Problems with FFMpeg on a DVD? Try Handbrake

I was having problems converting recorded video from a Panasonic EH65 burned onto a DVD into an audio MP3 file using FFmpeg (Windows | Mac [Alternative: ffmpeg from ffmpegX, but did not work well for me]). The typical

ffmpeg -i VTS_01_1.VOB -vn -acodec libmp3lame -ab 192000 ~/1.mp3

was not working. I got 2 different errors/problems:

Error 1: Output file #0 does not contain any stream

mymac:VIDEO_TS thewheat$ ffmpeg -i VTS_01_1.VOB -vn -acodec libmp3lame -ab 192000 ~/1.mp3
[h261 @ 0x1805000]warning: first frame is no keyframe
Input #0, h261, from 'VTS_01_1.VOB':
Duration: N/A, bitrate: N/A
Stream #0.0: Video: h261, yuv420p, 176x144, 29.97 tbr, 1200k tbn, 29.97 tbc
Output #0, mp3, to '/Users/thewheat/1.mp3':
Output file #0 does not contain any stream

Error 2: Segmentation fault

mymac:VIDEO_TS thewheat$ ffmpeg -i VTS_01_2.VOB -f avi -vcodec mpeg4 -b 800k -g 300 -bf 2 -acodec libmp3lame -ab 128k ~/2.avi
Seems stream 0 codec frame rate differs from container frame rate: 50.00 (50/1) -> 25.00 (25/1)
Input #0, mpeg, from 'VTS_01_2.VOB':
Duration: N/A, start: 1821.101711, bitrate: N/A
Stream #0.0[0x1e0]: Video: mpeg2video, yuv420p, 720x576 [PAR 16:15 DAR 4:3], 9282 kb/s, 25 tbr, 90k tbn, 50 tbc
Stream #0.1[0x80]: Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, stereo, s16, 384 kb/s
Output #0, avi, to '/Users/thewheat/snatch.avi':
Stream #0.0: Video: mpeg4, yuv420p, 720x576 [PAR 16:15 DAR 4:3], q=2-31, 800 kb/s, 90k tbn, 25 tbc
Stream #0.1: Audio: libmp3lame, 48000 Hz, stereo, s16, 128 kb/s
Stream mapping:
Stream #0.0 -> #0.0
Stream #0.1 -> #0.1
Press [q] to stop encoding
Segmentation fault5 q=38.8 size= 81654kB time=318.31 bitrate=2101.4kbits/s

I admit that the burning process of the DVD ran into issues but it seemed to have burned the DVD properly as I could play it. Really not sure what could be the cause of Error 1, perhaps metadata was not written properly, but for Error 2 it is because the VOB file is a combinations of 2 different titles of the video. The EH65 (and I think every video DVD burning software) creates VOBS of not more than 1GB. So if you have a 2.5GB MPEG2 video it will be split into 3 VOB files on the DVD. I was burning 2 separate recordings that was split in a total 3 VOBS, VTS_01_1.VOB was the first part of the first recording, VTS_01_3.VOB was the last part of the second recording and VTS_01_02.VOB (the middle file) was the last part of the first recording combined with the first part of the second recording. I believe ffmpeg has an issue at the joining points of these 2 recordings. Thus it is able to retrieve the last part of the first recording but is unable to retrieve the first part of the second recording.

So I ended up using Handbrake and it worked like a charm. I had to create a video file using Handbrake (setting video size to 0MB caused it to crash) so just used
ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vn -acodec copy output.mp3
to retrieve audio. FFmpeg will always have a place in my multimedia handling/transcoding workflows. I did try VLC (via the “Streaming/Saving” option) to do the transcoding but it just seemed to dump the entire output instead of creating an audio file (MP3/OGG vorbis). Some possible alternatives to FFmpeg are VLC command line transcoding and mencoder that I’m still trying to get a hold of, but FFmpeg is still a great piece of work =)


One thought on “Problems with FFMpeg on a DVD? Try Handbrake

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