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= Documentation / Description =
vdrip.pl for GNU/Linux - (for Perl) - dated: 2009-03-18 (!!VERY OLD!!)
VDRIP is a very powerfull utility that helps you to rip MPEG2 format Videos
(TS or PS) so, to compact them in divx/mpeg4 .avi files.
The videos in MPEG2 format have usually an extension .mpg .mpeg .m2t or .vob
You can get them when you record TV or a Satellite programs with your computer
or thay can be recorded files on storage devices.
Internally, this utility uses the well known MPLAYER and MENCODER softwares
It is running on GNU/Linux and released
VDRIP creates in a very easy way, a script file that will rip a MPEG2 movie to a
AVI file container (MPEG4 format, XviD/DivX compatible). All the necessary jobs
is done for You ! No need to learn, configure, install and review many windows
with lots of parameters : everything is in it!
You only have to open a Terminal or Console window on your favorite Linux distribution.
Then, you will use vdrip.pl given a mpeg2 filename as parameter,
then, execute the generated script file (it is an ordinary bash shell file)
whenever you want. That's all.
The rip takes one to two hours (more or less, depending on the video length and
the power of your computer). After ripping step, you will get a Movie in .avi format
that is ready for use!
The quality is very high since VDRIP uses the HQ codec 'lavc', supplied by MENCODER.
After the ripping process, you would propably want to cut advertisements, credits,
the beginning or end of the AVI file with your favorite utilities like Avidemux.
About the MPEG2 format
Theses files are mostly created on a computer when you record the programs
with a digital TV card inside of it. Also, the device can be a USB pen which
integrates a digital TV tuner.
For instance: you own a DVB-T adapter to receive the Digital TV programs
or a DVB-S adapter to receive the Digital Satellite TV programs.
When you record a program, the resulting file format is often a MPEG2.
vdrip.pl is designed to process them to get a more convenient format
to store them on your PC disks.
After processing by vdrip.pl and its script, your movie will be very
compact ~700 to 900 Mbytes, depending of the movie duration.
I hope you know eveything about XviD, DivX and MPEG4.
What vdrip.pl DOES
- First, it runs in a console or Terminal windows on GNU/Linux. You will have
to execute the vdrip.pl file with the Perl executer to run it.
- VDRIP generates a bash script file automatically : the parameters have been choosen
to get high quality mpeg4 encoding, keeping the final video size compact.
A movie of 1h30 to 2h00 is reduced to less than 1 Gbytes, without
taking too much time to process.
- All the processings are done by VDRIP and they are greatly optimized.
- The quality is very high since VDRIP uses the HQ codec "lavc" supplied by MENCODER
VDRIP is based on explainations in this documentation, about MPEG4/DivX.
- Since it relies on MENCODER, the video and sound tracks should always keep
synchronized (Audio/Video synchronization) even for .m2t movies.
- It has a 'cropping' function : to 'crop' means that it removes the black bands
over and below the movie image (it does it for the left and right borders).
It is very important to do cropping to make sure we get the best results
for a shorter size.
- It preserves the Aspect Ratio. You might have seen movies where humans have
- vdrip.pl preserves the MPEG2 ratio when it rescales, while using the
largest picture size.
- It desinterlaces the video (MPEG2 is originally designed for TV devices)
- The rip process is done in an ONE-Pass conversion (for 2-Passes, see further).
Getting Started - Quick Start
- Please read the prerequisites chapter to check if your computer can run VDRIP.
Normally there is no reason why VDRIP won't run on your computer
with a modern Linux distribution : it might include the standard software
packages : Perl, mplayer and mencoder.
First, please check if mplayer is running when playing back a movie on
your computer : it is important!
- If this is the case, let's start.
- Open a Terminal or console window, as an ordinary user.
- Enter a command like :
perl vdrip.pl /home/myname/myholidays.m2t <ENTER>
where "myholidays.m2t" is an example of a MPEG2 file (no space,nor special char)
vdrip.pl is the utility filename (Let's assume is in this current directory).
If everything is ok, you will see a playback of one part of the file. Let it!\n";
Please, wait until video playback stops.
Very soon, after 10 seconds at the most, VDRIP gives you the script filename
that it has just generated : it is the same filename, but with a ".sh" extension.
To vdrip the video, enter the script command as it is shown :
That's all. After a couple of hours, you will get a file whose filename starts
by "myholidays" and finishing by ".avi" : it is your mpeg4/DiVX movie ready
Play it with your preferred movie player (Totem, Xine, VLC, MPlayer, XFmedia).
Now, you can retouch it (cut the advertising etc...) with your favorite software.\n";
- GNU/linux distribution
- Perl language
- mplayer and mencoder
VDRIP runs on GNU/Linux, with a standard Perl package installed.
Any modern Linux distribution might include it.
No specific Perl module is necessary.
mplayer and mencoder are packages requirements.
If is not installed: apt-get install mplayer mencoder or
they can be downloaded from http://www.mplayerhq.hu/
VDRIP has been developped and intensively tested on the
Linux distributions Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10 since 1 year.
Before to use it you should test if you can plack back
the video that you want to vdrip with mplayer.
If you cannot see the picture or if the sound is not
here, you SHOULD SOLVE THE PROBLEM BEFORE ripping
the movie : vdrip.pl will not work!
Search the web, the solutions are there.
Here are some troubles that I remember to have solved
a long time ago... They may help you.
Problem: the video did not appear on the screen
when playing back with mplayer.
I had to create a file in /home/myname/.mplayer/config
in which I put a line "vo=x11" (without double-quotes)
Or you can try in the menu mplayer>preferences>Video
select "x11" (as the available driver)
Problem: Cannot hear the sound of videos when playing
back with mplayer.
I had to configure in the menu mplayer>preferences>Audio
select "alsa" (as the available driver)
Differences with other similar software
VDRIP is a command line product : there is no GUI.
VDRIP may replace some other graphical products with great
and many advantages :
It is faster to start with it, you spend less time to get successfull results.
If you are looking for a compact and easy command line utility to rip
your mpeg videos, it worth to try.
The author wanted to make everything very easy and powerfull for an end user.
The main goals were to make sure :
. the user won't have to spend time to learn it
. keeping everything user friendly and efficient
Since the product need not to be installed, configured, and there is no
Graphical Interface, you won't loose your time to start with it, because :
. no needs to learn or understand it
. no technical parameters to study
. no many complex graphical windows or menus to review
Just read the introduction how to generate a script file and execute it, that's all!
The future of VDRIP, will it be enhanced ?
- The utility is ready to release many other functions to make it
a fantastic product (some of them are already implemented).
It depends on You ; please take some of your time to tell
what you think about, to ask for the functions you need,
and to add them to the "wish" list.
- The script file already supports the 2-Passes sequence, given "2" as parameter:
/home/myname/myholidays.sh 2 <ENTER> (will do a 2 passes encoding)\n";
- The script file already supports a quick test mode, given "0" as parameter:
/home/myname/myholidays.sh 0 <ENTER> (will make a ~30 seconds encoding)\n";
- Notice that there already is AN ADVANCED USER MODE. This mode would permit:
. the adjustment of many parameters
. a quick test mode to generate a 30 seconds sequence, to know if playback
seems good and meet your needs
. a powerfull debugging mode
. user video profiles can be implemented
. many other things
- Advanced mode is not finished and need much time. Most users may not
need it. Remember: today VDRIP does all the complex processing for you:
and the actual released version is ready and functional.
I am using it to record Satellite programs, documentaries, and
musical reports on my computer when I am not at home.
In the actual release of vdrip.pl, you should consider:
- A video that you rip will be done with "optimal" parameters.
Choosen parameters are quite good for general use:
video at 860 Kbps, sound track mp3 at 128 Kbps max quality,
with a one-pass encoding sequence by default.
Frames are desinterlaced.
It is a good quality for most movies and documentaries.
(so it is not a limitation!)
- The naming convention used by vdrip for .avi file is
special: final .avi filenames may be very long.
It has been designed to embed inside the name many technical
data in compact form. The purpose of it was to make possible
many ripping samples with more than one resulting file.
Rename the file if it does not please you.
Report an enhancement to get rid of it.
- It is not designed to backup DVDs (it is in the Todo list
but there are so many good tools to do it...)
- Case of one file with two movies with different aspects
(i.e. one is 720x576, the other 544x576)
You cannot use directly vdrip.pl. First you must :
. convert your video file in format MPEG2-PS (if it is in MPEG-TS)
. Use Avidemux utility to cut the file in two pieces. Proceeding
this way, the sound and video should keep synchronized.
. vdrip cannot process videos with different technical characteritics.
The videos must be in 2 files.
- Case of a movie with subtitles in the black bands
below the movie image :
vdrip.pl has an optimised crop detect function : it detects
the black bands and cut them. So, unfortunatelly, your
subtitles will be deleted!
Solution: Wait for the next release, there will be an option
to desactivate the "cropt detect function",i.e.: -nocrop
- Case of movie registered on a channel that supplies (sometimes)
two sound tracks (for example : Arte may brodcast their
programs in French and German simultaneously). Since the default
sound track has no meaning (it may be any existing language),
we have to force the language code in mplayer and mencoder.
VDRIP forces the parameter language "-alang xxx" to the one
it has found in $LANG system global variable.
You can modify the script file to change it.
Avidemux : allow to edit video files (cut the Ads, or sequences)
Please only do that on MPEG-PS video.
Projetx and mplex: to convert MPEG-TS to MPEG-PS video files
it is a must if you want to cut MPEG movies before to
rip them with VDRIP
Mediainfo: display the technical and tag information of most
video and audio files (very usefull).
Kaffeine : scheduled records of Digital TV and Satellite programs
if you have a supported DVB-T or DVB-S card in your computer.
There is much more information on many web sites.
Besides the already mentioned documentation and quick start procedures,
this is the most interesting:
FREQUENTLY ASK QUESTIONS:
FAQ: can I modify the generated bash script to change, say,
the video bit rate ?
Answer: yes! You can also modify that way (very easy):
. the audio rate
. the "black-and-white" flag (if movie has no colour)
. the language code for Satellite program audio track if you
want a different one.