Sunday, December 30, 2007

Old reels

AO recently had some old 8 mm film transfered to DVD. There were reels from both sides of her family, going all the way back to the late thirties and ending sometime in the seventies. It cost an incredible amount of money for about 3 GB of film. Making it even worse, the local company doing the job mastered the DVD with some corrupt files and an insanely backward and confusing menu structure. I actually think they expected that customers would go to them to get additional DVD copies, for a charge. In any case, first I couldn't get the TS_Folders to copy to additional DVDs, so I ripped the original and went through conversions to AVI DiVX and then to MOV format using ffmpegX. We had a playable and burnable movie. The only trouble is that when we actually watched it about a third of the material was missing. I went back to the original files. In addition to about 30 chapters, the DVD was also split into three sections. Very confusing. I had neglected to get the last two sections. In any case, I used a different approach next, cracking the VOB files open with bbDEMUX. This is apparently a lot more difficult when you are dealing with audio. Since these had all been silent 8 mm audio wasn't an issue. I then authored a DVD of the cracked VOB files (now MPEG-2 files) with Toast. We now have complete copies with a much more sane menu structure. To edit this material in iMovie I'm sure we'll have to convert the mv2 files again, but at least we are able to send the in-laws off with watchable copies.

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