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Thread: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

  1. #1
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    Cool HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    Good evening and welcome!

    As you might know, HANDBRAKE is a a GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multitrhreaded video trancoder and certainly a great application for transcoding videos on OpenSuse as well.

    So far I've created great results with HandBrake - but still I'm wondering if this is the "best bet". As for the transcoding tasks under *nix I like to use a GUI and be able to have a comfortable overview over all the settings to manage. Furthermore I like projects that are under constant development and are updated on a regular basis.

    Now here are my questions: Which video transcoder do YOU use? Which ones do you strongly recommend? Also, please don't forget to state WHY you came up with your choice.

    Let's hit the discussion!
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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    there"s no such thing as "best" as per doom9.org forum rules FOR VERY GOOD REASONS

    what may be "best" for you may not be "best" for another or for a specific task. HB is certainly on par with other encoders (as it uses libavcodec from FFmpeg) and does its job well, but I've also seen it fail on more than one occasions (also, do they still refuse to offer quality-based Vorbis encoding?... /me shakes head in disbelief)

    As for which encoder I use, you already know the answer

    There are only a handful encoders for *nix
    - ffmpeg
    - mencoder
    - handbrake
    - transcode
    - x264 (the only one which doesn't use libavcodec)

    The chance that a new encoder will come out which *does not use* libavcodec from FFmpeg is virtually impossible

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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    Thanks for your reply microchip, I knew I'd receive a post from you. The following is the reply of the packman team regarding my request to include Handbrake in their repository:

    ...
    I've been working on HandBrake 0.9.3 for two days now, and finally managed to package it locally.
    I'm now submitting it to our Build Service instance and expecting a lot of warnings from rpmlint, which I'll fix before pushing it to the Packman repository.
    So stay tuned, the packages should be available by Monday.

    The reason we didn't package HandBrake before now is that it is a _major_ pain in the bottom to package. It uses a bizarre build system with lots of in-tree libraries. It already took me 3 or 4 hours of work so far.

    Why should we do weekly snapshot builds ?
    And why should they do weekly snapshot builds of HandBrake? Certainly because users of their repository prefer to be able to always use the "bleeding edge" of HandBrake.
    As this appears to be a rather stressy work I've offered to assist (which I would love to do by the way).
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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    Yes, HB is a pain in the @ss to compile and certainly to package. Also, and I don't know if this is true anymore since I haven't touched HB in quite some time, but in the past HB used to use a built-in libx264 which means that it restricted you in using the provided libx264 version only as there was no external linking possible. So if you are like me who always recompiles x264 from git whenever a change is made to it or something new is added, you're stuck in using HB with the built-in version until they update it to latest x264 from git - this is certainly *not* an option for me as I aways use latest x264 with mencoder. I don't know if this has changed, as I said, and it may very well be possible now to link HB to external libx264 which can only be a good thing.

    As for encoding. A GUI is *not* a requirement for encoding. It's only a requirement for clueless noobs who don't know what they are doing or for people who have been baby fed with GUI interfaces all their lives, like the Windows noobs for example

    if you can't encode from command line, understand all the options and what they do/how they work and know how to handle different types of content, then you're not an encoding guru

    You must see the light before you can talk about "The Art Of Encoding"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMask
    Thanks for your reply microchip, I knew I'd receive a post from you. The
    following is the reply of the packman team regarding my request to
    include Handbrake in their repository:

    >
    > ...
    > I've been working on HandBrake 0.9.3 for two days now, and finally
    > managed to package it locally.
    > I'm now submitting it to our Build Service instance and expecting a
    > lot of warnings from rpmlint, which I'll fix before pushing it to the
    > Packman repository.
    > SO STAY TUNED, THE PACKAGES SHOULD BE AVAILABLE BY MONDAY.
    > The reason we didn't package HandBrake before now is that it is a
    > _major_ pain in the bottom to package. It uses a bizarre build system
    > with lots of in-tree libraries. It already took me 3 or 4 hours of
    > work so far.
    >
    > Why should we do weekly snapshot builds ?


    And why should they do weekly snapshot builds of HandBrake? Certainly
    because users of their repository prefer to be able to always use the
    "bleeding edge" of HandBrake.
    As this appears to be a rather stressy work I've offered to assist
    (which I would love to do by the way).
    Hi
    Did you not point at the src rpm, would have possibly saved two days
    work for the packager.

    One of the major reasons I like handbrake is because of the 'Bizarre'
    feature I can install it as a standalone application without the need
    to install any external codecs.

    I use packman on this system though for smplayer (watching hdtv) and
    the mp4's from handbrake

    Hopefully in the near future (I haven't checked the forum lately) the
    QT interface will be accepted into the build tree.

    --
    Cheers Malcolm (Linux Counter #276890)
    openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 6 (i586) Kernel 2.6.31-rc7-4-desktop
    up 1:39, 2 users, load average: 0.18, 0.15, 0.10
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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    TheMask, what packager were you conversing with?

    IMHO it would be good for malcomlewis' experience in this to be passed on to the Packman packagers, as often 2 heads are better than one, and I suspect such collaboration, even if there are different approaches, would have a reasonable probability of being well received.

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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    Did you not point at the src rpm, would have possibly saved two days
    work for the packager.

    One of the major reasons I like handbrake is because of the 'Bizarre'
    feature I can install it as a standalone application without the need
    to install any external codecs.

    I use packman on this system though for smplayer (watching hdtv) and
    the mp4's from handbrake

    Hopefully in the near future (I haven't checked the forum lately) the
    QT interface will be accepted into the build tree.

    --
    Cheers Malcolm (Linux Counter #276890)
    openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 6 (i586) Kernel 2.6.31-rc7-4-desktop
    up 1:39, 2 users, load average: 0.18, 0.15, 0.10
    ASUS eeePC 1000HE ATOM N280 1.66GHz | GPU Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME
    Yes, and that "Bizzare" feature is exactly the one that does not allow you to link to external libs which you can upgrade to offer new functionality and speed improvements, as is the case with x264. Instead you're forced in waiting whenever the HB devs update x264 internally. For me this is unacceptable. MEncoder does a much better job here. I only need to compile x264 (with shared libs enabled) and MEncoder will directly see and use the new option(s) added to libx264. It parses those directly from it so there's no need to recompile the whole MPlayer package just to use these new things. Of course, if API changes in x264, I must recompile but luckily this does not happen that often. And I didn't even mention patches which x264 has and are needed for Bluray compliancy. It's impossible to patch the built-in x264 in HB with those, not unless you know what you're doing.

    PS: HB uses external libs, it's just that they are built-in into HB. HB itself does not re-implement H.264 encoding or MPEG4 Part 2, or MPEG2 or whatever other encoding it supports. It uses libavcodec with is *not* in-house developed but is part of FFmpeg

    Of course, HB has in-house developed stuff - the decomb/detelecine filter springs to mind right now which is actually very good. Some filters are also ported from MPlayer, the pp7 deblocker and the yadif deinterlacer for example.

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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    I should also mention that if they use plain mainline then patching its x264 with NAL HRD is easy. If they don't use mainline x264 and modify it to fit with their encoder then this will become extremely difficult to patch x264 with a mainline patch. But still, you have to compile afterwards *the whole encoder* just because you patched a lib it uses, unlike mencoder/ffmpeg where you only need to compile your x264 and both ffmpeg and mencoder will happily pick it up with the new options *without* the need to recompile them too

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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by microchip8
    I should also mention that if they use plain mainline then patching its
    x264 with NAL HRD is easy. If they don't use mainline x264 and modify it
    to fit with their encoder then this will become extremely difficult to
    patch x264 with a mainline patch. But still, you have to compile
    afterwards *the whole encoder* just because you patched a lib it uses,
    unlike mencoder/ffmpeg where you only need to compile your x264 and both
    ffmpeg and mencoder will happily pick it up with the new options
    *without* the need to recompile them too
    Hi
    Totally agree with you on your posts In my particular application
    this is ideal for me as I don't wish to have the external libraries on
    the system, so the appeal of standalone is perfect. I can also live
    with not having the latest and greatest.
    My main machine is running SLED11, hence this reason. I also use
    fluendo codecs for all the multimedia requirements as well, so keeps
    the install base pretty clean.

    If there are specific applications for this machine, which runs
    openSUSE I use packman etc

    --
    Cheers Malcolm (Linux Counter #276890)
    openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 6 (i586) Kernel 2.6.31-rc7-4-desktop
    up 3:09, 2 users, load average: 0.17, 0.10, 0.10
    ASUS eeePC 1000HE ATOM N280 1.66GHz | GPU Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME


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    Default Re: HANDBRAKE - the best video transcoder for Linux?

    Exactly, for those who don't need such things like me, eg patching, latest x264 version, etc, HB will do just fine. But for those who may need it, it may not be enough, which just proves my previous point I made. There's no such thing as "best". Best is relative to the needs of the user

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