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Jack79's avatar

How do I use Handbrake and/or VirtualDub?

Asked by Jack79 (10984points) August 27th, 2009

I have been trying to upload some things on youtube for over a month now. One is a short movie I play in, the other the video of our theatre, but also some TV interviews and so on. One of the problems I’m facing is that youtube doesn’t allow clips more than 10 minutes long, so I’ve had to cut them into shorter segments. But here’s my problem:

First I tried to cut the movie (10:27’) using Handbrake, but it won’t do it (or I couldn’t find it). VD does it, but the .mpeg that I had was the .vob file from the DVD which I had renamed. Since it was not a real .mpeg file, VD didn’t recognise it. I discovered a way around this (ok, maybe I’m stupid, but it seems to work): I rip the file directly off the DVD using HB, and turn it into an .avi. Then I open the .avi with VD, chop it up into segments, and save the segments as part1.avi, part2.avi etc. Then I open them with HB again and turn them into mpegs.

The system seems to work generally, except for a completely weird and new problem: the segments are far too large. I mean ENORMOUS. The original movie of our theatre for example (which is around 105min) was 1.2GB as an avi. The 11 segments were over 10GB each, more than 110GB in total (100 times bigger than the original movie). The same happened with the short movie I played in. After chopping off the extra 27 seconds, the file actually grew from around 600MB to 18GB!

So the first question is: why does this happen? I can understand why an .avi could be bigger than an .mpeg for example, but how can half an .avi be much bigger than the original .avi it came from? (framerates and quality etc are all the same).

Secondly, since youtube does not allow files larger than 10min or 2GB, how can I chop up the movies into uploadable pieces (probably have to turn them to .mpeg, right?) using either Handbrake or VirtualDub, or both?

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9 Answers

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robmandu's avatar

“HandBrake is a GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder. It converts video from nearly any format to a handful of modern ones—that’s it.”

So I don’t think you’re gonna be able to use it to slice up your videos into more manageable chunks.

That said, part of the problem you’re describing is that you’ve apparently asked Handbrake to save your video to some virtually lossless codec… and that’s why the filesize is increasing so much.

There are some builtin presets you can select from as an output format. I’m generally happy with the “iPhone & iPod touch” preset which keeps the destination screen size small (good for YouTube) and employs a very efficient compression, m4v.

Sorry, I’ve never tried VirtualDub. If it were me, I’d likely end up using iMovie to do the segmentation work. But there are plenty of alternatives, like this.

Jack79's avatar

@robmandu yeah I figured that too. It’s great for simple conversions, but in this case I actually need to cut the film into segments shorter than 10min. It would be helpful if it could at least convert the 17GB chunks into smaller mpegs, but it won’t even do that (it crashes when I try).

UTChris's avatar

I’d also like to clarify something for you. .avi is just a container, think of it as a box, that you can put video files in. You can use a video codec such as Divx or Xvid with heavy compression and put those videos into the .avi container. As the previous poster suggested, you probably chose settings with little to no compression which resulted in a larger file than what you put in.

LanceVance's avatar

If I understood correctly, those enourmous files were of .avi type? Right… when you are making segments of the 1.2GB avi in VirtualDub, make sure you have the right processing mode on, that is, select Video and Direct stream copy.

Jack79's avatar

Thanks, so if I choose direct stream, would the videos be around 100Mb each? (it’s 11 segments) That would be very practical.

Is there a way for VirtualDub to turn them into mpegs, or should I use Handbrake for that?
Or maybe I should just leave them in .avi format and upload them once they’re smaller.

LanceVance's avatar

I think it’s okay to leave them in .avi.

Direct stream copy is meant for performing basic operations without changing the content, ie encoding it with another codec.

If you chose the Full processing mode, however, you should also go to Video -> Compression. There you can see that by default, there is no compression at all, which means that you have to select a codec in order not to get enourmous files. It would be like saving a large JPEG in a BMP format. But since what you want to do with the video is pretty straight-forward, I wouldn’t recommend using Full processing mode, because any encoding causes loss of quality. And if that can be avoided by using Direct stream copy, you should go with that.

Jack79's avatar

Direct stream copy does shorten the file size, but unfortunately it destroys the picture completely. I don’t know why. I get a very thin strip in the centre of the screen (instead of a 4:3 ratio it’s something like 4:30). And even that strip is fuzzy. The movie is unviewable after that.

Other compression offered by VD still doesn’t make the files small enough (I think it leaves them about the same). Is there a way that VD can save into mpeg? Or some other way to shorten the avi?

I understand what you’re saying about jpeg and bmp, what I do with images is turn them to jpg by simply saving them from WindowsPaint. Is there some similar programme that would do that for movies without affecting quality too much?

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