TechSpot

MPEGS-How LOOOOOW Can You Go?

By JHausma2002
Oct 27, 2002
  1. Ok, hey everyone.

    Basically my friends and I have a movie company and we make short films. We would ideally like to post some of these movies on the internet but they are too large for anything free hosting (131 mb)

    These movies are in their mpeg form. (I have no idea what version of mpeg) My question is, can I convert them or compress them or SOMETHING to make it really small? I have no clue what to do. I'm [retty stupid so any help in step by step form would be great.


    Thanks a lot

    Josh
     
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    You want to compress them using divx...

    www.divx.com

    If done properly this will result in a much smaller file...

    So, you starting your own XXX company....? ;) only joking...
     
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    Regardless of what free webhost you use or compression you'll use, you will not have enough space for multiple movies.. DivX is hands-down the best codec for quality vs. size movies but you'll still find yourself in quite a pickle...

    You'll be hard pressed to find a free webhost that offers 50mb or more webspace, so we'll use 50mb as an example.

    A decent quality video that only lasts for a few minutes will be at least 20mb. So if your movies are anything from 15 minutes or up, you will never be able to post a decent quality video on free webhosting.

    Just a thought.. Your only solution might be to make a number of free accounts with 50mb or more space.. It's a dirty practice, but at least you'll be able to host the majority of your movies with decent quality. You might even want to look into some free p0rn hosts, because sometimes they have 100mb or more space... Although it won't help your reputuation any. ;)
     
  4. JHausma2002

    JHausma2002 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    lol

    lol, I should have seen these porn references coming. go here: http://friggintigger.freeservers.com See, no porn! lol

    Anyways, I have DivX, but I'm not sure how to do my own compression, could u walk me through that.

    And I'm aware that the quality might be crappy, but I'd be willing to sacrifice it to get them on the net.

    Thanks in advance,

    Josh
     
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    To convert a movie to DivX, I use no other than VirtualDub. It's a beautiful, freeware program that supports many many features for encoding movies, including some simple editing options.

    You can download and find more information at http://virtualdub.org/download

    You will need a DivX compatible audio codec as well (MP3, WMA, OGG).. I recommend downloading the nimo codec pack to get everything you need in one package.

    Some tips:

    Make sure the original copy of the movie is the highest quality possible, because when you convert it to DivX, it will only be as good as the original copy.

    I suggest using MP3 for audio, and not WMA or OGG. WMA has serious synching problems and I cannot get OGG to work properly (It's also a "weird" audio format).

    VirtualDub comes with the ability to crop, resample, filter etc... It also has the ability to splice/delete frames as needed, so it works well as a simple movie editor as well. But the encoding is handled seperately by DivX, not VirtualDub. All of your encoding settings (such as compression or data rate) will be controlled by DivX.

    DivX single-pass works the easiest.. Second pass works the best but requires you encode the movie twice. So first you encode the movie using "1st pass" and when that finishes, it will make a log file that records all of the compression information DivX needs to make a well compressed movie. Then, save the movie as "2nd pass" and DivX will access the log, then compress the movie using that information. This confused me for a long time, so that's why I'm telling you this. ;)

    More on two pass encoding (recommended)
    http://www.divx.com/support/guides/guide.php?gid=6

    Anything else you need, you can probably read about here:
    http://divxdigest.com/
    http://www.divx.com/support/divx/guide.php
     
  6. JHausma2002

    JHausma2002 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Rick

    Thanks for taking the time to help me like that. However, I open virtual dub, and when I try to open my mpeg file I get this error message: MPEG Import Filter: pack synchronization error. THis whole process of things is really frustrating me, I Vidomi to make a divx file from my mpeg, and the video turned out completely distorted and still weighed in at 90 mb for a 7 min video! Oh the head pain.
     
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    There's plenty more headaches where that came from! :)

    The whole process of editing movies is a brain melting one. Lots of problems crop up, unfortunately.

    The reason you can't open it is that your video is in MPEG-2 format (probably). VirtualDub can only handle MPEG-1 and 4 videos, not 2. MPEG-2 is usually used for VCDs, and you'll have to use another program to handle this.

    If whatever you are using to save these videos in the first place has the option, try to record using MPEG-1 then you can use VirtualDub to do most of the dirty work.

    Flask MPEG is supposed to be pretty good with MPEGs, although I've had a load of problems with it. You might want to try that instead if there's no way around your MPEG-2 videos.
     
  8. JHausma2002

    JHausma2002 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    yep

    Rick my video editing software does indeed have mpeg 1, I will try evertyhing you mentioned tomorrow. Thanks again for your help. In your opinion, will I be able to get a 130 mb mpeg 2 under that 50 mb line?
     
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    Will you be able to get it under 50mb? Most definitely. It would be very possible to go even lower, although quality will suffer linearly. If your MPEG movie is already low quality (highly compressed MPEG), then DivX won't make as much difference. If it is something like DVD quality, then DivX can vastly reduce the size and maintain reasonable quality.

    DVDs for example are encoded in MPEG-2.. A 7GB DVD can be turned into a great looking 1.3GB DivX. A very faithful reproduction of the DVD might be something about 4GB in DivX which is about the size.

    So yes, I think you can reach 50mb without too much trouble.
     
  10. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,919   +9

    Are you going to set up a streaming server or should visitors just download them? For streaming, you could reduce the resolution to, say, 240 x 180 (you didn't mention the source resolution), and frame rate 15 fps or so. Audio could also be mono, maybe 22 or 32 kHz. If you can convert the movies through filter processing, smoothen those MPEGs before you convert them to DivX, you'll save some space. Furthermore, XviD is better than DivX ;)
     
  11. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    I have had some bad luck getting good quality out of Xvid, but yes, I heard it is better than DivX.
     
     
  12. JHausma2002

    JHausma2002 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    k

    K, I'm gonna stick with DivX for right now. Also, I'm not sure how to set up a streaming server, whats the difference?


    p.s. I'm currently converting my mpeg 2 to mpeg 1, I'll keep ya updated
     
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    streaming server allows the file to be played on people's machines as its being downloaded as opposed to have the file to be pre-downloaded beforehand and then played...
     
  14. JHausma2002

    JHausma2002 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    prob

    Ok a new problem has popped up. I followed the instructions for using Virtual Dub, and when I get to the window that has both of my passes waiting and click start, I get an error and it says invalid log file. :( Any ideas?
     
  15. JHausma2002

    JHausma2002 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    ideas

    Anyone have ideas? Me is one frustrated film maker. :(
     
  16. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,919   +9

    Only one idea right now - sounds like you're trying to convert to two-pass DivX without the first pass. Check DivX codec settings.
     
  17. RustyZip

    RustyZip TechSpot Paladin Posts: 418

    Have a butchers at:-

    www.vcdhelp.com

    Its got lots of guides and tutorials for converting many formats to other formats. It also goes into some detail about which software you should use. Although it does tend to lean towards converting formats to VCD, SVCD etc, you might find it useful...
     
  18. Elcarion

    Elcarion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 188

    I've found MPEG Mediator easy to use for converting MPEG-2 to Divx. The OpenDML AVI Output option will convert to Divx format. You can download it here: http://www.mpeg-mediator.com/
     
  19. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    MPEG Mediator seems like an excellent program so far.. It is a little like DVD2AVI (also recommended), but I'm having better luck with it not crashing on things that normally crash. ;)

    I have never heard of MPEG Mediator before, thanks for the link Eclarion.

    I may have mislead you in a previous post of mine, JHausma. First, try "2nd-pass, First pass"... I think you may have tried just plain old first pass, which won't work. Then you use the second pass to finalize the movie.
     
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