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so, did I just waste another three weeks of research?

I’m still doing testing on what works best for what series so I can rip and encode them all (which, there is an awful lot), and tonight I started playing around with mencoder. The thought occurred to me … why don’t you just use that instead of transcode?

Um. That’s a good question.

One of the cool things about mencoder is I don’t have to worry about selecting the AC3 track, I don’t have to worry about variable framerates, I don’t have to resize, crop, filter, post- or pre-process the video for it to look good. In fact, this is *all* I have to do:

mencoder dvd_track.vob -o xvid.avi -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=2200 -oac copy

Compare that to the average tests I run using transcode.

So, why don’t I use it? I honestly don’t remember.

I think the main reason is probably the same as for using Gentoo. Why use the pansy tools that do all the work for you when you can spend all your free-time figuring out for yourself what the heck you need to do. Besides, you get to learn new terms like “telecine,” “deinterlace” and “3:2 pulldown.” There’s a certain grace to learning how to use something that confuses the crap out of you, and you can use it later to impress other people and sound like you know what you’re doing all at once. It’s great.

I just ran an xvid one-pass encoding on the trickiest DVD set I could find, and mencoder handled it with flying colors. Am I gonna switch? I dunno yet. I might add a “meh, this is too hard to figure out how to encode, so use mencoder and forget it” flag to the database, but that’s it. I’m enjoying the four extra db columns just for tweaking the transcode settings. 🙂