01 February 2008

MKV Sucks

Like its friends AVI, OGM and MP4, MKV is a Media Container. It can contain multiple video tracks (All using different video CODECS (XVID/DIVX, X264/AVC etc.)) and multiple audio tracks (All using different audio CODECS (MP3, AAC, AC3 etc.)). Many video publishers online choose to publish video in .MKV format because the video tools are well developed. MKV has a dark side though… It's Slower, Choppy-er, Bigger and downright annoying for anything high-def.

After scanning the forums I have found (FOR UBUNTU/LINUX) a quick conversion from MKV to MP4 that unlike all the other forums does not require RECODING the video.

Credit goes to ubuntuforums.org's hansa56. (Thanks hansa56, I just didn't think that it should be left in a forum)

Assume we have a file "File.mkv" that has these two tracks

  1. Audio Track encoded as ac3
  2. Video Track encoded as h264/AVC

First install the needed applications

$ sudo apt-get install mkvtoolnix gpac hexedit mplayer

And download the neroAacEnc from http://www.nero.com/eng/nero-aac-codec.html Unpack to the a linux directory, chmod +x on the neroaacenc file and copy that file to the same directory as your video

Then you have to find out what Tracks have been encoded into the file

$ mkvinfo-text File.mkv

Then using that info we can tell mkvextract to DEMUX the video from the audio

$ mkvextract tracks File.mkv 1:audio.ac3 2:video.h264

Apparently you have to change one byte inside the video.h264 file

$ hexedit video.h264

Move your cursor in the first line to where they bytes read "67 64 00 33" and change the "33" to "29" (Ctrl-s to save, Ctrl-z to exit)

To convert the audio to AAC format

$ mkfifo audiodump.wav

$ ./neroAacEnc -ignorelength -q 0.20 -if audiodump.wav -of audio.m4a & mplayer audio.ac3 -vc null -vo null -ao pcm:fast

Finally Re-MUX the video with the audio

$ MP4Box -add video.h264 -add audio.m4a File.mp4

All with no conversions… just a bunch of remuxing…

29 January 2008

Untraceable Propaganda

So recently I saw the movie Untraceable. Let me say I have never seen a more prolific "Enforce the NET, Piracy is bad" propaganda Movie. It didn't even go about saying these things subtly. Be warned that this movie IS a large piece of propaganda and will likely be used to spread fear and pass legislation to alleviate that fear. I was highly surprised at how many people in the theater (80%) did not pick up on the propaganda in this movie, many of them left with comments containing "... the out of control Internet". Now i do not want to get into a technical debate (especially over such a inflammatory/inaccurate movie) but, yes if the government so wanted the killers website would be down in a matter of seconds if you want a technical explanation just look-up how DNS works. I only wish there was a way to keep a website up so that no-one could shut it down

[Major Spoilers]

Below is a list of scenes in the movie that I could pick out which were utterly over-the-top in their message in chronological order (the messages below may seem subtle, watch the movie to find out just how not subtle it is):

  • In the beginning of the movie the agent catches a guy who runs a download mp3 website... but of course the website steals information and credit info.
  • "Email from a friend of a friend" First person was caught trying to get cheap tickets. [Subtle message][Mild creepiness] Message: Do not buy tickets from anyone other than trusted authorities.
  • Dropping the body off in the trunk of a pro Net Neutrality congressman [Subtle message] [Highly creepy] Message: Ha-ha you'll never catch me because the net's so unregulated.
  • If you did nothing wrong you've got nothing to loose by letting us in... we can always come back with a warrant (Agent talking to a Gay movie downloader)
  • "(Cop)You like movies huh?... (Downloader)yea who doesn't...(Cop) me... burn your own copies?... you know that's illegal... (Federal copy-write notice appears) cant say they didn't warn you." Then later the cop says "Still felt good arresting him"
  • The kid gets a "Copy of a game" from a friend to put on her computer... game turns up to be a Trojan. [Subtle message - don't pirate software or else]
  • The email that gets the guy interested in some train-cars (Murderer ends up getting him)... [Subtle message - Its not safe to buy from people online]
  • "Any American who visits the site is an accomplice to murder" (Stated to TV cameras) - an insane mentality "Stockholm syndrome" when you start to accept the same rationale as your attacker... its not his fault that he's committing the murder, its the people who visit the site "No one thinks they did anything wrong, why should they they were only visiting a website... when did the world go so fucking insane"
  • The killer used a prepaid cell phone -[Subtle message - there should be a paper trail for everything]
  • The killer hacks agents onstar, then when he kidnaps her he disables it so the agents cant track it (Agents whine about how they could have tracked her if only her onstar was on) - [Subtle message - if only everyone could be tracked]
I suggest that everyone see/obtain (in the usual way) this movie to see just how much of an insult it is to everyone on the internet.