Sunday, March 12, 2006

a foul up

Last night, I encoded my first full length video podcast as a Quicktime from Cinelerra. I brought it into iTunes and used the 'Convert Selection for iPod' feature and it spent all night (from 11pm to 11am) converting. The .MOV file specs were pretty heavy:
- 50 minutes long
- 720x404 resolution
- 524MB

I used a PIII, 1.5Ghz laptop w/512MB of memory to do the conversion, hence the slowness. Once the file was converted, both audio and video tracks played back! Hooray! This was a lot better than my previous result wherein the audio was gone. So, I found the new .M4V file on the filesystem and looked at the metadata in the properties. I saw that there was no metadata, so not thinking that it could have a deleterious effect on the file, I added the missing metadata to the file as it existed on XP. Bad, nary I say REAL bad idea!

After adding the metadata to the file, the .M4V would no longer play in iTunes (6.0.4) or Quicktime. To put it politely..RATS!! I tried removing the metadata, but no go..the file still would not play. So, the twelve hours I spent converting the video was all for naught, cause now I have to do it all again. Wunnerful.

Let me be clear though..
1) you CAN edit the metadata for an iTunes video podcast within iTunes
2) you CANNOT edit the metadata for an iTunes video podcast in the filesystem. This will break the audio for the podcast.

This being the case, I decided to move my website over to my audio workstation in order to allow me to use my main video editing workstation to do the iTunes conversion. Screw the portable..conversion took way too long there. Copying the website from the video editing box to the audio workstation would allow me to use either of my primary machines to serve web content depending on which one I was using at the time. Both are dual boot setups, XP or Win2K and Fedora Core 4, so at least now I have flexibility. Of course, I wish it was under different circumstances that I make that improvement to my workstation setup. Argh.

So now the file is converting on my P4, 3.2Ghz, 1GB box. I'm hoping to get at least a 3x improvement in conversion time. So, I'm looking at 5pm today for the file to be done. 1-5pm..4hrs. Yeesh. I need a faster box..ain't it always the case!

UPDATE: Good news! It only took two hours to convert the file..sweet! I think the remarkable improvement may be bolstered by the MPEG compression available in my All-in-Wonder 9800 Pro video card. I should switch video cards and try this to verify..

Other things of note I'd like to get done:
- setup RSS feed for newly created video
- update Beginner's Guide for bitrate calculation/QT M4V metadata warning
- change rendering partition to ext2 (non-journaling file system)
- eventually get RAID0 back up and running for rendering partition

At least my cam should be coming back from the shop this week!

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