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02-03-2005 VDRsync Studio Update

I fixed some additional Bugs and added a few features, have a look at the Bugs / TODO page.



22-12-2004 VDRsync Studio Update

Please find updated versions of nearly all scripts in the Releases section.
I fixed quite some bugs, and added a few new features. Have a look at the Tutorial Page and do not forget to let me know what you think.



02-12-2004 RELEASED VDRsync Studio Snapshot


Everything you find in the tar-balls below is not well tested and known to have bugs. Still, I use this software exclusively to produce DVDs from VDR recordings, and it works for me. To make full use of all the features, you also need the sharemarks package and the skript!
After installation you might want to read the german Tutorial
Be prepared to deal with the following:

I develop and test the software exclusively on SuSE systems, with the explicit exception of the sharemarks package and the script (also tested on Debian Sarge / Sid). I know that I get away with default SuSE packages plus a collection from, and the TK::JPEG::Lite Perl Module available via CPAN. I also know that sometimes other distributions offer packages for the same software that were compiled with different features, most prominently transcode without ImageMagick support. In addition, you need also the packages required to run the script.
So the only thing I can tell you is that it runs if you use SuSE 9.0, 9.1, 9.2 with some additional packages.

You definitively need to install:
Grab everything from, especially the ffmpeg packages
and have the SuSE DVDs close at hand.

I will list specific requirements for different Distributions as users send them to me ;-)

The Contents of the tarballs:

  • A developer snapshot of VDRsync, which should allow the sync on difficult, damaged recordings. Unfortunately this versions still has some serious bugs.

  • Bundled with are two helper scripts, and The first one allows the creation of DVDs without any temp file, speeding up the process a lot - but it needs more memory and perl > 5.8. The second script allows DVDs that contain menus, and especially chapter menus with animated previews. I like that a lot... even though I do not use those menus for navigation, just for showing off...

  • The latest version of the sharemarks scripts, allowing the exchange of cutting marks via the Internet (very nice project, working very good, looking for users)

  • And for the first time the Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows the completely VDR independent processing of VDR recordings. This is the first usable release, and there are many many things to be improved, but I use it all the time.

Current Features:

  • Navigate through the movie (using still pictures every GOP, that is app. every 0.5 seconds)

  • Set, delete and manipulate cutting marks (and chapter marks)

  • Start the DVD creation run via vdrsync and Co.

  • Cut a recording and store it in a way that the VDR still recognizes it.

  • Preview the movie with ffplay.

Some very rudimentary install and usage information:

  • Get Tk::JPEG::Lite from CPAN, unpack it and run

    make test
    make install (as root)

    It needs JPEG development libs!

  • Install ffmpeg

  • Copy,,,,, and gop2jpeg to your path, for example /usr/bin

  • Try starting

  • Please go to the configuration page and choose a decoding program. For the moment there are

    • gop2jpeg (strongly recommended)
    • ffmpeg (second best)
    • transcode (does not work with SuSE 9.2, but used to work with 9.0 and 9.1)
    • planned: Remote Demon, already in the works (would eliminate the need for access to the recording).
  • Then work with the interface as described below.

The user interface:

Left is a frame for the picture, to the right you have some controls. I will just very briefly describe how to control the program with the mouse, the keyboard and both:

I use mouse and keyboard, mainly the mouse wheel:

  • scrolling the wheel up and down will move you backwards and forwards in the movie, by default the step size is app. 0.5 seconds. CAUTION: I think I enhanced the responsiveness of the program tremendously by a small trick, if you scroll faster than the script can show pictures, it skips all unnecessary pictures. If you want to hit a specific spot, please scroll slowly.
  • If I want to fast forward, I press the shift key while using the mouse key. This multiplies the step size by 10, which means a single "tick" of the mouse wheel jumps five seconds. This is very handy to locate a commercial quickly, when you are close. Then let go of the shift key, and do the fine-tuning only with the mouse wheel.
  • Press the mouse wheel for setting / deleting a mark, or click the correct button on the right side of the program window.
  • Do long distance "jumps" by clicking somewhere on the progress bar or in the preview window. A single click with either the left or right button brings you quickly to that point.
  • Double click left (or right) to jump to the next marks left (or right) to the current position. Alternatively click on of the "jump mark" buttons on the right side of the program.
  • For mark manipulation, I think the ALT key is very important: pressing ALT will jump to the next mark, and while you are keep ALT pressed, all movements are followed by the mark. Example: you press ALT and therefore jump to the first mark of the recording.
  • You keep ALT pressed, and by using the mouse wheel carefully you adjust the exact position of the mark. Once you are satisfied, you release ALT.
  • If you want to find commercially quickly, just click the navigation buttons on the right, until you hit a commercial (HINT: For movies I normally use 4 times the 5 min button, and then the one minute button until I loose the station logo). Then you can navigate using the mouse wheel again.
  • Alternatively, you can adjust the step size of the mouse wheel. Just press a number from 1 to 9 to change the step size between 0.5 (default) and 500 seconds.
    The shift key still works on the big step sizes, so pressing shift while using the wheel will multiply the step size by ten. Play around a bit to get familiar with the sizes and the shift effect, with slow and fast scrolling. You will find a complete list of keys and mouse actions below.
  • Once you are done DO NOT FORGET TO SAVE YOUR MARKS!!!
  • Change to the dvdauthor Tab, modify the Summary Text Box if you want (do not forget to save the changes!), and then you might click the Start Conversion button. You will first be asked for a destination directory, and then to confirm the vdrsync command that will be launched.
  • If everything works ok, you will find a ready-to-burn DVD Structure in the destination directory - if not, the conversion failed, and that can have many different reasons. I will add some instructions for debugging here shortly.
Complete Table of all Keys / Clicks

Known Bugs
  • Opening other recordings after working with a recording sometimes slows the machine terribly. I do not yet know why, memory usage and memory consumption seem fine. Just restart the application.

  • The "preview" functionality is even more experimental than the rest, and that means a lot. It also depends on ffplay.

  • The included should be much better in handling corrupt recordings, but it has some serious bugs left. It also does not clean up after running, have a look for temp files and clean regularly.

  • All included tools are sharing some code that has been compiled into a perl module called, for your convenience this module is pasted into every single script, so that they all run as stand-alone scripts. This will change in the future, I only insert the module into the scripts just before packaging. The clean (future) solution will require to install the module separately.

I use some helper scripts with this application that might be of general interest, so I will introduce them here:

    is a little script that allows the creation of an index.vdr and also defining a new size for the 00X.vdr files
    Example: You want to split 001.vdr and 002.vdr that have a total size of 3 GB into 700 MB portions. What you do is

    cat 001.vdr 002.vdr | -o TargetDir -s 700000000

    and after a little while you are done.

  • (needs Tk and ffplay from the ffmpeg package)
    A little utility that plays a VDR Recording, by piping the required bits to ffplay. It is used for the preview function of the GUI. It takes the recording directory and the frame from which playing should start as a parameter

    A script I wrote for the conversion of a DVD back to a VDR structure, not suitable for commercial DVDs (even if it could be modified easily). It depends on tccat from transcode. I use it like this:

    tccat -i /dev/dvd -T 1 -L  | | -o TargetDir

    Not tested very often.

  • gop2jpeg
    This is not a perl script, but probably the most pathetic little C Program the world has ever seen. I needed a tool that extracts a JPEG from a GroupOfPictures as fast and as reliable as possible, sine both transcode and ffmpeg have difficulties once in a while. I thought about libavcodec, but I can not program C. So I just combined the to example files bundled with ffmpeg instead of documentation, compiled it - and it worked. It is horriblehorriblehorrilble but it generates JPEGs pretty reliable and VERY fast, even though it could be optimized much further - please volunteer, if you are a C hacker.

Ok, that's it for today, let me know if you like the program.



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For snapshot releases please visit the Bugs / TODO page.

Complete Package:

VDRsyncStudio 041222

Single Packages

VDRsync-gui: VDRsyncGUI 041222

VDRsync: VDRsync 0.1.3PRE1

Sharemarks: sharemarks 0.1.4PRE2

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