From time stamp 2013-03-03



J&P Multimedia Labs

Printed | Online | CD | DVD | Still | Video


Check out Perian (free) – an absolute must-have for any Mac-user. With Flip4Mac WMV Player (free, the player) as a very useful complement.

(This area focuses on multimedia – audio, video, including photos – and does not include (e.g.) audio books which has its own section.)

Audio here, this section
Video here, this section
audio books own section
ebooks no section yet — Ebook Go-to Guide This primer covers the current ebook ecosystem, from the hardware to the software to where to shop for freebies and best selle –>,2817,2371575,00.asp.




Overview Chart


1. Source 2. Application(s) 3. Organize 4. Edit 5. Share
  • From digital camera
    (photos, video) tips
  • CameraWindow (Canon)
  • Use computer’s file system as is [A,I,V]
  • ImageBrowser (Canon) [I,V]
  • iPhoto (Apple; $1 [I,V]
  • iTunes (Apple; free) [A,V]

[A=Audio; I=Images; V=Video]

> Audio – music, speech; sounds…

Images – graphics, photos,
screenshots, …

  • ImageBrowser (Canon)
  • iPhoto (Apple; $1)
  • Photoshop (Abobe; $$$)
  • quick editing etc – e.g. scaling, thumbsnails more

Video – movies, screen recordings…

  • iMovie (Apple; $1)


> DVD 

Online – Internet…

  • Dreamweaver (Adobe; $$$)
  • Flash Pro (Adobe; $$$)
  • iWeb (Apple; $1)

Podcasts– audio, video…


  • Front Page (Apple)
  • Windows Media Center (Microsoft)


  • From video camera
    (videos, photos) tips
  • iMovie (Apple; $1)
  • Capture (take)
    , images
> Cmd+Shift+4 …
  • Capture (record) audio
  • Capture (record) screen video
  • Capture streaming
    audio, video
> ###
  • iTunes (Apple)
  • DVD Shrink (MS Windows)
  • HandBrake (Mac OS)
  • MacTheRipper (Mac OS)
  • TiVo Desktop (free/$$)
  • TiVo Transfer (Toast-$$)
1 Part of Apple’s iLife software package (iPhoto, iMovie, …) (more below), included (full versions, not cheaper, lower-end, stripped-down versions) free with every new Mac but also sold separately, for (e.g.) upgrades of older version

Other overviews / directories:


1. Sources – Tips

Audio Tips

Improve the Quality of Your Music Library
by Tim Gideon
With MP3 player capacities increasing every year, most devices have more room for “lossless” files now. Lossless files act like ZIP files—they use far less compression but take up much less space than the original, and sound a lot better than lower-bit-rate MP3, WMA, and AAC files. In iTunes or Window Media Player, you can choose to import files as either Apple Lossless or WMA Lossless files. Or, using free software available online, you can convert audio into FLAC (free lossless audio codec)—just make sure your player can support FLAC first. [PCMAG]

Still Camera

Four Ways to Improve Your Digital Photos
These editing tips and techniques can amp up the quality and clarity of your photos—and they’re not that hard, either.
PCMag 2008-07-18

  1. Fixing Backlighting
  2. Fighting Uneven Lighting
  3. Photoshop Elements Technique: Creating Layer Masks
  4. Using Multiply to Add Detail

Photo Editing Quick Tips

Use layers – Whenever possible, don’t make your adjustments directly on your image. Make a copy of the image on a new layer and adjust the copy instead. That way you always have your original safely stored. And then you can use a layer mask so that you don’t even need an entire extra layer to control the effect of your changes.

Selective sharpening – Sharpen your subject, especially the hands and eyes of a person or animal, to help draw it out from the background. You can go even further by deliberately blurring the background for additional effect.

Hue/Saturation layer – Hue/Saturation adjustment is a quick and simple way to add a little bit of “pop” to the colors in an image. It’s easy to overuse, so be careful, but adding a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer and moving the Saturation slider a little to the right can often bring life to washed-out images. Another related pro photographers’ trick: Try increasing the saturation of the subject only. The viewer will be drawn to the vivid subject and it will appear to stand out even more from the relatively dull background. Remember to use a Layer mask.

Advanced tip: Reuse masks – You can use the same Adjustment layer mask for multiple tweaks in Photoshop Elements, which lacks the masking commands that the full version of Photoshop has to do this directly. Just duplicate your Adjustment layer (using the pop-up menu on your layer) instead of creating a new Adjustment layer, and then use the Layer | Layer Content Options command on your new layer to change it to the effect you desire. Then you’ll have a new layer with your desired mask.

In the case of our elephant example we’d duplicate our Levels Adjustment layer (either by choosing the layer, right-clicking, and selecting Duplicate Layer from the context menu, or by dragging it to the new layer icon) and then using the Layer | Layer Content Options command to change our new layer to a Hue/Saturation layer. Then all we need to do is drag the Saturation slider a little bit to the right and we’re done!


Take Infrared Photographs with Your Digital Camera

You can capture the invisible spectrum—even though digital cameras specifically filter it out. PC Mag, 2008-12-08.

Video Camera

Shooting and Editing Better Videos
Want to put together some really outstanding home movies? Follow these simple rules to take your videos to the next level.
PCMag 2008-06-23

  • Editing Rule 1: Break long videos into short scenes.
  • Editing Rule 2: Spend the time to fix your videos.
  • Five Easy Steps for Making a Great Home Movie
    • 1. Create a music video out of the tough parts.
    • 2. Create slide shows with your digital images.
    • 3. Add music to the video. Music is your friend.
    • 4. PAIR effects with the tone of the video.
    • 5. Post at least one scene online



2. Applications For Getting Media Onto Computer



Capture images, record on-screen video, and share online – free application for Mac OS and MS Windows. Download from

Capture Streaming Audio, Video

(A bit old but kept just in case need to test something else, tips in MacWorld June 2005:

  1. iGetMovies application (Note: caching media is required, see #2 below)
    • v2.2 seems to be latest version (per March 2009; no release date info found) –
      What? An application that gets save-disabled QuickTime files. And? When you play QuickTime and Flash movies or audio files (that you cannot save on your hard drive) in Safari or movie trailers on the iTunes Music Store, wait for them to be completly loaded, and iGetMovies will copy them to your Desktop. So, is it good? Does what it says. And that’s enough.
    • Older version (v2.1.1 released 2005-03-11 per March 2009),
  2. Use of cache (Mac, QuickTime) – manually doing what the application above tries to do
    1. Make sure QuickTime media is cached. Apple menu > System Preferences > QuickTime (under Internet & Network). In Browser tab, make sure Save movies in disk cache is checked.
    2. After viewed/played complete media (whole media is downloaded/cached), go to folder (Shift-Cmd-G in Finder) /private/tmp/501/Temporary-Items/ and look for the latest file, name begins with QTPlugInTemp. Move this to desktop and add extension .mov.

Capture streaming audio, video

DVD Shrink etc – Rip DVD

Yet (Dec 2008), the best application found so far to rip complete DVDs – including menus, extras…, is the MS-Windows only DVD Shrink (MS Windows).

Applications on Mac – .e.g. HandBrake and MacTheRipper – are more complex to use and it seems to be very difficult (if possible at all) to get a complete copy of a DVD. HandBrake is great for creating MPEG4 media though…

HandBrake MacTheRipper RipIt! DVD Shrink DVD Decrypter
Platform Mac Mac Mac MS Win MS Win
License/cost Free Free $20 (Jan’10) Free Free
(Reviewed version) 0.9.3 3.0 – R14 1.3.3
 Released Dec 2009 2004 (Aug) March 21, 2005
Source Formats
  physical DVD Yes Yes Yes Yes ###
  VIDEO_TS folder ### No ? Yes ###
(special folder)
Yes ? (output format) ? ?
Exact copy,
complete DVDs incl
menus, extras…
No ~no
(no good
Yes Yes
(to <name>/AUDIO_TS/
Shrinks result Yes Yes No! Yes Yes
Output format(s):
  • MP4
  • MKV
  • AVI
  • OGM
? (no info here, yet)
  • VOB files etc (in VIDEO_TS folder)
  • any other formats tbd
Comments Decent for creating a

single movie file (MP4)

Not useful in

our opinion

  • Does not shrink (result
    can be 8 GB…)
  • Slow compared to
    DVD Shrink (MS Win)
So far the best tool found!

Free, relatively fast,

handles most tested DVDs so far.



Format: MP4 file AVI file manual change
Video (tab)
Video Codec: MPEG-4 (FFmpeg) H.264 (x264) manual change
Framerate (FPS): Same as source
Quality (  ) Target size (MB) 700
(  ) Average bitrate (kbps): 1500
(*) Constant quality
(  ) Target size (MB) 700
(*) Average bitrate (kbps): 1300
(  ) Constant quality
(enables 2-pass below)
Grayscale encoding (unchecked)
2-pass encoding (unchecked, unavail) Checked manual change
  Turbo first pass (unchecked, unavail) Checked manual change
Picture Settings… (button)
Anamorphic Strict None manual change
Width: 720 704 manual change
Height: 480 400 automatic
Keep aspect ratio: (disabled, unchecked) Checked automatic
Crop Automatic Automatic unchanged
Detelecine unchecked Checked manual change
Deinterlace None None unchanged
Denoise: None None unchanged
Deblock Off Off unchanged
Decomb None None unchanged
Audio & Subtitles (tab)
Source: ###
Audio Codec: MP3 (lame) MP3 (lame) unchanged
Mixdown: Stereo Stereo unchanged (only option)
Sample rate Auto Auto unchanged
Bitrate 128 128 unchanged


Rip CDs – iTunes Importing

What E.g. Comments
Audio books For iTunes, iPods…: MUST be AAC (.aa, .m4b) to show up as Audio Book.

AAC Encoder: Spoken Podcast
(32 kbps (mono)/64 kbps (stereo), 22.050 kHz, using voice filtering, optimized for MMX/SSE2)

Audiobooks – separate section.
Music disc


3. Organize



4. Edit



Edit Audio

Audacity, ###

Edit Images


Current favorite small app for quickly scaling lots of pictures is ThumbsUp (freeware) from DEVONtechnologies – download from Per developer intended for creating thumbsnails but you can easily select the prefered size, eg. 640×480, and thus quickly and easily scale lots of photos in one sweep.

Google search

Edit Video


5. Share

DVD Authoring


Create Podcasts

Apple has a good overview with Making a Podcast (local save).

Google podcasting software. (local save)





Specific applications in subsections below, in alphabetical order, but first a brief summary/overview of some selected applications.

Applications Cross Reference / Overview

In alphabetical order:

Application Cost Platforms Comments
Mac Lin Win
DVD Shrink free Best app found so far for complete rip of DVDs, unfortunately only available on MS Windows
Flip4Mac WMV free/
Plug-in components for QuickTime; free Player, at cost for import, edit, export
FLV Crunch free Amazingly good tool for convertion flash media to other forms.
GarageBand (iLife) $$1 make music; part of Apple’s iLife.
iDVD (iLife) $$1 create DVDs including menus, media including movies and slideshows; part of Apple’s iLife.
Image Capture (Apple) incl transfer of media from camera to computer (? – not using, as far as known…)
iMovie (iLife) $$1 edit movies; part of Apple’s iLife.
iPhoto (iLife) $$1 organize and edit photos; part of Apple’s iLife.
iTunes free
iWeb (iLife) $$1 create web sites; part of Apple’s iLife.
Jing free Capture screen to video, record video
MobileMe Gallery (iLife) $$1 share photos and movies online (req. MobileMe account); part of Apple’s iLife.
Perian free Absolute must-have!
QuickTime player free no plays quicktime media, and multiple other formats as well (NOT MPEG-2 though, std)
QuickTime Pro $$ video conversions, basic editing
Video DownloadHelper free Firefox extension
VLC, VideoLan Client free play all sorts of video; one of the most competent players
1 Part of Apple’s iLife software package (iPhoto, iMovie, …) (more below), included (full versions, not cheaper, lower-end, stripped-down versions) free
with every new Mac but also sold separately, for (e.g.) upgrades of older version



Apple’s iLife Suite

More at Six applications is part of iLife ’08:

iPhoto organize and edit photos
iMovie edit movies
iDVD create DVDs including menus, media including movies and slideshows
GarageBand make music
iWeb create web sites
MobileMe Gallery share photos and movies online (req. MobileMe account)


Apple’s iTunes        ###, and iPods Hardware###

More at Six applications is part of iLife ’08:

Music .aac, .mp3.
Movies ###
TV Shows ###
Podcasts ###
Audiobooks .aa,
Applications for iPhone, iPod Touch
Radio streams via internet, http://…
Ringtones ###

Apple Launches iTunes Plus – (2007-05-30)

iPod: About compatible song formats – (2009-05-14)

iPod 101: Which Files Work With iPod and iTunes – (2006-12-27)

Using Audible spoken word files with iPod – (2007-05-22)

iTunes: How to convert a song to a different file format – (2008-12-19)

Audacity (free) (multiple platforms – Windows | Mac OS | Linux)

“On a par with any commercial audio editor, Audacity is the free sound editor of choice. The latest beta (1.3.6) even supports MPEG-4, Dolby Digital, and Windows Media.” [PCMag, The Best Free Software of 2009]

Audio Hijack Pro ($$)

“Record any audio – three simple words to explain Audio Hijack Pro. Record from applications like iTunes, Skype or DVD Player. Record from microphones, Radiosharks and other hardware. If you hear it, you can record it. Read on or just download now!” (from 2005 but a decent intro to features and capabilities)

More research – Google audio hijacking applications for mac.

(Evaluated / using v2.8.1 from March 2008)

Audio Recorder (free)

Record directly to AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP3, MP4, and WAVE –

Note: this does not capture computer-internal sources like (e.g.) Audio Hijack (above) but from physical connected devices like microphones etc.

(Evaluated / using v3.2 from January 2008; still latest per 2009-02-22)

DownloadHelper (free)

Media download & convert extension to Firefox web browser.

DVD Player (Mac)

(The standard player that is included with the Mac OS X operating system.)


Flip4Mac WMV (free player; $$- edit/other)

Flip4Mac WMV Components allow you to import, export and play Windows Media video and audio files on your Mac. Flip4Mac WMV plug-ins can be used with most QuickTime based applications, including QuickTime Player, iMovie, Final Cut Pro and more., part of

Player Pro
Studio Pro
Studio Pro HD
MLabs have
this one
Play Windows Media using QuickTime player

Play Windows Media using Safari Web Browser

Import Windows Media for edit or conversion
to other QuickTime formats

Export Windows Media using fixed preset
encoding profiles

Create custom encoding profiles

Export High Definition and 2-pass encoding
(Prices per Jan 2009; and stills same July 2010)

Info also available at

FLV Crunch

FLV Crunch is a free, reliable video file converter with a lo-fi look but a solid set of features.

FLV Crunch 1.3.1 for Mac – (Retrieved 2010-03-20)

No official web site found (ref at cnet is geocities but that services has been discontinued. 2010-03-20)



MPEG Streamclip

MPEG Streamclip is a powerful high-quality video converter, player, editor for MPEG, QuickTime, transport streams, iPod. And now it is a DivX editor and encoding machine, and even a stream and YouTube downloader.

You can use MPEG Streamclip to: open most movie formats including MPEG files or transport streams; play them at full screen; edit them with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Trim; set In/Out points and convert them into muxed or demuxed files, or export them to QuickTime, AVI, DV and MPEG-4 files with more than professional quality, so you can easily import them in Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Toast 6, 7, 8, and use them with many other applications or devices. Supported input formats: MPEG, VOB, PS, M2P, MOD, VRO, DAT, MOV, DV, AVI, MP4, TS, M2T, MMV, REC, VID, AUD, AVR, VDR, PVR, TP0, TOD, M2V, M1V, MPV, AIFF, M1A, MP2, MPA, AC3, …

Extract from (2010-07-31; v1.9.3b3 beta):

This free software requires at least Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) and QuickTime 6. It is also compatible with Mac OS X 10.3.x (Panther), Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger), Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) and QuickTime 7. It works with PowerPC and Intel based Macs.

For MPEG-2 playback and conversion, you need the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component. You can buy it from Apple ( If you have either Final Cut Pro or DVD Studio Pro, then the component is already installed and you don’t have to buy it; but you may need to download the latest version from Apple. If you bought an older version of the component, you can update it to the latest version ( Note that the MPEG-2 component is neither required nor useful for MPEG-1 or MPEG-4 files. But it is required for VOB files and transport streams, because they are MPEG-2 files.

For DivX playback and editing, you have to install DivX ( You can also install another codec like 3ivx ( or XviD (, but only with DivX 6.5 and later (or DivX 5.2.1) you can encode DivX files with MP3 audio. For FLV playback and export, you can download and install Perian (

For WMV playback, you can install Flip4Mac WMV Player ( If you also need to export WMV files to another format you have to buy Flip4Mac WMV Player Pro.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WMV EXPORT: if you want to export to WMV with Export to Other Formats, the free Flip4Mac WMV Player stops at 30 seconds; for full length export you have to buy Flip4Mac WMV Studio (



Perian (free)

An absolute must-have for anyone having or getting various types of multimedia files! for more info and download

Perian is a free, open source QuickTime component that adds native support for many popular video formats. Except (Dec 2008) Windows Media – check out Flip4Mac.

Not All (e.g.) MPEG-2’s w/ Perian

Not all MPEG-2 (or MPEG-1) is supported! See MPEG-1 & 2 Video (in supported formats) below.

(And – personally recognized Jan ’09 – apparently neither at least some form of MPEG-2 as used for TiVo…)

Perian aims to provide a single package for all your playback needs. It is a collection of QuickTime components incorporating several libraries:
• libavcodec, from the ffmpeg project, along with code from the old FFusion component:
• MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2
• DivX
• 3ivx
• H.264
• Flash Video
• Flash Screen Video
• VP6
• H263I
• VP3
• HuffYUV and ffvhuff
• Indeo 1 & 2
• MPEG-1 & 2 Video (in supported formats)
• Fraps (up to v4)
• Windows Media Audio v1 & v2
• Flash ADPCM
• Xiph Vorbis (in Matroska)
• MPEG Layer I and II audio
• DTS Coherent Acoustics audio
• Snow wavelet video
• DosBox video
• Nellymoser ASAO audio
• libavformat, from the ffmpeg project. along with AVIImporter.component:
• AVI file format
• FLV file format
• NUV file format
• libmatroska, along with matroska-qt.component:
• MKV file format
• Subtitles:
• (Advanced) SubStation Alpha
• VobSub
• liba52, via A52Codec:
• AC3 audio




QuickTime Player X (QuickTime Player 10), and QuickTime Player 7

QuickTime Player X, also known as QuickTime Player 10, was introduced with Mac OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard, Aug 2009.

It’s intended as the primary media player and utility for Mac OS X 10.6 but the alternative older Player 7 is also available on the installation DVD.

See also – Installing QuickTime Player 7 on Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard

Personally prefer Player 7 as it provide – in my view – actually the better user interface.

Player 7 Player X Notes
v7.6.3 (630) v10.0 (51)
In File menu
  • New Player
  • New Movie Recording
  • New Audio Recording
  • (n/a)
  • (n/a)
  • New Movie Recording
  • New Audio Recording
  • New Screen Recording
  • Open File…
  • Open URL…
  • Open Image Sequence…
  • Open Recent >
  • Close
  • Open File…
  • Open URL…
  • (n/a)
  • Open Recent >
  • Close
  • Save
  • Save As…
  • Revert to Saved
  • Share…
  • Export…
  • Export for Web..
  • (n/a)
  • Save As…
  • Revert to Save
  • (n/a)
  • (n/a)
  • Save for Web…

In separate Share menu:

  • iTunes…
  • MobileMe…
  • YouTube…
(Order of menu items differ)
  • Page Setup…
  • Print…
  • (n/a)
  • (n/a)


Roxio Toast ($$)

At the time of this updated (Jan ’09), J&P MLabs have Toast 8 Titanium which include the following seven (six visible) applications:

1. CD Spin Doctor record, edit, audio, music Spin Doctor by Roxio.
2. Disc Cover RE create disc labels Variant from BeLight Software.
3. DiscCatalogMaker RE catalog disks Variant from Fujiwara Software.
4. Motion Pictures HD create slideshows from photos, images Developed for Roxio by LQ Graphics.
5. Tivo Transfer transfer recordings from TiVo DVRs By Roxio. No immediate product info available; support info.
6. Toast Titanium Create and burn CDs, DVDs By Roxio; product info on the whole Titanium package.
7. Toast Video Player plays videos including ‘raw’ .tivo-files hidden inside the Toast Titanium application – more below.

(RE stands for Roxio Edition and is most likely limited in one way or the other compared to versions offered by the original developer.)

Toast 8 Titanium 2007 (~Feb) Adds TiVo support. What J&P MLabs have (Jan’09). MacWorld review Feb 22,’07.
Toast 9 Titanium 2008 (~Mar) Adds HD, streaming .MW review Mar’08.
Toast 10 Titanium 2009 Jan .MW intro (Jan 6,’09).

Comparison chart Toast 10 Pro, Toast 10, Toast 9, and Toast 8 (a bit messy, from


Toast Video Player (part of Roxia Toast)

(Hidden inside the Toast Titanium application – [Toast 8 Titanium/Toast Video].)

Per Jan 2009, Toast 8 updated to latest (v8.0.4) – got v1.0.2 (as visible when opening the actual application hidden inside Contents folder), application itself (About menu) simply states v1.0.

No information found about any later (also part of Toast 9 – and 10 -no info on update, new release).

Video DownloadHelper

Media download & convert firefox extension

“DownloadHelper is a way to discover many sites showing Web videos from all around the world. They are here!

DownloadHelper is also a free Firefox extension for downloading and converting videos from many sites with minimum effort. Install the extension!”


VLC, VideoLan Client

Local copy of features ( retrieved 2010-01-11:


Video Applications, Mixed/Unsorted


From PC Mags The Best Free Software of 2009:

170. HandBrake
Windows | Mac OS | Linux
Want to back up all those DVDs you own before they get scratched? This open-source tool does full DVD-to-MPEG-4 conversion, which you can play back later on media centers, even the Apple TV.

171. Miro
Windows | Mac OS | Linux
Miro’s a video player that promises to play back just about any video media file, organize files in playlists, and incorporate BitTorrent downloading to become a de facto PC-based TiVo.

172. TipCam
Another tool for capturing videos of your desktop, TipCam lets you take big, beautiful videos (up to 800 by 600 pixels)—you can even zoom in on specifics—and upload them direct to YouTube. Frequent users can get an account to store and display up to 250MB of video.

173. VLC media player
Windows | Mac OS | Linux
VideoLAN’s open-source software plays back, well, just about everything. It can also serve up streaming video and music to other PCs on your network.

The festival of free software doesn’t have to end! Skim through last year’s compilation of free software, or take a look at these other app collections for various other platforms.


Conversion Tools

(Updated 2010-07-31)

Cost OSS Platforms GUI CLI Notes
Handbrake Free Yes Mac, Win, Linux Yes Yes (CLI is a separate download)
MPEG Streamclip Free No Mac, Win Yes No
  • FLV playback and export require (e.g.) Perian
  • WMV handling require (e.g.) Flip4Mac
    • Import, Play: Flip4Mac WMV Player (free)
    • Export (30 sec limit): WMV Player Pro ($$)
    • Export (no limit): WMV Studio or ‘higher’ ($$)
QuickTime Free/$$ No Mac, Win Yes ? Unsure what terminal commands there may be. copy retrieved 2010-07-31:

MacWorld Convert Video for Any Device, October 2008 (Convert video for any device | Macworld.pdf)

Format Players Convert To (on Mac)
Mac Linux Windows
Std DL (download) DL varies Std DL DL
QT player QT w/ Perian VLC VLC WMP QT player VLC (AVI) 3gp mp4 MOV
.3gp 3GPP movie
.avi Audio Video Interleave QT Pro QT Pro QT Pro
.dv DV video
.dvdmedia DVD bundle/folder 1 Yes
.flv Flash Video
.m2v MPEG-2 video No Yes
(but not all)
.m4v MPEG-4 video
.mp4 MPEG-4 video
.mpe MPEG movie
.mpeg MPEG movie
.mpg MPEG movie
.mov QuickTime media No Yes
.rm MPEG-1 video
Real media
.swf Shockwave Flash
.tivo from TiVo DVR ### ## ###
.vob on DVDs ### ### Yes
.wmv Windows Media Video
1 .dvdmedia (Mac) is simply a folder with special file extension. More below on .dvdmedia under Files and Folders


jp2:TiVo johan$ export PATH=$PATH:'/Library/Application\ Support/ffmpegX/'  # NO! Won't work...!
jp2:TiVo johan$ export PATH=$PATH:'/Library/Application Support/ffmpegX/'   # Ok, will work
jp2:TiVo johan$ which mencoder
/Library/Application Support/ffmpegX//mencoder
jp2:TiVo johan$ which
jp2:TiVo johan$ MargotAtTheWedding_2007.mpg  --output=Margot2.mpg

[2009-02] Stumbled upon an application for Windows that look like it could be interesting to check out if running Windows… Quick Media Converter “is a free universal Video and Audio converter and much more , designed to be as simple to use as it may get, Quick Media Converter supports a myriad of formats and codecs” See list of handled formats (local save for QMC 3.6.5)

2009-12-28 Notes on converting video (old VHS, MPEG-2 –> MPEG-4)


Media Info

(Added 2010-07-31)

Finding out details about media files.

Cost OSS Platforms GUI CLI Notes
MediaInfo Free Yes Mac, Win, Linux Yes Yes Home page:

MediaInfo Mac Free No Mac Yes No By

  • Uses MediaInfo above. “For it’s impressive multimedia analysis capabilities, MediaInfo Mac uses a custom build of the outstanding MediaInfo Library, developed by Jerome Martinez.”
  • Export/save report to fieFLV playback and export require (e.g.) Perian
  • Claims support as system-wide service and contextual finder menu but doesn’t see either one in Snow Leopard.



.VOB .tivo TiVo
QuickTime 7.5.5 (2008) No No No No No No QuickTime (std and w/ Perian) can’t handle TiVo MPEG-2 formats in any kind
QuickTime Player X
QuickTime Player 7
QuickTime w/ Perian 1.1.3 (2008 Dec) No No No No No No
DVD Player (Mac) Yes Yes1 Yes1 Yes No No No 1Drag-and-drop onto application icon works.
Front Row (Mac) 2.1.6 (2008) Yes No Yes### No No* No* No* *) assume
VLC 0.9.8 (2008) Yes Yes1 Yes1 Yes Yes1 No Yes 1Drag-and-drop onto application icon works.
Toast Video Player 1.0 (2006) No No No No Yes1 Yes2 1Drag-and-drop onto application icon works.
2But, NOT drag-and-drop onto application.


Roxio Toast





Front Row

John Lockwood

Posts: 763
From: London,UK
Registered: Jul 10, 2001

Re: How to configure Front Row to run VLC?
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 3:22 AM in response to: ngcwd

Contrary to what a lot of people think Front Row does not use QuickTime to play DVDs. This should be obvious to anyone who has tried to use QuickTime Player to play DVDs and even adding the extra cost MPEG2 module is only a small help (it will not play sound).

Front Row actually uses the DVDFramework which underlies the Apple DVD Player application, in effect it uses the same code as the DVD Player and this gives you the same features/quality as the DVD Player including working sound, even in surround sound (another failing of QuickTime).

To get back to your question, the DVD playback module in Front Row is written to specifically use the DVDFramework and this means no you cannot use VLC.

HOWEVER – if you are using Front Row in Mac OS X 10.4 then you can use “DVD Assist” to play VIDEO_TS folders stored on your hard disk, and as far as I am aware DVD Assist can use either the Apple DVD Player or VLC (DVD Assist runs one of these applications to play the VIDEO_TS folder, it is not calling the DVDFramework itself). If you are using Front Row in Mac OS X 10.5 then according to people who have had access to the pre-release versions it can as standard play VIDEO_TS folders but would do so using the DVDFramework.

See for DVD Assist.

Of course if you have VIDEO_TS folders stored on your computer already then Region coding is not an issue in any case.

Note: While DRM is pointless (every single one has been broken at some point) and only inconveniences legal customers, it at least has a small iota of logic behind it (even though that logic is fundamentally flawed), Region coding on the other hand is pure and simple a blatant way of ripping off non-US customers. Even more ridiculously, it means that many DVD titles cannot be legally purchased at all in some regions (since many titles are not released in all regions). The games console industry is equally guilty of using Region coding to rip-off customers.

Apple’s stance on DRM has not really changed (despite what some people may think). A lot of people will be aware of Steve Jobs famous letter on the subject, but I can also remember Apple issuing guidance to their developers recommending they not use ‘copy protection’ because of the reliability and compatibility issues it causes. This was years and years ago, way before iTunes, and before even Mac OS X.

For example “Apple Computer no longer supports copy protection schemes, and we strongly urge developers to make use of alternate methods to limit unauthorized duplication.” comes from a document about the UniDisk floppy disk drive for Apple // computers!

DVD Assist – info and download –


  • Video to DVD – tips on converting those old videotapes to DVD before they deteriorate or the video recorder breaks…
  • Disc Labeling – Stop using adhesive labels! There are safer techniques…


Media ###


A Movie Stream,
DVD A single
A single
A single
Distribution A number of .BUP, .IFO, and .VOB files .mpg (e.g.) .tivo .mp4 (e.g.)
Audio One or more audio tracks
Video Yeah… One or more VOB files for main feature, addional VOB file(s) for menu, extras, …
– Title
– Description
– Date
– Source
– Length
– Size
– ‘Who/Why’ Yes
Subtitles CC yes yes ###
Extras No





Professional-Grade Tools

(Added 2010-07-31)

Tools more intended for professional use, and come with higher price.

Platforms Notes Cost
Apple Mac Final Cut Studio

  • Apple’s Final Cut Studio 7 (July 2010), include
    • Final Cut Pro 7,
    • Motion 4,
    • Sountrack Pro 3,
    • Color 1.5,
    • Compressor 3.5, and
    • DVD Studio Pro 4.

($899 academic)

Adobe Mac, Win Creative Suite Production Pro

($450 stud.)

Apple academic store:


Files and Folders


.dvdmedia (A Special Folder; Mac)

.dvdmedia (Mac) is simply a folder with special file extension.

More research –

Add/Remove extension .dvdmedia to create/uncreate folder or bundle.

Problems copying a .dvdmedia bundle to (e.g.) external drive?

Answer: Remove extension .dvdmedia (or change to for instance .dvdmediax, copy folder, and reinsert .dvdmedia as extension.



MPEG-1 PreciousTest2MP4.mp4 PreciousTest2Avi.avi
DOES work on Samsung TV NO SOUND on Samsung TV
Audio AAC, Stereo (L R), 48.000 kHz MPEG Layer 3, Stereo, 48.000 kHz
Video MPEG-4 (Perian), 720 x 400, Millions H.264 (Perian), 720 x 400, Millions

See Screen Resolutions in Monitors, J&P InfoSol for information on aspect ratios.

Audio Formats

AAC vs. MP3, A Sound Quality Test –

AAC vs. MP3: Which to Choose for Ripping CDs –

What is an AAC File? –

Know your digital audio formats

May 13th, 2009


Digital audio formats — MP3

The MP3 format is the most well known of all the digital audio formats. You can find MP3s all over the web and they work with just about everything — from your Mac or PC, to your iPod or mobile phone. They’re also easy to spot with their .mp3 file extension.

Most online music stores offer songs in the MP3 format, including Amazon, eMusic, Rhapsody and Walmart. But the most popular online music store by far, iTunes, doesn’t sell MP3s at all.

Digital audio formats — AAC

MP3s get a lot of headlines, but chances are you have more AAC files than you may realise. The prevalence of AAC comes down to one major factor: Apple’s iTunes software. All iTunes song purchases come in the AAC format, and unless you’ve tweaked some settings in the software, all the music you’ve ripped to iTunes from CD is probably in AAC, as well. To determine if a song is AAC, see if the file ends in the .m4a extension.

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) files have a few technical advantages over MP3, most notably their superior efficiency at encoding music compared with MP3 files at similar bit rates. Still, AAC files aren’t as universal as MP3 and would likely be a bit player if not for the overwhelming popularity of Apple’s AAC-friendly iPod hardware and iTunes software.

Digital audio formats — WMA

WMA files (.wma) are a common sight for Windows users. This codec was developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows Media suite and the abbreviation stands for Windows Media Audio.

WMA had a brief heyday as a music download format around 2005-2006, but steadily fell out of fashion as music download stores transitioned to the more universal MP3 format. The continued use of WMA is attributable to the fact that it is still used as the default format for ripping CDs using Windows Media Player.

You’ll also see WMA used for subscription music services such as Napster and Rhapsody, since the format lends itself well to copy protection (aka PlaysForSure).

WMA files are comparable to AAC files when it comes to sound quality and file size, but in general you’ll find WMA supported on a wider range of products than AAC. Of course, the one place you won’t find WMA supported is the Apple iPod, which is a considerable drawback of the format considering the iPod’s popularity.

Digital audio formats — WAV and AIFF

WAV and AIFF files end appropriately in .wav and .aiff (or just .aif) extensions and offer completely uncompressed audio. This can be a good thing if you’re looking for sound that is literally identical to CD quality, but the file sizes are obnoxiously large and in most cases people can’t hear the difference compared with the same music encoded as a high bit-rate MP3.

Digital audio formats — Apple Lossless

For the sound of CD quality in a much smaller file size there’s Apple Lossless, which iTunes users can select from their import settings as the desired format for ripping CDs. These files offer all the fidelity of uncompressed audio (CD, WAV, AIFF) at half the file size, and can be played on the majority of iPod MP3 players. Like AAC, Apple Lossless files end in the .m4a extension, but the audio quality is technically far superior. Because this is a proprietary format, however, the support for Apple Lossless playback is limited mostly to Apple products and software.

Digital audio formats — Audible

If you love a good story, you’ve likely accumulated a few Audible audio-book files. These files typically end with a .aa extension, and are used exclusively for audio-book content downloaded from This is a copy-protected format, so your ability to play Audible files will depend on what device or software you’re using. iPod playback is supported, as well as many other portable audio players.

Digital audio formats — FLAC

Last, but not least, there’s FLAC, also known as the Free Lossless Audio Codec. Just like Apple Lossless, FLAC files are able to compress raw audio data (CD, WAV, AIFF) in a way that causes no degradation in sound quality. The big appeal of FLAC compared with Apple Lossless or Microsoft’s WMA Lossless, is the format’s non-proprietary, open-source implementation. FLAC files are not compatible with iTunes or the iPod, but more and more manufacturers are supporting the codec on portable devices.


Video Formats

MPEG Video Formats

(1991) (1994) (1998)

Video CD

DVD, Super Video CD
Internet    Blu-ray video
  • Approved November 1991
  • VHS-quality
  • Enabled Video CD
  • Enabled CD-ROM
  • Enabled mp3 audio (MP3)
  • Approved November 1994
  • DVD-quality
  • Enabled Digital TV set-top boxes
  • Enabled Digital Versatile Disk (DVD)
  • TiVo is using a flavor of MPEG-2
  • Approved October 1998
  • Scalable quality
  • Based on QuickTime File Format
  • Scalable delivery —
    from cell phones to satellite TV.
  • TiVo series 3 (not 2) support MPEG-4.
Lots of patents around used technologies,
and many patent holders,
why codecs may cost and are not free.
  • MPEG-4 part 2
    • Advanced Simple Profile,
    • DivX, Xvid, Nero Digital, 3ivx, Quicktime 6
  • MPEG-4 part 10
    • H.264/AVC (MPEG-4 AVC)
      Advanced Video Coding
    • Quicktime 7
    • Blu-ray Discs
See also more details on different types of discs in Optical Formats, DVD+/-….

(Parts of information taken from an summary by Apple.)



  • d




DLNA section created 2010-06-16.

Samsung user manual (user manual – BN68-01988G-00L02-0410.pdf) – pg 55 (PDF; 53 numbered); DLNA, pg 60 (PDF; 58 print)

Table 1. DLNA Media formats for Home Devices Rippeds – that works
Media Formats Required Formats Set Optional Formats Set Crazy
Audio LPCM (2 channel) MP3, WMA9, AC-3, AAC, ATRAC3plus AAC, 2 ch, 48000 Hz
Video MPEG2 MPEG1, MPEG4, WMV9 H.264, 720×362, Millions
Table 2. DLNA Media formats for Mobile/Handheld Devices
Media Formats Required Formats Set Optional Formats Set
Video MPEG4 AVC (AAC LC Assoc Audio) VC1, H.263, MPEG4 part 2, MPEG2, MPEG4 AVC (BSAC or other for Assoc. Audio)


Samsung TV – extracts from User Guide:

Samsung UG p53

Samsung UG p58