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Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

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curtisday
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Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by curtisday » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:43 pm

Hey everyone!

I often purchase HD movies from the iTunes store as I find the quality adequate enough for my needs. I also purchase Blu Ray movies and now I'd like to rip my blu ray movies to my iMac for use with my Apple TV 4. I'll be ripping the Blu Rays directly into m4v files with Handbrake using the method with VLC and MakeMKV. The OCD in me would like to rip them with settings as close as possible to what I download from the iTunes store. I understand that it will never be identical because of many factors most of which being Apple isn't ripping the movie from a Blu Ray lol. That being said I would still like the end result for the tech specs to be very similar. I used the apps "VideoSpec" and "Media-Info" to get most of tech details of the iTunes purchases and have learned that this is the bulk of the settings I need in HB to get the results I desire: MP4 file: Video: x264, 2 pass, High@L4.0 profile with 23.976 FPS & Audio: AAC 2 channel @ 160kbps, AC3 5.1 @ 384kbps. After checking the specs on 100 of my iTunes movies with VideoSpec, 99 were Constant Frame-rate and 1 was VFR. So I picked Constant 23.976 in Handbrake and when I view the specs of my rip with VideoSpec it shows that it's still VFR (it shows that there's a min, a max and an average). I ripped the same blu ray again with the same specs except this time I selected VFM and the results were the same as when I picked constant. So my first question is should VFR and CFR be the same or am I having some sort of issue?

My second question is about the quality bitrate. I notice all the iTunes movies had random bitrates rating from about 3500-6000. But it was always a random number like 3566 or something. In Handbrake when I pick any number like 4500 (2-pass) for "Average Bitrate", the results of the ripped movie are always constant 4500. Using the RF slider I get results more like the numbers in the iTunes movies but I have no idea how to gauge what RF to set each movie too as I assume it would be different for each blu ray. So my second question is should "Average Bitrate" always give me a solid constant of what I picked for the average? And is there any real way to judge the Constant RF other than by person preference.

I used 2 movies that I had both on iTunes and Blu Ray as the basis of my testing. I checked the specs of both in VideoSpec and then ripped copies accordingly from the Blu Rays and the results were very close in file size usually only off by less than 50 megabytes. Biggest difference is that if the iTunes bitrate was something like 4437 I set the Handbrake settings to 4500. Visually the files were identical (to me) so I'm happy with that except I'd like to set the proper bitrate instead of picking rounded numbers like 4500 since I won't know what the bitrate is on movies that I don't already own on iTunes. I'm hoping someone can educate me on how to use the RF slider to get the proper result (if there is even a proper way to do what I'm trying to do).

Again, my desire is to rip my movies at the same specs as the iTunes store or as close as I possibly can so please don't reply with comments about iTunes movies being poor quality or various other comments and have nothing to do with my topic. Any help would be great!
Last edited by curtisday on Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Woodstock
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by Woodstock » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:32 pm

If you are ripping to MKV files with MakeMKV, you have "The highest quality" you can obtain from the BD.

What is your target from there?

If your target is "X bitrate", then you would tell handbrake to encoded to that bitrate and turn on 2-pass encoding.

If your target is "No more than X degradation of picture quality" (and this is subjective), you would use "Constrained Quality" (CQ), and adjust the RF value to something you find tolerable.

In either case, encode small sections and see whether or not the quality matches your expectations.

There is no "magic formula" for matching what iTunes offers.

curtisday
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by curtisday » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:09 pm

I'm not ripping with MakeMKV. As I mentioned above, I'm ripping the blu ray directly to m4v with Handbrake. One step process. I only have MakeMKV installed because Handbrake needs some files from it to rip Blu Rays directly.

rollin_eng
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by rollin_eng » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:23 pm

You should rip with makemkv first, then encode with HB.

When encoding with HB pick a CQ that gives you a good looking picture, try starting with the Apple HQ presets.

If it looks good who cares what the bitrate is (within reason)?

curtisday
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by curtisday » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:25 pm

Ripping with MakeMKV first and then converting with Handbrake is adding a second step in and that's increasing the chance of minor data loss. As I stated in the initial post, I want the bitrate to be as close to the iTunes store as possible. If I didn't care what the bitrate was, why would I even make this post? :P

rollin_eng
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by rollin_eng » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:27 pm

Just set your bitrate to what the iTunes one is then.

curtisday
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by curtisday » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:28 pm

I feel like you didn't real my initial post lol.

Woodstock
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by Woodstock » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:36 pm

I'll be ripping the Blu Rays directly into m4v files with Handbrake using the method with VLC and MakeMKV.
You're the one that said you were using MakeMKV to rip the video from BD. Handbrake cannot do that on its own, because it does not deal with protected media. That's why it cannot deal with the iTunes video, which has copy protection on it.

Using MakeMKV to write MKV files, rather than as a copy-protection filter for handbrake, is faster overall, if you're dealing with more than one video at a time. You rip at the speed your drive is capable of doing, not the speed of the encode, so you can let the encode happen after you leave the computer. Going to an MKV as an intermediate also allows you to experiment with lots of changes to get it "just right" more quickly, because you can tell handbrake to encode a few seconds or minutes, rather than wait for an entire movie to encode.

Mayhaps you are obsessing too much on "iTunes Quality". Handbrake allows you to select the quality YOU want, not what Apple decided you want.

The presets with Apple in their name are probably where you want to start - "Apple 1080p60 Surround", for example.

curtisday
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by curtisday » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:36 am

You quoted me saying "I'll be ripping the Blu Rays directly into m4v files with Handbrake using the method with VLC and MakeMKV." and then said I stated I was using MakeMKV to rip the BD. I fail to see how you didn't understand what I typed. I put the BD in my drive. I open handbrake and I rip it. Never do I launch MakeMKV. Using the method located here: http://www.makemkv.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7010 You can override the protection and rip a blu ray directly with handbrake simply by having MakeMKV installed on your computer.

The you say "Mayhaps you are obsessing too much on "iTunes Quality". Handbrake allows you to select the quality YOU want, not what Apple decided you want."

Regardless of the reasoning behind it, I was asking for help with a specific situation. I wasn't looking for your analysis of WHY I want what I want.

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Rodeo
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by Rodeo » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:46 am

So you're using libmmbd to emulate libaacs and libbdplus. We don't officially support it, but as long as it works for you.

Anyway, the detailed specifications of iTunes' content are not terribly relevant, because Apple is starting with the lossless studio master, whereas you're starting with the already-compressed Blu-ray. So even if you were able to mimic Apple's encoding settings exactly, you'd end up with results that would be guaranteed to be inferior (due to there being two generations of loss instead of one).

But if by the "specs" you mean H.264 video with AAC and Dolby Digital audio, than the HandBrake preset targeting Apple devices can do that. Since you're encoding a Blu-ray, the "Apple 1080p30 Surround" preset is probably what you want to start with.

Woodstock
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by Woodstock » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:22 am

curtisday wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:36 am
Regardless of the reasoning behind it, I was asking for help with a specific situation. I wasn't looking for your analysis of WHY I want what I want.
There is a reason for wanting to know WHY you want to do something. There can be multiple ways to approximate what you are asking for. Choosing between them can determine what ways are better.

You type of the bandwidth/bit rates; there are ways to match the bit rate. You type of picture quality; there are ways to match (approximately) the picture quality, subject to the limitation Rodeo points out about the SOURCE DATA.

Ultimately, since we are not allowed to know your motivations because you think it is irrelevant that we understand the question, you are perfectly welcome to PLAY WITH THE SETTINGS AND SEE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

By the way, you ARE running MakeMKV to accomplish your task. You simply set it up to automatically start when you start handbrake. As such, you limit your options, but, if you want to believe that you aren't using MakeMKV just because you didn't click on the MakeMKV icon, I'm not going to complain.

rollin_eng
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by rollin_eng » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:48 am

People here are trying to stear you in the right direction for getting the best encodes you can, so you should try listening to them.

A simple question:

1) Movie A - Looks perfect and has a bitrate of 2000 kbps
2) Movie A - Looks ok and has a bitrate of 5000 kbps

Similar question:

1) Movie B - Looks perfect and has a bitrate of 5000 kbps
2) Movie B - Looks ok and has a bitrate of 2000 kbps

Most people will want #1 in both cases because quality is more important than bitrate.

Trying to match iTunes is silly as Apple will encode their videos to support lots of devices where as you don't need to.
Last edited by rollin_eng on Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

nhyone
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by nhyone » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:01 am

I always give the same suggestion: always use CRF.

To choose the CRF to use, pick a video, encode it at 18, 20, 22, 24. Pick the highest number that looks okay to you.

Then go one level finer. Say you pick 22, then you should try 21 and 23. Think choose again.

You can use this number for 99% of your encodes.

curtisday
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by curtisday » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:42 am

The reason was stated in the initial post. OCD. Again most of you are just asking question or repeating things that I said in the initial post.

nhyone - Thank you, as you're the only one that actually said anything helpful.

mduell
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by mduell » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:07 pm

You don't seem to really understand what you're asking for, which throws a lot of people trying to help off. Apple doesn't use Blu-ray sources or HB for encoding, so what you're literally asking for is nonsense. Using constant framerate (at best pointless, possibly harmful) and target bitrates (which you don't know how to choose and we can't choose for you) are erroneous paths to follow.

What you want is the Apple TV preset in HB. Try a couple RF settings in the 20s to see what looks the same to you (with the caveat you've started with a worse source). That will get you the closest result to what iTunes offers within reasonable bounds given your constraints; that's your "as close as possible" without going down weird literalism rabbit holes.

rollin_eng
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by rollin_eng » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:53 pm

I think the general consensus is forget about iTunes.

Rip with makemkv first seperately and just use the Apple preset in HB and adjust as needed.

Smithcraft
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by Smithcraft » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:44 am

I'll add my two cents, and recommend using MakeMKV to pre-rip your source files. This is beneficial because it lets you fine tune your encodes without putting unneeded wear and tear on your optical drive. It also lets you rerun the encode if there is an issue with the final file. Case in point, there was a time I've spot checked a part of an encode to see if there were any problems and actually found a bit of garbled mess. I checked the encode log which didn't indicate any problem, and I checked my source file for that section of the movie and there was no issue, so I re-encoded. Or if you just aren't happy with the results and you want to tweak the set up, then you can easily work on a source file without putting more wear on your optical drive.

As has been mentioned, Apple is either supplied with a lossless source to run their encodes, or the studio does it for them with a lossless source. You do not have that benefit. Also, some movies, particularly grainy movies, will come out with large files, and some will be larger than your source.

Handbrake uses a constant clock that because of all of the frame rates and audio rates it supports, is reported as VFR. It's not.

The use of a constant bit rate will starve scenes that need more bit rate, and waste bit rate in scenes that have don't have a need for it. That's why we recommend using the CRF system rather than focusing on bit rates. The slider should have a tool tip that indicates more quality or less quality. Or it used to.

Take this advice or leave it. You asked for help, and people that have a great deal of experience tried to help you.

SC

nhyone
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by nhyone » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:21 am

curtisday wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:42 am
nhyone - Thank you, as you're the only one that actually said anything helpful.
Thanks. :D

Some people think they can do better by tuning average bitrate by the movie, but that's what CRF does: constant quality by varying the bitrate.

Just to clarify, by "okay", I mean you need to be super critical. :o

Sit one feet closer than your usual sitting distance. If you see any signs of blocking (especially at scene transitions or fast motion), go one number lower. Check details too (hair, grass, leaves).

Rodeo wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:46 am
So even if you were able to mimic Apple's encoding settings exactly, you'd end up with results that would be guaranteed to be inferior (due to there being two generations of loss instead of one).
I won't necessarily say that. 4-6 Mbps is on the low side for 1080p encodes. If he re-encodes Blu-ray [high quality source] to 6-8 Mbps, it will probably be better than iTunes. :D

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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by mduell » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:27 am

nhyone wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:21 am
I won't necessarily say that. 4-6 Mbps is on the low side for 1080p encodes. If he re-encodes Blu-ray [high quality source] to 6-8 Mbps, it will probably be better than iTunes. :D
Nope.

rollin_eng
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Re: Ripping Blu Ray collection to the same specs as iTunes store HD movies

Post by rollin_eng » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:13 am

mduell wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:27 am
nhyone wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:21 am
I won't necessarily say that. 4-6 Mbps is on the low side for 1080p encodes. If he re-encodes Blu-ray [high quality source] to 6-8 Mbps, it will probably be better than iTunes. :D
Nope.
Yep.

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