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dvn
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This thread is about using Handbrake. Batch conversions, queues, presets, settings, tricks and tips. You name it. If you have the knowledge, please share it here.

 

First off, I'd like to thank timekills for making me realize it is possible to set up a queue in HandBrake. I struggled with this but per his instructions, I dropped a movie folder on the GUI, hit 'Add to Queue', and repeated this for 3 more movies. Perfect! Queue created. But, I have over 100 movies to convert. Is there a way to drop a bunch of movies in the queue all at once?

 

Is 'High Profile' the best preset for creating high quality transcodes? Do I need to tweak it? I will use the MP4 container because Windows Media Center deals with that without any hax.

 

I've heard that I should set Video > Quality > Constant Quality to RF:19. I can see the default is RF:20. Thoughts on this? What is this thing, PF?

 

Subtitles - I want them included on every movie, even though most movies are in English. I find it useful at times when I can't quite understand what someone is saying. How do I add them, but in a way that I can turn them on and off as needed?

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This thread is about using Handbrake. Batch conversions, queues, presets, settings, tricks and tips. You name it. If you have the knowledge, please share it here.

 

First off, I'd like to thank timekills for making me realize it is possible to set up a queue in HandBrake. I struggled with this but per his instructions, I dropped a movie folder on the GUI, hit 'Add to Queue', and repeated this for 3 more movies. Perfect! Queue created. But, I have over 100 movies to convert. Is there a way to drop a bunch of movies in the queue all at once?

 

Is 'High Profile' the best preset for creating high quality transcodes? Do I need to tweak it? I will use the MP4 container because Windows Media Center deals with that without any hax.

 

I've heard that I should set Video > Quality > Constant Quality to RF:19. I can see the default is RF:20. Thoughts on this? What is this thing, PF?

 

Subtitles - I want them included on every movie, even though most movies are in English. I find it useful at times when I can't quite understand what someone is saying. How do I add them, but in a way that I can turn them on and off as needed?

 

High profile is a good choice if your player of choice can play it. PMPs such as Zune, iPods, and even Xbox360 can't natively play high profile video however. Ultimately the difference between profiles is the more "advanced" it is, the more CPU power it takes, and the higher quality for lower file size.

CQ is faster than 2 pass VBR (its one pass) but you sacrifice file size for speed. The lower the CQ #, the higher the quality of the movie (inversely proportional,) CQ 20 is approx. 61% quality, 19 is about 65%. The higher the quality of the original file, the lower you can go in quality for the transcode (or, the higher the CQ #.)

 

Subtitles work better using MKV containers, but if you choose to encode the movie using MP4 container it is dependent on the player whether they can be turned on and off; i.e. VLC allows this, WMP does not. You can always burn them in, but then they are permanently displayed which can be distracting. This is why I've switched to MKV; I can include multiple audio tracks including untouched AC3, as well as 2-channel more compliant formats, and include subtitle streams that I can enable or disable at will.

Edited by timekills
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Which is better, mp4 or mp2?

MP2 is an audio format; actually MPEG1 Layer 2. MP4 is a container for MPEG4 layer 14 encoded video and AAC audio. By container, I mean it is simply a format to present the combined audio and video streams to the player, just like an AVI or MKV or many others. An AVI can use many different codecs to encode the audio and video, but be "wrapped" in the AVI. An MP4 is supposed to use the official audio and video codecs, but there are no guarantees, unfortunately.

 

The audio portion of the official MP4 container is AAC. AAC is a more advanced encoding formula than MP3 (MPEG1 Layer 3) or MP2.

 

So to answer your question, if you're talking audio "quality" (i.e. how close to original), MP4 (AAC) > MP3 > MP2 at equal bitrates. If you're talking video, there's only one choice.

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Interesting but I was talking for home movies. I will sometimes render home movies to mp2. Should I use mp4 instead?

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Interesting but I was talking for home movies. I will sometimes render home movies to mp2. Should I use mp4 instead?

 

Are you sure you're not talking about MPEG2 - the codec used for DVDs, for example? There is a difference; MPEG2 format for video is just that - the 2nd version of the MPEG standard. MPEG (MPEG1) is used in VCDs. When a better compression was needed for the higher resolution used in DVDs (720 x 480 typically in NTSC countries) MPEG2 was used. There is no real use for MPEG3 - the next video codec was/is MPEG4. MP2 is MPEG1, layer 2 and is an audio codec only. Maybe it is just semantics with your compression software.

 

I'm starting to sound like Tim from BYOB podcast. Not that I could ever reach that pinnacle, but you know what I mean. :)

 

Regarding codec of choice for video encoding - that depends. MPEG4 and MPEG2 are both lossy codecs, so if you don't plan on encoding the files again, it really depends on what devices you intend to play them on and what file size you want. For any given file size, MPEG4 will give you a *visually* more identical to the original file than MPEG2 will. However, MPEG4 also takes longer to encode (require more CPU power), requires significantly more CPU power to decode, and is historically recognized by less players. Not so true these days, as most portable media players (PMPs) are designed to read and play (if not record) MP4 format.

 

I choose MPEG4 - it gives the best quality to size ratio. But I use MKVs as the container.

 

IF, however, you intend to do any NLE (near-line editing), MPEG2 is MUCH easier to edit because of the frequency of keyframes and the relatively low complexity of the codec. If you want to go down that path, we can discuss. I'll spare you the details for now. I'll just add that if you intend to do any further editing, and thus re-encoding of the file, you really don't want to use any lossy format, or at least as low-loss as possible (i.e. MJPEG if you must compress due to file size, or my favorite HuffyUV for lossless compression.)

 

EDIT: Addition - MP4 is better for streaming (relative to MPEG2) as well both due to lower bit rate relative to quality of video (if MPEG4 codec is used), and because the MP4 container has built-in streaming hinting as part of the makeup. Again, MP4 is a CONTAINER that is supposed to use MPEG4 as the video codec. MOV from Apple is another container that uses MPEG4. DIVX files are another container that use MPEG4. AVIs are another container that *can* use MP4, but can use other video codecs instead. So when you say encode to MP4 or MP2, you should really ask encode to MPEG4 or MPEG2, and then what container to mux the audio and video into (i.e. MKV or MP4 or MOV or AVI or, or, or...)

Edited by timekills
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Do you know of any good batch scripts to automate conversions? I've used the queue function for a handful of titles but I want to convert a larger number of files and it is tedious to add them in one by one to the queue.

 

EDIT: What I meant to ask is for any batch scripts you may know of or have used. I've googled and found a few a few weeks back but I had some problems with them getting hungup.

Edited by texasPI
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Do you know of any good batch scripts to automate conversions? I've used the queue function for a handful of titles but I want to convert a larger number of files and it is tedious to add them in one by one to the queue.

 

EDIT: What I meant to ask is for any batch scripts you may know of or have used. I've googled and found a few a few weeks back but I had some problems with them getting hungup.

 

This one worked for me HandBrake Batch GUI Encoder but I typically prefer just using the GUI and creating my own batch files.

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Thanks. I'll be trying that. I happened to stumble across this yesterday and skimmed over the features. I also quickly scanned through the comments and saw that people were having mixed success with it. So it's encouraging to hear that it worked well for you. I haven't seen many other options out there, except for roll your own scripts.

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Thanks. I'll be trying that. I happened to stumble across this yesterday and skimmed over the features. I also quickly scanned through the comments and saw that people were having mixed success with it. So it's encouraging to hear that it worked well for you. I haven't seen many other options out there, except for roll your own scripts.

 

Caveat emptor...I didn't find it to be any more time conserving than the normal procedure.

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