Settings and Options
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This page gives you access to a list of DVDs available on your system with a list of the Titles and Chapters on the selected DVD is on the left while settings, preview and general information are shown on the right. Conversion jobs and settings for each job is set in this page.
There is a shortcut that helps one apply the same change to ALL jobs. By pressing the CTRL button on your keyboard when changing a setting, the change is applied to all jobs. For example, by click on the Quality field, drop-down the list and before selecting a new quality value, press the CTRL button, now click on a new quality value and the program will ask you if you want to apply this new value to all jobs or not. By clicking Yes, the change will be applied to all jobs. Another example, change the Target Path to point to a new folder, then press the CTRL button on the keyboard and, with the mouse, click on another field (say the quality field). Again, the program will ask if you want to apply this change to all jobs. Notice that for the Target Path the program will only apply the new path to all jobs and not the output filename (the filename remain the same).
On the top, a list of the available DVDs are shown in the drop-down list. You may select a DVD or "Browse Folder...". When the latter is selected, you may select a directory where a copy of a DVD-Video exists (e.g. "C:\DVDClone\VIDEO_TS\"). The list is refreshed and updated automatically when dropped-down.
Notice: Only DVD's inserted in a drive will be recognized. No empty DVD-Drive will be listed unless it contains a readable DVD disc.
DVD Contents Tree
On the left you will find a DVD Contents Tree showing the Titles/Chapters available on the current selected DVD (from the top list). By right-clicking a Title or Chapter, you may change the conversion mode from the pop-up menu.
By checking a Title's or Chapter's checkbox, the item is enabled or disabled accordingly. By right-clicking more options may be available per item.
In the Settings tab you may find all the settings available for the current selected title/chapter. If the current selected title/chapter is not enabled (is not checked in the tree) a single setting "Enabled?" will be shown. Some settings are shown only when other specific settings are selected (for example some Output Format may show extra settings).
Enables or Disables a conversion. Only enabled titles/chapters are converted and no settings are shown for the disabled ones.
The program features 4 modes of conversion: Whole Title/Chapter, Chapter Splitting, Chapters Merging and Time Range.
Whole Title/Chapter: Converts a complete Title or Chapter from start to end.
Chapter Splitting: Splits a Title into its Chapters and each selected Chapter is now an independent job/file with its own settings.
Chapters Merging: In this mode only the selected Chapters are converted and the output file contains the enabled Chapters joint together, leaving out the Chapter that were not enabled.
Time Range: By selecting a time-range in a Title/Chapter, you may convert only the selected time range. Once the mode of a job is changed to Time Range, the preview tab will be shown and enabled for time-range selection. For more information please refer to the Preview Tab of this help.
Sets the output file format. Available options are: iPod Mpeg-4 H.264/AVC (High Quality), iPod Mpeg-4 SP (High Quality), iPod Mpeg-4 H.264/AVC, iPod Mpeg-4 SP, PSP Mpeg-4 SP, AVI (where you may choose DivX, XviD or any other preinstalled video/audio codec), VCD (MEPG-1), and SVCD (MPEG-2).
iPod Mpeg-4 H.264/AVC (High Quality): Recommended for iPod/iPhone/AppleTV, but not compatible with old versions of iPod. This format supports 640x480 video and bitrates up to 1500 Kbit/s. Use this format for highest quality video, smaller files, but also slowest conversion. Notice that larger resolution also requires higher bitrate to avoid losing quality too much. This will give you the highest resolution and the highest bitrate and therefore result in the highest quality. Be careful that this format will not work on old firmware versions of iPod (you may need to update your iPod's firmware version for supporting this format).
iPod Mpeg-4 SP (High Quality): Recommended for iPod/iPhone/AppleTV, but not compatible with old versions of iPod. This is very similar to iPod Mpeg-4 SP with the advantage of resolution up to 640x480, you might prefer this format as it's fast and support 640x480 video. Unless you want fast conversion, use iPod Mpeg-4 H.264/AVC (High Quality) instead. Be careful that this format will not work on old firmware versions of iPod (you may need to update your iPod's firmware version for supporting this format).
iPod Mpeg-4 H.264/AVC: Compatible with all iPod/iPhone/AppleTV versions. The quality is higher than the iPod Mpeg-4 SP format, however, it's also slower. Also, the bitrates are limited to lower than 768 Kbit/s. The video resolution is limited to 320x240 pixels. If you can afford larger files, use iPod Mpeg-4 SP with high bitrate and larger resolution (if available), as that will be faster.
PSP Mpeg-4 SP: Compatible with all PSP versions. The quality is lower than the H.264/AVC format for a given bitrate. To improve the quality, higher bitrates must be used and therefore will create larger files. The video resolution is limited to 480x272 pixels.
Note: Regardless of format, larger video resolution will convert slower than smaller resolution. Higher bitrates will make the conversion faster. The larger the video resolution, the lower the video quality for a given bitrate (so higher bitrate should be used).
Note: Each output format may have its own limitations and extra settings. The limitations are to guarantee that the output file will work on the target device. Extra settings may exist that are specific to the output format. A good example for extra settings would be the meta tags that iPods supports but not PSPs.
Note: When you select AVI, you must also select Audio and Video codecs. Two new settings appear at the end of the settings list. Although if you have selected no audio track or the selected Title/Chapter doesn't have an audio track, only the Video codec will be added to the list, since no audio codec is required. If either of these codecs are missing the "Next" button will not be enabled.
The output filename and path are specified here. If the path or filename is invalid the program will complain. The "..." button at the right displays the file-save dialog to aid you in selecting an output file path and name. The program will remember the last output drive you have set for later uses as the default drive, except for the first run, where the drive with the largest free space is set as the default.
Note: When the Split Size is set to anything but "unlimited", the filename will be used as a base-name and the actual files will have '_x' appended to them, where x is the number of the part.
Example: Output filename: C:\movie.mpg. When a Split Size is set, the actual output files will become C:\movie_1.mpg, C:\movie_2.mpg and so on.
Set the maximum output file size. If the output file-size reaches this limit it will be split and the rest of the output will be saved in a new file until the limit is reached again at which point the file is split again.
Note: The playback time for VCD is the actual advertised CD time (74min. for 650MB and 80min. for 700MB), but it's about 50% that for SVCD (35min. for 650MB.)
Note: Setting a Split Size changes the actual output filename. The first part will always have the name unmodified while subsequent parts will contain a subscript to mark the part number.
If available, select an input subtitle. By default no subtitle will be selected. The language of each track is displayed, if available. Some DVDs with (anamorphic) wide-screen usually have two versions of each subtitle, one for the wide screen and one for the Letter-boxed version (if available). If a DVD has two versions of a subtitle prefer the wide version. You may select "<No Subtitle>" in which case the output file(s) will contain no subtitles.
Note: Subtitles are only supported for DVDs.
This setting sets the quality of the encoding. The speed of the conversion is dramatically affected by this setting. In most cases increasing the quality will not have a significant effect on the visible quality, but would slow the conversion down. Essentially, high-motion movies and clips should use higher quality settings. Also, the lower the bitrate and the higher the resolution, the higher the quality setting should be to compensate.
Max. Est. File Size
Not a setting but and informational entry. Shows an estimate of the maximum output file size based on the settings. The settings which affect this are the Video and Audio bitrates. Based on the duration of the media to be converted (taking into account Time-Range mode, if selected), the estimate is calculated.
The maximum bitrate for the output video. The higher the bitrate, the larger the output filesize and almost always higher quality output. Avoid using the very low bitrates, unless you really need smaller output files, because the quality does significantly suffer. The available bitrates are limited by the output format selected and the restrictions it sets. In some cases the resolution may also dictate the maximum bitrate available.
The frame-rate is the number of video frames per second. Basically, this shouldn't be changed. The default value is either the original frame-rate of the source video, or the closest value (if the source frame-rate is non-standard). Lowering this value may give a 'slow motion' effect to the output.
By changing this setting, you override the source-specified video aspect ratio. This is an advanced setting provided to be used in the cases where the source media reports an incorrect value for this setting, or, if the installed decoder has difficulty detecting the correct video aspect ratio.
A lot of the DVD-Video discs use interlaced video. Some discs contain interlaced-only video, some other contain both progressive and interlaced video frames, and others use progressive-only video. Since interlaced video is designed for CRT TV sets, which show annoying horizontal lines on computer monitors and LCD TV sets. This artifact is quite noticeable and annoying in fast-motion scenes. (Of course no such visual artifact is visible on CRT TV sets.) Furthermore interlaced video reduces the maximum compression ratio possible and reduces the quality significantly. Easy DVD Ripper & Converter can automatically Deinterlace (remove the interlacing) the video for you. The default mode deinterlaces interlaced fields only. That is, progressive frames will not be processed. You may change this behavior to deinterlace all frames or to disable deinterlacing altogether.
If unsure leave the default option.
Deinterlacing works best for VCD and SVCD output. For AVI some codecs (including DivX and XviD) support deinterlacing and progressive encoding as well as interlaced encoding. If your target video codec supports interlaced encoding and you are sure the source DVD contains at least some interlaced frames, for best quality disable deinterlacing from Easy DVD Ripper & Converter and from the codec's settings, set the encoding mode to "encode as interlaced" in the codecs' settings dialog. Notice that XviD (at least some versions of) doesn't have such an option; it automatically decides the best encoding mode during conversion. In the event that your target codec includes a deinterlacing option, and you decide to encode in progressive mode, remember that enabling deinterlacing in both Easy DVD Ripper & Converter and the video codec is not recommended. For best quality enable only one of them and disable the other completely.
Since deinterlacing must be done before resizing the video, for the highest quality output, you must enable in the Easy DVD Ripper & Converter when you change the resolution of the video. Otherwise, if your video codec supports resizing and deinterlacing (or even better, interlaced encoding) it is best that you leave the resolution to the maximum value in Easy DVD Ripper & Converter, disable deinterlacing and instead resize from within the codec and enable interlaced encoding. This method is particularly recommended with DivX.
Note: Deinterlacing slows the conversion a little.
Here you may specify the output video dimensions in pixels. For VCD and SVCD the standard video resolution is automatically set for you. Changing this from the standard video resolution for VCD and SVCD will result in a warning, since some players may not play the output correctly, if at all. For AVI the full DVD video resolution is set by default. The available choices are limited based on the source video resolution, the source aspect ratio and the output format selected.
Note: You cannot upscale (enlarge the original video frame.). Changing the either the Source Aspect Ratio or the Crop Preset may change the Resolution list and the current Resolution.
By changing this setting, you may crop the source video frame to the selected aspect ratio. Thereby cropping a 16/9 frame out of a 4/3 frame or vice versa. Since the crop preset changes the output resolution, which has limitations, the program will auto-select the best match if a selected crop preset is not valid.
The maximum bitrate for the output audio. The higher the bitrate, the larger the output filesize and almost always higher quality output. Avoid using the very low bitrates, unless you really need smaller output files, because the quality does significantly suffer.
If available, select an input audio track. By default the first audio track on the DVD will be selected. Information regarding each track, including language, purpose, format, sample rate and number of channels, are specified for each track, if available. In cases where no language information is provided (such as in the case of a music-only tracks), question marks will be displayed. You may also select "<No Audio>" in which case the output file(s) will contain no audio.
Video codec selection window
When the selected output type is AVI, a video codec must be selected. You must have some video codecs installed on your system, otherwise the codec list will be empty. You may install DivX, XviD or any other 3rd party windows video codec.
When you browse for a Video codec, a list of all available codecs will be shown and you may select whichever you prefer. You should set the selected codec's settings (if available) by clicking the "configure" button in the same window.
There are an overwhelming number of tutorials, guides and help on DivX and XviD settings on the web. doom9.net and www.videohelp.com are excellent resources. Some guides describe and explain the meaning and purpose of every option/setting in the codec. Also, for the highest quality, you can follow the guides that describe converting in 2-pass and multi-pass modes.
Note: Not all installed codecs are displayed in this dialog. Only compatible codecs with the source DVD are displayed.
Audio codec selection window
When the selected output type is AVI and an Audio Track is selected as well, an audio codec must be selected. You must have some audio codecs installed on your system, otherwise the codec list will be empty. You may install Mp3, Ogg Vorbis or any other 3rd party windows audio codec.
When you browse for an Audio codec, a list of all available codecs will be shown and you may select whichever you prefer. You should set the selected codec's attributes by selecting a supported encoding setting from the "Attributes" list in the same window.
Note: Not all installed codecs are displayed in this dialog. Only compatible codecs with the source DVD are displayed.
Warning: Some audio codecs have variable bitrate (VBR) and average bitrate (ABR) modes (attributes) vs. constant bitrate (CBR) modes. Sometimes VBR and ABR cause sync problems (where the audio lags or leads the video by a small, but noticeable, time) in the output AVI. It thus not advised to use VBR or ABR, prefer CBR instead. Usually an ABR and VBR mode is marked as such while the default is CBR.
Note: On some Windows versions there is a default version of Windows Media Audio V1 and V2 installed. These might show in the list of audio codecs. Nonetheless, if the full encoding version is not installed the program will end the conversion prematurely for the job with WMA audio and report 100% complete. In such cases please install the full WMA encoder and register it as required to enable encoding WMA audio in AVI files, then try again. This is problem of WMA as the default installed version does not support encoding although it reports that it does (hence it gets listed.)
The preview tab shows a preview of the video of the current selected title/chapter (if any). Besides the video area and the controls at the bottom, the video area also displays the current time of the video with high-precision. During the video preview no frame is skipped, each and every video frame is decoded and displayed. The preview tab serves two purposes; A video preview for a selected Title or Chapter, and, a Range Selection Tool for the Time Range conversion mode.
When in the preview tab, when a new job (a Title or Chapter) is selected, the video playback start automatically. You may also pause, stop and seek much as you'd do with any video player. You may also pause the playback and seek the video, as well as use the keyboard arrows (left and right) to navigate within the video with a high precision. A single click on an arrow will either seek forward (right arrow) or backward (left arrow) by the minimum amount possible (from one entry to the next). The time difference between these 'entry points' is at most 600 ms (0.6 second). Although most of the time you will find them set at the maximum time interval (i.e. 600 ms apart) sometimes they are several 10's or a few 100's ms apart. The track-bar must be in focus in order to use the keyboard arrows for seeking.
Time Range Selection Mode
When a job's mode is changed to Time Range, Easy DVD Ripper & Converter will will automatically switch to the Preview Tab and will enter a special mode where you can set your selection of the desired time-range using the preview window. In this mode the track bar will have 3 markers as well as 4 buttons (2 on each end.) There are two thin markers as well as a ticker one. The two thin markers are each on one end of the track-bar, while the tick one is initially behind the left thin bar. The thin markers mark the start and end of the time range, while the tick one is the current preview position. You may change either bar using the mouse or keyboard. Furthermore, you may use the buttons at each end to control the selection range. The left buttons affect the start position, while the right buttons affect the end position. The '+' will increase the marker in time, while the '-' will decrease it. After using the +/- buttons, you may use the keyboard buttons to change the marker position of the last marker changed. That is, if you use the right + or - buttons, when you use the arrows, the end marker will be affected. Similarly, if you use the left + or - buttons, the arrows will change the start marker's position. Otherwise, by default the arrows change the preview position. When the range markers are changed, the preview position is also updated, as well as the displayed video and video time. The selection range is highlighted using the 'Active Window' color.
Note: Media files that don't support seeking (files designed for network streaming and live streaming) will not support Time Range mode.
Note: DirectX preview might not be available when another program has exclusive access to the DirectX resources. This includes other video playback software (such as Windows Media Player), DVD playback software (such as PowerDVD or WinDVD) or Games and Visualization programs. Easy DVD Ripper & Converter prints a "Not Available" message in the middle of the preview window in such cases. Preview may differ widely in quality as compared to the actual input and/or output.
Lists general information about the currently selected Title or Chapter (if any). The information include Video details, Audio tracks with their attributes and subtitles with their respective attributes as well the play time of the Title or Chapter.