DVD Shrink

Dec. 17th, 2009 08:11 am
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DVD Shrink )
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It's 3pm and it's dark out there - and wet, too :-/

P & I have just returned from a mission to a deli in Beverley where I'd ordered a Christmas hamper for the parental units. Long-term readers may suspect that I'm singularly ill-equipped to judge the quality of a foodie's hamper as a present... and they'd be right, but I figure even if I have, by some stroke of misfortune, managed to duplicate existing beverages and/or consumables in the parental abode, they'll still get used eventually, right? And it looks impressive. Have also got some DVDs and books for them, so I think I'll be calling it a day/week/month/year on present buying on that front, at least.

Comradette K got me into the Morganville Vampires books by Rachel Caine by lending me the first two instalments. I, in turn, suggested to [personal profile] cynthia_black that [personal profile] aki_itsuki might enjoy them, given her prediliction for things vampish, and it so happens that she's now reading them faster than I am. Which means that book 3 has been borrowed from Grimmauld Place, rather than Comradette K's library shelves. 's all good, either way: actually, Book III is proving to be quite fun (it's notable that both Oliver and Monica have both commented to Claire that she's now a proper player in Morganville, as a consequence of her derrings do in tomes previous), and is more than compensating for the suspicion that Book 2 didn't quite have the same 'zing' about it as the opener).

I started a new gamer profile on the 360 - RedDogFever (you have to pick a unique gamer tag, and I chose that because, hey, what were the odds of it already having been claimed? Absolutely), and have thus set about building up my gamer score through the noble art of Achievement Hunting on Braid and Geometry Wars, principally. We've also picked up Defense Grid, a Tower Defen(c/s)e game that's rather addictive, although the achievements on offer in that look as though they're going to take a lot of playing hours. The 'proper' discs at Castle Fox (the aforementioned all being XBox Live Arcade titles downloaded to the hard disk) are Forza 3 and Assassin's Creed II. I've made a start on the former, but I think it's the latter that's going to be taking up my evenings when I'm not Wired.

Speaking of The Wire, the h264 rip of 1x01, courtesy of Badaboom player rather nicely (albeit with a 'watermark' bottom left that I'm hoping the full version dispenses with). What was more noticable, though, was that I was able to understand a little more of the witness speech when he was talking to McNulty in the opening scene...

And finally, I got my hair cut yesterday.

Badaboom

Dec. 11th, 2009 08:51 pm
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Badaboom is a media converter that transcodes various input files to render your *cough* DVD backups *cough* in h264, tailored for iPod/PSP/XBox/PS3 etc.

The clever bit is that it uses the (Nvidia) GPU to handle the transcoding, rather than the CPU, which is a Good Thing because graphics cards are designed to handle masses of parallel computation of the type you get in transcoding video.

To this end, even though I'm actually transcoding TheWire-1x01 in the background, I can type this post in Firefox without too much lag, whereas had I used something like AutoGordianKnot, Ione would've ground to a near complete halt as my (admittedly feeble) CPU melted.

Badaboom ain't free - I'm running ep 1 of The Wire as my test case to see how it renders on the XBox before deciding whether to buy the full version (which is only c£20, so not exactly prohibitive), but it seems to have a decent interface with some sensible presets, doesn't seem to crash as often as handbrake and is less convoluted than AGK, so it could be the thing I've been looking for (aside, of course, from the 1TB drive to put all these DVD rips on).

Badaboom won't rip encrypted DVDs (basically, just about all commercial ones), but DVD Shrink is my friend on that one. DVD Shrink is a cool utility, but you have to sleuth around a bit to find a downloadable executable, because it's allegedly not wholly legal to point to it. So when you do locate your source, it would be advisable to run an MD5 checksum to get some reassurance that you're installing what you thought you were installing...

Proper post on DVD -> h264 file coming up somewhen, with pretty pictures 'n everything...

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