Want/Need to Convert Hundreds of ISO files to Something More Useful - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-06-2014, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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In retrospect, I wish I had not decided on using ISO back in the day when I started backing up my media library. I'm guessing I should convert to MKV or MP4, but could use some pointers on the easiest way to do it. I use Handbrake a lot, so I'm thinking that might be best, but I thought I'd check with the pros first;)
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-06-2014, 06:52 PM
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I run Handbrake batches. It works great if you are looking to compress. Else, MakeMKV has a CLI mode, but I haven't used it. That runs much faster than Handbrake, of course.

Complications: if your ISOs are full disc you have to figure out the main title. It's not always #1.

Which subtitle and audio tracks? Each title can be a bit custom.

One last wrinkle: older DVD titles sometimes do not have subtitles, but do have old Closed Captioning, not accessible in the age of HDMI. These can be extracted, converted to SRT text subtitles and embedded in MKV. (Not applicable to Blu-ray, as far as I know).

For a while, Handbrake did this directly, but seems to have lost the function recently.

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post #3 of 18 Old 05-06-2014, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that almost all of my file are BD ISO's, and they are not full titles. I used BD Rebuilder to make most of them, and I don't use the full movie feature; just the film itself with no menus. Hopefully that will make it easier.

My other question still stands; MKV or MP4? Is MKV pretty much useable for anyone now? I would think that if I sent an MKV file to a friend, they'd have to install a special program to run it,while MP4 would likely just play.
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-06-2014, 09:23 PM
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MKV is pretty universal now VLC player can play it no problem, the advantage of mp4 is really its portability, more portable devices support mp4 then MKV at the moment.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-07-2014, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8tr View Post

I forgot to mention that almost all of my file are BD ISO's, and they are not full titles. I used BD Rebuilder to make most of them, and I don't use the full movie feature; just the film itself with no menus. Hopefully that will make it easier.

Yes, that helps.
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My other question still stands; MKV or MP4? Is MKV pretty much useable for anyone now?

MKV does everything I want, but my only need is to play via a Blu-ray player or XBMC PC. If you are looking at smartphones and such then MP4 might be more commonly supported.
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I would think that if I sent an MKV file to a friend, they'd have to install a special program to run it,while MP4 would likely just play.

Your're not supposed to do that, but VLC is free and very capable.

-Bill
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-07-2014, 06:02 AM
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@Av8tr
It is hard to answer your question because you have not stated what your goal is? You want to go from BD.iso to a more common single-file video format. Why? Do you want to keep the same file size and video quality and just be able to play the titles on equipment that doesn't support BD.iso? Do you want to shrink it down so you can play it on tablets or a phone? Where do you want to end up?

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post #7 of 18 Old 05-07-2014, 06:34 AM
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Another vote for MKV as you can always demux and losslessly return to ISO (movie only), mp4 or whatever container. I even do all my 3D rips as MVC MKV's now because (1) no seamless branching hiccups, and (2) XBMC will play them (albeit as 2D).

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post #8 of 18 Old 05-07-2014, 08:01 AM
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Going to MP4 would require you to OCR subs cause contrary to MKV the container won't hold PGS subs.

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post #9 of 18 Old 05-08-2014, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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My real reason for changing is that I'm thinking of getting an Amazon Fire and it doesn't play ISO. Since I am upset with myself for ripping all my videos to ISO in the first place, I wanted to make sure I won't waste a bunch of time converting to a format that I won't ultimately be happy with. I'm pretty well convinced now that I will go with MKV. I don't have a big need to watch tablets, or phones. Just my TV, and laptop while traveling. My Daughter has access to my home network with my media files, and I wasn't sure if she'd have trouble with MKVs. I spoke to her,and she if fine with it.
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-08-2014, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8tr View Post

My real reason for changing is that I'm thinking of getting an Amazon Fire and it doesn't play ISO. Since I am upset with myself for ripping all my videos to ISO in the first place, I wanted to make sure I won't waste a bunch of time converting to a format that I won't ultimately be happy with. I'm pretty well convinced now that I will go with MKV. I don't have a big need to watch tablets, or phones. Just my TV, and laptop while traveling. My Daughter has access to my home network with my media files, and I wasn't sure if she'd have trouble with MKVs. I spoke to her,and she if fine with it.

OK, thanks that helps. So here is my suggestion if you want to do this fast and easy.

Forget MKV and MP4.
  • You say you ripped the main_title_only to BD.iso so that is the only video stream in the .iso.
  • Install a little piece of driver software so you can mount your BD.iso files as a disk and access the files.
  • Go into the BDMV\STREAM folder and pull out the single 00000.m2ts file -- that is the movie/audio/subtitles.
  • Rename 00000.m2ts to movie_title_of_your_choice.m2ts and you are done.

.m2ts is the native container format for BluRay on the disk. Just about any player that plays hi-def will play an .m2ts file and generally flawlessly because the spec for .m2ts is very narrow and can be implemented directly. My entire BluRay library is riped to .m2ts.

There is no need to spend the time remuxing to MKV or any other container -- UNLESS -- your title is seamless branched with multiple .m2ts segments and your ripper didn't combine them into a single .m2ts when you did the rip. i.e. DVD Fab won't combine segments. In that case you will have to remux to a single file. You can use MKVMerge if you want MKV or you can use TSMuxer if you want to stay with .m2ts.

Amazon Fire is very limited as a local media playback device. It's primary purpose is an Internet streaming device to compete with RoKu. Did you look into a WDTV Live-SMP? It is a full featured local streamer that plays a wide array of format and includes a substantial catalog of Internet streaming apps -- and it plays BD.iso and is cheaper than the Fire TV.

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post #11 of 18 Old 05-08-2014, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

.m2ts is the native container format for BluRay on the disk. Just about any player that plays hi-def will play an .m2ts file and generally flawlessly because the spec for .m2ts is very narrow and can be implemented directly. My entire BluRay library is riped to .m2ts.
.
This, right here.

I have no idea why people want to jiggle and convert and compress and alter and change..... yadda yadda. Most devices play M2TS just fine in its native form. Just open the ISO with power iso or similar and drag the the main movie M2TS out to a drive of your choosing. That's it... done. No fuss no muss.
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post #12 of 18 Old 05-09-2014, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Ahhh. Thanks Kelson, BigBarney. That sounds easy enough, and I already have a WD LIve. I was having some problems with it, but it might have been user error;) I'll look into it.
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post #13 of 18 Old 05-09-2014, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8tr View Post

Ahhh. Thanks Kelson, BigBarney. That sounds easy enough, and I already have a WD LIve. I was having some problems with it, but it might have been user error;) I'll look into it.

m2ts doesnt hold chapter info on its own while mkvs hold the info. I think thats why most people are using mkvs
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-09-2014, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post


Amazon Fire is very limited as a local media playback device. It's primary purpose is an Internet streaming device to compete with RoKu. Did you look into a WDTV Live-SMP? It is a full featured local streamer that plays a wide array of format and includes a substantial catalog of Internet streaming apps -- and it plays BD.iso and is cheaper than the Fire TV.

This is what I was going to chime in and say.

From the support page, all the following standard bluray codecs are missing from the Fire TV support list:

VC1 and MPEG2 - VC1 is used on most Warner Bros discs, MPEG2 on many Buena Vista releases and older blurays. MPEG2 is also on all DVDs.

DTS, DTS-MA, TrueHD - all standard bluray audio codecs. It says it supports AC3 (DVDs) and eAC3 (HD-DVDs) but only in the .mp4 container.

It also didn't say anything about support for .m2ts and very limited support for .mkv

https://developer.amazon.com/appsandservices/solutions/devices/fire-tv/docs/media-specifications

If you were dead set on a fire tv I would suggest either using Handbrake to turn everything in .MP4 files with H264 video and AC3 audio, or doing what @Kelson suggested and running Plex on your server machine to transcode on the fly. Transcoding isn't perfect, but I use it in my bedoom on an GTV box.

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post #15 of 18 Old 05-09-2014, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewhale1 View Post

m2ts doesnt hold chapter info on its own while mkvs hold the info. I think thats why most people are using mkvs
Yes, that is true and is the one clear advantage of MKV over .m2ts for people who value having chapter skip points. With the latest firmware, reports are that the WDTV Live-SMP finally supports chapter skip in MKV using the remote buttons. Because of that , I briefly toyed with the thought of ripping future titles to MKV but then discarded the notion because I find the skip-to-time functionality of the Live-SMP to be preferable to using chapter points -- my preference only, I'm happy that WD extended the functionality of the Live-SMP to include chapter skip in MKV and hope they do the same for BD.iso some day.

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post #16 of 18 Old 05-09-2014, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

This is what I was going to chime in and say.

From the support page, all the following standard bluray codecs are missing from the Fire TV support list:

VC1 and MPEG2 - VC1 is used on most Warner Bros discs, MPEG2 on many Buena Vista releases and older blurays. MPEG2 is also on all DVDs.

DTS, DTS-MA, TrueHD - all standard bluray audio codecs. It says it supports AC3 (DVDs) and eAC3 (HD-DVDs) but only in the .mp4 container.

It also didn't say anything about support for .m2ts and very limited support for .mkv

I had been following the Fire TV thread here for a while. I believe a recent development is the ability to "side load" a version of XBMC into the FireTV and use the box as an XBMC "player". From what I have read, the XBMC load supports titles encoded as H.264, MPEG-2 and VC-1 although the VC-1 encodes reportedly suffer from stuttering issues. I stopped following so I don't know if the VC-1 issues with XBMC have been resolved and the lack of HD audio pass-through. It's an interesting box if you are looking for primarily an Internet streamer and Roku competitor, but for local media streaming it is no competition to the WD Live-SMP.

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post #17 of 18 Old 05-09-2014, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Av8tr View Post

Ahhh. Thanks Kelson, BigBarney. That sounds easy enough, and I already have a WD LIve. I was having some problems with it, but it might have been user error;) I'll look into it.
If it is the current WDTV Live-SMP with the latest firmware (from 12/2013), you should have no problems streaming BD.iso over a wired network connection or locally attached HDD -- unless there is something wonky about the .iso file.

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post #18 of 18 Old 05-09-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I purchased the Fire TV because I thought there was something wrong with my WD Live player, but I now realize that I have some sort of sharing problem with my network. I have tried everything I can think of but no luck. The only thing that works is the Plex media server, and it won't play iso's or .m2ts files. I will send the Fire back because I now know that the WD player was not the problem, and eventually I will get my IT friend to help with my network issue. Thanks for all the advice.
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