The gospel according to TMPGenc

… picking up where we left off …

I believe statements like “it’s a bargain compared to the faster Cinema Craft Encoder, which costs a staggering $3800 and is buggy as hell” is sort of the ideological equivalent of a virus. It has no basis in reason or fact, yet people repeat it as if it were revealed truth.

Try to edit a video in CCE. You can’t.

That’s a false dilemma. An MPEG encoder’s purpose is to compress video as opposed to edit it. But if that’s your criteria for quality, how does TMPGenc stack up against Adobe Premiere?

Try to resize a video in CCE. You can’t.

Of course you can. A CCIR-601 frame at half horizontal size is 1/2-D1; 1/2-D1 at half vertical size is 1/4-D1. Those two plus D1 are the only legal resolutions permitted by the DVD format, which is the application the encoder was intended for.

Try to use tooLAME as an external audio encoder in CCE. You can’t.

This is completely untrue. CCE neither forces you to use a particular audio encoder nor prevents you from using a different one. Need AC3 audio? Use SoftEncode. Need DTS audio? Use SurCode. Need MPEG-1 layer 2 audio? CCE has encoder for that built-in. But since TooLame duplicates a feature the product already has, what would be the purpose of using it?

And, like I said, CCE is excruciatingly buggy.

Can you provide some specific examples of this?

It’s customary to provide a link to the thread where the discussion began.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=153718

Moderator’s Note: Moving to IMHO.

Yeah, I was wondering how the merits of MPEG encoders qualified as a Great Debate. IMHO makes more sense. Okay, here we go…

Huh? Are you saying that $30 isn’t a bargain compared to $3800? I’m confused. In the GQ thread, you compared TMPGenc to a model car, and CCE to the real thing. Hardly apt. A model just sits there and does nothing, while a real car gets you from one point to another. TMPGenc compresses video to an MPEG 2 stream. CCE compresses video to an MPEG 2 stream. Just because one program was written by a team of developers and the other was written by a single person doesn’t mean a damn thing.

By virtually every account I’ve seen, when it comes to MPEG 2, TMPGenc is the next best thing to CCE, which is why I compared the two. You’ll see numerous MPEG 2 encoder comparisons on the web. They compare the results of TMPGenc to CCE and other encoders. Have you ever seen Consumer Reports compare the features of a real car to a plastic toy?

Perhaps a more appropriate analogy would associate TMPGenc with a mid-level car loaded down with every option you can imagine. CCE would be a luxury car that looks pretty and goes fast, but doesn’t even have air conditioning.

How about because CCE’s built-in mp2 encoder is a joke? Seek out a few guides to CCE on the web. Every one I’ve seen recommends encoding the audio with a different program. TMPGenc allows you to automatically spawn the external audio encoder of your choice at encode time if you don’t like their built-in mp2 compression. As you can see, the $30 program provides more flexibility in this area than its obscenely-priced counterpart.

Maybe so, but the last time I checked, many DVD players can handle SVCD (an ISO standard, BTW) just fine. Of course TMPGenc will allow you to encode to any resolution you want. Again, more flexibility from the $30 program than from the “professional solution.”

Well, I certainly don’t have a small fortune to pay for CCE, but I have tried the demo. My problems mostly dealt with trying to frameserve from VDub, something, again, that TMPGenc does effortlessly. It doesn’t even seem to work at all with CCE versions above 2.50, and even with the lower versions, it would crash whenever I tried to do it, no matter how many guides I read and how many techniques I tried. Once or twice it did work for me, then I tried the exact same technique a day later and it crashed. Very inconsistent. If you read around on video encoding forums, you’ll see scores of similar complaints.

It’s just one more simple, very handy feature that TMPGenc has, but CCE does not.

Now, there are the matters of quality and speed. If you can get CCE to work, it will produce slightly better quality than TMPGenc at the same VBR settings, and it will encode much faster. Of course, for the price of CCE, I could build three dual Athlon MP 2400+ computers and use the SMP-enabled TMPGenc on all of them. $3800 is obviously a pretty hefty price tag. Hell, my car cost me less than that!

Is the extra speed and slight increase in quality worth all that money? I don’t think so, but it’s entirely subjective. I recognize that fact, which is why I will refrain from referring to your opinion on the matter as “rubbish.”

Really, what do you have against TMPGenc, anyway? It’s a fantastic encoder at a rock bottom price. Are you on the CCE development team or something?

A different nit to pick.

SurCode’s DTS encoder for DVDis $1,995.

What rarified territory do you live in? I sure as hell couldn’t afford to pay that much for a software encoder.

Unfortunately, SE is no longer on the market. BeSweet makes an excellent, alternative audio transcoder.

I also have to echo neutron star’s sentiment and wonder if KoalaBear has a specific horse in this race.

Hastur: It was an example, not a recommendation.

Hodge: There ya go!

neutron star:

It’s a bogus comparison. It’s not like you spent $4000 for a commercial MPEG-2 encoder and suffered a “D’Oh!” moment when you realized you could have had a better piece of shareware for $30.

I’m not interested in someone else’s opinion, I’m interested in yours: particularly why you think CCE’s audio encoder is a “joke.” Do you know this by personal experience to be a fact, or are you parroting what you’ve heard somewhere else? Because if you have a specific criticism I’d really like to know what that is.

That isn’t a criticism either; more an attempt at sophistry. But the comparison you’re making is false – both programs allow you to encode to any resolution you want, thus it’s neither a flaw on CCE’s part nor an advantage on TMPGenc’s.

I see. Perhaps you don’t understand what I’m getting at. I don’t want to know what TMPGenc does well; I want to know what CCE does poorly. You say it doesn’t play nice with VirtualDub? I haven’t experienced that problem, but I’ll take your word for it. Go on.

That’s it?

I thought I’d explained that already.

I have no financial, professional or other vested interest in CCE. Likewise I have nothing “against” TMPGenc. I do however prefer to think for myself.

This “CCE sucks” meme appears to be the ideological equivalent of a virus that spreads from the mouths of the credulous to the ears of the gullible (apparently through contact with infected how-to guides). You’re far from the only person I’ve heard say this, yet nobody who says it ever seems to be able to explain why they do.

Taking our conversation for example:

  1. I asked why you’d need TooLame if it duplicates a feature the product already has. Your answer was that CCE’s onboard audio encoder is a “joke,” but offered no explanation other than to say it was something you read someplace.

  2. I asked you to provide some examples of CCE’s “excruciatingly buggy” behavior. Your (single) example was that you don’t seem to have gotten the hang of frameserving, which is less the encoder’s problem than yours.

Now, if the encoder is so bad that “Cinema Craft Encoder … is buggy as hell” should be the first thing out of your mouth when somebody asks a general question about video encoding, surely you should be capable of explaining why?

KoalaBear: Your toy vs. car analogy is incorrect. A more proper comparison would be a $10,000 value car vs. a $100,000 sportscar. Both will do the same thing, get you where you need to go, but the sportscar will do it a little better and with a little more style. Is it worth spending the extra $90,000 for a little more style? In this case, is it worth an extra $3770 for some software that does the same thing, but with slightly better results?

Well, considering that the only video I work with is frameserved from VirtualDub, that’s a pretty big “it.” Really, how can I report a second bug when I can’t get the program to even work in the first place for what I want it to do?

Your dismissal of my concern with that statement is almost akin to someone installing a new operating system, then never being able to boot into the operating environment, no matter how many suggestions they follow. Then when someone asks them why they consider the OS to be buggy and they report that they can’t even use the OS, the person rolls his eyes and says “That’s IT? That’s just one bug. You’re going to have to do better than that!”

This has nothing to do with me “not getting the hang of frameserving.” As I said, it works great for me in TMPGenc every single time I try it. I guess you chose to ignore that part, other than to make a comment about how you don’t want to hear what TMPGenc does well. Um, okay. Whatever.

Also, like I said, I did have frameserving working in CCE for one brief, shining moment, but using the exact same technique at a later date proved fruitless. I guess that’s just my fault. :rolleyes:

I have seen people report other problems with the encoder unrelated to VDub, but I’m not going to sit here and rattle off every problem everyone has ever had with CCE. Then I’d just be one of those “parrots” you keep whining about.

Now, I never said that “CCE sucks.” Despite my best efforts, I cannot get the damn thing to work. I’ve read every guide I can find. As I said, if I could get it to work, it would produce better results faster than TMPGenc at the same bitrate. Apparently you chose to ignore that, too.

My estimation of the program’s bugginess is based not only on my own experience, but also from seeing problem upon problem pop up in encoding forums, to which nobody can offer solutions. I don’t see that happening with TMPGenc. I guess that must be the parrots again, making up problems that don’t exist just to make CCE look bad. Yeah, that’s it…

How could I have much firsthand experience if I’ve only gotten the program to work once? That one time I had encoded something involved a piece of video without music, which makes it much harder to judge the merits of an audio encoder.

I do, however, know from personal experience that LAME is the best MP3 encoder out there. Every source I’ve seen states that tooLAME is the best for MP2. I have no reason to doubt that. I also have no reason to doubt those that say CCE’s audio encoder stinks. Why would I? Oh yeah, that great anti-CCE conspiracy that gullible people like me swallow up…

The point is that, whatever your opinion on CCE and TMPGenc’s built-in audio encoding capabilities, TMPGenc offers the option of spawning an external encoder at encode time. CCE does not. If you don’t like encoders to have lots of options, that’s fine, but don’t get irate because other people do.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear. Maybe I was spending too much time making “an attempt at sophistry.” :rolleyes: TMPGenc allows you to resize within the program. If I could do that with CCE, I could possibly avoid having to resize within VirtualDub and then frameserve to CCE. I can’t, though. With TMPGenc, I can. If this is possible with CCE, then I apologize for the misunderstanding, but according to everything I’ve read, this is not the case. Maybe I could experiment for myself more if I could get the damn thing to work in the first place. I’ve spent many hours trying, however, and it just isn’t happening.

You obviously aren’t paying attention. I keep saying, over and over and over, that CCE is faster and does produce better results if you can get it to work. I also pointed out features that TMPGenc has that CCE does not, which does not negate CCE’s speed or quality, but does show that the $30 program is much more versatile in a variety of situations than the $3800 program.

FDISK: Okay. Let’s try this analogy instead: is an EZ-Bake better than a commercial oven because it costs several thousand dollars less, or because the budding Suzy Homemaker can’t immolate herself with a 75 watt light bulb?

neutron star: Well, that about wraps it up, then. If you’re not vested enough in your own opinion even to have your own opinion it leaves us nothing to discuss. However I can still toy with you a bit, if you’d like.

You need to use TooLame to get around CCE’s broken audio when the video you’re trying to encode doesn’t have sound? Riiight. I get the “joke” now, you sly devil, you.

Well, in that case you should probably eat shit, too: 100 billion flies can’t be wrong.

Maybe you could forget about using industrial video encoders until your skills have advanced beyond the entry level. It’s not the software’s fault if you haven’t got a clue.

Look up the word “music” in the dictionary. Now look up the word “sound.” Describe any differences you find between the two definitions.

Wow, what a mature response. When you find dozens of web pages claiming that CCE’s built-in audio encoder is the best mp2 encoder on the planet, you get back to me, okay?

You’re not even reading my posts. If it worked once in CCE with a certain technique, why didn’t it work the second time with the same technique? And why does TMPGenc work every time? Must be because I’m stupid, right? :rolleyes: The concept of frameserving is the same, whether you’re serving to TMPGenc or CCE.

Your condescending, elitist attitude is getting very tiresome.

KoalaBear: An EZ-Bake Oven is not functionally equivalent to a commercial oven. TMPGenc is, of course, functionally equivalent to CCE, and costs $3770 less. The question is simply whether the slightly better job CCE does is worth the extra cash.

neutron star: yawn

FDISK: I don’t care where or how an individual obtains a copy of CCE for their personal use, but it’s disingenuous to pretend they didn’t enjoy a generous $3800 discount off the sticker price. Thus, the value vs. performance comparison that would otherwise be a clincher for TMPGenc is meaningless.

The question is why people repeat “the product is flawed” like a mantra, yet draw a blank when you ask them why they think that as if you broke their concentration. The best they can come up with is that it’s what someone told them to think and therefore it must be true even if simple reasoning, let alone establishment of fact, happens to contradict them.

I know critical thinking is an acquired skill, but this is ridiculous – you’d think you were talking to a Stepford wife.

KoalaBear: So now you’re saying that because one can theoretically pirate CCE, the price difference between it and TMPGenc is moot? Yeah. Sure.

What is it about techno-geeks and their toys?
As far as this petty bickering goes, I only have one thing to say: Knock it off or I’ll lock it off.

Sorry if anything I said was out of line, Czarcasm. I’m done here anyway. Feels like I’m banging my head repeatedly against a brick wall…