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Convert Video Using XMedia Recode

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+Xinok    294

This guide will introduce you to a program called XMedia Recode, a great freeware video encoder. It's pretty powerful and comparable to MediaCoder and SUPER, yet it's fairly easy to use once you learn how to use it.

This is not an in-depth guide to video encoding. This guide simply aims to show you how to use the program, what settings and features are available to you, and where to find everything.

Download XMedia Recode

The site is not in english, but it should be obvious what everything is. There are two versions of XMedia Recode available:

XMedia Recode -> installer

XMedia Recode Portable

http://www.xmedia-recode.de/download.html

If the program is not in english by default, you can change the language from the file menu:

post-57213-1262304670.png

Add Video Files

To add video files to encode, click 'Open File' in the toolbar. You can select and add multiple files at once.

You can also drag and drop files into the program. You cannot drag in folders however.

post-57213-1262305518.png

If you'd prefer to rip a DVD, click the DVD button on the toolbar, then click 'Open DVD'.

post-57213-1262305524.png

This dialog lets you choose a drive letter, or browse for a folder containing the DVD video.

post-57213-1262305531.png

Highlighting Files

This is one of the quirks of the program which makes it slightly confusing to use, and is important to remember when using it.

When editing the output properties of the videos, only the files selected / highlighted in the list are being edited.

  • If you want to edit the properties of all of the videos at once, you must highlight all of the videos in the list.
  • If you want to edit the properties of just one video, only select that one video.
  • You can select and highlight any videos you want to edit the properties of just those videos.

post-57213-1262304936_thumb.png

Format Tab

The format tab allows you to choose the container type (AVI, MKV, MP4, etc.) and the video and audio codecs (H.264, XVID, AAC, MP3, etc). There are also several presets available for devices available from various manufacturers.

Note: Microsoft is at the end of the list. Not sure why, but if you want to encode video for XBOX 360 or Zune, Microsoft is the very last item in the list.

For this guide, I'm going to be using the 'Custom' setting so I can cover most of the features available. The GUI automatically hides settings which are incompatible or irrelevant to the current device, container, or codec.

For this example, I'm using Matroska Video (MKV) as the container format, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 as the video codec and AAC as the audio codec.

XMedia Recode supports two audio tracks. You can choose a different codec format for each audio track if you wish.

If you want to remove the video or audio stream, you can select Video only or Audio only to the right.

post-57213-1262305337_thumb.png

Video Tab

The video tab allows you to edit several settings. You can adjust some basic settings like Bitrate and framerate, or more advanced settings like B-Frames and Quantizers.

To be perfectly honest, I don't know what most of these settings do, so I'll only explain some of the basic settings.

There are four methods for setting the video bitrate or quality:

  • Average Bitrate
  • 2-Pass average bitrate
  • Constant Quantizer
  • Constant Quality

You can choose a different framerate, or choose Keep original to keep the original framerate of the video.

There are some filters available if you know how to use them:

  • Grayscale
  • Deinterlace
  • Full Range
  • Noise Reduction
  • Deblocking
  • Deblocking Strength
  • Deblocking Threshold

Checking the very last setting Video Copy will attempt to keep the original video stream rather than converting it.

post-57213-1262305670_thumb.png

Audio Track Tabs

XMedia Recode supports two audio tracks. There are two tabs so you can configure each audio track individually.

If the original video(s) only have one audio track, you can simply ignore the Audio Track 2 tab.

The first setting, Audio track, lets you choose which audio stream to use from the original video.

You can choose different languages for each track, if for example your video has english and spanish audio tracks.

There are two methods for choosing bitrate or quality;

  • Average Bitrate
  • Constant Quantizer

You can adjust the volume of the audio tracks using two different methods:

  • Volume change, which adjusts the volume to a certain percentage.
  • Volume normalization, which sets the audio to a fixed volume.

post-57213-1262306653_thumb.png

Subtitle Tab

This tab only appears depending on the formats you use.

Unfortunately, I think this is the only setting available for Subtitles.

post-57213-1262308650_thumb.png

Tag Tab

This tab only appears depending on the formats you use.

If you have this tab, it lets you tag your video files with some basic information.

  • Title
  • Artist
  • Album
  • Copyright
  • Year
  • Track
  • Genre
  • Comment

post-57213-1262306948_thumb.png

Crop / Preview Tab

This tab lets you perform certain actions on video files.

Remember you can edit certain videos by only highlighting those videos in the list!

The list of actions available here to you are:

  • Resolution (Resize video)
  • Crop
  • Padding (Add borders)
  • Color correction (Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, Hue, Saturation)
  • Deblocking
  • Denoise
  • Invert (Invert colors)
  • Channel Mapping (Change audio channels, e.g. swap stereo channels)

The video preview on the right lets you see all your adjustments in real time.

post-57213-1262307028_thumb.png

Jobs Tab

This is another quirk of the program. Before you can encode the videos, you must add them to the jobs list first.

To add videos to the job list, simply click Add Job on the toolbar.

post-57213-1262307469.png

The jobs tab has one very cool feature:

Assuming you used bitrates and not quantizers / quality, the program will give you a fair estimate of how big your video files are going to be. This is great if you want the files to fit on a CD / DVD, or any other storage media.

post-57213-1262307561_thumb.png

Why the Jobs tab?

I'm not sure what the exact purpose of the jobs tab is, but I can see a few uses for it. For example, you can encode files for multiple devices at the same time. You can encode a movie for an iPod and PSP at the same time.

Also, you can use it to try different video settings. You can play with different formats, various bitrates, etc. and keep the videos you think are best.

Encode Video

Before encoding, you can change the process priority from the file menu. It's in the file menu under Options >> CPU Priority.

post-57213-1262308197.png

Once you have everything you want in the jobs list, simply click Encode on the toolbar.

post-57213-1262307829.png

The main window disappears so it doesn't hog your screen. Then a simple progress dialog appears to show you the progress of the conversion.

The percentage and time remaining are not very accurate. Each video is given an equal percentage. I encoded two videos, so each video is 50% of the progress.

post-57213-1262307880.png

When the job is complete, a popup will appear to notify you.

post-57213-1262307968.png

Summary

In this test conversion, the video files came out just fine. The video looked fine, and the audio sounded fine. The audio and video were in sync the entire video. And most importantly, I can randomly jump and seek around in the video without problem, something many video encoders fail to do.

post-57213-1262308819.jpg

XMedia Recode is one of the best freeware video encoders I've ever used, and I highly recommend it to everybody. It's not exactly obvious how to use it at first, which is why I wrote this guide.

To summarize the main quirks of the program:

  • You must highlight the video files in the list which you want to adjust the properties for.
  • You must add the videos to the jobs list first before you can click Encode.

  • Like 1

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BigItup    0

Thanks this looks like a really good program.

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veternan    39

Great, Great, Great Encoder!! (Y)

Thank You So Much for Introducing and Guide!! :woot:

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Copernic    434

Great software and Great guide, Thanks!

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Scorbing    517

This guide will introduce you to a program called XMedia Recode, a great freeware video encoder. It's pretty powerful and comparable to MediaCoder and SUPER, yet it's fairly easy to use once you learn how to use it.

[snipped]

Freemake Video Encoder is way better than this. Freemake supports CUDA as well.

http://www.freemake.com/

15p0ak2.jpg

Edited by John S.
no need whatsoever for quoting his entire post

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+Xinok    294

Freemake Video Encoder is way better than this. Freemake supports CUDA as well.

http://www.freemake.com/

Freemake is a great encoder for most jobs, but you can only configure basic encoding settings like bitrate and frame size. XMedia Recode is far more advanced, with support for many more formats, codecs, and over 700 profiles for various devices. It also provides dozens of settings to tweak the encoding. I'm not even sure what 90% of those settings do.

post-57213-0-41978800-1313298169.png

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Scorbing    517

Freemake is a great encoder for most jobs, but you can only configure basic encoding settings like bitrate and frame size. XMedia Recode is far more advanced, with support for many more formats, codecs, and over 700 profiles for various devices. It also provides dozens of settings to tweak the encoding. I'm not even sure what 90% of those settings do.

post-57213-0-41978800-1313298169.png

Does Xmedia support acceleration through CUDA or DirectX? It doesn't say on their web site. I'm curious.

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TheLegendOfMart    1,558

Using CUDA to transcode limits the quality settings you can use.

If you turn off all the settings in a regular x264 encoder to match it with a CUDA encoder you would get just as fast encoding.

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Juan4Ever    6

It needs a configuration option to set the subtitles character set encoding. The spanish subtitles display wrong characters in a PC and in my ATV3 simply do not display. Right now i prefer MkvToMp4.

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Sulphy    1,426

Handbrake is still the tool of choice for me :)

But great guide, and nice job :)

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Juan4Ever    6

Handbrake is still the tool of choice for me :)

But great guide, and nice job :)

Great app, but it only transcode, not remux.

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gonwk    0

Hi Xinok,

Very Nice Guide ... Xinok, can you help ...

Q: In XMedia, can you choose more than One (1) filter? and How?

You know like Resolution + DeBlocking+ Color + etc.

BTW, for those saying HandBrake is the one for them ... HB uses the same Encoders/Decoders as XMedia ... just a different GUI!!!

Thanks,

G! :)

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