Originally Posted by JMGNYC
AAC is used mostly for iDevices. It's the only format they play natively in fact. It's fine for a pair of earbuds but generally speaking it's pretty poor quality sound. AC3 is used by AppleTV (in addition to AAC) and virtually everything will play it. It is quite old. It support full 5.1 sound if you have that type of setup. If you're just using your TV speakers your probably won't notice any difference between AAC and AC3 5.1/Dolby Surround/Dolby Pro-Logic etc. If you have good quality 5.1 speakers then one of the HD audio types is easily the best however some people can't really hear the difference between AC3 5.1 and HD Audio.
So, if you want to play it on a portable device, especially Apple, then include an AAC track. if you have a home theater with 5.1 setup add an AC3 6 channel track also to get the proper surround. Otherwise AC3 Dolby Surround or Dolby Pro-Logic might suffice for you.
As pitiful as this is going to seem, please let me make sure i understand what you mean for my 'process" as I am still learning what everything means in handbrake and a lot of stuff which should be obvious...isn't quite so obvious to me. So please let me talk this out...
Step 1 - makeMKV the original disc. I'll use this on my home theater system for a lossless copy. I'll store these files on my big hard drive, so I have no issue with the 25-35 GB mkv files from BluRays. Max quality is key. I have a decent home theater system and a big ole' Blu-Ray capable TV.
Step 2 - Handbrake the fullsize MKV into a smaller mkv suitable for use on a laptop or smaller home system. I'll store this on a smaller portable hard drive to take with me on deployments, and for my older daughter to take with her to school to watch on her laptop. I'd prefer to keep these under 1.5 GB, but this needs to be a step up from just "earbud/headphone" sound because I want it to be playable in our 'family room' which has a 37" TV and a cheap, older 5.1 speaker system
Step 3 - Handkbrake the MKV into an mp4 suitable for use (and temp storage) on an iPod. Quality can be lower, small file size IS important, I want these to be under 650-700 MB at most. These are just earbuds and at most 960 resolution or whatever the little portable devices can use today.
so that means:
Step 1 - Include original DTS-HD/TrueHD (BluRay) or DD/DTS 3/2+1 with makeMKV
Step 2 - Use Handbrake's AC3 (ffmpeg) and Dolby Pro Logic II to allow for at least reasonable sound on lower quality "home systems" plus maxing out any laptop type sound system
Step 3 - Use handbrake's aac (faac) or aac (ffmpeg) for the audio
Does my process make sense? If so, I think I'm *almost* there!
3 questions, please:
1. you mentioned the "add an AC3 6 channel track". Is that the "6-channel discrete" Mixdown setting?
2. If I'm using the "full sound" available from the orignal source mkv for my home system, I wouldn't need anything more than DPL-II for a 'lesser' system, correct?
3. Is there really any difference between faac or ffmpeg as the audio codec? I notice the file size difference is neglible. Is there a compatibility difference? Or is it basically a to-MAY-to to-MAH-to type thing?
Thanks a ton for putting up with my questions. I'm sure it'll make perfect sense once I get it all in, but for right now, it seems like calculus.
I've been doing my reading and I've makeMKV'D/handbraked several dozen files in the last 2 weeks (pretty much 24/7 with the queue and whatnot), and I only have so much time to test in each of the various environments. Even with an i7-3610, it takes over an hour to makeMKV a BluRay and another 4 or so to Handbrake the sucker (less for the iPod), so that's a lot of time. Thanks again.