just trying share some ideas with you and help you take some steps to avoid this from happening again.

[post:118#1586]
Devil Doll

11/20/2006 09:00 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

Your configuration is one where an internal disk is a valid option, and if you can handle the modification (or have someone who can add the disk at a reasonable price for the work) then you might want to have it this way (but compare the potential price for the work with the price difference between internal and external disk; I paid the equivalent of about 10 USD for that operation in a computer shop, it only takes a couple of minutes). Whether an internal or an external second disk is better in your case depends on a number of factors: As it's only your second disk (and not your third or fourth one), having it internal is actually a likely option (because you won't need to purchase an additional controller, the one you already have will be able to handle two disks anyway); there is only so much space inside a computer box, and many disks plus a CD/DVD burner can cause a problem of overheating (which can be solved by adding more ventilation but that's not making the machine less noisy). Memory (i. e. RAM) and hard disks don't interfere with each other. So the odds for an internal disk are good in your case.

The older your machine is, the more likely I'd get an external disk as it is easier to use with your next PC; then again, it's perfectly doable to use your new disk in your next PC you'll buy in about 2-3 years. With the recend prices I'd go for a 250 or 300 GB disk (I'm planning the same operation currently as my old 60 GB second disk begins to get really loud and that's not a good sign in general); you may even be able to get 400 GB for a reasonable price (compare the price per GB and purchase the largest disk with the same rate as the 250 GB disk would cost).

Modern devices should support Plug&Play (at least that's what years ago Microsoft made a lot of advertisement for), so it's quite likely you'll just tell your Windows device manager "look for new hardware" and the rest will go automatically.

Yes, a new harddisk could die due to a power surge as well, but in respect to dying due to other malfunction reasons (you never know how many years a harddisk will actually work, I lost one during operation some ten years ago and it taught me a hard lesson) you may be able to limit the damage.

No, the disk isn't detached when you don't use it but if it's an USB external disk you can easily attach/detach it yourself by plugging out the USB cable, just like you'd do with a printer.

Backup strategies are a matter of discipline (and I know my own deficits in this field ;-). I tend to collect complete anime series and burn them on DVD when they are complete (and when I have decided on which of competing fansubs I'll keep - Kanon 2006 will not exactly be an easy case in this respect), so currently I'd lose about 20 GB of un-backed-up downloads but I'd be able to get them again and I have some external list of these in aniDB to check what I lost. More precious data (such as the fansubbing projects I'm participating in) are backed up a lot better (we have dedicated FTP servers for those data). What you're doing with multisession CDs is what I'm using CD-RWs for (and I have a small number of DVD-RWs in case one file get too big for one CD, or when I want to check whether my standalone DVD player can really display a certain series before I decide to burn in permanently to a DVD-R).

"Mirroring" in my terminology expresses the fact that there's no human decision necessary to trigger a copy process, it's done automatically by some software (to keep the data on two disks identical, for example); "synchronizing" would rather be an manually triggered procedure (I have a synchronized copy of my homepage on my hard disk so that I can find any changes I made locally by automatically comparing those two copies, and then decide whether to upload the changes).

[post:118#1588]
Stretch

11/20/2006 11:38 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Okay, I've moved the 'surge protected power strip' to my desk, where it now provides electricity for the monitor, printer, a lamp... but no computer, of course. Once it arrives, though, it'll definitely have better protection than it used to (i.e, none). I dug up some of the discs that were used to enter the original programs back in Feb. 2005--hopefully this will make it easier to get things up and running. Fortunately, I very seldom throw anything away (PaniPoni Dash, for example). My computer serves as little more than an entertainment station; the data itself (fansubs, etc) is relatively expendable, it's the programs that need protection. Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'll try to contact the repairman again and ask him what he thinks about a second hard drive. Now... I get to go to the dentist tommorrow! Yee-ha!

[post:118#1591]
Stretch

11/21/2006 04:02 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

It turns out the surge protected power strip wasn't just gathering dust, it was protecting the router and modem, so since I'd appropriated it for my computer I went and bought a simple RCA surge protector to take it's place. To be seperated from the internet--that's what I imagine hell would be like. I called the repairman, and he didn't have a strong opinion, but seemed to go with an external hard drive.

[post:118#1606]
Stretch

11/27/2006 12:04 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Here's an E-mail I recieved Sunday from my computer repairman:

The computer itself seems to be operating okay so far. The data on the hard drive is looking very good, it's still copying right now, but there have been no read errors yet and I'm about 3/4 through the drive.

As soon as the data finishes copying, I'll do an exhaustive hard drive test to see if the drive itself is recoverable. If not, it may well be under warranty from Western Digital. If so, we can get a free replacement from them.

If we don't have to wait for a replacement drive to ship from WD, then I will probably have things finished up Monday evening sometime.

[post:118#1607]
Stretch

11/27/2006 08:00 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I called him back for a progress report, and apparently he was able to save all of the data (I won't have to re-download 60-odd episodes of fall 2006 anime!). Also, the hard drive is still under warranty and a new one is on the way. He estimates he'll be finished wednesday or thursday.

[post:118#1608]
Stretch

12/01/2006 07:15 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Hey, the computer is back! As far as I can tell, all of the data has been saved, just the programs have been wiped out (except for Windows XP and an anti-virus program, called AVG, which the repairman has reinstalled). And guess how much fixing the problem cost--ninety six dollars and thirty cents! I'd been afraid it would run up to around $500. As soon as I brought it home, I reattached the various cables and was pleased to find it could access the internet. So, it was time to start replacing all the various programs I'd lost. First, of course, would be a bittorrents program for downloading fansubs. I re-read the recommendations that had been made earlier on this page, but decided I'd stay with BitComet. I downloaded and installed BitComet 0.79 without trouble. I immediately went to AnimeSuki to try it out, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it works like a charm, without any need to overtype "avi" with "torrent" (maybe that's why a new upgrade, version 0.79 was created--the program I lost was version 7.0). Next, I wanted to recover Media Player Classic. I found the "guliverkli" version which Jan-chan mentioned at Post:118#895 and DL'd it, but the computer said Windows couldn't read it (something about it being an "rar" file). I downloaded another version, and after fooling around with unzipping it and all, found that it works just fine. I saved an image and checked "My Pictures", and it was there. I also wanted to send E-mails to several companies from which I had purchased programs and ask them to re-transmit the software to me. Initially, I wasn't sure if my messages were getting through, but they must have, because I got a reply from Goldwave and was able to re-register for unlimited use at no extra cost (I had finally paid for this one since I used it a lot and it wasn't too expensive). I dug through the stack of CDs which had been used to enter the original programs into the computer, and got the printer running again. The biggest frustration has been that the Nero disc, which I need in order to burn anything, refuses to load--I just get a message saying that it has a problem and needs to close. I just talked to the repairman over the phone, and he wonders if it might have something to do with it being incompatible with Windows security "patches" (whatever that means). Well... got to go see where Lovely Idol has gone!

[post:118#1609]
Forbin

12/01/2006 07:25 PM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

Just go to CodecGuide.com and download the K-LITE Mega codec pack 1.61

[post:118#1610]
Stretch

12/01/2006 08:17 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Okay, I have done that... now, what will happen? For some reason, the new programs I'm downloading today appear in the BitComet file, as if they were fansubs. I thought about just getting a new version of Nero, and went websurfing. There's a version 7 "Essentials" (mine was version 6.3.1.17), but it has so godawful many functions which I'm sure I'd never use that I'm afraid to touch it. DVD burning seems to play such a small part overall that it was hard to tell whether it was even capable of that! Does anyone have a recommendation for a simple, reliable DVD burning program?



One problem with my reprogrammed computer is that it likes to delete pages which I have "minimized"!

[post:118#1611]
Devil Doll

12/01/2006 10:44 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

If you "saved" that much money you're now able to purchase a really big additional external USB hard disk. ;-)

What a pity, I'm too late... I would now have suggested http://www.cccp-project.net/wiki/ which is a package specifically designed for anime fans, including a minimum set of necessary codecs, an up-to-date splitter for Matroska containers and H.264 video streams, and a decent video player (ZoomPlayer). This has been the recommended package for the German anime fansubs community for quite a while. (And yes, I've been against codec packs for a long time, and still am in a way, but even I installed the CCCP after rearranging a lot of software on my PC recently.)

As for the RAR files (similar to ZIP archives but with a higher compression rate), you should get some tool to handle these files. You may not need them for animes but you'll need them for many software downloads. The software I'm using as replacement for the Windows Explorer can open RAR files as if they were directories; normally WinRAR would be the obvious choice except it's not for free. There will be software downloads using other archive types of even higher compression rates out there, such as the ".7z" file extension; WinRAR can handle these as well.

As for the patches: The Windows Operating System contains many errors. Hundreds, literally. Maybe thousands. Quite a few of these errors cause security problems, opening holes from outside into your precious computer, allowing other users to control your machine, delete files and whatnot - you won't like this to happen. Some of these errors are known even to Microsoft, and once every month (google for "Microsoft Patch Day") they offer downloads to fix a nunber of these, in the form of "patches", i. e. small programs that overwrite certain parts of your Windows installations. Visit http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en and learn how many patches they suggest you to apply to your Windows installation; it may be a surprisingly high number (usually half a dozen new patches per month). If your repairman is a good guy you might be running the most complete set of patches possible already. It's unlikely that applying an Operating System patch breaks a running program but it is entirely possible; the closer to the Operating System a program is, the more likely they might interfere with each other (and a CD burning software is much closer to the OS than, say, a torrent client), in which case uninstalling the program and then installing the most recent version of that program would be the way to go (as the most recent version has more likely been tested with the most recent set of patches).

The Nero site offers some support form. Maybe if you tell them what happened to your disk, and tell them the registration number for Nero copy (to prove you're a legitimate user), they'll send you another CD? Nero currently offers a demo version of Nero 7 for free but it will work only for 30 days. Installing a Nero version with more features isn't a problem as you may simply not need to use them (you might even be able to install only a subset but that would surely require you to understand the meaning of the individual programs...). Remember how I guided you through Nero some months ago? (See above in this thread.) This interface will very likely still be there, as one of the many Program Group icons, and this is what you'll be using with the next version as well.

What exactly do you mean by "delete pages"?

[post:118#1612]
Stretch

12/01/2006 11:47 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

I took a look at the CCCP website, and it looks pretty neat. It might not be too late for me to undo what I've done today; as far as I can tell, the K-lite codec pack is still sitting in the BitComet file (I haven't used it for anything yet, in fact I haven't figured out how to move it anywhere else). BitComet itself should be relatively easy to uninstall (I hope). I'm downloading a ton of fansubs to get caught up, once that's done I could do so. Would Media Player Classic contain any codecs?

I think "patches" were being applied to my computer automatically before it crashed; every now and then I would get a message saying some sort of security upgrade needed to be applied. Since the fixer used the same disc to reinstall windows as was originally used, I'm hoping this will resume. Time will tell.

I really want to get my DVD burner running again; Nero 7 could be gotten for a mere $4 so maybe I'll go ahead and order that.

What I meant by "delete pages" was that whereas the computer used to be capable of keeping track of a seemingly unlimited number of website pages which I had minimized (and I could recall them with a click of the mouse), now it seems it can only keep track of three or four, and if I try to minimize any more, it automatically deletes one of the "stored" ones--I haven't figured out the logic it is operating on.

Yes, I will get an external hard drive--maybe the Western Digital Passport that Forbin mentioned.

[post:118#1613]
Stretch

12/02/2006 12:13 AM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Well, I thought Nero 7 could be had for $4, but that website has vanished.

[post:118#1614]
Forbin

12/02/2006 01:51 AM

Reviews: 478
Posts: 532

k-lite is for players (Like windows media classic) and codecs (languages for avis). You will still need bitcomet to download stuff. K-lite is for playing only.

[post:118#1615]
Devil Doll

12/02/2006 09:18 AM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

CCCP is also for playing only, as playing has nothing to do with the network you got your videos from.

I'm not an expert about Media Player Classic but I read that it contains some proprietary codecs (that can be used only by this player, not by other players, similar to the Videolan Player VLC), albeit possibly not in the most recent version (that's why I tend to separate codecs from players, I don't want to change my player when I need to play a new video format, I rather use a player that can handle Windows standard interfaces so that I can install the codecs separately).

It's entirely possible that patches have been applied automatically - Microsoft offers a procedure to do so. Then again, I haven't enabled the mechanism. Imagine one of these patches isn't working and makes your system crash; you would never be able to find out the cause as you wouldn't even be aware of the fact that someone changed your system. I rather apply patches manually once a month (I have to reboot the machine for that, but so do you), read the description of each patch before applying it (certain patches refer to hardware I don't run or software I haven't installed, so why should I apply them?) and then get aware of any problems immediately after the next system start (Microsoft once made me install a broken driver for my soundchip, which I had to uninstall as to make the speakers work again). This is similar to handling codecs: When you do it manually you have to learn what you're doing - and you're able to understand the cause of a problem in case one arises. Letting Microsoft install software on my PC automatically would mean I believed they're knowing what they're doing... and if they did, why would there be that many patches?

With "delete" you mean "make the window that I had the page opened in disappear"? (As opposed to "delete a file from the harddisk".) If so, which browser (name and version) are you using? Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (released only a couple of weeks ago) finally supports "tabbed browsing" (implemented in Mozilla about five years ago), which means you get an additional bar of tabs within your browser window, each of which can hold a web page within that same browser window (i. e. you'll need no more than one MSIE window now). Would that help in your case?

I also don't quite get the meaning of "K-lite codec pack is still sitting in the BitComet file", because the "BitComet file" would usually refer to the executable you're using to start BitComet as torrent client. Then again I have no experience with BitComet, so I can only guess what "sitting" might mean in your case.

(Shouldn't we open a new thread for the next problem of yours? It takes quite a while until Rebecca's server can deliver this long thread...)

[post:118#1616]
Stretch

12/02/2006 01:44 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Okay, better not uninstall BitComet, especially since it has been running so smoothly lately. What I like about Media Player Classic is it's "Save Image" feature, which I use to create the montages in my episode reviews (Gantz, for example). Can CCCP do this? As for the patches, I found even the automatic ones to be a nuisance as they would sometimes take the liberty of shutting down and restarting the computer during the night; I cringe at the thought of having to understand and apply them myself. As for the minimizing problem, yes, I meant "make the window that I had the page opened in disappear"--I never "saved" or "copied" these pages, so I don't think it has anything to do with the hard drive. For example, after reading the last two posts, I left Mikomi but minimized it to return quickly later. I went to my browzer (if that's the right term) and began a search for the keywords "Nero OEM" to try to track down the DVD Burning software. When I opened a third window (the Software Outlet.com website) the Mikomi page vanished from the bottom margin of the screen. As for K-lite, BitComet has a display which shows all the fansubs you are downloading, what percentage complete they are, the rates of downloading and uploading, etc. Since yesterday, every program I download (except BitComet itself) are displayed there (Guliverkli, Media Player Classic, and K-lite). Before the crash, this never happened; I guess I was always given a chance to specify where I wanted the new programs put. Finally, maybe a new thread could be created here, entitled "My Computer Is Angry At Me II: The Computers Strike Back".

The last time I typed this message it froze up in "preview" mode, then I lost it while trying to copy it, so I'm crossing my fingers...

[post:118#1617]
Devil Doll

12/02/2006 09:11 PM

Reviews: 365
Posts: 1574

CCCP contains the ZoomPlayer whose keyboard shortcut for saving a screenshot of the running video is Alt-F. You can configure the directory where this BMP file is to be stored (the default is the ZoomPlayer installation directory which I consider a bad idea, I changed it to c:tmp).

Every new window you open consumes operating system ressources (until you close it again and these ressources are being freed), which means additional RAM first and foremost. In principle your running applications may consume an unlimited amount of memory, but in reality the operating system has to work with what your machine can actually offer, and in case you request more memory than available it will 1. try to find some application that's not currently used, 2. write a part of that application's dynamic memory onto the hard disk, and 3. use the freed memory for the request. When the application in question is to be used again then the operating system does the reverse - again it tries to find some other application that's not actively needed at this moment, "swaps" a part of its dynamic memory to the hard disk and reloads the dynamic memory for the previous application. While you will not really notice this process you will surely understand that it is slowing down your machine (RAM access is a lot faster than read/write of a hard disk, i. e. several orders of magnitude) - and it may cause potential errors made by the operating system (such as some of your windows mysteriously disappearing). So depending on the amount of RAM in your machine you may experience some limit in respect to opening new windows; that's why tabbed browsing in modern web browsers is a lot better both in respect to system ressources as well as usability: You need no more than one open browser window at a time then, regardless how many web pages you want to have available in your browser.

Applying patches manually usually takes about 10 minutes once a month. Microsoft won't tell you the gory details anyway, mostly they just say "we found a security hole in system module XYZ that is fixed by applying this patch". But in some cases they refer to a specific application (such as Outlook which I don't use anyway) or to specific hardware. I'm rarely skipping to apply a patch because of this, only when I'm dead sure I don't need it I will do so. It's just that due to reading these descriptions I happened to know that I had just installed a new driver version for my the PC's sound card when the audio didn't work any more after the reboot, so I was able to fix the problem within a couple of minutes (by uninstalling this particular driver, the previous version was not yet overwritten by the installation of the newer but broken version).

As for BitComet, most likely it just displays all files of the "incoming" directory in its program window (not in the program file) as these downloads may have any file type, and how would BitComet know whether you're searching for videos, programs, texts or whatnot?
Yes, BitComet should be able to remember which downloads it performed itself and display only these files. My torrent client only displays torrents (those small transfer description files, you remember?) plus the state of the respective transfer, not the transfer result file(s), so it can tell apart torrent downloads from other files.
Are you using the same hard disk directory as target for your BitComet downloads and HTTP downloads (from your web browser)? I am not, because HTTP downloads are usually very small (and tend to consist of programs that I'm storing into some directory from where I could re-install them any time in case their installation on my PC were broken) whereas torrent downloads usually are videos of ten to several hundred times the size of these programs, so I need a more sophisticated planning where to store them to (my torrent client has one separate download directory configured but sometimes I even direct the download to an individual directory per anime) and tend to burn and then delete them from my harddisk as soon as possible.
You should be able to specify where you want the downloads put, but how that looks like will depend on the program you're using for the download (either you configure a path somewhere in this program and use that directory implicitly or you get a dialog box for each download; as I neither know your torrent client nor which web browser you're using I can't tell you how it works in your case).

[post:118#1618]
Stretch

12/03/2006 01:02 PM

Reviews: 1542
Posts: 1257

Do you think it would be a good idea to download CCCP if I first uninstalled/deleted K-lite (but kept Media Player Classic just in case)? Part of the problem with minimizing windows was solved when my father figured out how to reinstall the Toolbar at the top of the screen which offers me access to my list of "Favorites" (which is still there, good as new). We searched through Windows Help and Support in hopes of finding the rules/instructions for minimizing, but it wasn't much help. It turns out I wasn't crazy after all, Nero 7 Essentials really can be gotten for $4 at Software Outlet.com, and I ordered a copy. I hope I'll be able to specify that I only want certain programs installed, not the whole thing.

[post:118#1620]
Jan-Chan

12/03/2006 01:23 PM

Reviews: 599
Posts: 593

Break in this discussion thread (due to the length of the current thread)

Please post all new discussion points to the following link - http://anime.mikomi.org/forum/showpost.html?num=186&posts=1

The new thread title is The saga of Stretch and his unruly computer

Thank you

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