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Old 2006-07-25, 01:07   Link #1
shidoshi
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Why h.264 in .avi?

(This seemed like the best forum for this question, but if not, please move.)

Okay, so I really haven't touched the anime fansub scene for a while (outside of downloading a couple of first episodes here and there), but was happy/interested to see that more releases were coming out in h.264. However, upon checking some of them out, I'm seeing that a number of them are h.264 inside of an .avi container.

Now, putting .mkv aside, why are fansub groups putting their h.264 encodes into .avi containers instead of .mp4? Everything I've read has said that putting MPEG4 AVC into .avi can be bad news a lot of the time, and from what I know, I can't understand why anybody would use .avi over .mp4, as it offers no outright benefits (that I'm aware of) and .mp4 is the official container for h.264.

I did a search on here, couldn't find this explained, and the anime fansub community is the first example of h.264 inside of .avi that I've run into (maybe I'm just not looking hard enough.) Is there some reason that this is being done, or are groups just using apps that encode h.264 into an .avi container and calling it a day?

Edit: Sorry, found that this kind of discussion is also over in the Fansub Groups forum (thought I did a full board search before), so I should check over there to see if this is answered. Please feel free to delete.
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Old 2006-07-25, 01:24   Link #2
Nicholi
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The reason for H.264 in AVI? Unfortunately there isn't one. It is just plain newbosity working at its best. For any groups that you find releasing H.264 in AVI be sure to show them your full disapproval and constant scornful remarks n_n. After enough potshots and kicks to the groin they might get the picture. But I doubt it. We can also await for someone's longpost and his thesis into the minds of those who use H.264 in VfW .
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Old 2006-07-25, 01:29   Link #3
shidoshi
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I was just wondering if there was some sort of pro-h.264 in avi argument. I just now got done downloading one as a test (Nana 14), and it chokes and kills every media playing app I'm throwing it at. Yet, I have standard h.264 encodes of far higher bitrate and video size that I can play just fine.
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Old 2006-07-25, 01:33   Link #4
NoSanninWa
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There is only one reason for h264 in an avi container. People are used to avi and don't like to switch.

Personally I think it's a really dumb idea. After all, if a downloader has to install a new decoder to handle h264, they can just install haali media spliter for their mp4 and mkv playback while they're at it.
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Old 2006-07-25, 01:35   Link #5
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There is no reason for it other than ignorance. Either ignorance on the part of the encoder, or ignorance on the part of the leechers that the group is trying to avoid.
People download non-avi things less, it's a fact. So to boost their download numbers they'll release h.264 in avi. That's pretty much the reason.
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Old 2006-07-25, 01:36   Link #6
deathbygirl
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What else is there to say? People like their AVI container (it's cruise control for cool) and MKV is made by the devil (I guess MP4 is like purgatory? Have not heard too many complaints about that, just the general 264-is-evil-wtf arguments). And fansubbers and raw cappers alike are God-fearing, ethical people, aren't they? (Protip: They are! Seriously.)
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Old 2006-07-25, 02:36   Link #7
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Mainly because virtualdub et al exist, and x264 VfW has not died off quickly enough.
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Old 2006-07-25, 11:37   Link #8
ffdshow
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OK, my question is...

Are there any group releases of h264 in avi? So far I have only seen raws in that format.
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Old 2006-07-25, 13:35   Link #9
Vide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffdshow
Are there any group releases of h264 in avi? So far I have only seen raws in that format.
IY-F&Oki's NANA​ ep14 HD to mention one. They also put OGG in there, for some reason I probably will never fully comprehend.
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Old 2006-07-25, 14:05   Link #10
Chromanin
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Although it's true using h264 in .avi is generally a quite hacky and simply dumb idea, I think it's just even worse disregarding the advantages of softsubs and the .mkv package in general. It's time to move on, leave the old things behind and use more efficient and usefull things instead.

It's kinda demoralizing that we're being held back on an old standard simply because other fansubbing groups are unwilling "to lose their crowd". We've got CCCP already, .mkv works fine by now, let's just let .avi go .
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Old 2006-07-25, 14:30   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffdshow
OK, my question is...

Are there any group releases of h264 in avi? So far I have only seen raws in that format.
NnK's Tonagura! (http://animesuki.com/details.php/18114.html) and Froth-Bite's Netrunmon (http://animesuki.com/details.php/13384.html) are two I've come across recently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vide-Kun
IY-F&Oki's NANA? ep14 HD to mention one. They also put OGG in there, for some reason I probably will never fully comprehend.
Hehe, Vorbis-in-OGG-in-AVI is a monstrosity worse than H.264 in AVI IMO. I've been looking for someone insane enough to actually do it. Not even Japanese cappers are that crazy (and they do 120 FPS H.264 in AVI.)
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Old 2006-07-25, 14:34   Link #12
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LOL, last time we tested Vorbis in AVI in #cccp (for evil curiosity reasons), Nicholi managed to make a file that added 120MB of overhead for a 5MB vorbis audio stream. :P

Back to the topic: one contributing reasons as to why people put h264 in AVI seems to be that they don't know what's wrong with it - after all, to the casual user it seems to work well enough. In fact, the only h.264 feature that really doesn't fit into AVI is the b-pyramid. So to the newbies, it seems to work fine - in their view, H.264 is just another codec that should work in AVI.
The fact that most features do "work" in AVI is not a reason to use it, however... H.264 in AVI is still evil, still prone to breakage, and just plain WRONG, no matter what the VfW trolls on doom9 think about it.
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Old 2006-07-25, 17:03   Link #13
Zero1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shidoshi
Now, putting .mkv aside, why are fansub groups putting their h.264 encodes into .avi containers instead of .mp4? Everything I've read has said that putting MPEG4 AVC into .avi can be bad news a lot of the time, and from what I know, I can't understand why anybody would use .avi over .mp4, as it offers no outright benefits (that I'm aware of) and .mp4 is the official container for h.264.
There are a few reasons. One of them might be that the leader or encoder wants to keep down the amount of stuff required for the end user to install. Therefore encoding H.264 and storing it in AVI (assuming MP3 is used for audio), means that only a H.264 decoder is required to get it going (just as people are required to install an MPEG-4 ASP (DivX, XviD) decoder. This isn't really a valid argument these days when we have things like CCCP (an idiot proof installer for a small number of common splitters and decoders) and VLC (which although has broken softsub support, works has it's own decoders and splitters, meaning that issues pertaining to Windows decoder wise, do not affect it. Likewise, you shouldn't need to download any extras if you have a recent build.

Another reason might be ignorance/newbness. Not all encoders know that H.264 in AVI (or rather H.264 hacked for VfW compatability) is bad. Heck, not all encoders even know that H.264 or ASP requires hacks to be stored in AVI/VfW. So based on that, they see nothing wrong with H.264 in AVI. Along the lines of newbness, there are probably a fair few encoders who maybe have not been in the game overly long, and/or have only learned from reading a guide, walkthrough or something, the "press butan, receive encode" type. Coupled with what I just mentioned about not knowing about the hacks and such, they may just see H.264 in AVI as natural progression of their encoding. They are familliar with the programs and the process is essentially the same, there is just new terminology to learn with H.264.

Some encoders may just be of the opinion that they want to use Virtualdub to encode H.264, and it so happens to be AVI (or MKV in Virtualdub Mod; I would be interested to see the amount of VfW H.264 MKV's out there.

Though it's not a case of newbie bashing, we were all newbs somewhere along the line; the difference I find, is that newbs today don't seem to subscibe to trial and error methods like we had to. I see a lot of threads and such asking basic questions that can be answered by googling, or experimentation.

No, even encoders that have been around will be unfamilliar with some tools no doubt, and not all tools have always had GUIs. A lot of people seem to have CLI-phobia; which is another reason people would prefer to encode H.264 and stick it in AVI, it means you avoid the x264 CLI, Nero AAC, Vorbis and MP4box or MKVmerge (all command lines). A lot of these now have GUIs and frontends, although they are not always stable, complete or lack features, they are functional. I think this would explain the increase of MKV and MP4 contained encodes. I wonder if x264, MKVmerge, MP4box and such stayed as CLI without GUIs or frontends, if we would mainly still be stuck with XviD in AVI.

If people out there are reading this now and are not CLI-friendly, I urge them to give it a go. There is so much good software out there that is CLI based. CLI is a life skill that died out when Windows became more and more GUI driven. I have vague memories of DOS, my first real encounter with computers was with Win 3.11 and Win95 where I had to type win or something at a prompt to make Windows load. Then there was the computer whizzkid who we knew. Ah yes, taught me all about formatting drives and making boot disks. What guilty fun we had with DOS.

Anyway, it amounts to a) encoders not knowing better or being newbs, b) leaders not wanting to upset leechers or c) encoders being lazy and/or not giving a damn.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholi
We can also await for someone's longpost and his thesis into the minds of those who use H.264 in VfW
The scary thing is, that you knew forwell that's exactly what I was going to do (and I didn't just post the above to amuse you ) I can appreciate why people might want to put H.264 in AVI, but I have no empathy for them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shidoshi
I was just wondering if there was some sort of pro-h.264 in avi argument. I just now got done downloading one as a test (Nana 14), and it chokes and kills every media playing app I'm throwing it at. Yet, I have standard h.264 encodes of far higher bitrate and video size that I can play just fine.
There is a certain member at doom9 who has written a guide for the x264 VfW, but he's about the only person to put up a pro-H.264-in-AVI argument, most members either argue that it's retarded until they are blue in the face, or just ignore him. Most people who use the VfW are like "lol, I just use AVI because it's easy and I can use Vdub". I do not see any good reason for storing H.264 in AVI. I mean how hard is it to install Haali's splitter? Not at all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa
There is only one reason for h264 in an avi container. People are used to avi and don't like to switch.

Personally I think it's a really dumb idea. After all, if a downloader has to install a new decoder to handle h264, they can just install haali media spliter for their mp4 and mkv playback while they're at it.
Indeed. When I first got into H.264 and using x264, I must admit my first experience was with the VfW/AVI. I never publicly released anything (thank God; we can do without H.264 AVIs), I was just experimenting and at the time I was a CLI-phobe (the x264 CLI only had raw and MP4 output at that time, and I don't think MP4box had a GUI/frontend). I thought about it, and one thing that struck me is that the video coding in fansubs is always improving, but we are always stuck with MP3 and have been for years. I knew H.264 in AVI was a hack and had similar lag problems as XviD had, and I wasn't too happy about it, so I thought "What the hell, I can use MP4; that will let me store H.264 in a non hacked way, and I can use better audio compression at the same time". On top of that, I also saved a little due to the way that MP4 is more efficient than AVI. The end user would have to install a video and audio decoder anyway, installing a splitter also wouldn't kill them. Fortunately some time after, CCCP got together and killed several birds with one stone.

This is how I got acquainted with MP4. Were it not for x264 outputting to MP4 or elementary streams only at the time, I maybe would have turned to MKV (but again, at the time it didn't have native suppport, so it would have been only marginally better than AVI).

Although I like MP4, I don't care if people favour MKV to it, as long as they aren't using AVI or OGM. MKV and MP4 have been beneficial to eachother in more ways than one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by deathbygirl
What else is there to say? People like their AVI container (it's cruise control for cool) and MKV is made by the devil (I guess MP4 is like purgatory? Have not heard too many complaints about that, just the general 264-is-evil-wtf arguments). And fansubbers and raw cappers alike are God-fearing, ethical people, aren't they? (Protip: They are! Seriously.)
No, MP4 is "lol ipod format" ;p


Quote:
Originally Posted by checkers
Mainly because virtualdub et al exist, and x264 VfW has not died off quickly enough.
Zing. Well if people didn't create the x264 VfW, that would kick quite a few of those encodes into touch. On the other hand, they might end up finding other VfW H.264 encoders, or someone would port x264 to VfW and do a bad job of it. I think that was the main reason of making an x264 VfW, just so someone else didn't attempt it and cock it up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vide-Kun
IY-F&Oki's NANA​ ep14 HD to mention one. They also put OGG in there, for some reason I probably will never fully comprehend.
Wow, this is evil(tm). I'm grabbing this now, it will be interesting. I'm particularly interested by the audio. I've only ever known the Vorbis ACM to be very broken. Unless it was muxed via graphedit or something. Really though, people are required to install a H.264 and Vorbis decoder. Would it have been much trouble to use MKV, have a native H.264 stream and avoid all the hackiness? It's just one more component to install for the end user, which is no hardship when already installing 2 others (or just one install for everything with CCCP).

Edit
Just checked the file. It's not AVI, it's MKV... It's not HD, it's 16:9 576p (and an SD upscale, rather than HD downscale). But at least that satisfies my curiosity of how they got Vorbis in AVI, well they didn't; it's MKV. I wonder if it was a straight Virtualdubmod job (and so VfW). Interesting.
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Last edited by Zero1; 2006-07-25 at 18:26.
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Old 2006-07-26, 10:01   Link #14
Nicholi
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Aww it's not Vorbis in AVI
Yes I actually tried to make some Vorbis in AVI, just to see how it would work out. zomg that was a bad idea. Most of the files couldn't even be played with the damned software they were made with. For example the insane ffmpeg way of putting Vorbis in AVI (yes 121MB overhead for 4.48MB of Vorbis audio) wouldn't even play in ffplay or mplayer!! I mean that just sends off danger signals like no tommorow. The file amazingly enough would play in DirectShow with ffdshow decoding the audio, however if you even DARED to touch the seekbar, all life is over. The other way to do it would be using the Vorbis ACM codec, which although doesn't give huge overhead will not even play it's own files! When the file is played in DShow with the ACM Wrapper a/v sync is lost immidiately, but the file could play in mplayer.

Do you see why hacks are bad now children?! Just don't put anything in AVI ;-;
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Old 2006-08-17, 08:17   Link #15
Power2All
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My Answer to this.
MP4 is NOT the standard for this H.264 module.
Problem is MP4 is a MP3 update as this has been used before.
It should have been called: MPG4 but this seems people to hard to understand
The H.264 codec is used in AVI since I don't see any benefits in using H.264 in MP4 (which I explained above) and as no positive either negative things when its either in AVI or MKV or OGM or whatever.
All those new containers we're made to handle more channels/streams which AVI has a limit to them.
Why not using AVI when you only got 2 streams ?!
I don't see the point in not using AVI for it at all.

My conclusion is that I hear more problems with MKV,OGM and other containers then AVI then AVI itself, so I am not going to switch only because people are screaming it's "BAD" and stuff. Give me more proof that it fails to playback, since I have around 10k+ people downloading my encodes and nobody had any complains or problems with playing back the files.
(Fraunhofer came with this fileformat and their beta encoder which I used, pretty better encode then MP3 and smaller filesizes)
Power2All.

--edit--
Im using Mp3 for audio by the way, I don't think I should switch to other audio codec, where MP3 is working fine and doesn't eat up much space for the video ^^

--edit--
For the noobs, Yes I worked in the very early age of all formats.
Yes I worked with a MP4 format too which was a AUDIO format.
Just to let people know I'm not bullshitting here
(Fraunhofer released a encoder for making Mp4 audio files which should replace MP3 in the very past. They probably renamed it or something but as far as I know, the MP4 extension was stolen from MP3 update)

Last edited by Power2All; 2006-08-17 at 08:31.
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Old 2006-08-17, 08:31   Link #16
Power2All
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<double Post>

Last edited by Power2All; 2006-08-17 at 08:52.
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Old 2006-08-17, 09:47   Link #17
Srin Tuar
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I'm of the opinion that outdated formats like AVI should be actively avoided as much as possible,
so that they can fade away into history. (same for ogm and mp4 containers)

I think alot of the trouble with MKV had been people making bad encodes, and newbies
making effort to get the right software installed. Its probably the most ideal format for
BT distribution, where streaming is not an issue.
The only thing I'd really like to see is better stream-selection and menu support for
mkv in mplayer. If i was overflowing with free time i'd probably work on it myself.
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Old 2006-08-17, 11:41   Link #18
TheFluff
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Power2All's post is quite possibly the funniest troll EVER. Even I, who normally waste my time trying to bash sense into trolls, won't try arguing against that...
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Old 2006-08-17, 12:22   Link #19
Zero1
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>>15
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Old 2006-08-17, 12:26   Link #20
Power2All
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff
Power2All's post is quite possibly the funniest troll EVER. Even I, who normally waste my time trying to bash sense into trolls, won't try arguing against that...

By far your answer is pointless, and hillarious.
Please be quiet if you got nothing senseless to say, and I bashed you probably hard it seems to your reaction ^^
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