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DiracDeBroglie

Old Video .MOV files with JPEG or MJPEG compression: needs WMP codec

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Hi,

I got video files from a 10-year old (Olympus) camera transferred from my XP computer to my Windows 7 (with WMP12) 64-bit machine. The old video files don't seem to play in the WMP12 (Windows 7), they do play on the XP computer without any problem.

With MediaInfo I noticed the video file is a JPEG (or should I say MJPEG) compressed .MOV file. The info from MediaInfo follows here after.

On the website of the manufacturer of the camera (Olympus) I couldn't find any JPEG or MJPEG video codec for downloading. I was wondering if somebody could tell me what the 'best' and FREE codec(s) are for WMP12 playing (M)JPEG .MOV video files? Help would be much appreciated.

Alternatively, I could consider installing a Codec Pack like: Media Player, Windows 7, Cole2k Media, K-Lite Mega or any other large codec pack. However, I'd like to wait with installing those codec pack: I don't know what they'll do to the existing WMP codecs, and what kind of 'surprises' they may hold for later on.

Off course, if one of those codec packs would allow for the installation of a SINGLE codec (MJPEG for instance), then I could consider it. If anyone has knowledge of any codec pack that allows the installation of a single codec, then please let me know.

Thanks in advance,

Regards, Johan

-------------------------

General

Complete name : E:\PB250024.MOV

Format : QuickTime

Format/Info : Original Apple specifications

File size : 1.09 MiB

Duration : 3s 267ms

Overall bit rate mode : Variable

Overall bit rate : 2 811 Kbps

Movie name/More : OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Encoded date : UTC 2009-11-25 16:53:09

Tagged date : UTC 2009-11-25 16:53:09

Writing library : Olympus

Origin : Digital Camera

Video

ID : 1

Format : JPEG

Codec ID : jpeg

Duration : 3s 267ms

Bit rate mode : Variable

Bit rate : 2 705 Kbps

Width : 320 pixels

Height : 240 pixels

Display aspect ratio : 4:3

Frame rate mode : Constant

Frame rate : 15.000 fps

Color space : YUV

Chroma subsampling : 4:2:2

Bit depth : 8 bits

Compression mode : Lossy

Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 2.348

Stream size : 1.05 MiB (96%)

Language : English

Encoded date : UTC 2009-11-25 16:53:09

Tagged date : UTC 2009-11-25 16:53:09

Audio

ID : 2

Format : PCM

Format settings, Endianness : Little

Format settings, Sign : Unsigned

Codec ID : raw

Duration : 3s 267ms

Bit rate mode : Constant

Bit rate : 64.0 Kbps

Channel(s) : 1 channel

Sampling rate : 8 000 Hz

Bit depth : 8 bits

Stream size : 25.5 KiB (2%)

Language : English

Encoded date : UTC 2009-11-25 16:53:09

Tagged date : UTC 2009-11-25 16:53:09

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It looks like your camera uses the Apple implementation of MJPEG. As noted on Wikipedia, Microsoft expects these types of files to be AVIs. However, it also appears that this type of media file isn't used enough to have contined support to be included for WMP in Windows 7, as TechNet also shows it won't play the AVI type either.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itpromedia/thread/66b7ebfb-76f7-4a1d-bf68-f76ba3e852c9/

Here is the homepage for FFDShow, maybe it will help for this kind of file:

http://www.ffdshow.info/

Or maybe it still works in Quicktime. :unsure:

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If you want something standalone and if you are ok to drop wmp12, you could try open source alternatives like vlc mediplayer, or smplayer ...

If you still want a standalone codec only for the quicktime format, you could try Quicktime alternative.

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Hi Tripredacus, hi Allen2,

I'm not sure if ffdshow can help me here. Ffdshow does handle Quicktime video format but I couldn't find any information about codecs handling (M)JPEG inside a .MOV container, athough --I have to admint-- if some software supports Quicktime video, then it should likely support (M)JPEG compression in a .MOV too. I'll sort it out by testing maybe later.

As for Quicktime alternative, this could be a solution too.

However, I would like to do some other testing first, and for that I'd prefer a clean media environment with only WMP; I would like to convert the (M)JPEG .MOV video files to another format and see how that works.

So I'm now considering converting my old JPEG .MOV video files to another file format, and maybe to another (video and audio) compression algorithm (codec) too, if the latter is possible with freely available converters. Hence that I have a few questions.

1) What is the most widely (internationally) accepted, most widely compatible with any video player, and most 'open' video file format? Is that .MP4, or could the .MOV format --although proprietary, I believe-- be a better pick, or is there still another video file format out there which could be more future-proof/robust?

2) About the video compression, is H.264 the most widely used/accepted compression, or is there already another compression algorithm showing signs of being better future-proof?

3) The same question as previous but this time for the audio compression; which is the most standardized and the best audio compression with the least potential for making trouble in a few years time from now (by having become obsolete)?

4) Wat is the 'best' converter according to your experience/opinion. The notion of 'best' is very much susceptible to interpretation and I leave it up to you to fill in its definition. One of the meanings of 'best' could be, high quality output files which any player can play, high quality video image with minimal image noise, high quality audio, ...

thanks

j

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Here are my answers:

1) mp4 is quite usual now but .mov isn't. You could also use mkv as it is heavily used for many kinds and should be still supported for a few years.

2) H264 is now a standard and it will stay that way for some years as it is used for bluray.

3) mp3 is still a standard for stereo audio. But AC3 is the choice for 5.1 audio.

4) ffmpeg is most likely one of the best as it can handle almost any source and convert to almost any format/codec. As it is a command line utility, it is very handy for batch conversion of a lot files.

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I've done some conversions from mjpeg/mov to mjpeg/avi and to h264/mp4. In all cases video quality is slightly degraded. It looks there is clearly decompression and a re-compression involved.

I used *Pazera Free MOV to AVI Converter 1.6* (which is based on ffmpeg I think) to convert only the file format, so mov to avi and just plain-copy the mjpeg compressed video and pcm audio from the mov file to the newly converted avi file.

The new mjpeg/avi video worked fine in Real Player, QT and WMP6.4 on my old WinXP (32bit) but some quality degradation was noticeable; on WMP12 (Win7 computer), only the sound worked, there was no video (maybe WMP does not have any MJPEG codec on board).

So I am not sure about *Pazera Free MOV to AVI Converter 1.6*; as the video quality degraded (a bit) I''m starting to think that the function of plain-copying the video did involve a decompression and re-compression of the video, so from mjpeg to mjpeg again. But I'm not sure. So I got a question about ffmpeg before I start going through all the trouble and hassle of installing and testing ffmpeg.

1) Can ffmpeg convert ONLY video FILE formats, for instance from MOV to AVI, and plain copy the MJPEG video and PCM audio content to the AVI file, so without any decompression en re-compression of video and audio?

I've done some tests with Any-Video-Converter too ( http://www.any-video-converter.com ). That converted the mjpeg/mov video file right away to h246/mp4, which is actually my preferred compression/format. However, degradation in quality was noticeable. So the next question:

2) Is there the possibility in ffmpeg to change or fine-tune the compression strength (compression level: high, low, medium) when converting to h264? In my Canon camera I have the possibility to set the compression level on High or Low. High means small video file sizes but less detail/quality in the video, while Low compression means larger files but more detail in the video and so higher video quality. I was wondering if that is also possible in ffmpeg?

Thanks in advance,

J

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For ffmpeg, here is the full documentation and yes you can do a lot more tunning than with most tools.

If you want to be sure that there no recompression occuring, you should look for tools that demux/remux:

- for mov-> mkv, you might want to try mkvtoolnix.

- for almost every transformation you might ever want (but with a gui) you might want to try avidemux.

There are many other tools that might help.

As a side note, i don't know the tool you tried but it might have done a proper job: some video container can store playback preferences and postprocessing so changing container might degrade the visual quality but not the real quality of the video.

Most of the time, when you don't exactly know what a tool is doing when converting just knowing the speed of conversion is enough to know if it is only demuxing/remuxing (the speed should be about the same as the time needed to copy the video) or if it is recompressing the whole video (it should take a lot more time even with a really fast computer).

Edited by allen2
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The problem I have with the old jpeg/mov video files may be more intricate than I anticipated in the beginning. I just became aware the old jpeg/mov video files are probably PHOTO jpeg compressed and not Mjpeg (.mjpg file extension).

In my first post I mentioned the format of the .MOV file

Format : JPEG

Codec ID : jpeg

I managed to convert that jpeg/mov video file to .AVI without converting the video and audio, so only the container was converted; hence a JPEG/AVI video file, which played audio but NO video on the WMP12 (Win7 computer).

Then, .... I found some other old .AVI video files in my 2004 record, taken with a Canon camera, and those played video and audio on the WMP12 (Win7 computer) without any problem although the format was JPEG too. A closer look at the latter .AVI video file with MediaInfo revealed the following:

Format : JPEG

Codec ID : MJPG

That made be realize that Codec ID=jpeg is definitely not the same as Codec ID=MJPG in WMP12 (Win7).

That raises some questions with me. WMP12 can play MJPG/AVI, but not JPEG/AVI video files!!!

What is so different between JPEG and MJPEG video compression that the (build-in I presume) WMP12 MJPG codec can play MJPG but not JPEG??

Would there be any JPEG codec around for WMP12 that can really handle JPEG/AVI video files.

The point is that as long as WMP12 cannot decode JPEG compression, a lossless conversion from JPEG-PCM/MOV to JPEG-PCM/AVI won't work in WMP12. So I need to find a JPEG video codec for WMP12; if I can't find such a JPEG codec, then I will have to accepted loss of video quality due to the decompress/re-compress cycle, and that is something I try to avoid.

Thanks in advance,

j

PS: Lossless conversion of old videos and movies (with already a lower quality), or getting the appropriate (old) codecs for playing those old videos on more recent platforms looks like a very daunting challenge.

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The point is that as long as WMP12 cannot decode JPEG compression, a lossless conversion from JPEG-PCM/MOV to JPEG-PCM/AVI won't work in WMP12. So I need to find a JPEG video codec for WMP12; if I can't find such a JPEG codec, then I will have to accepted loss of video quality due to the decompress/re-compress cycle, and that is something I try to avoid.

That's completely wrong. A tool that can do a loseless conversion (demux/remux) can have its own embedded codec for JPEG (just like ffmpeg codecs can't be used natively for WMP12).

Perhaps you should upload a sample of your video so i and others can try tools on it.

Edited by allen2
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In the text editor I couldn't find any obvious or user-friendly way to upload a file. The only thing that could be used is Insert Media in the menu of the text editor, but that feature expects a Media URL. Could you tell me how to upload a file.

thanks, j

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Upload the file, probably compressing it first to either .zip or .7z format, wherever you like using any free file upload service you are familiar with such as MediaFire, DropBox, SkyDrive, etc., and provide the link to it here.

Cheers and Regards

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I got problems uploading the smallest MOV video file I have (4.4MB in size). It looks like I have a global upload quota of 1MB, which is already used. So how do I increase my global upload quota for my account? Or, how do I get the video file to you?

thanks, j

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See my post above. The site here has been having problems lately attaching files, it's not just you. But in general, it's often better to use a third party site anyway.

Cheers and Regards

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Here is the video file:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/buh6sngcul10qwp/Test1.MOV

Hope it works.

I've attached a file called TEST1.MOV (JPEG/MOV). I've converted the file to H264/AVI, which plays video and audio correctly in WMP12-64bit version in Windows 7. So that conversion is OK. I've used the following cmd:

ffmpeg -i E:\TEST1.mov -c:v libx264 -c:a copy E:\TEST1ffmpegvh264acopy.avi

However, when converting TEST1.MOV to JPEG/AVI only the audio plays in WMP12, Video is absent. I used the following cmd:

ffmpeg -i E:\TEST1.mov -c copy E:\TEST1ffmpegvacopy.avi

I wonder where the source of the problem may lay. Hope you can find out.

j

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