Handbrake is one of the very few, functionally mature open source video transcoding tools with a decent, usable user interface (of course command line options are still available).
Generally the Handbrake development team take a long time between official releases, and v0.9.5 is no exception. This latest version comes more than a full calendar year after the previous milestone release.
While Handbrake doesn’t support a wide range of broadcast video formats, which would be a nice addition for me personally, this is not really their target market. Handbrake does a great job on web targeted and home use video encoding jobs. Ripping Blu-Ray DVDs, encoding for Apple TV2 and advanced finite controls for H.264 transcoding are all now supported in the latest release.
Further details about the release available here.
Discussion thread, specific to this release, available here.
Multi-platform downloads found here.
In August 2009, Google acquired codec developer On2 Technologies for a rumoured $106 million. The flagship On2 codec was VP8 and it was also rumoured at the time that Google may open source this technology in the future, although a number of challenges lay ahead.
in effect from November 1st 2009.
Stream #0 has now made available our first Amazon Web Services (AWS) AMI. This is based on Eric Hammond’s 64-bit Squeeze AMI: ami-fcf61595.
The first Stream #0 AMI can be found by looking for the following AMI ID in the AWS Management Console: ami-b535d6dc
The following additions have been made over the base Squeeze build:
- Added Debian Multimedia Repository
- Updated and Upgraded to October 22nd 2009 latest packages
- Build x264 from source. r1301
- Build FFmpeg from source. r20350
FFmpeg has been configured as per the options noted in the How-To here
Ultimately we’re planning to build a few different AMI variations. e.g. Lenny with FFmpeg 0.5 build and x264 from Debian Multimedia Repo as a slightly more stable version of the “Squeeze build everything from source” AMI approach.
The AMI has been made public and Stream0 would really appreciate feedback on this, our first time AMI build.
Everything you need to know about Amazon’s Web Services:
A short while ago I wrote a review about Open Movie Editor. Essentially this review was written after a couple of hours testing various video clips and assessing the functionality within OME. Now, I can write about what OME is like on a real editing assignment.
Recently I was given a DVD full of PAL DV material and asked to create a compilation from the individual clips. A fun little project that should only take a day or two. Open Movie Editor was the obvious tool for the job.
The good news I can report is that even after 10 to 12 hours of constant video editing, OME is still a very stable piece of software. I only managed to induce two crashes – once when trying to undo multiple edits in a row and once when vigorously moving clips around on the timeline. Other than that, Open Movie Editor was easily up to the task.
I’m not an advanced video editor, happy within my comfort zone using something like Adobe Premiere, but also not using all the intricate features. However, Open Movie Editor does still lack a few basic features, that would have greatly increased my productivity. Changing playback speed of a clip is not possible within OME. I needed to change the framerate of target clips using FFmpeg and mjpeg tools to achieve this effect. While fade transitions are easy enough, I’m sure they could have been even quicker if such a function was built into OME. Precise frame editing, for splitting clips for example, would also make life easier.
There are some really nice features in Open Movie Editor though. Audio automations are a breeze, the media browser window provides easy access to your video library and the list of render options is quite vast – dependent on FFMpeg, Libquicktime and other shared video libraries.
So what did I produce in my 12 hours of work? A fun 4 minute clip, which is still a little rough around the edges, but generally a good laugh. Here’s a link for your viewing pleasure:
Edited in Open Movie Editor, with some clip transformations using FFmpeg and mjpeg tools. Follow this with final transcoding to x264, again with FFmpeg for more finite control, and you have an Open Source Editing project.
The Kapital Moto TV site uses open source products where possible. The server runs on Debian Etch, the site is served with Apache, built largely with PHP and data is stored in a MySQL database. Content is a mix of QuickTime generated H.264 and FFmpeg generate x264 video files. The Flash player is not open source, but is free as in beer.
After my previous overview of Open Movie Editor (OME), I decided to create a small How-To regarding an easily obtainable piece of functionality that’s not yet standard within OME.
Open Movie Editor natively contains only one transition between clips – a simple cross fade. However, one of the most used transitions in video editing is a fade to black. By adding a black still image, between two clips on a single video track in OME, it is possible to generate exactly what you need.
Here’s how by following the steps below:
1. Open your favourite image editor, in this example we’ve used the GIMP.
2. Create a new image with a solid black background, at the same size as your video clips. We’ve used PAL 720×576.
3. Save the image as a PNG, although JPG will also work.
4. Switch to Open Movie Editor and navigate to your footage in the Media Browser window. We’ve previously downloaded two QuickTime clips from stock footage supplier BBC Motion Gallery, to use in this example.
5. Add the first clip to video track one.
6. Add the black still image to the same video track.
7. Add the second video clip to the same video track.
8. Now, overlap the beginning of the black still image with the end of the first clip. A blue area with a red cross through it should appear – this is the length of time that the fade will occur.
9. Adjust the length of the black still image to suit the speed of the fade to black required.
10. Now, drag the beginning of the second video clip over the end of the still image, so that another blue box and red cross appears.
11. Move the timeline marker before the first blue box and test your fade out to and in from black.
Easy! Move the clips, and adjust the length of the black still image until you are happy with the fade.
To make is even easier, we’ve created a screen cast for you to watch, complete with a couple of extra fades created in OME. Don’t adjust your volume, there is no sound.
Get Flash Player 9 to see this movie.
var so = new SWFObject(‘http://stream0.org/flash/flvplayer.swf’,’player’,’640′,’500′,’9′);
This screen cast was created with RecordMyDesktop, edited with Open Movie Editor, and transcoded into an x264 file, using a custom Perl script to control FFmpeg.
A request on the Ubuntu forums asked for some assistance creating x264 files from footage originating on DVD. The following FFmpeg command represents input from a couple of users regarding what might be the best options:
ffmpeg -y -i input_file -an -v 1 -threads auto -vcodec libx264 -deinterlace -b 5000k -bt 175k -flags +loop -coder ac -refs 1 -loop 1 -deblockalpha 0 -deblockbeta 0 -parti4x4 1 -partp8x8 1 -me epzs -subq 1 -me_range 21 -chroma 1 -slice 2 -bf 3 -b_strategy 1 -level 30 -g 300 -keyint_min 30 -sc_threshold 40 -rc_eq 'blurCplx^(1-qComp)' -qcomp 0.7 -qmax 51 -qdiff 4 -i_qfactor 0.71428572 -maxrate 5000k -bufsize 2M -cmp 1 -s 720x480 -f mp4 -pass 1 /dev/null
ffmpeg -y -i input_file -v 1 -threads auto -vcodec libx264 -deinterlace -b 5000k -bt 175k -flags +loop -coder ac -refs 5 -loop 1 -deblockalpha 0 -deblockbeta 0 -parti4x4 1 -partp8x8 1 -me full -subq 6 -me_range 21 -chroma 1 -slice 2 -bf 3 -b_strategy 1 -level 30 -g 300 -keyint_min 30 -sc_threshold 40 -rc_eq 'blurCplx^(1-qComp)' -qcomp 0.7 -qmax 51 -qdiff 4 -i_qfactor 0.71428572 -maxrate 5000k -bufsize 2M -cmp 1 -s 720x480 -acodec libfaac -ab 256k -ar 48000 -ac 2 -f mp4 -pass 2 new_file.mp4
This command, as an overview does the following:
- Uses libx264 as the output video codec
- Uses libfaac as the output audio codec
- Deinterlaces the original DVD sourced footage
- Allows FFmpeg to choose the number of threads to use for multi-core systems
- Sets the output video bitrate at 5000kbps (or roughly 5Mbps)
- Sets the output audio bitrate at 256kbps
- Deblocks the output footage
- Uses CABAC encoding
- Uses .mp4 as the output file container
- Uses B-Frames
- Uses 2 pass encoding – directing the first output to /dev/null and the second pass to a new file
There are of course many other options included in this command. Further useful reading can be found on the FFmpeg documentation page:
Also, this Mencoder specific page has some useful information regarding encoding using x264: