feature request: better Audio default

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mam
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:29 am

feature request: better Audio default

Post by mam » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:25 am

Hi,
I used Handbrake now for several years (only the stable releases, I have not the time to track down bugs, I need to convert films daily), its good and works well and most improvements are good.

Today it told me to update to 10.0.1 (I still was running 0.95 or something), so it freed me from my beloved personal presets and I had to redo them. I personally find the predefined presets a bit "strange", especially when you keep in mind that Handbrake comes from Europe and there is not even a single HD/HQ Preset that will work here...

But let's move on to the really annoying stuff, the Audio default page....

Since many years this has not really changed much, its... sorry to say: BAD, illogical and pretty much useless.

You are not able to define a halfway sane preset that fits for most of the input. You always end up to do manual adjustments for every film you convert because the preset is too much limited in choices. Thats quite the opposite of what you need for massive batch production.

What I like to see would be something like this:

* define a "everything else" (or call it "default" ) setup that is used if none of the special cases (see "rules" defined later) applies. lets say
"AAC, 160kbits, Dolby Sourround II" encoding

* add "unknown" to the list of languages ("unknown" is NOT "any"!!!)

* define a set of wanted languages (like now)

* add a new list with "rules" that can be defined:


1) language (or ANY, which means any from the global language list defined before)
2) input format, but this time much more detailed like "AC3-2channels" "AC3-5.1channel" or at least "???-stereo" and "???-surround" for more than 2channels) or "???" for "I don't care how many channels" (or 2 seperate rows, one for the Format and one for the # of channels)
3) action ("" -> use global default, "copy" -> Passthru, "convert" -> use output format defined in (4)
4) output format (or DEFAULT for the global default) or empty/ignored if 3 is not "copy"
5) (optional) if 3 is "copy" relabel to a selected language too (*)

the choices are limited enough so simple listboxes could be used that allow the user to quickly define a rule by just clicking.

This would allow much more complex constructs like:

"for any language convert all DTS to Dolby Digital, 448kbits, 5.1 channels"
"for english AC3-stereo convert all to AAC, 160kbit/s, 2 channels, stereo encoding"
"for german AC3-surround copy"
"for french AC3-surround convert all to AAC, 160kbit/s, 2 channels, Dolby-Surround-II encoding"
"for MP3" (-> use global default)

(*) the "relabel" is good for TV-Stations like ARTE for instance. The german ARTE contains an "unknown" AC5.1, a "ger" MPEG, a "fra" MPEG and a "misc" MPEG. If I wanted to keep the german 5.1 and the french MPEG, I would need these rules:
a) for UNKNOWN AC3-surround copy relabel to "ger"
b) for french MPEG convert all to AAC, 160kBit/s, 2 channels, stereo"
(the "relabel" cannot be a command by its own, else it would be evaluated later on and it also would break the global rule that the first matching rule ends the evaluation. So it has to be an optional appendix to a command like "copy". But if people would want it elsewhere too, it would complicate the GUI and the program too much, then better drop it for the sake of simplicity)

Execution Phase:
1) Rules should be evaluated from top to bottom. Therefor the GUI needs some Up/Down Buttons for the entries so the User can change the number of that particular rule.
2) The first match "wins" and exits the loop.
3) If no rule matches, the global default is implicitly applied

This is straight and simple and I guess, it also will help to develop easy to understand manual pages.

With a litte efford one could define a complete set for his needs allowing Handbrake really to be used in a unmonitored batch operation

I think, this approach would be much more straight, than the current one that needs a lot of try & error just to find out at the end that that what you really need to have is not possible with the current Handbrake.

And I also am quite sure that it would not be too much complicated to be implemented.

Woodstock
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by Woodstock » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:55 pm

And I also am quite sure that it would not be too much complicated to be implemented.
Patches welcome is the standard response.

And I have quite a number of examples in my collection that would break your logic, where a commentary track has "better" specs than the movie audio track. Including ones where the "best" audio track is empty for 4 out of 5 episodes on a disk, because they're all stored in a single file with common audio tracks between them, but only one episode has commentary.

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s55
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by s55 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:28 pm

I personally find the predefined presets a bit "strange", especially when you keep in mind that Handbrake comes from Europe and there is not even a single HD/HQ Preset that will work here...
Um, Not sure what gave you that impression. None of the presets are geared in any way to any particular region.
The only thing I can think of is the "30fps" framerate. You'll notice though, it's 30fps peak, not constant framerate, meaning if the content is 23(NTSC) or 25(PAL), both will also work fine, as it'll produce 23 and 25 respecfivly. None of the other settings in any way reflect world regions.

In other words, all the presets work fine in Europe as they do in the rest of the world. Otherwise half the user base would be complaining.

You are not able to define a halfway sane preset that fits for most of the input. You always end up to do manual adjustments for every film you convert because the preset is too much limited in choices. Thats quite the opposite of what you need for massive batch production.

HandBrake was never designed to fit everyones needs. It currently takes the most common scenarios that users currently use, and supports them. Anything more advanced like rule-based track selection isn't currently supported. The few users that do need more complex rules tend to script the command line interface instead or use a different app that better suits their needs. (You don't have to use HandBrake if it's not meeting your needs ;))

That said, I'd also like to see a more flexible rule based setup. It is however a larger undertaking and not high up on my list right now.

Same applies to subtitles (fwiw)

AS Woodstock pointed out however, there are many situations where no amount of rules will allow you to fully automate this. I have dozens of sources, many of the shelf DVD's with mis-labled tracks, tracks in the wrong order, Multiple "English 5.1 AC3" tracks etc. You have no idea which one is which until you listen to each. There is no standard for sources and that's where rules fall down.

mam
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:29 am

Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by mam » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:30 pm

The only thing I can think of is the "30fps" framerate. You'll notice though, it's 30fps peak, not constant framerate, meaning if the content is 23(NTSC) or 25(PAL), both will also work fine, as it'll produce 23 and 25 respecfivly. None of the other settings in any way reflect world regions.
Uh, sorry. I really was fooled by the 30fps and did not know that it just means "peak". My fault :oops: (but I learn constantly, so dont give up on me that fast :mrgreen: )
Last edited by mam on Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mam
Posts: 32
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by mam » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:41 pm

Patches welcome is the standard response.
Sure :-)
tell me where to start with :-))))
(no kidding)
In general I would say no problem, but I have not looked into Handbrake yet at all. This would surely cost some weeks to find the right spots to change and learn about the needed classes to deal with. And I dont do GUI stuff at all..
And I have quite a number of examples in my collection that would break your logic, where a commentary track has "better" specs than the movie audio track. Including ones where the "best" audio track is empty for 4 out of 5 episodes on a disk, because they're all stored in a single file with common audio tracks between them, but only one episode has commentary.
I've never said that my version would be fool proof and work all the time (fools are much too fast inventing new bad stuff, you can never keep up with them).
But the current "solution" works almost NEVER and thats a real bad hit rate.
If we could improve them to 50 to 70% this also would be a major step I guess.

I dont buy any strange DVDs, I only record from several TV stations that are more or less predictable but still vary enough that no single setting is working good enough for me.

Woodstock
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by Woodstock » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:18 pm

"More or less predictable" is a good candidate for creating a batch file to use the command line interface. I rarely use the GUI, beyond verifying the audio tracks, and VLC can give me most of the information I need for that.

I have a lot of batch files for ongoing TV series, where I only need to plug in the source file name. Everything else is taken care of by the batch file.

mduell
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by mduell » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:37 pm

Yea, I'll second writing your own script that follows your personal needs/preferences. The GUI is a hopeless mess and the CLI is easy to script.

musicvid
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by musicvid » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:58 pm

+1.
You should be using the CLI.

mam
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by mam » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:08 am

s55 wrote: The only thing I can think of is the "30fps" framerate. You'll notice though, it's 30fps peak, not constant framerate, meaning if the content is 23(NTSC) or 25(PAL), both will also work fine, as it'll produce 23 and 25 respecfivly. None of the other settings in any way reflect world regions.
Sorry to bother you again, but today I've tested the default presets as you have pointed out and they still produce unusable crap only for european TV.
Your right, 30fps is max, but it makes no sense for standard input of 720p@50hz.
The output is 30hz of course which gives evil jumps, stuttering and other nasty visible distortions.

Correctly it could be cut down to 25Hz, but 30 is really, really a bad idea

So, I revert to my original statement: all shipped default presets are unusable for european TV recordings.

The older version had such default presets, why did you delete them?

Its just strange that you offer a lot more presets than before but deleted all that were useful before for this purpose.

Ok, I know how to define my own, but many people wont I guess...

rollin_eng
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by rollin_eng » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:15 am

Could you please post your logs, instructions can be found here:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=31236

mduell
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by mduell » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:06 pm

720p@50Hz is far from the 'standard input' to HB; it's a rare format, generally only found in european TV recordings. The tiny minority of users with it will have to adjust, while everyone else gets files that play reliably on a broad range of devices (which only support <=30fps).

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s55
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Re: feature request: better Audio default

Post by s55 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:09 pm

So, I revert to my original statement: all shipped default presets are unusable for european TV recordings.
There are presets with 25fps, 60fps and Same as source In the list. The presets hit up common use case scenarios. We are not including every possible combination with the current setup. That would be stupid and unusable. For a use case like this, if there isn't a preset, you can always choose one as a base and save as a new preset.

Funny, I live in Europe and none of my channels are 50fps. All are 576/25 or 1080/25 and this is what I typically see travelling between the different countries more often than not. There are different standards in different countries in Europe.

As far as our users are concerned, it's rare to see 50fps content that isn't from a Camcorder. Even then, it's pretty rare to see anything above 30fps that isn't 60.

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