Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Remember when I wrote about VideoReDo? It continued to exceed my expectations until the trial ran out. The $50 license fee made me hesitate. I went back to my favorite software source, sourceforge.net. As usual, I found an open source project that met my needs, Clip-Snipe. Clip-Snipe came so close to what VideoReDo would do. There were a couple of minor differences so I wrote the author with my "wish list." Amazingly, he wrote me back in 2 days with an explanation on how he could accomplish what I had sent him. I figured that'd be the last I heard from him. Not hardly. 8 days later he had posted a new version of Clip-Snipe including all of the items I had mentioned!

Now comes the downside. As I used Clip-Snipe more and more, I began to notice that it wasn't cutting the mpeg exactly where I wanted it to. It seemed to be a couple of frames off. I suspected that I knew what the problem was. mpeg has "keyframes" that form the foundation of the next several frames. Cutting an mpeg video between keyframes tends to cause flashes on replay. VideoReDo overcomes this by re-encoding just those couple of frames around where you cut.

Here's Clip-Snipe's author's explanation:
Rtvedit (which was writtten by someone else) performs edits based on keyframes. It does allow specifying timecodes to the millisecond, but in reality it jumps to the nearest keyframe for cuts. The reason I chose it was for the smooth transitions between cuts. Mpgtx, another cutter, trimmed closer than rtvedit but always left garish flashes between cuts.

Such is life with freeware - and with apps that depend on other freeware. ;)

While it would be great to have cutting at frames and other high-end options, I would rather pay a few $$$ for commercial software than be bogged down for several months writing an mpeg cutter. Besides, settop DVD recorders are now under $150 and will eventually have quality editors built-in.
So here I am. While I continue to be amazed by the quality of open source software, I think I'm going to have to spring for the $50 license for VideoReDo.