A bunch of scripts for handling media in a PS3/PS4 compatible way.
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README.md

Alex's Random Media Handling Scripts

The following scripts are used for ripping and encoding media files into a format suitable for playing on a PS3/PS4 (h.264 encoded MP4's).

All the heavy encoding work is done with ffmpeg or mencoder.

Why?

Every other solution I've tried sucks?

There are loads of ripping front-ends out there however they don't happen to suit me. These scripts concentrate on being command line based, tuned for the Playstation (may main media hub) and useful for ripping box sets by using heuristics to identify the episodes on a disk.

It's also an exercise in coding more python for me. Having said that it is all open source so I'll happily accept patches and you are perfectly free to fork it for your own needs.

Approach and prerequisites

The script is optimised for my setup. As the files are quite big and a lot of the stuff in multi-pass is thrown away most of the heavy file I/O is in /tmp which on my 16GB machine is huge tmpfs partition. This means the encoding is rarely I/O bound which makes running multiple encodes less of a load on my machine (which is a 2 core + 2 thread i5 system).

These scripts require the following:

  • ffmpeg
  • mencoder (fallback, used for subtitle rips)
  • lsdvd
  • MP4Box

Usage

There are currently three scripts

rip.py

The rip script is used to rip a DVD into 1-n separate VOB files. It attempts to calculate this by looking for the modal episode length after having rounded to the nearest 6 minutes. If you explicitly set the max times from the command line it will rip anything else within 80% of the size.

The aim of this is to make ripping fairly seamless when presented with a TV box set.

Episodes will be numbered from 1 unless the -b flag specifies a new base.

The script requires the "lsdvd" utility to be installed to get the chapter information from the DVD.

Unless -l/-r is specified the script will automatically kick of ps3enc.py to start encoding the VOB file. Otherwise the script will create a log of files ripped that can be passed to an encoding process as ripping 4 episodes in one go on a single or duel core machine isn't actually that efficient.

See --help for all the command line options.

ps3enc.py

This script encodes video files into PS3 compliant MP4 files. By default it does a 3 pass encode with a video bitrate of 2MBs.

It has a couple of presets:

-c/--cartoon

Single pass, lower bitrate, enables a filter that seems to improve encoding

--film

Higher video bitrate also increases the audio bitrate as films often have quite a dense soundtrack which benefits from it.

mkv2mp4.py

This was originally written by L.J.J Lee, also under GPLv3 (https://github.com/vgasu/mkv2mp4). I've made a few tweaks to it since.

mkv2mp4 is a commandline utility, written in Python, which allows conversion of video files in the Matroska container (*.mkv file extension) containing H.264 video to be converted into a format which the PS3/PS4 and Xbox 360 can play.

It differs from other similar tools in that no video transcoding is performed; the video is passed through untouched and the just the audio is transcoded if necessary. This means that the conversion is much faster (the whole process being quicker than realtime on reasonably modern machines), and more importantly that there is no degradation in video quality (which makes it very suitable for HD video).

Due to the fact no video transcoding is performed, this tool is somewhat restrictive in the input formats it supports. Supported formats are the the following - the intention being that this should work on (at least) files conforming to the x264 HD scene rules - FLAC multichannel audio is the only exception currently.

  • Container: Matroska.
  • Video codec: H.264
  • Audio codec: the app supports all audio codecs, however:
    • ffmpeg's multichannel support currently isn't great, and therefore only a subset of codecs with more than two channels will work. 5.1 AC3 and 5.1 DTS are known to work, 5.1 FLAC is known not to, others are untested.
    • All stereo codecs which ffmpeg can decode should work.

Technical details:

This application makes the following alterations to the file:

  • Extract tracks from mkv input (uses mkvinfo & mkvextract)
  • Edit H.264 video stream to have level 4.1 or less (this is just a change to the file header - no transcoding). This is because the Xbox 360 doesn't play files with a higher level.
  • Transcode audio to stereo AAC (unfortunately the Xbox 360 doesn't support any 5.1 audio codecs in mp4) (using ffmpeg for decoding and encoding (with native aac support), or ffmpeg for decoding and neroAacEnc for encoding.
  • Drop any tracks other than the first video and audio tracks (the Xbox 360 doesn't support multiple video or audio tracks, and doesn't support subtitles in mp4).
  • Remux into an mp4 container. Files are split such that they are smaller than 4GB (again... a restriction for the Xbox 360).