Author Topic: Do you recommend AVIDEMUX for an absolute begginer?  (Read 231 times)

rmlazzari

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Do you recommend AVIDEMUX for an absolute begginer?
« on: September 09, 2019, 06:45:04 PM »
Hello, I would first like to apologize if this is not the right place for beginners. It's just that I migrated from Windows to Linux Mint recently, as directed by my granddaughter, so I'm looking for programs that allow me to do the same tasks now on Linux.

The task I am talking about here is recoding videos in various formats (.MKV, .MP4, .AVI, .M4V etc.) to .AVI in order to reduce file size and cut top and bottom black bands, sometimes reducing the original pixel size (my computer screen is 1366 x 768), sometimes changing the proportions from, say, 4: 3 to 19: 6 or better to avoid distortions like "fat" or "skinny" people . As I am far from an IT expert, I had a "cake recipe" for the old VirtualDub: accepting all default settings and always using the H264 encoder. For the sound of the videos I used Audacity, a program I already found works well on the new OS. And to put the two together I also keep using MKVToolNix-gui.

As my granddaughter said, it would be great to avoid emulators like Wine or VirtualBox. She told me that not only are Linux-specific programs replacing Windows programs, Linux programs are usually better.

If not bothering could you tell if AVIDEMUX would suit me? And if possible, could you give some tips or points where I could learn about your program, at least the basics for the tasks I'm used to?

As I said, although I worked for 40 years as COBOL programmer for large computers (IBM /370 and so on), my knowledge today is totally obsolete, I have little knowledge of this new computers.

Thank you in advance.

P.S.: Actually my configuration is Linux Mint 19.2 Tina 64 - Base Ubuntu 18.4 bionic - Cinnamon 4.2.4 - Kernel 4.15.0-60-generic - Intel Core i3-2328M CPU @ - 2.20GHz x 2 - Mem 3.7GiB - Monitor 1366x768.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 06:51:37 PM by rmlazzari »

eumagga0x2a

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Re: Do you recommend AVIDEMUX for an absolute begginer?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 07:27:57 PM »
Is it a laptop? Because otherwise I would recommend looking for a better monitor instead of wasting time and energy.

First of all, AVI is the worst possible choice of a container, especially for H.264. Don't do it unless you have absolutely no alternative.

Secondly, anamorphic videos don't need to be re-encoded to be displayed at correct aspect ratio, this information can and should be stored in the container (again, not in AVI as AVI doesn't support this feature). You can force any desired aspect ratio during playback using a capable player like mpv or vlc.

Apart from that, you could skip Audacity and MKVToolNix and use Avidemux alone. If this computer has Intel integrated graphics, you might be better off compiling Avidemux from source rather than using the latest appImage in order to be able to use hardware accelerated decoding. This is pretty trivial for an experienced user but may be too complicated for a Linux beginner.

eumagga0x2a

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Re: Do you recommend AVIDEMUX for an absolute begginer?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 07:45:56 PM »
If you are familiar with VirtualDub, Avidemux won't be completely alien to you. But please evaluate first (e.g. ask here) whether a particular re-encoding is really necessary.

When starting with Avidemux, please mind that you must change video output from "Copy" to the encoder of your choice (e.g. "Mpeg4 AVC (x264)") first, otherwise you can't access video filters. The same applies to audio filters.

You should be also aware that Avidemux always uses square pixels for display so that anamorphic videos look squeezed. When saving to MKV or MP4, you can force the desired display aspect ratio in the configuration of the output format (of the muxer) without re-encoding video.

Don't use MP4v2 as output.

If you use appImage, don't forget to make it executable first.

As you have a very small display, you probably should pull the menu toolbar to the side of the Avidemux window to save precious vertical space.

Try to avoid Qt as video output driver, it is not accelerated and is the last resort. The best output would be LibVA, but it is not available in appImage, unfortunately. Try XVideo instead.

When you really need to crop and rescale a video, please pay attention to the width and height in pixels to be a multiple of 16. This is very important for compressibility.

Further recommendations when due  :)

rmlazzari

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Re: Do you recommend AVIDEMUX for an absolute begginer?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 04:00:07 PM »
Thanks for your attention, eumagga0x2a. And here we go:

Yes, I use a laptop, HP-1000. The graphics card is integrated and is specified as "Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller".

Yesterday I tested Avidemux and I found, for the tasks I usually do - beginner opinion - much better than the old VirtualDub. Recompiling a video longer than 2 hours took 50 minutes. The speed was almost always 50 fps when with VirtualDub sometimes it reached 15 fps but it was common to be 10 fps. I noticed, for an Applet, that with Avidemux the memory (4Gb, in my case) is almost all occupied. Tha's not a problem as I can wait but... is it right?

In order to make video files as small as possible, I sought to minimize them as much as possible without losing quality or, at least, in a reasonable quality. The original file size I've tested was 2.8Gb. I deleted the final file as it was just a test, without noticing the final size but, if I'm not mistaken, got about 900Mb, no sound. I changed only one option: instead of "Copy" in "Video Output" I opted for "Intel H264". I also used the "swsResize" filter to reduce screen size from 1920 x 804 to 1366 x 572.

Finally I turned off the audio because it has 6 channels and I intended to reduce it to 2 channels. Here may be an explanation: in reducing audio I often reduce the volume of the L, R, L side and R side tracks by 6dB, the volume of C and LFE tracks by 9 dB and merge in just two tracks as follows:

(input -> output)
L -> L
R -> R
Llat -> L
Rlat -> R
C -> L
C -> R
LFE -> L
LFE -> R

I examine the final file, only stereo, also for volume. Action videos, for example, have high volume spikes and low dialogues. I know that for movie lovers what I do is a mortal sin, but I try to lower the high peaks and increase the low peaks. Intimate videos, dramas or what people call "noir" have more or less constant volume. In this case, when it's too low, I turn up the volume. Can I do that using only Avidemux?

Now, as for recoding using H264, I just do, as I said, because I have a recipe ready. Which would be better?

Another point, dear eumaga0x2a, is the question of this AppImage. The version I installed directly from Mint's "Application Manager" seems to be of this type but as far as I understand, to use programs installed via AppImage you need to be connected to the Internet. If so, it would be better for a version that worked on its own so that I could "play" even when I'm out of town. For now I still don't know how to compile a local version and maybe this is not a good place for you to teach me these Linux basics but if it doesn't cause you any discomfort and you can give some tips, I will be grateful.

Finally, on your recommendation (use LibVA or XVideo as output driver), even at the risk of talking nonsense, well ... there is no such option in "Output Video". Should I adjust this somewhere else?


Well, thanks again for your attention and patience, and please apologize for any errors in English (I'm using Google Translator).

eumagga0x2a

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Re: Do you recommend AVIDEMUX for an absolute begginer?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 10:08:13 PM »
The speed was almost always 50 fps when with VirtualDub sometimes it reached 15 fps but it was common to be 10 fps.

This is due to usage of a HW accelerated encoder:

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instead of "Copy" in "Video Output" I opted for "Intel H264"

The achievable compression rate for a similar quality is much worse than with x264, but the speed is indeed excellent. VirtualDub was probably using just the CPU.

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I noticed, for an Applet, that with Avidemux the memory (4Gb, in my case) is almost all occupied. Tha's not a problem as I can wait but... is it right

I would attribute it to a different strategy for memory management on Linux: Linux tries to keep as much as possible cached in memory. Unless your system is forced to swap memory to disk, I don't think that something is wrong.

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In order to make video files as small as possible, I sought to minimize them as much as possible without losing quality or, at least, in a reasonable quality.

If quality and size matter, don't use HW accelerated encoder.

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I also used the "swsResize" filter to reduce screen size from 1920 x 804 to 1366 x 572.

As I already explained, you seriously worsen compressibility and quality by using width and height which are not a multiple of 16.

Quote
Finally I turned off the audio because it has 6 channels and I intended to reduce it to 2 channels. Here may be an explanation: in reducing audio I often reduce the volume of the L, R, L side and R side tracks by 6dB, the volume of C and LFE tracks by 9 dB and merge in just two tracks as follows:

(input -> output)
L -> L
R -> R
Llat -> L
Rlat -> R
C -> L
C -> R
LFE -> L
LFE -> R

[...] Can I do that using only Avidemux?

No. Avidemux has only one way to downmix to stereo, it is not tunable. Either the result is good enough for you or you take the hassles of using an external audio editor.

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Now, as for recoding using H264, I just do, as I said, because I have a recipe ready. Which would be better?

Not to re-encode at all.

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The version I installed directly from Mint's "Application Manager"

Which version of Avidemux is available via this "Application Manager"? Please check in Avidemux: "Help" --> "About".

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as far as I understand, to use programs installed via AppImage you need to be connected to the Internet.

??? You need internet connection only to download it (on this or a different computer). Avidemux doesn't need internet connection at all. Only the update check (which can be easily disabled in Avidemux preferences) uses internet to query (a failure is non-fatal) the version of the last published release from the project server.

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For now I still don't know how to compile a local version and maybe this is not a good place for you to teach me these Linux basics but if it doesn't cause you any discomfort and you can give some tips, I will be grateful.

Try reading https://avidemux.org/smif/index.php/topic,18371.0.html (please do not start following the instructions before having reached the end of the topic) and ask questions when your own research turns out to be fruitless.

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Finally, on your recommendation (use LibVA or XVideo as output driver), [...] there is no such option in "Output Video". Should I adjust this somewhere else?

"Edit" --> "Preferences" --> "Display".

Quote
please apologize for any errors in English (I'm using Google Translator).

Google Translate is doing a great job, almost no problems to understand. However, if you notice some misunderstandings, feel free to provide the original untranslated version as well.

MeanAdmin

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Re: Do you recommend AVIDEMUX for an absolute begginer?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 08:25:09 PM »
He has trouble posting (cleantalk blocking him), here is his answer
-------------------------------

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Which version of Avidemux is available via this "Application Manager"? Please check in Avidemux: "Help" --> "About".

Avidemux 2.7.4. release

I saw, also, that you're the developer of Avidemux. So congratulations and double thanks, for the excellent program as well as for the kind and precise help.

Quote
Try reading https://avidemux.org/smif/index.php/topic,18371.0.html (please do not start following the instructions before having reached the end of the topic) and ask questions when your own research turns out to be fruitless.

I think I made a mistake when I said the installed version is AppImage type. Actually I got confused because in the Mint Application Manager's window which offers this program there is the information: "Remote: Flathub". Flathub is not Flatpack...

If that is right, I'll let the program compiling and link-editing from sources tasks for later...

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Not to re-encode at all.

Using VirtualDub (a good program, too), if I don't choose a compression option, if I'm not wrong, I still can crop and resize but the final video become enormous, realy realy big. With Avidemux, as far as I understood, if I choose "Copy" as Video Output, the final video will have the same compression as the input video, is it right? But, in this case, I can't resize nor croping the image...

I'll try to convert a video using your recomendation set (LIBVA and marking "Round to the nearest multiple of 16" box) and, instead of Video Output with H264, I'll try Mpeg4 AVC 264. I read through Internet HEVC x265 encoder is very good, too. I'll try both.

Thank you again, eumagga0x2a!

eumagga0x2a

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Re: Do you recommend AVIDEMUX for an absolute begginer?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 08:57:59 PM »
He has trouble posting (cleantalk blocking him), here is his answer

Thanks for relaying, CleanTalk seems to use very poor algorithms.

===========================================

Quote from: rmlazzari
Quote from: eumagga0x2a
Which version of Avidemux is available via this "Application Manager"? Please check in Avidemux: "Help" --> "About".

Avidemux 2.7.4. release

Okay, this is the last release.

Quote
I saw, also, that you're the developer of Avidemux. So congratulations and double thanks, for the excellent program as well as for the kind and precise help.

I'm a contributor, actually a user like you turned into developer, who found everything already in place. I've fixed some issues which bothered me (and am trying to find time and energy to keep contributing while easy stuff is becoming increasingly rare) and polished a number of rough edges. Additionally, I provide support in the forum. The application and the entire project is being maintained by Mean, who created and continuously worked on it (formely in a joined effort with Gruntster, Jakub Misak, JSC and other developers). Your thanks belong to 95% (a conservative estimate) to them.

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I think I made a mistake when I said the installed version is AppImage type. Actually I got confused because in the Mint Application Manager's window which offers this program there is the information: "Remote: Flathub". Flathub is not Flatpack...

Flathub hosts applications distributed as flatpaks. As you have the latest release with features like full LibVA support available, which seems to work fine (apart from the bugs fixed since then), you don't need to look into compiling right now.

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With Avidemux, as far as I understood, if I choose "Copy" as Video Output, the final video will have the same compression as the input video, is it right?

Yes, exactly.

Quote
But, in this case, I can't resize nor croping the image...

Right, I argue that you should neither resize nor crop videos – at least as long as you can decode them using the hardware acceleration and as long as the dimensions are supported by the GPU.

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I'll try to convert a video using your recomendation set (LIBVA and marking "Round to the nearest multiple of 16" box) and, instead of Video Output with H264, I'll try Mpeg4 AVC 264.

For archiving purposes, yes, x264 provides better quality (you should change the default "baseline" profile in the encoder settings to "high" though).

Quote
I read through Internet HEVC x265 encoder is very good, too. I'll try both.

Please don't – if the purpose is to play the output on this notebook. Your GPU doesn't support HW accelerated decoding of HEVC.