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  #1  
Old 07-24-2009, 07:24 AM
petercor petercor is offline
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Default DVD to NWZ-S639

I am thinking of upgrading to an NWZ-S639 both for music and video, but first want to make sure I can get DVDs to work on it.

I tried a few converters I'd found online for my old A815, but none really worked too well, especially with box set type DVDs which have more than one programme content (e.g. iSofter seemed only to recognise the first programme). I was told the AVS one was good, but the version I downloaded wouldn't let me try it without buying it, something I'm loath to do.

Can anyone recommed an, ideallly free, (but don't mind paying a little if it is really that good), DVD converter to some format the 639 will recognise?

Last edited by petercor; 07-24-2009 at 07:33 AM. Reason: needed further detail
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2009, 09:16 AM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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For DVD's I use an older version of DVD Fab Platinum (v3.1.4.5). It's an all-in-one ripper/converter. You don't need any CODECs installed on your PC to encode the videos - they are all buit-in to the program. Just select the iPOD 320x240 preset. Unfortunately it's not freeware. Occasionally it doesn't like a DVD and can't rip it.

It's been a couple of years since I've been to their website and it looks like they've really changed things. The program(s) they sell now sell only perform one function (ie, DVD to DVD, DVD to Mobile) and it's now a 2-year subscription. The version that I have does all of those and it's a normal program, not a subscription. I wouldn't recommend the new version because of those reasons, and it's fairly expensive now.

For video files already on your PC, I recommend AVIdemux. It is freeware and it will convert almost any video types. It also has an iPOD preset (MPEG4) that works good on the Sony's. Again, it is a program that does not require you to have CODEC's installed on your PC. They are all built-in the program. It can open VOB files but I have never tried it for that purpose since I use DVD Fab for my DVD conversion. I would guess that you would need a seperate ripper to get the DVD files (VOB) onto your PC (I've used DVD Decrypter before for that). I use AVI demux to convert my downloaded videos to view on my S639 and on my PSP (it has presets for both iPOD 320x240 and PSP 480x272). I highly recommend AVIdemux.

Matt

Edit: Regarding box sets, DVD Fab Platinum allows you to encode each episode individually. I used it to covert all of my episodes of "The Office" with no problems. AVIdemux (I believe) will encode whatever the VOB file contains. If you ripped an entire DVD at once you might end up with a large video containing a bunch of episodes. If you ripped each episode individually you might end up with individual videos. I haven't used AVIdemux for that purpose so you would have to try it out.

Last edited by MattMc3; 07-24-2009 at 09:24 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2009, 09:25 AM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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If you are interested, I can email you a small 1-2 minute sample video encoded with either program that you can test to see if it works.

Matt
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2009, 04:47 AM
petercor petercor is offline
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Thanks Matt

Since my original post I found 2 candidates for the job. iSofter seems simple but it was not obvious what to use for mp4, so I saved as WMV and then converted with IHCs Prism converter and that worked fine. I then found AVS4You which seems to include all the conversions you need and that works well direct to mp4.

It seems that 'free' stuff is not out there, but if they do the job I don't mind just over 20.

I've ordered a 639 anyweay as Amazon have just dropped the price to 89.99. 12 cheaper than Saturday

Cheers, Peter

Last edited by petercor; 07-27-2009 at 04:48 AM. Reason: Missed something
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2009, 09:28 AM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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I did some experimenting with placing videos in the Video folder and the Podcast folder. Here are the pro's and con's of each:


Placing Videos in the "VIDEO" folder

Pro's:
- Can use album art/thumbnails
- Can enable "Continuous Playback" option
- Can FF into the next track or RW into the prevous track (if continuous playback is enabled)

Con's
- Can't organize video files at all (organization based on copy order)
- Player will only remember paused position of the last video played


Placing Videos in the "PODCASTS" folder

Pro's
- Can organize videos alphabetically by sub-directories/meta-data "name" tag
- Player will remember paused positions of every video in the PODCAST folder

Con's
- Can't use album art/thumnails
- Can't enable "Continuous Playback" option (you can enable it but it doesn't have any effect)
- Can't FF into the next track or RW into the prevous track

Matt

Edit: The above info was tested on my S639
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2009, 05:54 PM
paulinfl paulinfl is offline
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Hi guys, I would really appreciate some help.
I bought my wife a S639 last week, she loves it. However, try as I might I just can't get MPEG4 files onto the walkman.
I've tried multiple times without success so maybe it's something that I'm doing wrong.
I've ripped the files from DVD using DVDFab v6 using the DVD to Mobile option and Ipod/Iphone setting. I select all 8 files I wish to convert then click "next". In "conversion settings" I select Ipod H264, frame resolution 320/240, framerate 29.97, Bit rate 64Kbs. I hit "ok" and away we go. 8hrs later I end up with 8 MPEG4 files that Media Manager refuses to recognise.
I then tried converting the files ripped by DVDFab using Free Zune, again Media Manager refused to recognise the files. I have downloaded AVIdemux (as per previous suggestion) but I can't locate the setting 320/240 setting and I'm unsure how to use the program.
If you are sure that AVIdemux is the tool for the job I'd be so happy if someone could guide an idiot through the settings procedure as frustration levels are running high.
The S639 has a great sound but this MPEG4 issue is driving me crazy.
If anyone can help I would be so grateful.
Thank you.
Paul.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2009, 06:20 PM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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Hi Paul,
Yeah, video encoding can be tricky sometimes. Everyone has different programs that they prefer. The trick is finding one that you are comfortable with and works correctly on your computer. Unfortuanately this might mean some trial-and-error experimenting with different programs.

DVD Fab: I do not use DVD Fab to "rip" movies to my hard drive. At least in the version that I have, DVD Fab will rip and encode the movie. What it ouputs is a complete MP4 that should play on your Sony. You should not have to re-encode the "ripped" files. When I insert a DVD and start DVD Fab, I choose:
1) DVD > Mobile
2) Ipod Preset
3) Select the Title to rip/encode (are you ripping a movie or episodes of a show?)
4) On the configure page choose 320x240 and the bitrate for your audio and video. I choose 128 for audio and 512 for video.
5) Hit "Next" and it should encode your video. When it's done you will have an encoded MP4.

AVIdemux:
1) Open the file you want to encode.
2) Choose the AUTO menu item IPOD (MPEG4)
3) Make sure your video setting is preset to MPEG4 (ASP)
4) Make sure your audio setting is preset to AAC
5) Make sure your format is preset to MP4
6) Save the video. You have to manually add the .MP4 extension to the file. When it's done you will have a completed MP4 video that should play on your Sony.

If you want more specific directions, let me know and I can email you some screenshots and a sample 1-2 minute video to try out. Good luck.

Matt
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2009, 06:27 PM
h1a8 h1a8 is offline
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DVD Fab is the best 1st step. I highly recommend it to copy protected dvds onto pc. Once you do then I recommend Dvd Catalyst to convert the dvd to the format the portable player can read.
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2009, 07:11 PM
paulinfl paulinfl is offline
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Thanks for replying Matt,

Ok, I've launched DVD Fab.
Chose DVD> Mobile.
IPod/IPhone Preset.

Now...when you say "Select the title", do you mean the 8 sections of the DVD?
I wish to convert the whole DVD (it's a work-out DVD my wife uses). I presume I can rip/convert all 8 at one time.
When I click on "Conversion Settings" I have various options in the top right drop down box i.e. "IPod mpeg4, IPod H264, IPod H264-5.5G, IPod tvout" e.t.c. All of them apart from tvout and IPod mpeg4 offer 320x240 (IPod mpeg4 offers 320x242), so which one should I chose?
Should I use "Fast encoding" or "High quality encoding"?

I'll wait for your reply before I try again as it takes forever. Thanks so much for your time.
Paul.

Hi Paul,
Yeah, video encoding can be tricky sometimes. Everyone has different programs that they prefer. The trick is finding one that you are comfortable with and works correctly on your computer. Unfortuanately this might mean some trial-and-error experimenting with different programs.

DVD Fab: I do not use DVD Fab to "rip" movies to my hard drive. At least in the version that I have, DVD Fab will rip and encode the movie. What it ouputs is a complete MP4 that should play on your Sony. You should not have to re-encode the "ripped" files. When I insert a DVD and start DVD Fab, I choose:
1) DVD > Mobile
2) Ipod Preset
3) Select the Title to rip/encode (are you ripping a movie or episodes of a show?)
4) On the configure page choose 320x240 and the bitrate for your audio and video. I choose 128 for audio and 512 for video.
5) Hit "Next" and it should encode your video. When it's done you will have an encoded MP4.

AVIdemux:
1) Open the file you want to encode.
2) Choose the AUTO menu item IPOD (MPEG4)
3) Make sure your video setting is preset to MPEG4 (ASP)
4) Make sure your audio setting is preset to AAC
5) Make sure your format is preset to MP4
6) Save the video. You have to manually add the .MP4 extension to the file. When it's done you will have a completed MP4 video that should play on your Sony.

If you want more specific directions, let me know and I can email you some screenshots and a sample 1-2 minute video to try out. Good luck.

Matt[/QUOTE]
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2009, 07:22 PM
paulinfl paulinfl is offline
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Thanks h1a8,
Should I invest in DVD catalyst rather than upgrade the Media Manager that came with the Walkman?
Paul.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2009, 07:40 PM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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Paul: My version of DVD Fab has a section where you select the title of the DVD track that you want to encode. They are usually numbered 1-xxx. For example, track 1 might be episode 1 of a DVD series, track 2 might a "making of" segment for the DVD, track 3 might be the credits, etc. Choose the track that you want to encode. Movies are always listed with one track number (usually the longest track). For TV shows you will have to select a track number and preview it to see what that track contains. Concerning your exercise video, I'm not sure. I've never selected more than one track to encode at once. For now, just select the shortest track until you figure out how it works. Once you get one working then you can go back and mess around with multiple tracks. I use the "ipod.mpeg4" preset, and I am allowed to select 320x240 (again, I am using an older version so yours might be different). I would try the MPEG4 option even though it says 320x242. That is a non-standard resolution and it might just be a typo in the program (most video resolutions are divisible by "8"). For now just choose "fast encoding" until you get things working. Try encoding the shortest video to see what happens.

I've got a 45-second MPEG4 video encoded that I can email you. It works on my S639. If you want it, send me a Private Message through this website (top right corner of the page).

Matt
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2009, 02:56 AM
paulinfl paulinfl is offline
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Thanks Matt,
I will try what you suggest later today and let you know what happens.
Paul.
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  #13  
Old 07-28-2009, 05:25 PM
paulinfl paulinfl is offline
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Hi Matt,

Sorry, your worst nightmare is back again.

I tried DVDFab using the suggestions you suggested and tried a small file. Walkman Media Manager rejected the file saying it is not compatible.

So I tried Avidemux.
Never used this one before so it took me a while to understand how to open the files, hope I got it right.
Trying to load direct from the DVD was not an option (unless I'm missing the obvious). All the DVD gives is a bunch of VTS files, none of which could be loaded. So I ripped a file from the DVD using DVDFab, saved it and opened it in Avidemux after several unsuccessful attempts. Using auto/Ipod and the settings you suggested Avidemux eventually produced a file. I copied it to "My Videos" and opened the file in Media Manager.
All seemed good (no red crossed circle indicating a problem) until the transfer process began. I then received the error message "Transfer error. Element not found (Exception from HRESULT ;0x80070490)".

Sorry to be a pain in the ***, if you have any suggestions I'd be so happy learn from you.

Regards.... Paul.
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  #14  
Old 07-28-2009, 06:25 PM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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Hi Paul. In my first post I mentioned that I only use AVIdemux for converting video files that are already on my PC. I probably should have said for converting non-DVD video files that are already on my PC. Even though AVIdemux will open VOB files (DVD video), I do not use it for that and don't have any experience with converting DVD files in AVIdemux. Sorry if I have led you on in that regard. My above directions are how I convert a video such as an AVI, MP4, or MKV to a format that is compatible with our Sony's. I thought that since AVIdemux opened VOB files that those steps would work with VOB files also.

Give me a little bit of time this evening and I'll put the latest DVD Fab demo on my laptop and make sure everything works for me. I'll post back in a little bit.

Have you actually tried the files on your player yet by dragging and dropping via Windows explorer (I've never used Media Manager)?

Matt
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  #15  
Old 07-28-2009, 06:41 PM
paulinfl paulinfl is offline
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Hi Matt,
No worries regarding AVIdemux, it's all a learning curve for me. The extracted files I loaded into AVI were MPEG4 anyway so I hoped for a result.
Yes I have tried using explorer. No luck there either.
I'm currently running a trial version of DVD Catalyst 3 in the hope of solving the issue.
I'll leave it running overnight (5hrs ahead of you guys here) and see what transpires.
Thanks again for your patience.

Talk later....Paul.
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  #16  
Old 07-28-2009, 06:48 PM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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Paul I just looked at the new version of DVD Fab and it's quite a bit different than the one I was using. Use the iPOD/iPhone menu item and use the ipod.h264 preset. Manually set it to 320x240 (I don't know why the MPEG4 preset doesn't have a 320x240 option). The video it kicked out was in the M4V format, but it worked on my Sony. I manually renamed it to MP4 and it still worked.

1) Insert DVD, start DVD Fab
2) Choose iPod/iPhone preset
3) Select the Title that you want to encode (place a checkmark next to it)
4) Select 'Next'
5) Under the dropdown 'Profile' menu, select 'ipod.h264'
6) Select the 'Conversion Settings' button
7) Make sure 'ipod.h264' preset is selected from the drop down menu in the top-right
8) For the video, choose fixed bitrate, 'Fast encoding (1 pass)', set bitrate to 512kbps
9) For the audio, choose '128kbs'
10) Set your resolution to 320x240
11) Hit 'Start'


Matt
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  #17  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:43 PM
paulinfl paulinfl is offline
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Thanks Matt, I will certainly try the settings you suggest.
I do have good news though. I downloaded DVD Catalyst 3 and it worked like a dream. It has a setting for NWZ Walkmans and so everything is very straight forward.
I've also given up with Media Manager for Walkman, it's ok for MP3's but is hopeless with MPEG4's, it even rejected the files converted with Catalyst, so I dragged & dropped within Explorer and all went well.

I truly appreciate all of the help and advice you have shared over the past few days, I was about to abandon the idea of video on the Walkman, now I will simply enjoy.

Many thanks from across the pond.

Paul.
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