Monday, October 11, 2010

Video Playback Software; why does this one playback the video better than the other?

What do you use to play back your fav vids? VLC, maybe KLite Codec Pack? What are the differences that really make the differences among the variety of media players that roam the wide open interwebs?

I remember a time, it was the year 2000, computer world over were supposed to be failing everywhere and the world would be thrown back to the stone ages. I had gotten my first PC a few years before along with my first bootleged movie, “The Matrix” and my uncle showed me how to play back videos in Windows Media Player (the old school one that was a perfect square box). Soon after I visited my cousins in Miami and i was introduced to a format called “rm” that needed to be played back in a player called “Real Player” Now the video was horrible at best, but i did use the player for playing by my Matrix CD and I noticed that the picture had become dramatically clearer compared with them it was played back in Windows Media Player. That’s where i became curious about why this was so.

Bypassing the technical details, i will opt to just go through the general points. There are 2 kinds of media players, at the top spots; the “Codec Packs” and the “Stand Alone Players”.

The Codec Packs

The best known codec packs, at present are K-Lite Codec Pack, Win7 Codec Pack/Vista Codec Pack and the Combined Community Codec Pack (aka CCCP). These all follow the model of installing external codecs into the systems that can be used by other applications that are on the system, other than the media player bundled with the codec pack (usually Media Player Classic).imageThese tend to be very flexible but do a lot of system modification but result in system wide improvements in usability, such as the built in Windows Media Player being able to handle all the formats the codec pack supports or video encoders being able to see all the streams on files like MKV and OGG.

The All In One Media Player

The all in one media players are the ones with all the codecs built into the player itself, not getting into system related settings and expanding system capabilities and not junking everything up as some codec packs do. Now with regard to this category, the most well known player is VLC, thou not really the best is multiplatform, operating on Linux and Mac besides Windows. imageThe best of the all in ones I’ve seen is one called KM-Player, another free but Windows only app, with functionality resembling the good ole’ Winamp before it became adware. However, it is incredibly flexible and super fast and improves rendering and video quality dramatically.0705170582021436



Cheers Bitches!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Configuring Haali’s Media Splitter for Soft Subtitles

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No matter which way u slice it, a lot of MKV files come with soft subs, however for the people out there who want the vids on devices like PSPs and PS3s and XBOXs, they need something more compatible. As it stands there are many media converters that will convert MKV to something else however embedding the subtitles for foreign language videos is a bit of a problem for most.

XVID4PSP, a program i hold nothing back when confessing my love for this super flexible program, when combined with a codec pack like CCCP or Win7/Vista Codec Pack, and a properly configured Haali’s Media Splitter can fix u up no problem.

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As seen above, in the “Languages” branch of the hierarchy there is a entry to specify which audio and subtitle files are tied to each other.

In the case of myself, as you can see, i prefer and English audio track with no subtitles if possible as my first preference, and if that's not available, the Japanese audio with English subtitles.

The layout is simple, preferred language audio is first then a comma with no space, then the code for the language of the subtitle, then separate that combination preference with a  semi colon, and then repeat with your second choice combination.

Most anime fans who prefer the original Japanese audio track will use:

jpn,eng;eng,off;

People like me who may just want to listen and not watch will use:

eng,off;jpn,eng;

Now simply drag ur video into XVID4PSP and choose ur device preset or use a preset of ur own choosing and hit the magic encode button and let the fun start! When done you will have a mp4 or avi video with hardcoded subtitles embedded in the video and compatible with a device of ur choice.

Cheers BITCHES XD

For the details of encoding the actual video go to my previous posts on encoding videos using XVID4PSP.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Removing the “Shortcut to” prefix when creating shortcuts in Windows 7

  1. Open the Registry Editor. Click the Start button, type regedit, and press Enter.
  2. If a User Account Control dialog box appears, click "Yes".
  3. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer
  4. On the right hand pane, double-click the value link, changing its value to 00 00 00 00.
  5. Restart the computer (or just explorer if you know how) and no more “Shortcut to” prefixes XD

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If you’re the lazy SOB i know you are i made a registry entry to double click on and it will do it for you XD

Download: - "Shortcut to" Prefix remover

Cheers biches ^_^

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Remove the “Me Menu” In Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04

Alrighty people, the new Ubuntu is out and oh damn it’s fast!!! Moreso they actually integrated social right into the top menu bar with their new “Me Menu” which interfaces with the Gwibber and Empathy IM and Social clients allowing you to broadcast to multiple social networks simultaneously.

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However, there are some of us who like a minimal interface or just don’t care for social features like Facebook, Twitter and what not.

  1. Hit Alt+F2 to bring up the Run command
  2. Enter this: sudo apt-get remove indicator-me
  3. Select the Run In Terminal option below and hit OK
  4. Type in your user password if prompted
  5. You should be asked to choose Y/N, choose Y and hit Enter

It will run the command and then then you will need to reboot afterwards.

Once back up, the Me Menu should be gone.

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Chhers PPL!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Why are there so many icons in your system tray?

Holy FUCK!! Dude there are like 15 icons in ur system tray!!

Don’t you hate turning on someone else’s computer and watching all those lovely icons load up…one..by one…by one? Well, if you are this post is for you.

All the tech guys out there know about bring up RUN and typing ‘msconfig’ in there and disabling startup applications from there but even for us, its a bitching pain in the ass. Its a small box that cannot be resized and there in so little room to do anything other than read the name of the launch app and the first 3 letters of the location column…. it suck i know.. hence the post.

After a bit of digging, i found what’s in startup… nonono not what’s in your start up, i mean the name of the program i found is called What’s in Startup Yes you can click on it and it will take you to the download.

This program is the closest thing to viagra for ur PC. There is no install, just extract and run as administrator. Its that simple XD

image The programs are listed there in a nice simple list in a resize able window with a tonne of extra info to help u determine if the said app u want to disable is important or not… image

HA.. lemme’ see Microsoft's built in utility do that HEHE.image Simply select the programs that are hogging resources on start up, right click and hit your choice of Delete or Disable. I typically use disable in case i need to re-enable them, but if you want to de-clutter your registry then Delete may be for you.

Nice simple and no install needed. Simply keep on your flash drive and you can do an instant tune up on anyone’s PC and speed up start up significantly by disabling all those useless programs running on Startup.

Typically the best way to do this is to go into the individual program’s options panel and manually disable it’s “Run On Startup option” but in the case of programs like Norton Ghost there really is no option other than to use an app like this and disable it form the registry directly as the programs built in option does nothing more than remove the icon from the system tray but not remove it from startup.

Cheers pplz!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Batch Album Art Resizing

Going back a couple years to when i had a Sandisk Sansa E250, was when i first started putting some effort into my music collection trying to make sure all my songs had at least an artist and song title embedded in the song tag.
I initially used Windows Media Players built in features for appending song data along with album art, and that worked fine for a while, that was until i got Windows Vista and saw how crappy and low resolution all those album art were, and that they were never actually embedded into the music files themselves. After that I turned to Mediamonkey and MP3TAG, two excellent apps for finding and embedding beautiful high resolution album art in the songs tags.
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It was about then i noticed all the songs with nice high resolution album art embedded weren’t showing their album art on my Sansa. In an attempt to find out the reason, i did a little experimenting and found out the Sansa could only read album art that was smaller than 300x300 resolution. But i decided not to downsize my albumart to that because that was what I had before and it was just too low quality for me.
Fastfoward to 2010, i have a PS3 and i am using Playstation 3 Mediaserver to stream my music collection to my PS3, and one advantage it has over Windows Media Player’s streaming function is it also streams the album art, however it wasn't seeing all the album art in my songs, after more fiddling this time, i realised that album art over 500x500 resolution was a bit of a problem for PS3MS to send, so i had to find a way to resize all album art over 500x500 in my collection… (now 40 gigs) to a compatible size. After a bit of googling, I in a ironical twist of fate, found a program called Sanse MP3 Art Sizer which was designed back in 2003 to resize album art in MP3’s to a size compatible with the Sandisk Sansa. However, that size was too small for me even then. I managed to find a small workaround never the less to make this program resize the album art to a size i wanted 500x500.
  1. Download and install the program, and make sure you have a shortcut on the desktop. image
  2. Secondly, right click the shortcut to the program and choose Properties
  3. Look for the box labelled Target
  4. Append this text to the right end of the text already in the box SanseMp3ArtSizer.exe /500/100 Now the numbers at the end can be changed to your needs, the ‘500’, can be any value from 100 to 1000 and represents the resolution you want to resize the current album art to. The second number 100 represents the quality of the resized image and can be any number from 50 to 100. (Make sure there is a space between the original text and the new text you are adding in)image
  5. Now run the program.
Now in the actual application itself, is an option in the menu that lets the program ignore album art that is already smaller than the resolution you want to resize to. It can be found under Options in the menu bar at the top and is called Skip if original smaller than resize make sure it is selected and it will save your computer from having to do extra work for no reason.
image Cheer and crank that volume up PPL XD

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wait.. What happened to my Sidebar?

WTF… Where did my sidebar go?

Its a question many of us have been asking ourselves since Windows 7 was released.

When the Sidebar was released in Windows Vista; it was a case of either you liked it or you hated it. I was one of those people who liked it because it made Widgets/Gadgets usable to me.

Before the Sidebar, I never used Gadgets because it required me to clear my desktop to see them, and I wasn’t one to memorise shortcuts or even wanted to do that to check something as simple as the time or see how much RAM I had left.

The Sidebar had this nifty feature where you could make it stay above all windows and keep that gadgets docked there, on top of windows as well. The windows when maximised would never go below the sidebar or on top of it, it would align to the side of the Sidebar as it would to the edge of the screen.

In Windows 7, Microsoft removed the Sidebar entirely instead of making it optional. Not only was this stupid, but it warranted someone being kicked in the balls.

In an attempt to thwart these change in events, I found 2 ways to reinstate the Gadget Sidebar In Windows 7. However one of them requires some major hacking of windows files and there are still some incompatibilities with Windows 7 even after you get all of that done. It can be found here Reinstate Vista Windows Sidebar on Windows 7; use at your own risk. The other solution  is much simpler and is relatively pain free.

The Gadget Sidebar Gadget ~ Windows 7 Sidebar

A developer, Helmut Buhler, developed a Gadget that replicated the main function of the Vista Sidebar. Called Windows 7 Sidebar, it emulated the Vista Sidebar, while adding a Window-Manager with Live-Thumbnails. The extra features are potentially useful, but are well placed so they are easily ignored if you don’t want to use them.

7sdb

Overall this is a great standby option until Microsoft decides to officially bring back the sidebar.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

XVID4PSP: The Return ~ Revision 90

So we all know I’m like a Hentai around Japanese School Girls when it comes to; what i consider to be one of the best video encoding applications around… XVID4PSP v5.0. That said, as great a program it is, I do have my share of problems with it.

Not too long ago, a community developer released a mod of XVID4PSP v5.0, XVID4PSP v5.0 R90, which was retuned and a few new features were added in, which fixed a lot of my problems.

XvidNew 

Batch File Opening

One of these newly added feature was a one most people have been begging for, for quite some time… the ability to open an entire folder of files, instead of opening files individually.

New Feature

  1. How it works is you go to File > Open Folder…” (Not DVD folder) and choose the folder of videos you want to open.
  2. The first video will open and opening of videos will pause (The Enqueue and Encode buttons at the top would change to Resume)
  3. When you are done choosing your video encoding and adjustment settings, hit resume, select where to save the completed videos and the crop, trim and aspect ratio settings that you choose for that first video that was opened, should be applied to all the other videos in that folder. (This batch behaviour can be set and modified in Batch encoding settings)Batch Options vert
    • Batch encoding settings found at Settings > Global Settings
    • Then go to the last tab marked Batch Encoding
    • Then select the features you want to use (I recommend selecting the first 3 options))
  4. Once done, the Resume buttons would return to their original functions; just hit Encode and let the work begin.

 

This batch encode is particularly useful for TV series, preferably all from same source.

In the event you want to do several different groups of videos, like Season One of Transformers and then all the Indiana Jones movies,

  1. Group them into different folders,
  2. Open one folder, choose your settings, hit resume, choose where you want the completed videos saved, let it be applied to all the videos in that folder,
  3. Then open the other folder and choose your settings for those files, hit resume, choose where you want the completed videos saved, and let those open,
  4. Once both groups are done opening, hit encode and let it work. 

Video Trimming

Now the ability to trim files is super useful, what it is essentially is the ability to choose a certain portion of a video and encode just that piece. Very handy for testing video encoding settings and different filtering settings. Simply trim about a minute of video , try something that would be demanding like a high motion scene (The elevator explosion in the beginning of 007 Casino Royale) or a very dark scene with lots of motion and encode that over and over with various settings until you find something that matches what you wants.

TRIM

Conclusion

In the end, this a seriously big improvement over the older version, sporting newer codes and other minor but welcomed improvements as well as themes to match Windows Vista/7’s Aero theme. Now go get it!!!!