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Thread: Question: Video Conversion for Dummies...

  1. #1

    Default Question: Video Conversion for Dummies...

    Is there a program, or a set of concise guidelines, that helps to determine the optimal way to convert video from a given format (and associated parameters, bit rate, frequency, etc.), to a new format? For example, if I have videos captured on a Palm Treo 650 in .3gpp (MPEG-4 Part 2 or H.263) format (288x352 resolution, 8.31 fps - average fps I guess (?), it's apparently variable, see "Example" below..). For example, if I wanted to convert the video to .avi format (see the input parameters listed under "Example" below), what parameters would I use (for example, note that the input file seems to have variable frame rate, but that's not an option in SUPER! from what I have experienced...)?

    I'm a DV novice, so I generally use Windows Movie Maker for editing, and SUPER! for video conversion. I typically use a Canon Elura 100, and store the video in it's original full quality .AVI format as imported, but it's the unusual, low-quality video one gets from digital cameras, phones, web video, etc. that leaves me puzzled.

    I'm really looking for a software solution, or a concise table, or a webpage where you can enter input format, and get suggestions for output format and parameters, etc. I'm not looking for more reading material or website FAQs, I've got plenty of that!

    Thanks in advance!

    - dasinmd

    Example (full parameters of aforementioned video as determined by SUPER!):

    Video #0
    Codec : H.263
    Codec/Info : H.263 (3GPP)
    PlayTime : 40s 558ms
    Bit rate : 214 Kbps
    Width : 352 pixels
    Height : 288 pixels
    Aspect ratio : 1.222
    Frame rate : 7.964 fps
    Minimum frame rate : 2.732 fps
    Maximum frame rate : 12.500 fps
    StreamSize : 1.03 MiB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    Do a google for a free transcode utility called mediacoder. I recall I found it recommended on the Kim Kommando website.

    One example - I had a 550 meg .avi file from back in my old file sharing Kaaza days. Old movie very highly compressed but all that would play was audio with just a blank screen for video and none of the transcoders I knew of would fix it but mediacoder transcoded it from its' 550meg avi to a 3.8Gig mpeg2 in one easy step and it opened perfectly in both editing software and dvd creation software and - Shaaazam! - I had a movie with my added chapter menus.

    BTW - this was a harmless childrens movie that today is not considered politically correct and so will probably never be re-released by the big Fortune 500 company that owns it.

    Anyhow, try mediacoder - free - works with a bunch of file types and apparently safe.

  3. #3


    Hello Imjay (or is it Jay?),

    I tried out Mediacoder, and it's a very slick converter, but it does not seem to recommend settings, based on the file that you feed it.


    - dasinmd

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    One problem with mediacoder is there is no instruction set or manual you can access but there is a forum for posting questions and going there helped me.

    I recall that I took the file I wanted to transcode and opened in the mediacoder work space. Immediately lower left hand box showed me things like avi was the "container" and then went on to list a bunch of file info like it was a DV50 and frame rate and codec and etc, etc.

    When I couldn't figure out next step I posted question at their forum and was told to click on extensions and I recall I selected mpeg maker or mpeg something.

    When I told it to "go" it exploded the original compressed file out to much larger MPEG2 which is what I used to create my dvd and chapter menu.

    It takes some experimentation and I would prefer a downloadable instruction set and I'm sure others can recommend other transcoders - I just stumbled onto media coder and it did what I needed to do.
    Last edited by imjay; 01-11-2008 at 08:38 PM.

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