flummery: (hat 1)
I'm writing this down mostly so I don't forget it, but figured it might be helpful for other people as well. CAVEAT: I've been using this method for a whopping 2 hours now. I cannot do any sort of troubleshooting for it, and I have no idea if it's the easiest/best method out there. It's just the first one I tried that worked pretty well and pretty quickly, so I said "good enough!" and am sticking with it, at least for now.

I did try VLC first, which worked, but took a really long time, and stripped the audio. Which would be a bonus if I was only looking for a viddable mp4, but I wanted a watchable version first. Still, if you just want to do some conversions with familiar software, VLC will totally work.

I got impatient, and went hunting, and stumbled over a video on Youtube where someone went through all the steps they used, including links to where they found their software. He didn't have audio, so wrote the steps up in a text doc as he went along, which worked for me, but YMMV. (I've embedded the video below.)

This process needs three pieces of software (all links go to videohelp.com):

Download, extract if needed, and install all three. (As I write this, My MP4Box GUI comes zipped; the other two don't. This is different from the embedded video, so clearly things shift around from time to time.)

Once you've got them all installed, here are the steps:
  • Open MKVcleaver

    • At the top right, there's a button that says "Locate MKVToolNix". Click that, and browse to your installed MKVToolNix folder (don't drill down to a specific component; you want the entire folder here).

      • That's all you need to do with MKVToolNix - it just runs in the background of MKVcleaver. You won't need to set this up again unless you move the folder.

    • At the top left, there's a button that says "Open MKV files to process". Click that, and browse to the first MKV file you want to convert.

      • If you want to batch convert a bunch of files, keep adding files till you have everything you want.

    • The files you include will show up in the left-hand pane. The right-hand pane will give you options on what you want to extract. I wanted video and audio, so I chose Video Track 1 and Audio Track 1.

      • If you've selected a batch of files to work with, whatever you pick in the right-hand pane will apply to everything. The program will skip any file that doesn't include everything you've asked it to extract.

    • Set your output directory below the left-hand pane. If you leave this blank, it will automatically save your files to the same directory/ies they came from.

    • Click "Extract Tracks !"

    • Wait for it to finish (but it doesn't take that long).

This gives you demuxed (split) audio (ac3) and video (h.264) files. You need to mux (combine) them to get a working mp4. Even if you only extracted the video, you'll need to run it through a muxer to use the file.

  • Open My MP4Box GUI. It should open on the "Mux" tab, which is the one you want.

    • Click "Add" to add a track. You can only add one track at a time.

    • To mux files individually:

      • Add whatever tracks were extracted from the original MKV (for me, that meant one video and one audio file per original MKV)

      • Click the "Mux" button at the bottom.

      • Wait for the process to finish, then click "Clear" to clear the list of files, and "Add" to add your next file(s).

    • To mux multiple files at once:

      • Add whatever tracks were extracted from the first original MKV (for me, that meant one video and one audio file per original MKV)

      • Click the "Add to Queue" button at the bottom.

      • A second box will pop open, showing the export path for the muxed file you want.

      • In the main box, your file name(s) will vanish, letting you move straight to adding the file(s) for the next one you want.

      • When you have everything you want queued up, click "Start" in the Queue popup box.

      • The file(s) will automatically export to the same directory/ies the demuxed file(s) came from.

You should now have working mp4 files that match the original mkv quality. \o/

The batching works well in both programs, and speeds things up considerably.

12-minute Youtube tutorial )
flummery: Image of the Earth exploding (Default)
It is 3:21 pm on July the 10th. The deadline for Vividcon premieres is tomorrow. We have reached the point in the vidding where the conversation goes like this:

Thing 1: Think we could use that footage there?
Thing 2: No, that's a commercial.
Thing 1: But it's a lovely ruined city.
Thing 2: It's a commercial for 10.5.
Thing 1: Fine, be like that.

It's like that, only worse.
flummery: (hat 2)
So, have I mentioned recently that the Dead Zone Recapper SUCKS? And should be sent back for remedial recapping training? Oh, I have? Well, it just can't damn well be said enough. This morning, Thing 1 sent me an email that basically said "Well, this week's DZ recap is up, and it basically sucks, but there's a good line toward the end of it." So, I went and read the recap. Or, I tried. But, there's only so many times you can read "And then Johnny did this. And then Johnny said that," before your brain glazes over. If there's a good line in there, I couldn't find it. My bitterness over this crappy treatment of a very good show just grows and grows.

In other news, I hate Showtime. This last year, in their efforts to replace what had been their keystone show for a very long time (Stargate SG1) Showtime came out with Odyssey 5. Odyssey 5 is all the things you can't do in a show destined for syndication -- cursing, violence, nudity, and sex all over. And it's a surprisingly great show, that approximately, 2.3 people besides myself and Thing 1 were watching. So they cancelled it, of course.

But. They've still got six, count them, six unaired episodes. Complete, in the can, ready to be shown. And in fact, they have been shown, in Europe. Just not here. I knew there were some remaining episodes out there, but it only recently came to my attention that even though there are no plans to show them here, ever, they are in fact being shown elsewhere. And then I made the mistake, the terrible mistake, of reading some of the synopsis for said missing episodes on epguides.com. And now I'm ripping my hair out. For six months now, I've been harassing Thing 1 that we need to do an O5 vid. "Let's vid it!" I shout. "We can find those 2.3 other fans to watch it! Who cares if the rest of the world didn't notice it existed?" And. There are six episodes out there, and I need them. Surely there must be some altruistic European fan with perfect SP copies in NTSC who would like to send us their tapes, so we aren't left forever dangling over the cliff that was that fourteenth episode, wondering what the hell happened next, and wondering if the absolute perfect footage was in those final few eps...

Not to mention if I go ahead with this vid, some of the only people who would care about watching it will probably be those European fans who saw the entire season, and wonder what the hell I was thinking in my interpretation of the show, since they got to see how the damn season ended, and I have no idea what happens next....

Bitter. Very, very bitter.

September 2015

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