LinuxFest Northwest 2010 Day 1 (late)
Day 1 went very well. The presenters of all of the presentations I went to allowed me to record their presentations... and as in previous years, I plan on sharing those with everyone. I have a problem though... and that is with transcoding the videos.
My family bought a new video camera for Xmas - a Samsung SC-MX20. I'll admit it, we bought it because it was inexpensive. I read the reviews of it before I bought it and I was very aware of the issues I was going to have with it. I have run into one problem that I have yet to be able to resolve... but first a little background. This camera records to an SDcard in .mp4 format. I had not previously had any problems transcoding MP4 video with mencoder, ffmpeg, ffpmeg2theora... but for some reason the .mp4 files created by this camera confuse every piece of transcoding software I've tried. How? At second 2186 some property of the video changes and just break the transcoder. Unfortunately I don't have the error messages in front of me so I'm going to be quite vague. mencoder doesn't freak out but when it hits second 2186 I start to see a lot of duplicate frame messages... which is usually no problem because I see that a lot in various videos I've converted. In this case however, the output video mencoder creates freezes on the last frame although the audio continues just fine. I even tried iMovie on an iMac and it flat out crashed when it it hit second 2186.
At first I thought it was a filesystem problem or a corrupted filesystem on the SDcard. But I've allowed the camera to format every card I've used, I've used multiple cards by different vendors, and I've used multiple computers... and every video that is longer than 2186 has encountered this problem. I'm baffled. I've done some Internet searches but so far they have come up empty.
What's odd is that the original .mp4 video files playback just fine... I'm just having a problem transcoding them. So the worst case scenario is that I have to distribute the very big .mp4 files. I do have one strategy left to try and that is to use Handbrake and convert them to another .mp4 file and try to transcode that. I haven't had time to do that yet but at this point I'm crossing my fingers and hopes that works. If I can't find a solution to this problem, I'm definitely going to have to buy another camera. For videos shorter than that, no problem. I guess while recording I could hit stop and start every 30 minutes but that is very error prone.
I didn't have much time to proof read this so sorry for any typos!