A bit more about avisplit

Posted on Monday 15 June 2009

So I’ve been experimenting a bit more with the avisplit utility that I talked about in my last posting.

I’ve been trying to transfer over an old ( 15-20 years ) TV War Movie video that I had originally recorded on VHS tape. It’s called “Life Line to Victory” and while it isn’t a bad movie, it is impossible to find available from any online source any where. So I couldn’t buy it, or download it if I tried!

This meant that I had to copy it from my tape, onto my DVD recorder and then transfer it into avi format for archiving/future playing on my digital player and/or DVD player that plays AVI’s.

I prefer AVI formats because they are more compact and more portable/useable than any other format out there, yes I may lose “some” detail, but I am quite happy with the video and audio quality that avi has to offer and don’t plan to ever have an 80″ screen ( or even a 46″ for that matter ) where there might appear some degradation.

FWIW: I’ve tried several AVI rippers in Ubuntu, and find that dvd::rip gives the best quality and again flexibility in generating  AVI and other formats. It may take longer, but the results are definately worth it!

As this was a TV movie, I thought that I would use avisplit to cut out the pieces of commericals still left from when it was recorded ( attempting to use the pause feature of the VCR to minimize the commercials. ) From what I could tell, avisplit actually became confused and difficult to use as ( and this is only an assumption on my part ) the time code within the video was “screwed up” because of the pausing done during the original recording.

The result was that the further into the movie I got, the harder it became to actually cut the video at the spot I wanted. As an example 10 minutes into the movie ( time code 00:10:00 ) the cut actually took place  either 10 seconds before that point or 20 seconds after. I can only assume that it was “trying to guess” where the original 10 minute mark would have been ( if I had not paused the machine. )

A typing accident during one of my avisplit commands ( while trying to find the exact time to cut – which by the way it would not find ) showed me another ( albeit tedious ) option. Avisplit will actually let you chop up the entire video into smal pieces ( you can also set your own size using the -s switch.)

So when I issued the command I ended up with over 4000 small avi files to review, and when I looked at the folder where they were all contained ( using the file browser in icon mode instead of the terminal window ) I was able to relatively quickly identify the parts and wanted to remove and just deleted them. I said “relatively quickly” as I must admit it did take the system a while to generate all the icons ( 4000 ) necessary.

In icon mode all the commercials were readily identifiable ( fabric softners and hair spray models look out of place during a sea battle don’t you think? ) Once all the “bad parts” had been removed, it was pretty simple to use the second tool of the transcode suite – avimerge and put everything back together perfectly with no commericals.

Once again, the transcode package has proven itslef  as an amazing suite of tools giving the video editor more power at his fingertips than most probably will ever need! But indispensible when you do need it!

Once again, for Ubuntu users: sudo apt-get install transcode

You won’t be sorry!

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