I've been playing with TMPGEnc under Windows. The base software can be found
and a plugin for reading Quicktime files can be found here:
If you're trying to make a DVD, be aware that the MPEG-2 encoder for
TMPGEnc is NOT freeware. You get a 30-day evaluation, after which you're
supposed to pay $25. It can, however, do MPEG-1 (VCD, for example) for
I tried TMPGEnc after being stymied by mencoder and transcode under
NetBSD. I can't really say how TMPGEnc is doing yet, since the spare PC
I'm running windows on is really old (66MHz 486, IIRC) and it's only
about halfway through the encoding task I've given it (after grinding
away for about a week). I really need to find a quicker junk PC...
My difficulties with mencoder and transcode are that the various pieces
I needed to make it do what I wanted didn't work. I spent a week arguing
with transcode, but still don't quite have enough of it compiled to make
an MPEG-2 for a DVD from a Quicktime movie containing an iMovie full of
stuff edited from my camcorder (exported from iMovie via "Export for
iDVD"; my DVD burner is on my NetBSD box, and isn't anything iDVD would
recognize, anyway). Currently transcode refuses to do anything
useful with the audio; export modules that seem to work insist there is
no audio in the stream while export modules that see audio refuse to
I also haven't figured out how to pass parameters to the various codecs
for transcode. For example, the MPEG-2 bit I've gotten to work on
transcode is encoding via the ffmpeg library. However, I have not found
any documentation about how to tell the ffmpeg library, via the
transcode command line, the bit rate to which it should encode. The
command line for mencoder is every bit as mysterious as transcode's.
I also need to find a freeware FTP client for MacOS 9 that can deal with
files larger than 2GB. I can't do a bloody thing with them using Fetch
3.0.3, Appletalk, or any other freeware means to move files around that I've
found. Fetch 4.mumble can handle them, but it's not freeware.
Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Quicktime is a technology, not a codec. Same is true of AVI's. What I
mean by that is that you can use Quicktime to playback AVI, MPG, MOV,
DIVX, and other types of file types. I use the QT player on Windows
instead of Media Player because the QT player allows me to scrub
through video randomly, as well as go frame by frame using the cursor
keys. You don't say what OS you are using, obviously that will affect
MPG is a copyrighted codec, so there are generally not any free MPG
encoders. Most of what you'll find will be demo versions of commercial
products, or shareware. If you install Toast CD burning software by
Roxio on a Mac, it also installs a pretty good VCD MPG encoder that is
available as an export option from any Quicktime aware application. It
does not offer a lot of settings, but it works pretty well.
You also don't say what codec the QT movies are compressed with. Be
aware that transcoding from one codec to another often introduces
secondary compression artifacts that can greatly reduce video quality.
Think of it as re-folding a highway map in thirds instead of how it
was originally folded. The next time you unfold it, it will have lots
more creases that 'degrade' the image quality. It's possible to
transcode video without a loss of quality, but it takes some work.
On Windows, the Adobe Media Encoder included with the latest version
of Premiere Pro does a great job, but it's hardly freeware. However, I
found a product at:
that seems to do what you want, but it works only from Media Player on
windows. Depending on how your video is compressed, you may be able to
open in in Media Player to convert it. As a last resort, you can
always export it out of QT Player (Pro version) as an uncompressed AVI
(huge file) and then use Media Player to convert it.
One nice thing about Adobe Premiere on Windows, is that it will
convert almost any file format to any other.
Keep looking around - you'll find a way to do what you want.
You might want to check out ProCoder Express;
It's not free but at $60 it appears to be a good deal. Going to score a
copy next pay period.
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