absolute insanity

Uncle Scrooge always had a great saying that he said someone taught him — “Work smarter, not harder.” Gosh, I still remember that Duck Tales episode from fifteen years ago or so. Now that’s crazy.

That’s what I’m doing though — I’ve gotten my encoding settings finalized, I’ve scrapped all my old encodings, and now I’m ripping everything in a nice organized little manner. Right now my floor is a huge mess, with DVDs literally everywhere, as I’ve got them stacked in piles and divvied out to three computers to rip and encode.

The other day, I quietly changed the backend class and switched the main encoder from transcode to mencoder. The main reason is that mencoder can handle variable framerates just fine, of which more than 90% of these DVDs are. That, combined with pretty much the same filters and settings I was using on transcode, the end results looks really, really nice. Every sample I’ve watched so far there has been no stutter, no weird skips, no odd artifacts. In fact, I’ve though to myself, “wow, this looks just like the DVD.” They are that smooth, so I’m very happy.

For the record, here’s my encoder settings I’m using on most all of my TV DVDs:

mencoder foo.vob -o bar.avi -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=2200 -oac copy -vf pullup,softskip -ofps 24000/1001

Pretty simple, huh? The only drawback is that I like the new settings so much that I scrapped every encoding I’ve done up to now except for a few shows. That was a lot of time down the drain, but I have a new system now which has helped me quite a bit to do this much quicker.

One thing I did is I divvied up all the discs between my three amd64s, and there are stacks all over my living room. This way I don’t have to hunt down a box or remember what’s next. When the tray pops out, I just stick the next one in, and start that one up. Right now I’m ripping about three discs every 15 minutes.

The other idea I had that I like a lot is I took a sample track from each series, and dumped it to a folder where they won’t be ovewritten. With those, I do all my encoding testing, and that’s how I found out those mencoder settings above really do work on everything I’ve thrown at it so far. Especially the cartoons, those look gorgeous.

The encoding is gonna take some time, that’s for sure. I just counted, and theres 18 more DVDs to rip, and *then* I’ll be halfway done with ripping (I haven’t even started on the live-action shows yet). My queue manager says my estimated encoding time is currently 142.34 hours. Yeeks.

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