3GP_Converter: FAQ

January 6, 2008 at 4:14 am (Technical Stuffs) (, , , )

This article is not affiliated with 3GP_Converter and it’s author. However, I do find that the originating webpage is a little “user unfriendly” and thus I wanted to make my own FAQ. You can post related questions to me if you want, I’ll try my very best to help you.

If you’re trying to use 3GP_Converter for whatever reasons you may need, this may be the article for you. There are a lot of things that 3GP_Converter can do, but it will only help if you understand how to use.

To have basic knowledge of english is essential. The programming language used is really very simple. It will be a bonus if you have some computer language knowledge.

Here are the some of the FAQ I encountered:

  1. Q: Why isn’t 3GP_Converter installing into the system?
    A: 3GP_Converter does not use any installers and hence it makes it very small and uses the least resources. It will not write any system registries and it does not leave any traces of the program should you choose to remove it.
  2. Q: Are there any other components I need after I downloaded 3GP_Converter?
    A: It is recommended to download and install AviSynth prior to using 3GP_Converter. I’m not sure what it does, but it might have some effect on the encoding part.
  3. Q: What are the supported input files?
    A: If you want me to name them, it’ll be plenty! So far, I have successfully tested on these video formats: mpg (mpeg1, mpeg2), wmv, mov, avi, 3gp, flv, mp4, m4v, divx. Some of them can be found if you explore the underlying encoder used, that is FFmpeg. It can be found inside “cores” folder. You’ll need to run the command line in order to view all possible video formats/codecs.
  4. Q: Is this a converter for converting to 3GP?
    A: Although as the name implies it’s a 3GP Converter, however it can convert to many other formats. For a start, you should know that 3GP_Converter uses FFmpeg in line command for it’s encoding procedures. To list out every single encodable formats will probably take up a long list, but here are some of the more common ones you’ll probably use:
    – 3GP: h263/amr, h263/aac
    – MP4: h263/aac, h264/aac (AVC)
    – M4V (for iPods): h264/aac (AVC)
    – MP4 (for PSP): h264/aac, (AVC)
  5. Q: Can you convert any other things other than videos?
    A: FFmpeg is a video/audio converter. You can convert almost anything, into anything! For example, you wanted to strip off the audio and the video, you can write one script for output to the audio file, and another script for the video file. I have tried to convert a video file to become an audio file (such as converting flv into mp3). Really the possibilities are infinite.
  6. Q: Since it uses FFmpeg, can I upgrade/update the FFmpeg executable inside the “core” folder?
    A: Yes you can. However, ALL your scripts and transcoding files may not work with your new executable. This is because, newer versions might use other methods to do the same thing, and may contain deprecated commands. If you don’t understand how to use it, I do not recommend you upgrading/updating it. It might not, however, improves your encoding speed or quality. New versions, in my opinion, are useful if you cannot find the specified supported codecs for certain file extensions. This might be tricky, if you still plan to upgrade it. You will need to re-write almost all your existing scripts, so that it conforms to the new version’s standards. Even some of the simplest scripts may not even work, so the bottom line is, do not upgrade unless you know what you’re doing.
  7. Q: Can I write my own transcoding files?
    A: Sure why not? And I feel that writing your own files will give you full control over your desired output. An example of what you can write is a converter that converts into MPG, which is not part of the basic package of the program. All you need to do is to write the commands in (they are FFmpeg specific commands) the transcoding files and you’re done. You can follow the existing transcoding files as a base for you to get started.
  8. Q: I keep getting errors but I don’t know what’s wrong. The error message is not as helpful as it can be. Help!
    A: I do encounter some of those stupid error messages myself. However, it has something to do with the underlying script. There are some redundant commands that can safely be stripped off the original script. If you read the some of the transcoding files, you’ll see something like this (example from Transcoding_3GPP_AAC_XviD.ini):

    [Item0]
    Title=    VGA Normal quality 15fps Mono
    TitleE=   QVGA Normal quality 15fps Mono
    Command0= [this one usually specifies
               the input file, what to encode
               output file format etc. Just change
               %TemporaryFile% into %OutputFile%]
    Command1= [usually, it uses a QTFlatten or
               something like that here.
               DELETE THIS]
    Command2= [this one is about removing the
               temporary files after flattening it
               DELETE THIS]
  9. Most of the time, you don’t need Command1 and Command2. It’s a bit hard to explain on this part, but most of the problems comes from this. I realised that these lines are so redundant that I can still convert my videos, even without these commands. Just make sure you change the %TemporaryFile% into %OutputFile% or you won’t be able to locate your file. At the level of knowledge I’m at now, I still do not understand the reason why the author uses the flatten thing for the output files. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

    ———————————

    If you have any other questions, you can ask me. I’ll try to my best of knowledge to help you.

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