I have been trying to convert my library of DVD ISO files (all legal rips) to a format compatible with my XBox 360. After a week of struggling, I came across ffmpegX which at first glance appeared to be the answer to my prayers. After successfully converting around 15 DVD ISO by copying the VIDEO_TS directory to my harddrive and dropping it on to ffmpegX I started to find DVDs that it would not work with in some cases it would say there was no audio stream in other cases it would perform the action very quickly resulting in a file of only a few kb.
I have begun to think it is something to do with Titles/Chapters. In the successful encodings, I was simply leaving the Title value as 1 (the default) and the Chapter values blank (also the default). However, I discovered using VLC that some of the DVDs I was having trouble with had the main Title as something other than 1. I tried changing the Title number to that matching the main title but this did not seem to work. I also tried specifying the correct Chapter range but this did not seem to work.
I feel sure I am not alone in this problem. How do people go about debugging an encoding session when it does not work?
What information should I provide to get more assistance?
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1. What did you rip with?
2. It's ALWAYS best to create an ISO or folder set with the movie only....then convert.
Thanks for responding.
I do my ripping with Wondershare DVD Copy. I rip the whole DVD to ISO. By 'movie only', do you mean create a DVD ISO featuring only the main title?
Thanks for that.
The first three applications you mention look like they are for Windows and i'm on a Mac. I am aware of Handbrake but it does not (on the Mac) output any format that is compatible with XBox 360 AND features 5.1 surround.
However, I realised what I actually use for ripping is Wondershare DVD Copy Pro and that will allow me to take a full DVD copy ISO and convert it to a VIDEO_TS folder featuring just the main movie - this may be a way forward...
Oh Crap. My fault.
No problem - you advice about the main movie could be the answer...
Handbrake will convert them for you but to get an .avi container you'll have to use v0.9.3 of Handbrake since they dropped .avi support with v0.9.4 and 0.9.5.
The exception is if you set up your Xbox to be a Media Extender. Everytime I get to that point, I'm so frustrated that I convince the people to get a WD Live instead and just call it good.
I have been creating AVI xvid files with 5.1 passthrough from some of my DVDs and I believe I have been successfully streaming them with surround sound from my Western Digital World Edition running Twonky Server. I say "believe" because it doesn't seem to kick my Samsung Surround amplifier into surround automatically - I have to manually change it. I have played a number of movies produced using this technique and am fairly certain I have detected surround (by listening).
I actually own a WD TV Live but am selling it to fund the XBox as I don't want any more boxes. I realise the WD TV supports a lot more file formats but it was always buggy.
Sadly it turns out my surround sound was using Dolby Pro Logic II when I switched it manually rather than Dolby Digital (AC3).
I had start to convince myself that the XBox couldn't process AVIs with AC3 til I found the Rambo sample of AVI on this site that proved that it could. When I play the Rambo sample on the XBox, my surround switches successfully into Dolby Digital (AC3).
This is bittersweet as it means that it is achievable but the hours spent encoding 30+ of my DVDs have been wasted.
My current procedure is to extract the VOBs for the main title (excluding the first one which is usually the menu) then cat them together from the command line. I then use ffmpegx to turn them into xvid setting audio encode to false and choosing passthrough.
This has not worked to date. One thing that is curious is that when I start with a VIDEO_TS folder, the Audio Tracks dropdown shows text telling me the type of audio whereas when I start with a VOB it just shows a number (usually 0). I wonder whether the Audio Tracks dropdown gets its information from the IFO file in the VIDEO_TS folder?
I think in my next attempt I will start with a VIDEO_TS folder containing only the VOB files for the main title (excluding the menu) and the IFO file and see if this pulls through the Audio Track info. If I then choose AC3 5.1 this SHOULD work.
I have finally been able to create an AVI xvid file with AC3 5.1 Dolby Digital surround. To do this, I downloaded an old version of Handbrake (0.93 I think) which still supported AVI/xvid. Using passthrough I was able to encode with AC3.
On playing the file from my NAS to the XBox, the surround sound system reported that Dolby Digital was present and sound was ouputted from all speakers.
...the sound and picture stuttered like crazy.
After more searching I discovered that it might work if I played the file from a USB drive. This worked! Apparently, playing the file this was may use different codecs.
So after the best part of three weeks, I have my solution - Wondershare DVD Copy Pro to create a full ISO backup then Handbrake to encode to AVI.
The downside is that my NAS is now fairly useless and everytime I want to add a film to the AVI collection I will have to unplug the drive etc.
Close but no cigar
That's exactly what would happen to me, also. That's why I have finally given up using the Xbox 360 as a media streamer.