Converting 3GP to avi. Which codecs to choose? at

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Old September 21st, 2008, 05:40 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 639
Converting 3GP to avi. Which codecs to choose?

I have a question regarding codecs.

I'm currently working on a project which involves several different PAL formats: HDV 1080-50i, DV and some 3GP files shot with one of those micro cameras.

I'm editing in Sony Vegas 8 Pro. I've set the project setting to HDV 1808-50i PAL and all is working out well except for the 3GP files which seem to be giving Vegas problems. When I start editing the 3GP files on the timeline Vegas noticeably becomes unstable - freezing up and occasionally crashing (which barely ever happens when not using the 3GP files).

My knowledge about these things isn't very high so I'm not sure if this is the proper solution, but what I've set out to do is to convert the 3GP files to .avi files. I've downloaded software called Pazera Free 3GP to AVI converter v1.2. It looks like a rather comprehensive converter tool, it has all the options and settings I could ever think of. Even some I'm not certain what to do with.

For example, it lets me select which video codec to use. The options are:

XviD 1.1.3 Final
DivX 3 Low-Motion
H.264/MPG-4 AVC
MPG4-FFmpeg/ffdshow ISO MPEG-4
MP42 - S-mpeg 4 version 2
DMV version 1 (WMP 7)
DVM version 2 (WMP 8)
Motion JPEG
HuffYUV (lossless)
copy original video stream

I'm not sure which to select. Can someone help me? I'm interested in the very best quality possible. The product will be exported from vegas as mpg 2 for authoring a DVD.

Oh and there's a selection of audio codecs as well, can someone help me out choosing one of these as well?:

MP3 Mpeg-1 Layer 3 (lame 3.97)
MP2 Mpeg-1 Layer 2
AC3 Dolby AC3
AAC Advanced Audio Codec
WMA v1 - Windows Media Audio 1
WMA v2 - Windows Media Audio 2
PCM 16-bit
copy original audio stream

By the way here's a link to that converter (not advertising this software, I have not even tried it yet, so can't say how well it works): Pazera Free 3GP to AVI Converter - Free software downloads and reviews - CNET

Thanks! :-)
Adi Head is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2008, 08:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,139
Almost all the video codecs listed above are distribution codecs. For a digital intermediate file (that's what you're looking for, an intermediate for editing) you would consider HuffYUV if you were restricted to that list. Possibly Motion JPEG (MJPEG), depending on the available compression controls.

Personally, I'd skip the Pazera - it doesn't seem to be oriented towards codecs you'd want - and use the Cineform codec that comes native in Vegas 6 and later as an intermediate. If you can't get 3GP going on the timeline at all, then use the HuffYUV out of Pazera.

However, you may not need an intermediate at all. Vegas is pretty awesome at playing multiple video types on one timeline. If you do need to convert the 3GP files, you should go for a minimum of AVI-DV aka. DV25, same format as your other DV footage. Or you can use Cineform at HDV or DV resolutions.

PCM for audio. This is uncompressed, there is no need at all to compress the audio. Again, Pazera seems oriented towards distribution codecs for audio as well.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:33 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,414
Not listed but another choice and a good one .... Cineform
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