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Old 2007-03-05, 05:49   Link #101
Navel
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Nergol, subtitles have nothing to do with the container. They are simply stored inside the container.

Reasons why subtitles would look bad:

1) subtitle rendering is done by some peice of software (either the player itself in case of vlc or mplayer, or a subtitle rendering filter like vsfilter on Windows) that is not able to render them properly. Out of all those possible renderers, only vsfilter on Windows renders them as tehy were intended, and mplayer with ass suport comes close but not yet there. VLC unfortunatelly doesn't fare very well and can even crash in certain situations.

2) you are seeing bitmap subtitles as they were ripped from the DVD and stored "as-is" inside the container. In this case, the fault is on the subtitles themselves, they look ugly because of their technical limitations: can use only 4 colours (so often the horrendous yellow), don't allow for antialiasing so they will either be jagged or pixelated

3) your artistical sense doesn't match that of the poeple making the styled subs. It's a matter of taste.

4) the people that made those subtitles didn't really care about fiddling with positioning, line length and duration to allow the viewer time to read them, used a format that doesn't allow for positioning (srt doesn't allow this, ass/ssa does), etc.

In the end, everything wrong with subtitles is not the fault of the container. You can't blame a container for what is stored inside.
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Old 2007-03-05, 05:51   Link #102
checkers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nergol View Post
I know that when I play .mkv files, the subtitles look like crap
Sounds like someone has been joined at the hip with VLC. Try a player that works properly for your chosen media.
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Old 2007-03-05, 06:27   Link #103
TheFluff
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ATTENTION: Subtitles are rendered by the player, not by the .mkv container

Hint #1: VLC is a shit player that can't render subtitles properly
Hint #2: You should not be using VLC
Hint #3: You should read the sticky thread about how to get fansubs to play properly
Hint #4: MAYBE YOU SHOULD READ THE FIRST POST IN THIS THREAD TOO, BECAUSE IF YOU DID YOU WOULD KNOW THAT USING VLC IS A BAD IDEA
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Old 2007-03-05, 07:08   Link #104
Nicholi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nergol
Look, guy, I'm not a fansubber or an encoder. I'm an end-user.
Common end-user problem. You didn't install the correct software to play the file. Of course it didn't work automagically. Install the CCCP and use MPC or ZoomPlayer and watch everything work, other DirectShow players should work but in fact may not (their problem, such as BSPlayer).
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Old 2007-03-05, 08:59   Link #105
SeijiSensei
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Generally speaking I'm agnostic in these format wars, but I will say I'd prefer it if people stuck to AVI for files that don't require the Matroska container. A case in point is Oyasumi's MKV version of Welcome to the NHK. It is encoded with Xvid and contains only one audio stream and hard subs. It could just as easily have been stored in the AVI container where it would be compatible with a wider range of players than just computers with Matroska support. For instance, most handheld media players like my Cowon A2, or console DVD players like my LG, don't support Matroska at all, just the Windows formats like AVI and WMV.

I can convert from MKV to AVI with something like mencoder, but that's a pain for a complete set of episodes even with the conversion scripts I've written. In the case of NHK, I'm having problems even converting properly; the audio and video don't sync correctly.

Matroska makes lots of sense when you've got multiple audio streams, soft subs, etc. It makes much less sense to me for files that don't have such complexities.
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Old 2007-03-05, 10:04   Link #106
Navel
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Once again, that's an end user point of view. Matroska does have advantages even for simple xvid+mp3 files for encoders like use of vfr or easiness in quality check when using softsubs. And portability on hardware devices is something most anime encoders don't and shouldn't care for. Hardware devices are usually limited in features, even for ASP video: limit on number of b-frames allowed, q-pel or gmc support. Anime encoders should not be limited by the reduced feature set of hardware devices when they make those files, don't you agree ?

And I think there's something else wrong here: it's not the anime fans that make encodes and offer them for free that should obey your wishes, but the makers of hardware players that you pay money to.
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Old 2007-03-05, 11:33   Link #107
Nergol
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"The end-users think my widget sucks. What's wrong with the end-users?"

Kind of along the same lines of a 45-year-old unmarried woman who says "Men think I'm unpleasant, bossy, and too much a pain in the ass to marry. What's wrong with men?"
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Old 2007-03-05, 17:43   Link #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nergol View Post
"The end-users think my widget sucks. What's wrong with the end-users?"

Kind of along the same lines of a 45-year-old unmarried woman who says "Men think I'm unpleasant, bossy, and too much a pain in the ass to marry. What's wrong with men?"
MKV has sex with thousands of people each day, so why think about marriage? :-)
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Old 2007-03-05, 19:49   Link #109
Nicholi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
A case in point is Oyasumi's MKV version of Welcome to the NHK. It is encoded with Xvid and contains only one audio stream and hard subs. It could just as easily have been stored in the AVI container where it would be compatible with a wider range of players than just computers with Matroska support. For instance, most handheld media players like my Cowon A2, or console DVD players like my LG, don't support Matroska at all, just the Windows formats like AVI and WMV.
Actually that case could not have been just as easily put into AVI. The encoder used Vorbis audio which should never be placed into AVI (though I'll bet P2A would do it and say its good). Just as well the files were muxed with chapters, something not available in AVI and I usually find quite handy in order to skip the opening theme at the press of a key. I am not quite sure if the encoder had to use VFR for any of the earlier episodes, I only know for a fact that ep24 from Oyasumi has none. These and of course all the other very nifty reasons are probably why said encoder chose MKV over AVI.

I'd also like to say that these are not format wars, they are simply choices of the people making the content for you. Matroska has no money at all to wage format wars....so even likening that to something as monstrous as HD-DVD vs Bluray (a real format war) is madness. I think people are using Matroska because they feel it will make their end-product higher in quality (more then just audio/video quality since there are other features), so they use it. Matroska is also not new, people started successfully using it over 4 years ago when the playback support was a little iffy, but that changed dramatically as time went on. However if you are solely referring to the "format war" as something which prevents the files from being played on any standalone players, yes that is an obvious drawback. However if anyone is worried about hardware support it should be in the things which are actually going to take over in the next few years, which will be ASP/AVC and AAC in MP4 and some extremely low resolution/framerate/bitrate... not AVI. Files with the lowest audio/video profiles in MP4 will be able to play in all ranges of the new hardware bound to come out, from cellphones to new standalone players to PSPs and PS3s. Obviously though at the same time you would be losing an extreme amount of quality by making a file to the standard of the lowest common denominator in hardware support. Which sort of gets to the whole point of why the hell bother with hardware support if you have to specifically not support certain people in the end unless you completely sacrifice all quality gains. Or you are only going to support a certain standalone player (e.g. DivX Players) or profile level (e.g. Main Profile @L4 with LC-AAC for PS3) and let everyone else suffer? Everyone seems to forget that there are many standalone players which all support many different formats and few of them all support the same thing. The idea that there could be a certain format which would just work for everyone is as of today preposterous. I'm mostly getting tired of hearing the spoiled idiots that got DivX players and expected the video format, as well as AVI, to last the next 100 years. Sorry if you are one of them . They will be disappearing quite rapidly as MP4 will likely represent the new standard everyone can huddle under.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
In the case of NHK, I'm having problems even converting properly; the audio and video don't sync correctly.
This may exactly point to what Navel and I said. Variable framerate might have been used on certain episodes, and I am quite sure MEncoder doesn't know how to handle going from VFR->CFR all on its own. However you might be doing something completely wrong. First of all, you should not need to use MEncoder to re-encode Oyasumi's NHK. As I said the audio is Vorbis and since the video is XviD (which can be easily muxed to AVI) the only thing you need to re-encode if the video is not VFR, is the audio. Another reason many encoders probably continue to use MKV is because the muxing tools are very well organized, documented, and complete. You should be able to easily use mkvtoolnix to extract the video and audio, then use some app to re-encode to MP3 (likely will have to decompress the Vorbis to WAV first then encode with LAME/etc to MP3, few apps have support for Ogg Vorbis as input) and remux to AVI in the end. Once again assuming there is no VFR. When no VFR is in use re-encoding MKV should be a breeze, as simple as the above and possible re-encoding the video at the same time.

If there is VFR obviously you will run into lots more work, but I'd like to stress that it is not the purpose of VFR to prevent people from easily re-encoding files. Many people seem to assume this or that simply MKV in general is impossible to convert from. VFR is typically in use because the show you are in fact watching runs at multiple framerates, not one framerate (aka CFR). And rather then botch the video because newbs scream you have to use a container which is extremely limited in the things it can do, the encoder decided to do it properly. Thus losing no frame and all motion is properly preserved. At the same time at least one person has been working on the tools required to make re-encoding VFR MKV content easier, tritical. The simple fact of the matter is most people don't care if you can re-encode their Matroska files. More people are just interested in making the files for PC playback and being done with it, since they work beautifully as such .

@Nergol
Work on your conversation/troll skills.
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Old 2007-03-05, 21:28   Link #110
SeijiSensei
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I learned a lot from this informative post, and I will look into the software you mentioned.

That said, let me comment on a few other issues:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholi View Post
I'd also like to say that these are not format wars, they are simply choices of the people making the content for you.
I don't know if this remark was directed at me, but at no time did I talk about format "wars." As I said I tend to be agnostic in most technology disputes like AVI vs MKV, Linux vs Windows, etc. People should use what best fits the task at hand. Your posting raised some important issues that suggest MKV was the best choice in this case, which I'm happy to accept.

Quote:
The idea that there could be a certain format which would just work for everyone is as of today preposterous.
Perhaps, but I'd bet Xvid+AVI is supported by many, many more devices than any of the other technologies you mention. Even my DVD player supports Xvid.

Quote:
I'm mostly getting tired of hearing the spoiled idiots that got DivX players and expected the video format, as well as AVI, to last the next 100 years. Sorry if you are one of them . They will be disappearing quite rapidly as MP4 will likely represent the new standard everyone can huddle under.
I'm mostly getting tired of hearing the refrain "well, we're just doing what we want to do, we don't have any responsibility to the end-users," or "spoiled idiots" as you put it. I'm neither spoiled, nor an idiot. If subbers want to do their own thing and distribute the product among themselves, that's all well and good. Once you start releasing to the public, however, you've invited those "spoiled idiots" to the party. Telling them their stupid or spoiled makes you look bad, not them. I don't think Nergol is the only one who needs to work on his or her conversational skills in this thread.

I will say that it is highly unlikely that anyone would jump through the hoops you describe just to move a anime series from one format to another. So if the argument is, "we don't need to support the stupid end-users; if they care enough, they can just fix the problem themselves," that's clearly wrong. I've got decades of computer experience, and I'm willing to learn complex tasks if they're required. (Just figuring out which command-line switches to use in mencoder takes quite a bit of effort.) But it's simply disingenuous to suggest that this is what people should do if, heaven forbid, they happen to want to watch an anime on a PMP, an older computer, or through a DVD player.
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Old 2007-03-05, 23:57   Link #111
Nicholi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
I don't know if this remark was directed at me, but at no time did I talk about format "wars." As I said I tend to be agnostic in most technology disputes like AVI vs MKV, Linux vs Windows, etc. People should use what best fits the task at hand. Your posting raised some important issues that suggest MKV was the best choice in this case, which I'm happy to accept.
You actually did say format wars. As your post clearly shows
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
Generally speaking I'm agnostic in these format wars, but I will say I'd prefer it if people stuck to AVI for files that don't require the Matroska container.
Now maybe I'm just a dunce...but we are talking about Matroska and AVI, which are different formats, and for some reason you chose the words "format wars". Is it so far fetched to believe you meant to label the use of MKV and AVI as a "format war"? Why else would you use those words if you didn't mean to imply it is some type of "format war"? Why did you bring it up at all? Its confusing if you don't say what you mean. So I'm guessing what you are in fact saying is "I never meant to say format war in relation to MKV and AVI, but in relation to other format wars which have nothing whatsoever to do with this conversation" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
I'm mostly getting tired of hearing the refrain "well, we're just doing what we want to do, we don't have any responsibility to the end-users," or "spoiled idiots" as you put it. I'm neither spoiled, nor an idiot. If subbers want to do their own thing and distribute the product among themselves, that's all well and good. Once you start releasing to the public, however, you've invited those "spoiled idiots" to the party. Telling them their stupid or spoiled makes you look bad, not them. I don't think Nergol is the only one who needs to work on his or her conversational skills in this thread.
I'm also getting tired of users thinking they deserve so much free work, or that someone has a responsibility to them. Where does this feeling come from? Were you one of the few that actually got cheated and paid for some fansubs and now feel someone owes you something? Why do you believe it is someone else's responsibility to do all of the work for you? You certainly aren't giving anything to them, except strange posts in which you claim the world is your oyster and people have responsibilities to you. You seem to be posing the idea that everone has a "responsibility" to release an AVI equivalent at all times, or they are just meanies. Is there a list of the ten fansub commandments LytHka hid somewhere I am unaware of? Have we been breaking them all along?

In a free environment like this the users are required to be responsible for themselves. Nothing "just happens" all on its own. There is no money being turned around here, there is only free time, some passion, and work. Fansubbers can and will do whatever they please, as they clearly have been doing. They choose what responsibilities they want to take on and which they don't. You are not by default owed any responsibilities at all. If a group chooses to use a rather unplayable obscure format, lets say NUT, are they required to be responsible to you? No. Are you required to download their file? No again. Of course if they want people to be able to watch the show they had better at least find something usable. Matroska completely fills the necessary component to being playable on a PC, no matter what OS/architecture. Which is enough for almost everyone.

Now as you also said, once you start releasing things to the public you do invite anyone and everyone to criticize and/or praise you. At the same time again though, does that mean they (the fansubbers) give a damn or still have any responsibility to you? No one has any responsibility to you. Of course you are free in your "right" to say they are meanies and don't care about anyone, at the same time they can choose to ignore or flame you. There is no unspoken contract signed which obligates fansubbers to do anything for the so called "end-user". The users have the power to choose what they want and do not want. They also have the power to choose to be completely ignorant to something that is easily within their grasp to accomplish: installing any software to even be able to play the file, reading documentation for the tools they are using, asking questions, actively participating. Usually you just get plain bitching. At the same time the users have the choice to become producers/distributors themselves if they feel so disgusted with current methods employed. If you do not like a particular group's work and cannot convince them they must re-encode everything to AVI, what could you do? Start your own group or splinter off from another as has been done countless times in the past. This is how this system works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
I will say that it is highly unlikely that anyone would jump through the hoops you describe just to move a anime series from one format to another. So if the argument is, "we don't need to support the stupid end-users; if they care enough, they can just fix the problem themselves," that's clearly wrong.
No one is being forced to download the non-AVI files to my knowledge and typically there is another group using the AVI container. There is also nothing preventing them from re-encoding the MKVs, except their own laziness. So heaven forbid they aren't being fed with a silver spoon ;-;! I think you are somehow taking re-encoding MKV to a whole nother level. It simply takes a patient user who is willing to learn in order to convert from MKV, as you yourself seem to have already gone through. The complexity of how many hoops to jump through of course varies on what is actually inside the MKV. If not everyone has this patience, then they shouldn't download the MKVs which obviously will not play on their DivX player. That isn't too complex an idea is it? Just as well many groups in fact provide such guides as to how to re-encode their content. The knowledge isn't hidden and copyrighted, but no one is asking any questions about it. The responsibility in my mind is clearly on the users to find or ask what to do, and they have no one but themselves to blame if they can't even put forth that little bit of effort. You will find many individuals, myself being one of them, who are fine with giving out tips/info and what tools to use. However you are unlikely to get a perfect list of steps with matching pictures on exactly what to do so you don't have to think at all. These users will need to do some of the work for themselves.

Does this obviously displease a certain number of "end-users", of course. However the aims of using the format for said group usually outweighs such qualms from couchpotato users they don't really care about. Such as quality concerns. Why do the users demanding a format interoperable with their standalone player have a higher priority then the users demanding high quality releases? Who decides who is more important in this situation? Obviously that is the choice of the fansubbers! They are not obligated through any mystical responsibilities to please all parties if they do not want to. Some say it takes no extra work at all, some people don't want to bother at all with continuing legacy technology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
But it's simply disingenuous to suggest that this is what people should do if, heaven forbid, they happen to want to watch an anime on a PMP, an older computer, or through a DVD player.
Would you go onto a forum of people distributing completely in RealMedia and complain to them that you can't play their files on your DivX capable player? There are certain things users need to do for themselves. The same issue is going to come up with the future use of MP4, which unfortunately not even I can stop (I would of course prefer MKV). What are you going to do then? Claim everyone needs to re-encode a low-end AVI version or they are betraying hardware users? As far as I know no fansubbers have ever declared specific support for hardware players. The formats they used (DivX/Xvid) became popular afterwards and gained hardware players, not beforehand. It was a nifty side benefit. So what will happen for the future... you expect DivX and AVI players to be around forever and fansubbers are responsible to release in this format for the next decade plus?

And what part of Matroska cannot be played on older computers?
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Old 2007-03-06, 00:47   Link #112
NoSanninWa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nergol View Post
Navel;

I know that when I play .mkv files, the subtitles look like crap. What else do I need to know? It's not a superior format for subtitled anime if tough-to-read, weirdly-drawn subtitles in a clunky font jumble over each other. I don't need to explain not liking that.
As other are saying, this is a known bug with Vlc. You're using Vlc as your player, aren't you? Unfortunately Vlc sucks.

Quote:
.mkv work bad. Boo .mkv
Wrong. Vlc work bad. Boo Vlc. I'd suggest you install CCCP and use MPC as your player. (MPC is included in CCCP, so this is just a single download.) Please remember to uninstall any codecs you might have installed before you install CCCP. (Though you can leave Vlc on your system if you like.)
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Old 2007-03-10, 19:06   Link #113
Nergol
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I must admit that after some experimentation, including experience with Lunar's Bartender .mkvs, I'm softening on the ".mkv is a bad idea" line a bit and migrating more towards a "soft subs are a bad idea" line. Bartender uses hard subs, and works without problem.

I tried out Mplayer on my most-hated soft-subbed .mkvs, and while the result was better, I'm still not impressed.

Besides, soft subs are just a dopey idea anyway. We want anime with subtitles - that's why we download fansubs, after all.

That said:

Quote:
I'm also getting tired of users thinking they deserve so much free work, or that someone has a responsibility to them. Where does this feeling come from?
Dude, with an attitude like that, why do you even do fansubbing? I don't mean to smack you down too hard here - I do appreciate your work, but at the same time, aren't you doing this to share something you like with as many people as possible? Looking down your nose at the people you're doing something for as if they were peons to me just seems bizarre.
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Old 2007-03-10, 19:47   Link #114
Nicholi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nergol
Dude, with an attitude like that, why do you even do fansubbing? I don't mean to smack you down too hard here - I do appreciate your work, but at the same time, aren't you doing this to share something you like with as many people as possible? Looking down your nose at the people you're doing something for as if they were peons to me just seems bizarre.
They aren't even peons though, they don't do any work :P. They take what is freely provided and then bitch it isn't good enough for them. Which may result in them being told to fuck off, which subsequently makes them pretend to be peons and complain someone is being a mean oppressive tyrant. Which absolutely makes no sense to me. I don't control what they do. I did not hold a gun to anyones head and say "enjoy this or fucking die". If you want to yell out your ignorant opinion that MKV sucks, fine no one can stop that. If you think no one is going to confront your ignorant baseless opinions with real concepts of how reality is working then you are sorely mistaken.

If what someone is freely providing to you is not going to mesh well with your personal outlook on fansubs, then don't get it. If you think a bit of helpful criticism might change their opinion go ahead. But you don't need to talk about your god damn right as a leech and someone else's responsibility to you. Thats just little nublets going to high school yammering, and no one wants to listen to that.
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Old 2007-03-10, 22:00   Link #115
TheFluff
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If you're using the abomination known as MPlayer OSX2, DON'T. It's extremely outdated and quite broken. Get the proper, official MPlayer build from http://mplayerhq.hu

To get the best possible softsubs, go to preferences and find the field marked "additional parameters". In it, type:
Code:
-ass -embeddedfonts -correct-pts -sid 0
This will turn on subtitles by default and render them with the fonts the fansubbers shipped.
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
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Old 2007-03-11, 04:19   Link #116
Nergol
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Nicholi;

Woah, somebody's got a little attitude going on! Color me suitably impressed by your staggering smarminess.

So are you actually a fansubber or what? Again, answer my question: if you are, then why bother expending your precious time on us peons?
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Old 2007-03-11, 05:33   Link #117
Navel
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You are having the wrong impression you belong to the calss of people he cares about. You see, even between leechers there are those that appreciate what some people offer them for free and those that bitch about not being spoon-fed. You seem to belong to the latter group and there's no love in store for you.

Congratulations on revaluating your thoughts on mkv, though !
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Old 2007-03-11, 08:22   Link #118
ender
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I don't know about others, but I help with fansubbing (and free software) because it's a fun way to spend time. I don't care what other people think about the work I do - never have, never will. If somebody doesn't agree with the way I do things, he's free to use something else.
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Old 2007-03-13, 16:28   Link #119
Goofus Maximus
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I could learn to love the MKV format, with the softsubs, but it took me a while to get everything working for me, since I despise all "codec packs", and install things individually. I never would have bothered though, if it weren't for my intense desire to watch the "Bartender" series in glorious 1280x720 format. Having done so, I'm happy, but I really see the points made on both sides of the fence.

I tend to use plain old Windows Media Player (up to version 11 now), which seems to work just fine with Haalis Media Splitter, CoreVorbis, and FFDShow with Subtitles enabled. I can't really tell any quality or performance difference between it and Media Player Classic. I don't like seeing these player wars, since I think that patches should eventually come out for any software, when bugs are found, to keep things up to date, so VLC will eventually become compliant, unless developement(edit: oops! I meant "development") on VLC has stopped entirely .

Anyhow, just installing, CoreVorbis, Haali's Media Splitter, and the latest FFDShow (up to version 1023 at free-codecs.com), then enabling subtitles/embedded-subtitles/VOBSubs in the FFDShow video Decoder options, is enough to enable me to play everything AnimeSuki can throw at me, though I had to tell WMP that the mp4 and mkv formats were really okay for it to play, the first time.
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Old 2007-03-13, 16:35   Link #120
emptyeighty
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There is realistically no tangible performance and most certainly no quality difference between DShow players like WiMP and MPC. In the end they all use the same filters and renderers.

That being said the learning curve you had to go through is nonexistant for people that use CCCP. It's as easy as installing xvid.
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