ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

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djdeejay

ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by djdeejay »

As many of you are aware, you can now select which audio track you want to hear on Apple TV 2.2 by holding down play/pause whilst the movie is playing (this also allows you to see all chapter names and thumbnails of each chapter if they exist - i wonder if HD, or MetaX will include a feature to make chapter thumbnails soon...)

Now before you go gung-ho encoding lots of audio tracks in your new rips heres the limitations ive found so far.

You can't include more than one AC3 passthrough track. ATV will simple ignore all audio tracks and select the first track from the list (usually the mixed down DPLii)
You can't include more than 3 audio tracks period. This means you can have two mixed down "stereo" tracks and a single AC3 pass through - otherwise again ATV will play the first track and not let you change/ignore the other 3.

The best bet is to rip as normal now, and add directors comments as a third track in the list as as stereo file and press play/pause to select it. If you follow this method with "DPLii" mix down as track 1 and AC3 pass through on two, ATV *SHOULD* with Dolby Digital output on select track 2 as default, enabling you to select directors comments on 3 if you want them.

I haven't tested if putting AC3 on 1, and having two stereo mixdowns on 2 and 3 (eg directors comments and alternative language) will work but i dont see why not. I need to do some futher testing to what works flawlessly and what causes errors.

I hope this helps someone and saves a little time...
djdeejay

Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by djdeejay »

Just to add to this i tested putting an AC3 track first and two mixdown stereo tracks as 2 and 3 and this doesn't work.

For some reason the Apple TV ignores the AC3 track and plays the second stereo file.

Bizzarre, but to note for compatibilty you MUST follow this.

Audio Track 1. AAC, Stereo/Pro Logic
Audio Track 2, Dolby Digital AC3 Passthrough
Audio Track 3, AAC, Stereo/Pro Logic (Directors Commentry etc)

This is the only way to make use of Apple TV's track selection - it also keeps compatibility in Itunes (which is maybe why they've forced this setting) although if you do want a directors commentary and another stereo file and only watch on Apple TV you could use track 1 as something else. and be able to select from all 3 tracks. Otherwise your limited to a stereo version of AC3 on track 1 and a directors commentary on track 3.

I do suppose it gives you an option if you take your ATV to someones place who doesn't have a DD5.1 decoder of course..
djdeejay

Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by djdeejay »

Im actually going to refute all these points at the minute.

I have a number of encodes where by if include a 3rd track it ignores the AC3 track all together and i cant select any of the others.

This randomly happens on a number of my encodes - I have a rip of vanilla sky which includes the directors commentary on track 3, the ATV lets me select between 3 audio tracks, however number 3 is just a stereo mix of the main track as feature on track 1.

This doesn't happen in iTunes.

Which can only mean to me either the 2.2 audio isn't working at all, or its not working on my ATV. Anyone else have experiance?
kiran_mk2
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by kiran_mk2 »

I've done some experimenting (and have a thread or two here) - it seems that ATV get's confused easily. I've had AC3 as track 1 and AAC as track 2 (on all my 60 or so rips so far) and it works. However, if I add track 3 as a commentry track it is listed as "English (stereo)" in the selection screen and if I have an AAC version of the main audio, then that too is listed as "English (Stereo)" and the ATV has both options ticked and selecting either stereo track will play track 2 (the AAC of the main audio). It also plays the AAC track in preference to the AC3.

If the 3rd track is something else (such as Japanese (stereo)) then ATV behaves.

I'll try again by reordering the tracks (track 1 as AAC, track 2 as AC3 and track 3 as commentry), but at the moment it's looking like the ATV just looks at the name of the tracks and if two have the same name it thinks they are the same thing. Thus we need an option to rename the tracks so the commentry track would be called "Commentry (stereo)"
realityking
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by realityking »

I don't know if thats possible since afaik the audio tracks are identified by their language code.

If you have some time it would be cool if you could test if two ac3 + 2 aac tracks work if you use 2 languages each with one ac3 and aac track.
djdeejay

Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by djdeejay »

kiran_mk2 wrote:I've done some experimenting (and have a thread or two here) - it seems that ATV get's confused easily. I've had AC3 as track 1 and AAC as track 2 (on all my 60 or so rips so far) and it works. However, if I add track 3 as a commentry track it is listed as "English (stereo)" in the selection screen and if I have an AAC version of the main audio, then that too is listed as "English (Stereo)" and the ATV has both options ticked and selecting either stereo track will play track 2 (the AAC of the main audio). It also plays the AAC track in preference to the AC3.

If the 3rd track is something else (such as Japanese (stereo)) then ATV behaves.

I'll try again by reordering the tracks (track 1 as AAC, track 2 as AC3 and track 3 as commentry), but at the moment it's looking like the ATV just looks at the name of the tracks and if two have the same name it thinks they are the same thing. Thus we need an option to rename the tracks so the commentry track would be called "Commentry (stereo)"
This indeed would be the way, and must be the cause of mine playing the same track twice - or in most cases reporting only one track and not letting me change audio at all.

Which basically means the update is largely useless unless you want different language versions - and until we can change the names of the tracks basically carry on ripping with AAC on track one and AC3 passthrough on two...
kiran_mk2
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by kiran_mk2 »

realityking wrote:I don't know if thats possible since afaik the audio tracks are identified by their language code.

If you have some time it would be cool if you could test if two ac3 + 2 aac tracks work if you use 2 languages each with one ac3 and aac track.
WRT the 1st point, I guess if we could recode the language as something rare such as Swahili then at least the commentary tracks would work.

2nd point: I've tried this - a bit of Ghost in the Shell with English (5.1 AC3 and AAC) and Japanese (5.1 and AAC). All 4 tracks were listed on the ATV, but selecting either of the AC3 tracks leads to silence but both AAC tracks work.

I'll do some more tests regarding the order of tracks, but it looks like more work needs to be done on Apple's end to enable multiple AC3 tracks and some more work on the Handbrake side to allow us to "disguise" the commentary track as another language or, again Apple to sort out the issue.

Do any of the hacks for the ATV enable multiple audio track selection?
LePetomane
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by LePetomane »

kiran_mk2 wrote:Thus we need an option to rename the tracks so the commentry track would be called "Commentry (stereo)"
I've modified my copy of HB CLI to allow this and it seems to work but AC3 tracks still aren't used by default once you've got 3 or more audio tracks. (Alternatively, QT Pro can change the track names if you don't mind ending up with a .mov file.) The source patch and a Mac binary - latest SVN, not Snapshot 3 - are here if they're any use to anyone: http://osborn.ws/handbrake/. Use at your own risk, may be riddled with errors, etc.

Example: HandBrakeCLI-r181M ... -a 1,1,2,3 -E faac,ac3,faac,faac -W "Surround,Stereo,Commentary 1,Commentary 2"

I'd hoped to be able to encode with 'English (Surround)' and 'English (Commentary)' only but ATV doesn't give the option of changing audio tracks with that.

I'm not sure how much mileage there is in faking the language codes. If each audio track has a different language then ATV doesn't display any track names, only the languages.
jbrjake
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by jbrjake »

LePetomane wrote:a Mac binary - latest SVN, not Snapshot 3 - are here if they're any use to anyone: http://osborn.ws/handbrake/.
*sigh*

Please do not do distribute binaries like this.

We're the ones who end up having to support the code, not you. And you've left us with no way of knowing if an activity log comes from our code base or your patched code. This is not how forking is supposed to be done. And if you didn't mean to fork, why are you releasing binaries of modified code bases without even sharing the patch on the developer forum to find out if we wanted to include it?
nightstrm
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by nightstrm »

Apple is supposedly including director's commentaries on some of its movies now (according to the iTunes/AppleTV pages, I haven't seen one personally). It would be nice to see how they are doing it...

I'd say post your patch on the development forum so the devs can see if it would make sense to include it in SVN/future versions. Much safer than distributing your own binary.
LePetomane
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by LePetomane »

jbrjake wrote:
LePetomane wrote:a Mac binary - latest SVN, not Snapshot 3 - are here if they're any use to anyone: http://osborn.ws/handbrake/.
*sigh*

Please do not do distribute binaries like this.

We're the ones who end up having to support the code, not you. And you've left us with no way of knowing if an activity log comes from our code base or your patched code.
I rather thought SVN builds weren't supported, period. Either way, you can spot any locally-modified version - not just mine - from the activity log, it'll say 'HandBrake svn<rev>M' instead of 'HandBrake svn<rev>'.

But since you asked so nicely, I've removed the binary. :)
This is not how forking is supposed to be done. And if you didn't mean to fork, why are you releasing binaries of modified code bases without even sharing the patch on the developer forum to find out if we wanted to include it?
It's (at best) not very robust. It's an experiment and it's quite possibly entirely useless. I'd anticipate a fairly short conversation if I suggested it might be included as it stands.
djdeejay

Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by djdeejay »

nightstrm wrote:Apple is supposedly including director's commentaries on some of its movies now (according to the iTunes/AppleTV pages, I haven't seen one personally). It would be nice to see how they are doing it...

I'd say post your patch on the development forum so the devs can see if it would make sense to include it in SVN/future versions. Much safer than distributing your own binary.
Id wish i knew now, so even if i cant accesss the directors comments at the minute i could put them on there for future.

The problem the 2.2 update has thrown up for me is that if i put 3 tracks on there it now ignores my AC3! So i dont get it to play the way it used to, which isn't helpful at all.
LePetomane
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by LePetomane »

nightstrm wrote:Apple is supposedly including director's commentaries on some of its movies now (according to the iTunes/AppleTV pages,
Ding! Cue lightbulb...

Of course, iTunes stuff won't have AC3. And, sure enough, multiple same-language AAC tracks work perfectly if you forego the AC3 track and uniquely name the tracks. ATV plays the first audio track by default, all tracks are listed in the audio menu and they're all individually selectable (I've just encoded a sample with 4 distinct audio tracks).
djdeejay

Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by djdeejay »

A ha, so basically we need to use AAC - so how can we get Ac3 DD 5.1 sound tracks into AAC format, possible at all? Mind you if it is, can my surround amp even decode it...it must do how does Apple do 5.1 dolby digital in tunes, do they put dolby digital into an AAC container instead of AC3?

This i imagine would be the way to get 4 different tracks...and get surround sound...now, is it possible?
rhester
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by rhester »

AAC and AC3 are codecs, not containers.

"Dolby Digital" is another name for Dolby Pro Logic (2) - Apple is simply downmixing 5.1 to DPL2 in a stereo AAC track.

Rodney
nightstrm
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by nightstrm »

rhester wrote:AAC and AC3 are codecs, not containers.

"Dolby Digital" is another name for Dolby Pro Logic (2) - Apple is simply downmixing 5.1 to DPL2 in a stereo AAC track.

Rodney
Dolby Digital is not the same as Dolby Pro Logic II. One uses discrete digital channels, the other matrixed analog channels.
djdeejay

Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by djdeejay »

Wait of course my amp doesn't decode 5.1 AAC audio - virtually no amps do.

So how do Apple have 5.1 DD on iTunes movies?
rhester
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by rhester »

nightstrm wrote:Dolby Digital is not the same as Dolby Pro Logic II. One uses discrete digital channels, the other matrixed analog channels.
My apologies - you are right. I was thinking of Dolby Surround, which is the "official" DPL/DPL2 moniker.

Rodney
Berylium
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by Berylium »

djdeejay,

Back before AppleTV Take 2 there were many discussions about how to insert AC3 (Dolby Digital 5.1) into AppleTV compatible videos. I covered the options at the time in this post: http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?p=9897#p9897 That thread in general covered all the thoughts and attempts at the time.

What you're suggesting is basically a rehash of those experiments and hacks. While I suspect it can be done I don't believe it will be necessary. We just need to figure out what the ATV is doing with audio tracks. Perhaps we just need to alter the atom information in the .mp4 files just as we did after the Take 2 software to enable AC3 support out of the box.

I have not yet had the time to test my library exhaustively with the 2.2 software yet. I do know that a couple of movies I have with two audio tracks (track 1: DPLII, track 2: AC3) are still playing the AC3 track by default just as they always have. I also have a few HD TV shows I recently encoded with the same style of audio tracks as the movies but the ATV plays the DPLII track by default. I have not yet tested 3+ ACC (DPLII) tracks.

Since Apple supports AC3 and DPLII in its HD movies (not sure about TV shows) the functionality has not been removed. We just need to figure out how to tap into it.

-Berylium
realityking
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by realityking »

As far as I can tell (from the 4 HD TV show epsiodes I've got) all HD TV Show include the AC3 Track, unfortunately I don't have an AppleTV so I don't now what is played by default.
kiran_mk2
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by kiran_mk2 »

LePetomane wrote:
nightstrm wrote:Apple is supposedly including director's commentaries on some of its movies now (according to the iTunes/AppleTV pages,
Ding! Cue lightbulb...

Of course, iTunes stuff won't have AC3. And, sure enough, multiple same-language AAC tracks work perfectly if you forego the AC3 track and uniquely name the tracks. ATV plays the first audio track by default, all tracks are listed in the audio menu and they're all individually selectable (I've just encoded a sample with 4 distinct audio tracks).
How do you uniquely name the tracks. I've tried just English AAC and commentary AAC (both called english (stereo) on the ATV) and no AC3 track and I still can't play the 2nd track (both options are ticked at the same time on the audio menu)
nightstrm
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by nightstrm »

kiran_mk2 wrote:
LePetomane wrote:
nightstrm wrote:Apple is supposedly including director's commentaries on some of its movies now (according to the iTunes/AppleTV pages,
Ding! Cue lightbulb...

Of course, iTunes stuff won't have AC3. And, sure enough, multiple same-language AAC tracks work perfectly if you forego the AC3 track and uniquely name the tracks. ATV plays the first audio track by default, all tracks are listed in the audio menu and they're all individually selectable (I've just encoded a sample with 4 distinct audio tracks).
How do you uniquely name the tracks. I've tried just English AAC and commentary AAC (both called english (stereo) on the ATV) and no AC3 track and I still can't play the 2nd track (both options are ticked at the same time on the audio menu)
This was just checked into SVN code last night I believe.
dynaflash
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by dynaflash »

MacGui will follow, only in cli for now.
kiran_mk2
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by kiran_mk2 »

I guess I'll put all my rips on hold until an option for adding soft subtitles and renaming audio tracks to allow commentaries filters down to the Windows GUI. Good to know these features are coming.
jbrjake
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Re: ATV 2.2: What you can and can't do with multiple soundtracks

Post by jbrjake »

kiran_mk2 wrote:I guess I'll put all my rips on hold until an option for adding soft subtitles and renaming audio tracks to allow commentaries filters down to the Windows GUI. Good to know these features are coming.
What are you talking about? No one is working on this, and it certainly isn't a matter of just exposing it to the WinGui.
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