View Full Version : What's your Essential Tools list?

01-02-2003, 03:11 PM
Well I'm slowly building my list of tools to install on my extraction PC. Since it's a lot easier to avoid codec or other conflicts by doing clean installs, I'd like to get a core set of tools installed that I can trust and which work reliably. That being said, which proggy's do you guys think should be on the short list? My goal is to go from DTiVo to multi-episode DVDs, hopefully with commercials trimmed to reduce wasted space, and simple menus with jumps to each individual episode.

I missed the beginning of the Twilight Zone marathon, but still managed to catch about 40. I've pulled about 6 off one Tivo so far, and split one just to see if it worked on PowerDVD (just the video).

I finally managed to get a copy of M2-Edit Pro v4, and already have a slew of other DVD-related crap (ain't USENET great!), but haven't looked at 90% of them.

I want to burn the most compatible disks possible, so I figure I'm going to have to do the header fake routine, and upsample the audio. I also plan to use DVD+R media, as everything I've read says it's more likely to play in older set-top DVD players.

Where I get a little lost is on little things like SpruceUp vs Maestro, or the most direct route to accurate commercial editing.

Any info is appreciated.

01-02-2003, 03:58 PM
Based on your requirements I will assume that you would like to be able to burn DVDs with multiple episodes and also be able to directly access each episode without having to wade through extraneous episiodes to get to a specific one on the disc. This will require setting up menus with buttons that are linked to each individual video clip on the DVD. So far, SpruceUp and Maestro are the only two authoring programs that have been reported to work with tystream videos so your choices for an authoring program are pretty much limited to these two.

Here's (http://dealdatabase.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20560) a link to a thread that contains a description I posted for using SpruceUp to author a DVD. There's also a tutorial posted by wolkowh in the same thread for using TyTool, DVD Patcher, SpruceUp, Smart Ripper, and TMPGEnc for extracting, splitting, patching, importing and setting chapter stops, compiling the audio and video to VOB files, re-ripping the VOBs to eliminate commercials, and de-muxing the re-ripped VOBs for final authoring without commercials. This is somewhat lengthy but it does work for eliminating commercials without any transcoding or loss of resolution and it also retains audio sync. You can probably eliminate 8-10 minutes of unwanted footage from a 1/2-hour show using this method.

If this sounds too involved, you can simply import the patched m2v file directly into SpruceUp (the m2a file follows automatically) and then insert chapter stops at the end of each commercial break. This allows you to use the chapter skip button on your DVD player remote to jump right past the commercials. It's easier to author this way but does waste space on a disc.

Maestro is similar to SpruceUp but quite a bit more complex. It doesn't allow you to create menus using the program itself but lets you import menu graphics created using Photoshop. You will find download links for DVD Maestro and Cinemaster2000 (required for previewing videos in Maestro) and tutorials for using Maestro at http://www.fukrulez.com/index2.php. You will probably have to get SpruceUp by using a peer-to-peer program like KaZaa Media Desktop or something similar. You might also try searching for it on the web. THere are lots of good programs that can be found at http://www.doom9.org/ such as TMPGEnc, Smart Ripper and loads more. You will also find a tutorial for SpruceUp at Doom9 (their Maestro tutorial isn't really applicable to authoring a DVD from scratch but rather for authoring a ripped commercial DVD). DVD Patcher can be downloaded from http://mitglied.lycos.de/dvdpatcher/.

There are other methods for muxing and editing that have been hit and miss but don't let that discourage you from trying them. Most of them involve muxing the m2a and m2v files and then using an editing program for cutting commercials but there may be audio sync issues that result from such methods. If you've got some specific questions after mulling this over, let us know and we'll get you the info you need.

01-02-2003, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by captain_video
There are other methods for muxing and editing that have been hit and miss but don't let that discourage you from trying them. Most of them involve muxing the m2a and m2v files and then using an editing program for cutting commercials but there may be audio sync issues that result from such methods.

This is the one that I was wondering about. Why is it once you mux the files into a "real MPEG-2" you can't use M2-Edit to do the fine detailed cutting? Is it because there are enough non-spec residual issues with the file that it'll choke? I guess I was hoping to take the output of SpruceUp after the header faking, then run it through M2-Edit to cut the waste. No such luck huh?!

Thanks Cap.

01-02-2003, 05:10 PM
Muxing a split tystream into a "Real MPEG-2" clip is the "Holy Grail" that jdiner has been working on. I haven't followed his threads as closely as I would have liked but I believe he has a working prototype of his program but it will only mux short segments the last time I checked.

Smart Ripper will basically do your editing for you. You set the chapter stops in either SpruceUp or Maestro and compile the program to a title set. You then use Smart Ripper to re-rip the VOB file so that the unwanted chapters are not included in the final VOB compilation. TMPGEnc is then used to de-mux the VOB back to separate audio and video segments for re-authoring.
The audio is kept in perfect sync throughout.

I think the only way to use an off-the-shelf editing program like M2-Edit is to transcode the entire video stream to 720X480 or 352X480 (both DVD-compliant formats). I haven't actually done this myself as all of my early attempts at muxing failed miserably and always resulted in audio sync problems. There have been lots of success stories about muxing so it obviously works. I tend to give up and move onto something else if I can't get a software program to do what I want within a reasonable amount of time.

I believe I have read a few posts where others have used M2-Edit successfully but I won't swear to it. Try a search for M2-Edit and see what you come up with. The only success I've had at eliminating commercials is with the SpruceUp/SmartRipper/TMPGEnc method but it does take a while to process everything, depending on your CPU and such.

If you really want to get your edit points as close as possible, I'd recommend using DVD Maestro for the initial import as it will allow more precise positioning of the chapter stops. SpruceUp only allows you to set chapter stops at 1-second intervals and sometimes you can't place the chapter stop in between the show and the commercial without a small bit of overlap. Once you've set up the precise edit points you should be able to compile the show into VOB files and then re-rip with Smart Ripper to cut out the commercial chapters and then do a simple demux with TMPGEnc. The resulting m2v and mp2 files (you'll need to rename the mp2 file as m2a) will be edited where you want and you can use SpruceUp for the finished product and add your menus and buttons, as desired.

You can add the shows one at a time into SpruceUp and see how much disc space you're taking up. Make sure you save the project as you go. You will also have to associate a menu button with a video clip for it to be included in the project and increment the total size of the project. Keep in mind that although the capacity of the recordable DVD may be 4.7GB you really only have about 4.36GB of recording capacity to work with. The remainder of the disc space is used for lead-in and lead-out material, similar to a CD-R, only much larger.

01-04-2003, 06:01 PM
I'm struggling with finding the RIGHT toolset as well. Here's my crib notes to date:

-I've managed to extract audio/video into .m2v and .m2a files on my PC using Tytools against my DSR6000 running Extreme 2.5 with Kraven patches.

-I've then run IFOEdit to make the .VOB, and have tested the VOB with PowerDVD, works fine. BUT, I want to trim some video from the beginning and end before blasting it out to DVD or VCD.

-I've been reading the extraction forum feverishly to make sense of the myriad of tools and methodologies. I figured that using SpruceUp to insert chapters was a good start, but after downloading SpruceUp 1.1 Build 1106 and trying to import the m2v asset, SpruceUp comes back with an "Illegal Picture Resolution Error" and fails to load the asset.

Clearly something needs to be done here before I can load.

I've also looked at stuff like GOPchop, which makes clean cuts in MPG2 streams without much fuss...but it runs on Linux only and requires compiling, etc.

I can't believe that I'm asking for something that hasn't been done already: to remove data from the beginning or end of a stream. I can see that commercial cutting, etc might involve more work since we're removing material from the middle of the file, but can someone tell me the errors of my ways and share good news that what I'm trying to do is VERY easy (hope hope) since it's only the END or BEGINNING that I'm concerned about?


01-05-2003, 12:06 AM
My tool kit:

jdiner's latest tools,
tmpegenc (mux,edit,demux)

that's all folks!!