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Old June 21st, 2007, 06:55 PM   #1
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Software Utility to detect File Type / Properties

Is there an application that you know of that will read a movie file and report back all the important contents regarding that file, similar to the EXIF type data associated with JPEGís shot with digital cameraís? Often times I will download a sample video and be either very impressed or not impressed with the image quality and would *REALLY* like to know what the person used to encode the file, what bit rate they used, which specific video and audio codecís they chose, etc, etc, etc. Anybody know of such a utility? Is it possible to extract this information? I know right clicking on the file and looking at the advanced properties can reveal some characteristics, but itís not enough.

Iím having the toughest of time exporting clean WMV or .MOV video and I see it being done here all the time at reasonable file sizes.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 09:21 PM   #2
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try gspot .. it's good ... it has always had AVI support but now apparently is adding WMF and MOV support as of Feb 2007.. that 's new, which will be great when it's done. but it may help .. worth a shot, it's free and has always been good for avi's... let us know if it works for WMF and MOV.

what is giving you trouble encoding WMF's or MOV's cleanly?
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Old June 21st, 2007, 09:30 PM   #3
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try gspot .. it's good ... it has always had AVI support but now apparently is adding WMF and MOV support as of Feb 2007.. that 's new, which will be great when it's done. but it may help .. worth a shot, it's free and has always been good for avi's... let us know if it works for WMF and MOV.

what is giving you trouble encoding WMF's or MOV's cleanly?
Hey Dave,

Thanks for responding. I'll go try this out now. I use Sony Vegas 7 and love the program (now that I've gotten used to it). I shoot in HDV via Sony HDR-FX1 and I've tampered with all kinds of export templates and customizations and I just can't get the timeline to export to a .WMV 9, Quicktime .MOV file that looks that sharp. Obviously I don't expect it to look as good as the original but I've seen MANY films/video's posted here at DVInfo.net that typically come in around the range of 100 megs per 5 minutes of video that look really spectacular. Crystal clear with no real artifacting visible without *really* paying attention.

I've been wishing/hoping that somebody would create a post and say... Okay.. If you want to export a movie with audio and need it to be very high quality with relatively good files sizes do X. If you need it to be a small file size but maintain very good quality, do Y.

I try single pass, double pass, obviously mess with keyframes, datarate, etc, etc and never have found that magic spot... kinda frustrated.

At this point I figure if I can find out how others are encoding, I can at least start there..

Jon
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin View Post
Hey Dave,

Thanks for responding. I'll go try this out now. I use Sony Vegas 7 and love the program (now that I've gotten used to it). I shoot in HDV via Sony HDR-FX1 and I've tampered with all kinds of export templates and customizations and I just can't get the timeline to export to a .WMV 9, Quicktime .MOV file that looks that sharp. Obviously I don't expect it to look as good as the original but I've seen MANY films/video's posted here at DVInfo.net that typically come in around the range of 100 megs per 5 minutes of video that look really spectacular. Crystal clear with no real artifacting visible without *really* paying attention.

I've been wishing/hoping that somebody would create a post and say... Okay.. If you want to export a movie with audio and need it to be very high quality with relatively good files sizes do X. If you need it to be a small file size but maintain very good quality, do Y.

I try single pass, double pass, obviously mess with keyframes, datarate, etc, etc and never have found that magic spot... kinda frustrated.

At this point I figure if I can find out how others are encoding, I can at least start there..

Jon
I use Vegas (7) as well, and have to say that I encode outside vegas. Personally, I've never really been satisfied with the mainconcept encoder for mpeg, although it's built in to so many products. For my interlaced source, I've never found it to do what I want. I can't comment on vegas's encoding for mov or wmv - I don't know which encoder they use. I usually export my finished project from vegas as a single AVI, then encode that AVI using either canopus procoder (the old version 1.5 before they changed the encoding to their 2.0 version) or more lately sorensen squeeze (esp. for MOVs - it does a nice job). But, those cost $. Mircosoft used to have a free windows media encoder, but I don't know whether it could do batch (people used it for streaming). But, it might be worth looking into.

Bitrates depend on your application but there's also frame rate and video size. (720x480, 320x240, etc) - all come into play. Finally, the complexity of your source will imact encoding quality - if you have alot of noise (or even moving trees, etc.) in the background you will lose bits to that and take away from your encoding quality. If you have a lot of video noise, applying a temporal or other smoothing / noise reduction filter will help increase encoding quality as more bits can be allocated to the source you are interested in, and less to the noise. Also, if you have a lot of blacks, crushing those down a bit will allocate more bits to the stuff you want to see. Also depends on your monitor, e.g. is this for web / pc delivery (which I am assuming it is if you are going wmf or mov).

If your shots are relatively static, you won't see much difference between CBR and VBR. if you have some movement and other still, you may want to go to a VBR to reduce the file size, so less bits will be used on the static shots.

I wouldn't worry as much about keyframe frequency, etc. Quality will come from the quality / complexity of your source plus any filters or other things you can do to ease the requiremnts on the encoding without affecting your picture quality), the size of your output (e.g. 720x480, etc) (larger size need more bits), the framerate (15 vs 30 fps), and the highest bitrate you can afford to use and still have a manageable file size.

hope this helps...
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 11:45 AM   #5
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It frankly helps a lot. I'm going to mess around a bit more and see what I can figure out.

When you say you export the vegas timeline as an .avi, how exactly do you do that? Is it then an uncompressed .avi export? Does it export in realtime?
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:02 PM   #6
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Confirmed:

GSPOT version 2.70a (the latest version) detects both Windows Media and QuickTime files along with a bunch of others. See http://www.headbands.com/gspot/.

It will give you a lot of good information most of the time - from my experience, however, it's not 100% accurate; so do not rely solely on it.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:29 PM   #7
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Yep, that's the one I d/l'd and I agree, it's working MOST of the time as far as being accurate. I dig it though and it's a great place to start.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 09:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin View Post
It frankly helps a lot. I'm going to mess around a bit more and see what I can figure out.

When you say you export the vegas timeline as an .avi, how exactly do you do that? Is it then an uncompressed .avi export? Does it export in realtime?
do a file / render as and select the file type of AVI. it's not uncompressed, but rather I think uses the DV codec so it's the same as you'd import from a DV tape. it does not export in real time but just depends on how many effects, layers, etc your project has. but, it does not have to take time to encode, which'll is what I do after creating the AVI file (again, outside vegas).
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