Sunday, December 16, 2007

Encoding movies in Ubuntu - Why?

So much to my heart's content, since it's been quite some time that I've been out of school and don't need that crappy OS on my system (you know what I'm talking about) I upgraded myself from a dual boot of Windows XP and Fedora Core 3, to a single boot Ubuntu. After a lot of self-debating and reading from forums on whether to migrate to Core 8 or Ubuntu, I went with the Gutsy Gibbon 7.x flavor of Ubuntu. The installation was like eating a piece of cheesecake. Almost a single click installation. Even if Microsoft were to reverse its name, they can't beat this. And remember, although I installed it, one can run the OS directly from the CD. Isin't that cool?

I'll write about some of the cool things of Ubuntu later, now I want to talk about how to encode movies in Ubuntu, since I just went through the process. I had bought an Iomega 500 gig Screenplay which is a hard-drive with multimedia playback capability. I bought that so that I can use it as a hard-drive and at the same time connect it via RCA or S-video to my TV and play directly.Reviews on that product to follow later.

Now this player has some limitations, it plays only AVI, MPEG-4 (with Divx 3.x, 4.x, 5.x encoding), and of course, MP3, JPEG and all that. AVIs just played perfect. Now, I wanted to play some .RM and .WMV movies, that my Iomega player wouldn't normally play. That's where MPlayer and MEncoder came to my rescue. MPlayer is the world's best and most-equipped multimedia player, hands down! Just imagine, if I were to switch to Windows, just to substitute the capabilities of MPlayer, I would need at least 10 different players or softwares. All supported here by just one Mplayer with the appropriate codecs. That's the power of open-source. That's the power of Linux. MEncoder is the encoding engine that comes with the MPlayer and separate.

What do you need to do to convert these RM and WMV files into AVI or MPEG, that my player understands? Read on, the how's on the follow up post...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Cheetah has inspired me, I might just have to buy another laptop purely to experience an open source OS. Maybe an Xmas present to myself...with a piece of cheesecake of course!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Padmanaban Kumar (Paddu @ Just for Kicks) said...


You don't have to buy a new laptop to enjoy the open world experience. Ubuntu runs off the CD too, and it is free of cost. Of course you can install it, like I did, later if you like it. And, even if you want to try other flavors of Linux like Fedora or Mandrake etc. you can still just do a dual boot on your same laptop and run Windows XP (or whatever you like) on the other end. Oops, did I forget you're a Mac guy? You can dual boot that too.

Now the c*****cake ( I promised to Jason and Julie not to utter that word ever again) - that's a true XMas present!

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A technical question: were you able to mount your Screenplay through a network connection? Windows sees it, but Ubuntu doesn't.

4:42 PM  

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