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Old March 9th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #16
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"Toast will make a VIDEO_TS folder and burn a DVD but not save MPEG2 files to the hard drive. It will also burn a disc image as well."
Toast uses a scratch space as it converts your media to set up the VIDEO_TS folder. I don't have access to my Mac, but I could have sworn that the temporary files that it saved were MPEG2. By default the folder is the user's home folder/documents/Roxio Converted Items.... or something like that. At least when I was saving some MPEG 1 files to a Video DVD, I thought it did this... I will check tonight... but at any rate, BitVice might be the better way to go.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #17
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Mark,

You're correct about the converted items folder but that seems to be only for when you use Toast to capture footage from a camera. I've done that in the past. I just did a quick test and made a 30 sec dvd but the only thing it saved in that folder was an aif file for the audio. The video was converted and saved directly to the VIDEO_TS folder.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 09:09 AM   #18
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Yeah Dave, when I got home I tested it out too... Damn, I thought it said MPEG2! Sorry for the misinformation everyone. :-)
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Old March 10th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #19
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Let's start from the end result, Aron. You need an MPEG-2 Program Stream (PS), a file with audio and video multiplexed together. Look and listen to this video and you'll see/hear what I mean.
http://www.bobhudson.com/BitViceHelper.html
There is a download link to the latest version on the same page.

This free app can make a DVD disk image to burn with Toast, but that is not what you want for a video server system, you just need it to create an ordinary muxed MPEG-2 PS. It will also encode the sound to MPEG Layer II audio for you before muxing it with the video. This is a whole lot and it is free.

Now you need the third piece in the puzzle, i.e., the MPEG-2 encoded video (.m2v) file. This is where you need the most bang for the buck. Many have already suggested BitVice in this thread and so do I (shameless plug).

Now let's start from the other end. Assuming you are on a tight budget and that you already have an edited QT movie of some sort, with uncompressed audio in it. Here is what I suggest you to try, for free, before you spend any more money.

Dowload a BitVice demo https://www.innobits.se/download.php.
Drop the QT movie onto BitVice. When it asks if you want the audio extracted, say yes. When BitVice is finished encoding the video you will have one .aif file and one .m2v file as well.

Start BitVice_Helper and give it both files. And... well you already saw the movie above didn't you;-)

In the unlikely event that your MPEG-2 video server or playout system needs a Transport Stream (TS) instead of a PS, go here for a TS mux instead of BitVice_Helper.
http://www.alfanet.it/squared5/mpegstreamclip.html
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Old March 10th, 2005, 06:32 PM   #20
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Thanks Roger. So what codec is used in the normal Quicktime output then? I would assume if people had to use a third party encoder, in a separate step they'd have to do somethin g stupid like uncompress output first, making the resulting file stupidly huge.

I understand I have no other way of doing it, but I am totally shocked at the workflow involved here. My $500 version of Vegas will encode straight from the timeline, but I need a $1000 version of FCP to do similar, or FCE + another tool.

I guess this means I'll stick with Vegas at hom for a while to come ;)

Thanks again for the help.
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Old March 11th, 2005, 07:50 AM   #21
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Aron, The QT codec used is the same as you already used to store your movie in. Wichever codec you use, it will be able to decompress (as suggested by the "dec" part of "codec") the pictures into RAM, very much like it does when you play the movie onto a computer computer screen. It does not create a new uncompressed file on disk for that, it is all expanded in RAM.

My advice was limited to solving your problem as I understood it, which was how to convert a QT movie into a high quality muxed MPEG-2 stream that wouldn't be limited to the DVD specification or even require a DVD to watch. *

As for the best video editing tool for your budget, you'd rather follow others' suggestions. There are at least FCP, FCE, iMove and Don't forget QT Player Pro from apple, plus all the non-Apple editors to choose from. If you don't mind getting your hands a bit dirty, you could probably do most of what you need with QT Player Pro, which you may want to have anyway ($20+20 I think, with the MPEG-2 playout component). I wonder, is there is any good tutorial on how to make use of all its more or less hidden capabilities?
BitVice Lite will cost you $149.

*
DVD specialists may often wonder why you would ever want to use MPEG-2 for anything else but DVD. However, DVD is only one special, and rather constricted, application of the MPEG-2 specifications. Many seem to forget, unless they are ignorant about it, that MPEG-2 was designed for digital television. Then DVD adapted specific parts of it.
However, the recently increasing popularity of the DVD format have brought recognition of MPEG-2, as a new buzz-word, to a much broader public, far beyond the traditional TV professionals. In the television industry Mpeg-2 file servers have been used professionally for 9 years now. Digital TV broacasts via cable, satellite and terrestrial use MPEG-2.
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Old March 11th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #22
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$299 for FCE and $149 for BitVice is still less than $500 for Vegas.

If you have a Mac with a SuperDrive in it you would get iMovie and iDVD for FREE and that is even cheaper still. (though iMovie isn't really in the same class)
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Old March 11th, 2005, 02:13 PM   #23
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Actually Rhett, any new Mac regardless of which optical drive, includes the entire iLife suite.

I know you understand this, but many PC users still think Macs are more expensive than PCs.
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Old March 11th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #24
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I just mentioned it because Aaron said it would be more expensive to do what he wants on his new computer ($500 Vegas .vs $1000 FCP) when in reality he could do it with the mentioned tools (BitVice and FCE) for $50 less AND get LiveType and SoundTrack included, which, up until recently would have cost an extra $500! That's a good value!

Granted the workflow may not be ideal in it's current configuration but I have confidence it will improve. Besides, it's not even a Mac .vs PC thing because if someone purchases a new Windoze PC they STILL have to buy a new license for the software, so you're out another $500 either way you look at it. (unless of course you uninstall the original copy)

Want a real bargain? Check out the Production Suite for $1299.00 It's got everything you need.
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Old March 11th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #25
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No way was it meant to be a Mac vs PC - I don't think I implied it at all either ;). Just been shocked by all this. I appreciate all the advice and I think I will have a good solution with FCE and QT Pro (MPG4) for now.


Cheers
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Old March 11th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #26
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I can appreciate where you're coming from Aaron, it can be frustrating to have a workflow and then upon changing platforms you have to redesign/rethink everything. I didn't take your comments as any kind of platform issue, I was just trying to make it a little clearer to others who may be reading that there could be another option. I do wish there was a singular program that would handle it a little better, well I guess there is, but it's $1000 (FCP) and even at that I still look to other programs for work on occasion.
It's good that you're asking questions and being open to options, hang in there and it will all start making sense soon enough. I hope you find a good solution, (I'd seriously consider BitVice for your MPEG-2 and QTPro is great for MPEG-4) but then again there's always other ways to skin a cat.

Best of luck!
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