Ah, a kindred spirit.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...
...there is a trend, these days, for people to convert (films in particular) to .mp4 files containing video (H264) with 5.1 AAC audio.
All well and good you say, and it is, if all I wanted to do was play them on my PC with VLC or burn them to DVD. But what if I wanted (and I do) to watch them on my TV through my surround sound setup using my WD media player? I can watch the video but only listen to the soundtrack as 2 channel stereo.
So started my spiral into madness
; a seemingly endless round of:
Internet for settings/how tos/tutorials.
Back to the internet.
All this lasting (and still continuing) the past 2 weeks; including almost 3 solid days of my annual leave. The circles getting smaller and smaller until I feared I would disappear up my own orifice
Then, success (I thought) the solution was simple:
Use Yamb to split the streams.
Use aacDECdrop to convert the AAC file to a WAV file.
Use TranzGUI (I'm a simple soul) to split the WAV into 6.
Rename the files - C=FR, FL=C, FR=FL, LFE=SL, SL=SR and, last, but not least SR=LFE to correct the AAC to AC3 channel order.
Create a .mux file with the above list in.
Use BeSweet (GUI - as I said, I'm simple) to run the .mux file to create my AC3 file.
Use MKVmerge to replace the audio file in the .mp4 with the .ac3 and mux to an .mkv file my media player is happy with.
my first run was just beginners luck, TranzGUI couldn't handle some other files
(something about the header I've read) and BeSweet created distortion (crackles/pops - no snaps) in loud segments
(again something about 3db here and 31db there) so it's back to the net
then I find my Nirvana - WaveWizard and WAV to AC3 Encoder!
Turns out I'd already downloaded and unpacked them during my week-long frenzy, but never got back to them. But then my channel order nightmare started again. Do I run wavewizard as-is then rename the files 0=FL, 1=FR, 2=C, 3=LFE, 4=SL, 5=SR to get WAV order, then re-rename them C=FR, FL=C, FR=FL, LFE=SL, SL=SR, SR=LFE to go from WAV to AC3 or, if my maths teacher did his job, 0=C, 1=FL, 2=FR, 3=SL, 4=SR, 5=LFE to do it in one go, then follow as before from the .mux file?
No, WAV to AC3 Encoder can do it for me with its wizard!
For Tranz files - click L and navigate to the FR file, R to C, C to FL, LFE to SR, SL to LFE & SR to the SL file.
For wavewizard - click L and navigate to the 1 file, R to 2, C to 0, LFE to 5, SL to 3 & SR to the 4 file.
Then it's off to MKVmerge with the .ac3 file as before.
I think the above order is correct, but I'm prepared to be corrected, and if anyone knows of (I haven't found it) or can produce, a comprehensive remapping file-to WAV-to file map (like the above AAC to WAV to AC3 version) I think there would be a large and appreciative audience for it.
Here is your starter for ten:
WAV FL FR FC LFE SL SR
AC3 FL FC FR SL SR LFE
DTS FC FL FR SL SR LFE
AAC FC FL FR SL SR LFE
AIFF FL SL FC FR SR LFE
FLAC FL FR FC LFE SL SR
WMA FL FR FC LFE SL SR
FL : Front Left
FC : Front Centre (Center)
FR : Front Right
SL : Surround (Rear) Left
SR : Surround (Rear) Right
LFE : Low Frequency Effects (Sub)