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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2012
    Location: Washington State, United States of America
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    Following are the technical circumstances of my situation, after which are my questions:

    I used the HD Streams ExtractorTool in MeGUI v 2153 to extract .h264, .DTSHD, .ac3, and .sup stream files from a Blu-ray Disc movie. I then used mkvmergeGUI v 5.6.0 to multiplex two separate MKV files containing those streams.
    • One file, V1.mkv, contains three tracks: a video track, an audio track, and a subtitle track. Its playback length is 0:57 seconds.
    • The other file, V2.mkv, contains five tracks and a chapter file: a video track, the feature audio track, a commentary audio track, the feature subtitle track, and the commentary subtitle track. Its playback length is 1:55:49.
    For both .mkv files I disabled header stripping in mkvmerge GUI; I also disabled compression on eachindividual track.
    I obtained the segment UID for V1.mkv using mkvinfo GUI v 5.6.0. In mkvmerge GUI, I entered the segment UID from V1.mkv in the Previous segment UID field of the File/segmentlinking section of the Global tab for muxing V2.mkv.

    The desired result is that when I play V2.mkv, V1.mkv plays first, and when it ends, V2.mkv automatically loads and plays. I am using Windows Media Player 12 and HaaliMedia Splitter 1.11.288.0 along with the Shark007 Codecs v 3.7.0.All my MKVs play correctly.

    However, since I linked V1.mkvand V2.mkv, the unexpected result is this:

    The Windows Media Player playback timeline displays the length of the video as 57 seconds (the length ofthe first segment), even after the second segment loads. The second segment isactually 1:55:49. I cannot use the playhead to seek within that timeline. What I can do is use thechapters listed in the Haali Media Splitter to jump to any point in themovie. The movie will play perfectly from start to finish, but the timelinewill show that it has reached the end after the first 57 seconds.

    So, here are my questions:
    1. Is there any way to correct this?
    2. Is this a known side-effect of using segment linking?
    3. How can I ensure future linked MKVs won’t exhibit this unwanted playback behavior?
    Last edited by QuantumTronix; 10th Jul 2012 at 02:28.
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
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    what you are linking are not "segments". disjointed files are not parts of a single video that was separated into segments, so there is no continuity in the timecodes. you have 2 videos each with a start code of 0.

    so no you can't fix it.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  3. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    You used a hack (a VERY SMART HACK!, but a hack nonetheless) so I'm not at all surprised at the outcome. What aedipuss said is correct, but there's probably more to it than that - you're really only loading V1.mkv, and NOT COUNTING the UID, the V1.mkv file has no "knowledge" or the other file or its properties.

    If you're only trying to play a couple of files seamlessly on a PC, maybe you should check out playlist metafiles (*.ASX, *.SMIL, etc) instead. Those will link the 2 and play seamlessly (or nearly) and "reset" the timecode on the new clip, allowing seeking, etc.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: United States
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    Your problem may be due to the differences in the number of tracks in each file. I've never actually used segment linking as you are trying to do, but created chapters that referenced all of the segments. I generally follow the process outlined here, http://mod16.org/hurfdurf/?p=8, in section on ordered chapters.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2012
    Location: Washington State, United States of America
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    To everyone who replied to my thread so far, thank you! I really appreciate your feedback.

    I wasn’t planning to get into the details of the bigger picture of my situation, but after reading your replies, I think that may now be necessary in order for you to provide what you may consider to be best-practice approaches to achieving my desired outcomes.


    Background

    For the last two years I have been transferring my physical Blu-ray Disc and DVD collections to my computer in ISO format. The advantages of this format, as you probably know, are that the movies stored on my computer are identical archives of their physical media counterparts, ensuring lossless long-term storage.

    Be that as it may, the cons, in my opinion, outweigh the pros and have finally prompted me to find a more agreeable solution. For my purposes, the drawbacks of movies stored as ISO images are:
    • 2-step process for playback. First the ISO image must be mounted in a virtual drive such as Daemon Tools; then the virtual disc must be played from a software player that supports Blu-ray Disc playback, in my case Power DVD 9.
    • Window Media Player Library/ Windows Media Center. Of course, ISO images don’t appear in either the Windows Media Player 12 Videos Library or Windows Media Center 7, (unless they have been mounted first, in the case of Windows Media Center), and it is impractical, perhaps even impossible, to have an entire collection of ISO images numbering more than 4 mounted to virtual drives simultaneously all the time.
    • No metadata support. ISO images don’t have video metadata tags in Windows Explorer.
    • Large file size. Unwanted features, such as multiple language tracks, contribute to unnecessarily large file sizes.
    Vision for my new Matroska-format video library

    I have spent the last several weeks researching alternatives to storing movies as ISO images. My paramount requirement is to retain the original quality of the audio/video streams—in other words, I should not have to re-encode any of my movies and thus risk a reduction in image or sound quality. Thus I chose Matroska as my preferred video format. But of course there are several other benefits upon which I hope to capitalize, such as playback in Windows Media Player 12, and the ability to retain the extras, or bonus features, from the original movie discs.

    Playback in Windows Media Player
    MKVs appear in the Videos Library. This is important. I choose Windows Media Player 12 as my music and video player because it is the only media player I have used that has such a comprehensive and customizable media library. With the right codecs, you can play nearly any format of audio or video. And MKV is thankfully not an exception. Additionally, I have found that Windows Media Player 12 respects the “Hidden” file attribute. A file marked as “Hidden”will not appear in Windows Media Player 12. Unfortunately, Windows Media Center 7 does not respect file attributes.

    Metadata tagging. An equally important feature to me, perhaps the most important feature after lossless quality, is that the Windows Media Player 12 Videos Library provides metadata tagging capabilities not seen in Media Center Classic: Home Cinema, VLC, or even, sadly, Windows Media Center 7. This is very important because Windows Explorer does not support video metadata properties for the MKV format as it does for the WMV and MP4 video formats, nor are there any media players that I have read of that properly and aesthetically display the tags from the XML tag files that can be muxed into MKVs. Those few players that do display Matroska tags (such as VLC) don’t provide a framework for interacting with them the way Windows Media Player 12 does: they can’t be searched, filtered, or sorted.

    Retain extras from BD and DVD originals
    I want to keep all my movies with their extras and bonus features. MKV seems to provide a way to make it appear as if all of the bonus content can be accessed from one video title entry in a media library.

    Extras as a Windows Media Player Playlist
    Cornucopia, you suggested that I use playlists to organize and play back my videos seamlessly. That was a great idea, and prior to starting this thread, I had already experimented with it, but I quickly dismissed it as a satisfactory solution.

    Drawbacks
    • To be included in a playlist, each extra appears in the Videos Library as an individual video entry; thus they have no context connecting them to the feature film they belong to. That makes the library messy and unorganized. Most of the video tags are inapplicable to extras independent of the main movie, such as director, writer, producer, actors, etc.
    • For a video library with more than 25 titles, it would be visually untidy to have them all appear as playlists under the Playlist section of the Library Navigation Pane.
    • Playlists are not searchable in the library.
    • Playlists have no associated metadata tags.
    So now that you have a technical background and a description of my desired outcomes, let’s discuss best practices for achieving these results. This is where I need feedback, because I don’t know what best-practice is in the Matroska framework.




    Ideas for the best approach for accessing extras with MKV
    1. Store each extra from the original ISO in its own MKV file, then chain-link all files to the feature presentation MKV as segments. Enable the “Hidden” attribute for all extraneous MKVs in a title folder so they don’t appear in the Windows Media Player Videos Library. End-user result: Upon starting playback of an MKV title from the Windows Media Player Videos Library, the Haali Media Splitter right-click menu displays all extras and the main feature as separate selectable segments. Upon selecting the desired segment, the individual audio and subtitle streams for that segment are presented, along with any chapters. There’s only one drawback here, and it is the one about which I started this thread.
    2. Ordered Chapters. How does this work? Store all extras as individual MKVs along with the main feature MKV in a title folder,create an ordered chapters XML file, mux it into the feature presentation MKV, mark all extraneous MKVs as “Hidden,” play from the Windows Media Player Videos Library, and choose extras from the Haali Media Splitter right-click menu as chapter entries instead of segments?
    3. Append all bonus feature streams into one multiplexed MKV? This doesn’t work since all streams are not equal in number of tracks or codecs used. Are there any workarounds? What is the intended purpose of the "Append" feature? What is the end-user’s playback experience with this feature properly implemented?
    In conclusion, I realize this is a long post, but my hope is that with all the facts of the circumstances and explanation of how I want to use the MKV format, you will know better what to recommend.

    Again, thank you all for your support so far.
    Last edited by QuantumTronix; 11th Jul 2012 at 20:40.
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