Previous 1 2 3 Next 37 Replies Latest reply: Mar 9, 2010 3:47 AM by BadgerDog
Nick Holmes Level 7 Level 7
There's this marvellous piece of free software called [MPEG Streamclip|], many of you are already using it or have heard of it. If you don't have it, download it now! This is an invaluable tool that every video editor should have at their disposal.

So, what does it do?

MPEG Streamclip converts a bunch of video formats to something that you can use in Final Cut Pro and edit with. It also converts video that you just need in another format for whatever reason you might have.

Sometimes we get clients that turn up with something that absolutely must be in their project. The problem is, all they have is a DVD and there's no chance of getting the original footage. Well, that's clients for you. Welcome to the world of video post production.

If you look at the structure of a DVD in the Finder, there are several files with cryptic names -IFO, VOB, VTS.... What's all that about?


Don't worry. Copy the entire DVD to a local hard drive. Open MPEG Streamclip. What?... OK, then download it now.

Click on File > Open Files. MPEG Streamclip knows what you want and only the relevant files are highlighted.


Choose VTS011.VOB -you don't usually need 1_0 as this is just black padding between the menu and the stuff you really need.

You might be asked if you want to fix timecode or data errors -click OK, it's better. Trust me.
You might be asked if you want to join files. I prefer to say no at this point -give me the individual files, I'm a professional video editor after all.

The spinning wheel does its thing..... Hey look, it's a scene from the DVD!


Now we need to convert it to something that Final Cut pro can use. This is the only setting of any interest to Final Cut Pro editors:


Click it and we are where we really need to be:


MPEG Streamclip will always show this screen as a default. For the most part the DV codec is fully acceptable, after all its coming from a highly compressed source to begin with. Lets change it:


What do we learn from the above illustration? you will notice that I have checked the reinterlace chroma box, Why?
Because I am an unwashed English dog that works in the PAL format. That's why. No really, it looks nicer -do it.

All you have to do now is save your movie. Click the "Make Movie" button then give it a name and place to live.

If you are working in an uncompressed Timeline and your client brings a DVD that absolutely must be cut into the movie, then choose an appropriate setting from the list of those offered by MPEG Streamclip. If you are working in a HD Timeline and your client... Oh Noes! They be already in your office!
You were supposed to have your armed, drunken grandfather guarding the door. Check that he has not fallen asleep!

That's all for now. In part two we will discuss converting batches in MPEG Streamclip.

In case I left something or other out, comments and criticism are more than welcome.

Mac Pro 8 Core/Mini/3ACDs, Mac OS X (10.5.7), FCP forum elitist
  • Zak Ray Level 4 Level 4
    Great work, Nick-- if only we could make stickies...
  • David M Brewer Level 6 Level 6
    Nice tutorial Nick... And that's the ticket. I get a lot of dvds. I do it the way you mention. If I have to go to the web I use another workflow using Mpeg-Streamclip/Compressor.
  • the black sun Level 1 Level 1
    From one English man to another - jolly good show old chap!
  • David Mclaine Level 4 Level 4
    I agree !!! great piece of software, I've had it for a few months now and being a Yorkshireman getting it free was a bonus.
  • Andy Neil Level 4 Level 4
    I'm waiting for the "I followed your tutorial just like you said, but my video won't play in my timeline." post.

    "Uh...did you follow the tutorial EXACTLY"

    "Of course!"

    "Did you use the exact SAME settings?"


    "Um, do you by chance live in the United States?"

    "I sure do! What? Wait. PAL doesn't play here?"

  • Zak Ray Level 4 Level 4
  • David S. Level 7 Level 7
    Why don't we have stickies?

    The iPhone forums do.
  • Zak Ray Level 4 Level 4
    Didn't we have a discussion about it once? Tried it and it didn't work?
  • Brian Kaempen Level 3 Level 3
    Because Apple values the iPhone and iPods more than they do Macs or their software anymore.

    Back on track, I'm sure you all know about this, but I just learned about this feature this past week.  +B brings up a bin window, so you can convert a whole bunch of files at once, just like Compressor, Visual Hub, Episode, etc. Did anyone not know that, or was I the only one?

  • Zak Ray Level 4 Level 4
    Hey, Apple is a company. If they look at their multi-billion-dollar surplus and see that the majority of it is from iPods, what do you expect? I'm not happy about it either, but what can you do.

    Great tip, by the way.
  • Nick Holmes Level 7 Level 7
     +B brings up a bin window...

    Line before last in my tutorial. That's going to be in part 2.
    Now you have spoiled the surprise :P
  • Piso Mojado Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    I'm from the United States, I own CS2, I know dangerously close to nothing about what I'm doing, and I have a few stupid questions for you.

    First, thanks very much for the tutorial. These kinds of step by step explanations do a world of good.

    As it happens I own a PAL dvd I'm passionate about converting to an NTSC dvd. From what I've read, a first step is using Slipstream to create a quicktime movie to import to either FCP or Compressor depending on the technique employed. I did this before reading your tutorial.

    First, instead of using file>open files I used file>open dvd Was this a huge mistake?

    Since I was dealing with a PAL dvd, I used settings identical to the ones in your screen capture. But now I'm having regrets because I see no evidence of interlacing on the original dvd in freezeframes, which makes me wonder if I should have unchecked "interlaced scaling and reinterlace chroma"? How can I be sure whether my PAL dvd was interlaced or progressive?

    Third, the resulting Quicktime movie is squashed into a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of letterboxed. Is this ok at this stage of the process, or should I have a panic attack?

    Lastly, and perhaps this is beyond the scope of this discussion, where did all of the subtitles and audiotracks go? Are they in the Quicktime movie somewhere? After I do the NTSC conversion how can I rebuild the dvd as it was in all other respects?

    Thanks a lot for your patience.

    --Piso Mojado
  • Piso Mojado Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X
    By the way, Nick, plagiary being the sincerest form of flattery, Shane Ross must be in love with you. He totally ripped you off:
  • Piso Mojado Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X
    Here's what Slipstream has to say about my movie:
    Type: VOB program stream

    Duration: 1:43:06
    Data Size: 4.01 GB
    Bit Rate: 5.57 Mbps

    Video Tracks:
    224 MPEG-2, 720 × 576, 16:9, 25 fps, 8.00 Mbps, upper field first

    Audio Tracks:
    128 AC3 2/0, 48 kHz, 192 kbps
    129 AC3 2/0, 48 kHz, 192 kbps
    130 AC3 2/0, 48 kHz, 192 kbps
    131 AC3 2/0, 48 kHz, 192 kbps
    132 AC3 2/0, 48 kHz, 192 kbps

    Stream Files:
    VTS011.VOB (1.00 GB)
    VTS012.VOB (1.00 GB)
    VTS013.VOB (1.00 GB)
    VTS014.VOB (1.00 GB)
    VTS015.VOB (11.68 MB)
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