For this task, you will need Avidemux 2.4 Preview 2. Why? Simply because it has improved support for H.264 videos, that means most of today's HR (High Resolution) movies and HDTV content. Let's say for example that you've recorded a TV show from your favorite HDTV channel and you don't have time to watch it (that's the reason why you have recorded it in the first place) and you are in a rush. What can you do? Answer: Convert it to a format that can be watched on your PSP (PlayStation Portable)! How? Read the detailed guide below on how to achieve this simple task with nothing but free software on a free platform, Ubuntu Linux.
I've used Ubuntu Gutsy Beta, the AMD64/EMT64 one, for this guide, to demonstrate to everyone that always ask me: how is Linux on a 64-bit platform? Do you have all the software you need? Well, Linux (Ubuntu, because this is what I have been using for some time now... more than a year) and the whole open source community made a lot of progress regarding the 64-bit platform and I can honestly say that... it works folks!
Installing Avidemux 2.4 from SVN
Unfortunately, you will have to open up a terminal for this task and copy/paste the following code, in order to install the dependencies for Avidemux:
Also, go to Applications -> Add/Remove Programs and search for ubuntu restricted extras and install it.
When the download is over, enter the Avidemux source directory with:
Take a look at the summary when cmake finished. It should look like this:
** Summary **
*** Video Codec ***
*** Audio Codec ***
*** Audio Device ***
*** Misc ***
As you can see, except for the Aften, libDCA (DTS support) and libAMRNB (AMR support) audio codecs that can't be found in Ubuntu, the rest of the dependencies are present. Now you can continue with the compilation, type:
This is why I love cmake, it shows you the percent of the compilation status, so you don't have to worry all the time: how long is it gonna take? Can I take a shower until this thing is done? Well, on my computer the compilation reached 100% (it shows 99% actually) in about 5-6 minutes. When it's done, type:
And Avidemux will be installed on your system.
Let's create a desktop shortcut for Avidemux. Right click on your desktop, go to Create Launcher and in the new window that appears enter in the Name: field, Avidemux2 and in the Command: field, avidemux_gtk, choose an icon by clicking on the icon button and when you're done, click OK and the shortcut will be created on your desktop. Double click it and Avidemux will open.
For this example I have used an MKV file, encoded with H.264 video codec and an AC3 5.1 audio codec. Click "Open", search for the video file that you want to convert and double click it. Now, let the application read the file, or index it if it's necessary, and if the codec is supported it will open. If you have an H.264 file, like me, Avidemux will ask you if you want to use an implemented mode for this kind of file, but you will click "Cancel" and then you'll need to rebuild the frames of the file, so click "Yes" when asked. Take a look at the example below: