For Kasie, who wants to put her skydiving video on myspace.
This post describes how to convert an unprotected DVD into a format that can be uploaded to myspace, YouTube, Google Video or any other web video host. Protected DVDs such as store-bought or rented movies require extra steps that are not covered in this post.
Starting out with a fresh Windows XP computer, you will need:
You need to install Auto Gordian Knot (AutoGK). Choose the defaults. The install is unusual, in that it installs a few other programs as well (VobSub, AviSynth and XviD). It might be a bit confusing, but just go through all of the installers that come up. They are not evil*.
Once the install is complete, start AutoGK. Put your DVD into the drive.
The next step is to choose the files to convert. In general, the file you want to choose is VTS_01_0.IFO, in the VIDEO_TS folder on the DVD. If you have more than one video on the DVD then you might have to choose a higher number e.g.. VTS_02_0.IFO but on a home movie or skydiving video this is unlikely.
Next we need to choose the location of the file to create. Just put it anywhere you want. In the example I just put it on the desktop. The filename needs to end in “.AVI”.
- A fixed width of 320 (you have to use the down arrow)
- VBR MP3 at 128 Kbps
- XviD codec (if you installed DivX and prefer it, by all means choose it)
Why these settings? From the YouTube help:
What’s the best format to upload for high quality? We recommend the MPEG4 (DivX, XviD) format at 320×240 resolution with MP3 audio. Resizing your video to these specifications before uploading will help your clips look better on YouTube.
The last thing we have to determine is the size of the file to create. I would recommend, at the above settings, 10MB per minute for good quality. This is because we are going to send it to a server and they will do their own conversion so we want as good as we can get, within a reasonable file size. The bigger the file, the longer it will take to send to the server, the smaller the file the lower the quality. The DVD I used to make this post is about 4 minutes long, so I chose 40MB as the file size.
We are nearly ready to start. Once everything above has been set, click the Add Job button. Then click the Start button next to it. Stuff will start to happen. AutoGK uses other programs to do its work (remember all the stuff that got installed), so different things will be popping up for a while. The second one that pops up (well, pops behind) is for VirtualDubMod. It will say “GNU General Public License”. You need to click this, press OK (if you agree, of course), and then press Start VirtualDubMod. Your computer will be effectively useless to you for some time as converting videos will use 100% of its CPU. Go make a cup of tea. Drink it. Clean the house. Make dinner. Eat it. Clean up. Check to see if the video is finished. Of course this depends on the length of your video and the power of your computer, but the point is that this takes a while.
When there is no longer anything listed in the Job Queue box then your video is finished. Watch it. Revel in your new skills and give yourself a pat on the back. All you have to do is upload it to myspace, YouTube, whatever and you are done.
*Shifty and Pinkjoint are not responsible for any evil caused by third parties.