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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Potlatch
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    I'm working my way through downloading 36 tapes from between 15 & 19 years ago.

    These are all DV tapes of family holidays. I am computer literate (build my own PC's) but I have never done anything serious with video

    I'm working in Adobe Spark initially with approx 6 mins of video. Spark tells me it cannot read my AVI files from my Panasonic DV camera. I used the Miro utility recommended by Adobe to re-code as mp4.

    But I'm worried about quality. The original AVI files for this segment total 1.47Gb. After conversion through Miro, I now have just 151 Mb of files. I'm assuming that mp4 is a more modern format, but is this actually a reasonable conversion?

    In total I'm expecting to have 500Gb of AVI files. While I can easily cope with storage of this amount (even with back-ups), it would obviously be easier, faster cheaper etc if I only had to archive mp4 versions at approx 10% of that size.

    My questions therefore is - Is it reasonable to use the MP4 versions with that compression in my Adobe Spark show, and would it be worthwhile converting all files to MP4 for long term storage?

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    Last edited by kimbulford; 26th Aug 2020 at 23:48.
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  2. Compression is about bitrate (filesize/duration in Kbps) rather than just filesize. How long is your original file ?
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  3. You haven't specified what codecs are being used. But guessing DV AVI to h.264 MP4 10:1 compression is probably moderately high quality. But a lot depends on what else the software is doing. Your source is probably interlaced. Is it being encoded interlaced? Is it being deinterlaced? If so, how well? You should upload a short (10 sec) sample of the source AVI and the encoded MP4.
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  4. The fewer conversions you do, the better the final quality. You always lose quality when you re-encode (in this case, to h.264 MP4).

    In addition, re-encoding takes a LOT of time for a big project like you're doing.

    Even though you didn't say so, I assume you are doing your work on a Mac. It stupidly doesn't like to handle AVI files. However, you can put the DV AVI into an MOV file without having to re-encode. ffmpeg can do this. Although others may have better solutions than using ffmpeg, here's the conversion:

    ffmpeg -i test.avi -acodec copy -vcodec copy movie.mov

    Try this and see if your computer can now read the video. You can then set this up as a two-line batch file and convert all the AVI files to MOV with one command. Just walk away and come back in a few minutes. You use something like this (I think this is right, but I haven't used it for awhile):

    for %%A IN (*.avi) DO ffmpeg -i "%%A" -acodec copy -vcodec copy "%%A.mov"
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  5. Member
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    I'll leave the conversion to .MP4 to the others, but regarding archiving your files. Always save the original file as you'll never be able to get the original quality back once you convert.
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  6. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    you can put the DV AVI into an MOV file
    I agree. If you are going to perform further editing this is your best option. Archive the MOV files, make smaller edited h.264/aac MP4 files for watching, sending to relatives, uploading to youtube, whatever.
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