First off – sorry to all my loyal readers (I know, but at least I realize I’m delusional) that I’ve been quiet for the past week or so. I was off in Mexico with no connections whatsoever to the outside world. It was actually kind of […]

First off – sorry to all my loyal readers (I know, but at least I realize I’m delusional) that I’ve been quiet for the past week or so. I was off in Mexico with no connections whatsoever to the outside world. It was actually kind of nice… (Though I did bring my new big cat with me to play a little bit.)

So have you played with Quicktime 7 Pro or any of the cool H.264 features yet? Color me impressed! I’ve dabbled with the QT 7 Pro features a bit, but the real fun came when I pulled out HandBrake (0.7 beta 3). If you’re not familiar with HandBrake, it’s a DVD ripping app for OS X. Works very well, but takes a while. I usually use it to rip a movie or two before a plane trip. No DVDs to cart along means one less hassle and bulk in my bag.

So back to the point at hand. I ripped a movie that was 90 minutes long. I set it for the best audio and video, using the H.264 compression – obviously. While it took about 10 hours to run the rip (sheesh!) it was well worth it. So 10 hours later I had a nice 90 minute mp4 file of my DVD that I could watch in tiny mode, or full screen and the quality was the same either way! Awesome.

So any guesses to how large the file was? Anyone? Anyone? (Bueller. Bueller…) We’re talking about a full 90 minute DVD quality movie here. Drum roll please…. 700mb. That’s it! Crazy. I’m dumbfounded and so excited about this.

Ah, the possibilities. So I’ve got my 700mb movie file in mp4 format now. Guess what. I can make a BACKUP copy of my DVD if I wanted. Toss your new file into iDVD and burn yourself a copy of the movie that the kids can watch and trash while keeping the original safe and sound. I realize there are products like FastDVDCopy and Popcorn out there that already do this in basically one step. But this is a cheap, do it yourself solution if you really want it. I’m all for that. Of course I can only condone making backup copies, and not for “other use”…

So what interesting things have you found while playing with the various H.264 options available now in Tiger?

I just stumbled upon this great piece over at Shape of Days. It does a side by side comparison of H.264 and Sorenson 3 compression schemes. He knows what he’s talking about – much more than the “it’s cool” that I provide. Definitely go check it out!

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  1. Tony Korologos Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    10 hours on what machine? If you want the best ripper for mac, look for “Mac The Ripper.”

  2. Nick Santilli Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    sorry, should have mentioned that. It was my 17″ powerbook. 1ghz G4 with 1gb of ram. Nothing else running on the machine either. just the rip. Man it was painfully slow…

    Does MacTheRipper support H.264? I guess it probably would now that it’s available.

  3. Tony Korologos Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    I wonder how fast my dual 2.0 g5 would do that same job… Don’t have tiger yet. Waiting for the first bug fix release :-)

  4. David Appleyard Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    I can’t wait for Apple to start posting all the new movie trailers (and better still – keynote speeches) in h.264

  5. Nick Santilli Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    David – have you seen the HD Gallery on Quicktime.com?

    there’s a few things there already, to keep you busy for a few minutes. :)

  6. David Appleyard Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    I have actually – They are very cool

    I am looking forward to them adding h.264 options to all the new trailers they put up on there though – need more high definition goodness!

  7. Not to be too confusing, but Mac The Ripper is indeed excellent, however it doesn’t transcode to mpeg4 like Handbrake does.

    The total time of 10 hours to transcode the movie sounds about right considering it was ripping and transcoding at the same time.

    I personally prefer to rip and transcode in separate steps, using MTR to rip and Handbrake or ffMpegX to transcode. I don’t like hearing my optical drive grinding away the whole time I’m transcoding.

  8. Chris Holland Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    wow. this HD stuff is really cool :D first thing i did upon installing Tiger was to buy the qt7 pro license.

  9. Some questions.

    What codec H.264 is Handbrake using? The open source one or the Quicktime one?

    If it’s the open source one doesn’t that lack some bells and whistles and multi-processor support?

  10. Stevew, handbrake uses libx264, the open source encoder. It may not have the bells and whistles but it can be used in a cross platform open source product more easily than the QT encoder.

    For those who are compraing handbrake to Mac The Ripper, DVD2Onex, and Popcorn, they serve a different purpose from handbrake. If you are trying to copy a DVD onto another DVD (for backup or what have you) Handbrake is not the right tool. Handbrake on the other hand can encode a movie using H.264 with a much higher video quality to size ratio. This is good if you want to rip to your hard drive or CD and are not in a rush.

    If you want a faster encode you can use constant quality. Decreasing the output resolution helps quite a bit as well. I prefer targeting size and 2 passes. For casual viewing on the road a 700MB rip is quite acceptable, though not DVD quality. Still much better than a comparable rip using popcorn though.

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