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v2.7: Need help getting MPEG4 output

edited March 2013 in Support
Hello,

I've been trying to generate H.264 mp4 files using CamStudio v2.7 r316, and haven't been able to figure out how.
Ideally, I'd like to generate an .mp4 file directly from CamStudio. If needed, I'm open to generating an AVI file that QuickTime Pro can then read in, and generate .mp4 from there.

I first tried x264vfw - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec. This generates an .mp4 with H.264 video, but no audio. A
separate AVI file contains the audio, but no video. I tried different settings, but still have this fundamental problem.

Next, I tried ffdshow video encoder. Only the MJPEG and FFV1 encoders run to completion without errors. The
MJPEG creates Motion JPEG video, which QuickTime doesn't seem to like. FFV1 creates an empty AVI file, with the
audio in a separate WAV file.

I also tried XVid MPEG codec. QuickTime does not display video (but identifies it as XVID). I have installed the plug-in,
but can't get QuickTime to recognize/use it.

The CamStudio Lossless codec v1.5 DOES create an AVI file with video and audio, but this must be played in the CS player.

Any suggestions on workarounds for the x264vfw encoder? Or suggestions on how to get QT to recognize XVID?
XVID doesn't have a control panel type interface like X264 does, so I'm not sure how to enable the decoder.
Is there a CS Lossless codec plug in for QuickTime? (I can't find one with google searches).

I'm working under Windows 7 32-bit. FWIW, I started with CS v2.6, but couldn't get the x264 or ffshow encoders
recognized when added. CS v2.6 only saw XVID encoder. My forum searches got me past the v2.7 DLL install issue, but
I haven't been able to resolve the other issues I have.

Any help you can provide would be GREATLY appreciated. I've been trying test after test to identify the issues, but have
run out of things to try!

Thank you!

Gary
San Diego, CA

Comments

  • Gary,

    Could you make a short video showing me all your audio and video settings, including the audio control panel, the "Advanced" tab of the recording device and playback device, and the compressor settings/config window?

    There is nothing in x.264vfw that should eliminate the audio that I've heard of.

    Terry
  • Hi Terry,

    I have a video showing CS settings, and Control Panel settings. How do I get it to you?
    Direct email? FTP/dropbox??
  • Upload it to YouTube and set it to unlisted, then share the link here.

    Terry
  • Hi Terry,

    OK, I uploaded the .mp4 to youtube. Here are the links:



    More info on my setup: I have a Dell pc with HDMI output to an external TV. I connected the TV's audio out to the PC's microphone input. This works with CSLC, and audacity.

    Let me know if I captured all the tabs you are interested in. I couldn't view the video on YouTube, but the dialogs says it uploaded fine.

    Thanks again,
    Gary
  • I saw nothing wrong anywhere.

    You could TRY checking "Use MCI to record" in CamStudio's Record from Microphone options and it will force CamStudio to use your system's audio settings.

    Also, in the audio recording panel, right-click and check "show disabled devices" to see if Stereo Mix might be hiding in there. (Just a long-shot...)

    I use this version of Xvid by Jawor - http://www.digital-digest.com/software/download.php?sid=1052&ssid=0&did=14

    See if that gets audio.

    Thanks for doing that - it is really helpful. The dead giveaway is that the audio recording panel shows the meters working just fine, so you are getting audio into the system. I'm not sure where the blockage is occurring - I hope using MCI to record shows us something.

    Terry
  • I noticed a few things looking at the video. First, I agree with Terry that the “show disabled devices” and MCI recording should be checked. My first question would be, shouldn’t the “listen to this device” on the mic “listen” tab also be checked? Also, wouldn’t one need a “playback through this device” option selected? BTW there are quite a few discussions on various boards concerning the advisability of using the mic-in (rather than the line-in) for things other than a microphone, and I assume you’ve read some of them.

    But, I’m most curious about the video image you’re getting. You said that the output is .mp4? That means it’s an H264 in an MP4 container, and I don’t understand how you can be getting to that point. The Youtube software will place it into an flv or MP4 container when it’s converted, but I don’t see what you’ve done that would do that. The next problem I see is that the overall image quality is not up to what we would hope for using x264. It really shows up on the capture of your desktop. Your desktop, when captured and displayed at full screen, should look as good as your actual desktop, with the icon text showing no signs of blurring, and this is not the case in the sample video. These are the settings which seem to work best on the x264 panel.

    Basic/preset - Ultrafast
    Rate control - Single pass - refractor based (CRF) 23

    All other boxes probably ought to be left unchecked.

    If the video is to be left unprocessed, the best CamStudio settings are probably 25/40 with key frames set as high as your Cam version will allow (200 or 300). Most media players seem to have less of a problem dealing with high FPS H264 than they do with MPEG-4, so you might get away with a 20/50 setting.

    Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what the solution to your audio problem turns out to be.

    Ken
  • Ken,

    The "listen to this device" feature is useful only to send the mic into the Stereo Mix system via the analog speakers mixer stages.

    "These are the settings which seem to work best on the x264 panel.

    Basic/preset - Ultrafast
    Rate control - Single pass - refractor based (CRF) 23

    All other boxes probably ought to be left unchecked. "

    Thanks for those excellent settings! I'll save this into Evernote pronto!

    As you noticed, the mic input meters were bouncing, so it is being muted somewhere along the line. I cannot even begin to imagine how a video codec could be interfering with the audio capture... very mysterious! It must be getting blocked somewhere else, in some mixer, perhaps (speaking of which, Gary, click once on the speaker icon and see if anything is muted in there!)

    Terry
  • OK so after a little testing it's related Gary's Output settings in x264.

    @SDGary, you have it set as "File" and are trying to output an MP4 directly from x264.

    When I use those settings I get:

    An audio-only AVI file (no video)
    An video-only MP4 file (speeded up) with no audio

    So x264 and the in-built AVI-creation function are both trying to render a video at the same time and neither are working.

    When the x264 output settings in its config is changed to VFW I get an AVI file encoded with x264 all nice and pretty.

    I never knew x264 had that "FILE" option and that would definitely be a cool workaround for natively generating MP4 container files right now it doesn't work - CamStudio would need to be able to detect the setting in this codec and maybe temporary disable its AVI creation function to route all video and audio into x264?

    Hmm, @TerryBritton + @bmoreken, what do you guys think?

    Cheers

    Nick :)
  • Nick; that’s a pretty perceptive catch on your part. I saw the output settings and was still wondering how (and if) the video was actually winding up being an MP4. Well, if the whole problem is with the two disconnected files, then returning the output to VFW should solve the missing audio problem completely.

    Ken
  • Hi NIck,

    I did some testing today, and discovered that "File" was the problem as well. When I reset my video options to default, I got a single AVI with video and audio that plays just fine in CS Player (but not in QuickTime). As I reviewed
  • Getting "Internal Server Errors". Let me try to reply again
  • <con't> As I reviewed my changes, I realized the "file" setting was the problem. I had assumed I could generate a mp4 directly from CamStudio. Based on your reply, I assume that is not the case. So how do CS users create mp4 from the AVI? In the past, I've used avirecomp to create a QT-friendly AVI, then used QT Pro to create an mpeg. Is there a simpler way? Thanks again for the help! Gary
  • Long term, if CamStudio could directly generate the MP4 using x264, that would be great!

    FWIW, prior to my ressetting video to default, I did "show disabled devices" in audio control panel. This showed "stereo mix" was disabled. I enabled it, and also tried "line in" instead of "mic in". No changes. I think the Realtek audio is only an issue when the recording tab has the audio muted. It's easy to accidently mute the audio there, but that wasn't the case for me!
  • Gary,

    That is definitely a hoped-for scenario for the near future, but first we've got to get out of the AVI-1 spec and into AVI-2 so we start to feel at least a little bit modern! (AVI-1 is what limits the file size to 2 GB).

    Nick is a genius for catching that one. I would not have suspected it one bit - and I did not catch that you'd been outputting an MP4 - that went right over my head!

    If you have Stereo Mix, enable it and you'll be able to use it as your source for the audio. You need to be set with the analog speakers, not the HDMI ones, as the Playback device, as Stereo Mix gets its source material from that mixer stage.

    Ask away if you need more help. This exchange has been very enlightening for me so far!

    Terry
  • edited March 2013
    Gary,

    BTW - I use Any-Video-Converter or MediaCoder FLV edition to convert to MP4. Here are download links, and a link to an article warning about being sure to use the baseline setting if you want the video to play in Windows Media Player.

    http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/

    http://www.mediacoderhq.com/flv-converter/ (it also has MPEG-4 conversion)

    "If using for MPEG-4 conversions, be certain to set the H.264 profile to Baseline in the Settings if you want Windows Media Player to work!"

    http://screencasttutorial.org/20/need-a-review-of-free-video-converters-and-encoders-576

    Also see this post here:

    http://camstudio.org/forum/discussion/492/quicktime-pro-finalcut-pro-or-imovie-settings-optimized-for-youtube

    Terry
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