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Old 2nd March 2012, 02:35   #1  |  Link
manolito
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mp4 container - different chapter formats

Recently I got into converting some of my mkv clips to mp4 (better compatibility with hardware media players). I noticed that there are two different methods to incorporate chapter information within the mp4 container:

mp4creator (also Handbrake) creates chapter information as "Apple Text" (this is what Mediainfo tells me). These files play correctly on my PC with VLC, but MPC-HC does not recognize the chapters.

MP4Box creates chapters in a different way. In Mediainfo these chapters show up exactly like they do in the mkv file, and this time MPC-HC plays the file correctly.

For maximum compatibilty with hardware players, which method is the preferred one? And if the "Apple Text" format is the preferred format, which software can I use to convert mkv chapters to mp4? mp4creator seems to be a little buggy (or maybe it's just the DVBPortal MP4Muxer GUI).


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Old 4th March 2012, 20:59   #2  |  Link
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Try MkvToMp4 http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=163050
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Old 5th March 2012, 16:38   #3  |  Link
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Thanks oreons for the tip. In fact I already had played around with MkvToMp4 quite a while ago, but at this time I thought that I was better off sticking to the MKV container.

Now that one of my friends has a new TV with built-in media player which refuses to play MKV files, I had to give the MP4 container a second look.

MkvToMp4 works nicely, it makes mp4creator and DVDPortal MP4MuxerGUI obsolete for me. It creates chapters in the Apple Text format, and this brings me back to my original question.

Windows Media Player and MPC-HC both do not recognize these chapters, only VLC handles them. I guess if you want to play these files with an Apple device, then you should use this format. But I really do not care much about the Apple universe, I prefer media file formats which are compatible with Windows software.

Another problem with this Apple Text format is that I could not find any software to convert this chapter format back to the OMG or XML format. Which means that I cannot change my mind later and convert the M4V file back to MKV with chapters.

The other chapter format for MP4 (import an OGM chapter file using Yamb) is certainly more compatible with Windows media players. But will Apple devices recognize it?

I tried one other method for maximum compatibility: I used the M4V file created by MkvToMp4 and imported it into Yamb. Then I added an OGM chapter file to it and remuxed it to MP4. Now Mediainfo tells me that my file has two different chapter streams. The first one is the original AppleText stream, the other one is a Menu stream containing the OGM chapters. This file plays just fine on all my windows media players, and I hope that Apple devices will also be happy.

What do you think?


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Old 5th March 2012, 18:14   #4  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manolito View Post
MP4Box creates chapters in a different way. In Mediainfo these chapters show up exactly like they do in the mkv file, and this time MPC-HC plays the file correctly.
I can confirm that MP4box chapters (generated using YAMB) have worked with every hardware player I've ever tested and/or owned

EDIT: I can now confirm that mp4creator chapters don't work with any of my hardware players...
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Last edited by SeeMoreDigital; 5th March 2012 at 20:01.
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Old 10th March 2012, 09:26   #5  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manolito View Post
Windows Media Player and MPC-HC both do not recognize these chapters, only VLC handles them. I guess if you want to play these files with an Apple device, then you should use this format. But I really do not care much about the Apple universe, I prefer media file formats which are compatible with Windows software.
if you use lav splitter instead of internal ones, you should be able to have chapters marks with these players...
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Old 11th March 2012, 01:37   #6  |  Link
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Thanks Kurtnoise for the suggestion, but I had no luck with the lav splitter either. Chapters in the Apple Text format are not recognized by MPC-HC or WMPlayer, no matter which splitter I use.

So it's back to the other chapter format used by MP4Box (Yamb).



Cheers
manolito



P.S.
I know that you are not interested in supporting Yamb any more, but could you at least take the time to fix the (totally broken) installer of the last version? The worst issue is that upon uninstalling it completely destroys the start menu entries.
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Old 11th March 2012, 11:04   #7  |  Link
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I don't know how you configure filters but here is a picture from iTunes playing an audio book (i.e w/ Apple chapters marks) :



And, within lavsplitter in mpc-hc :



About Yamb's broken installer : iirc, the last beta from my website fixes it.

Anyway, I'm rewritting Yamb completely from scratch to be x-plateform but my free time is very limited nowadays.


Quote:
Another problem with this Apple Text format is that I could not find any software to convert this chapter format back to the OMG or XML format. Which means that I cannot change my mind later and convert the M4V file back to MKV with chapters.
there is a tool (mp4chaps) from mp4v2 library which is able to do that...

Last edited by Kurtnoise; 11th March 2012 at 11:06.
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Old 11th March 2012, 12:36   #8  |  Link
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In my tests... the mp4creator chapters (generated using MP4muxer) appear to work perfectly with MediaPlayer Classic and VLC player. And MediaInfo identifies the "Apple text" file within the MP4 contained file.

But these chapters are not recognised in QuickTime Pro player. And if I re-mux the .MP4 file to .MOV (using QuickTime Pro), the "Apple text" file is lost.

And as mentioned before, these chapters are not recognised in any of my (Sigma, Realtek, MediaTek and Zoran chip-set based) hardware media players.
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Old 11th March 2012, 15:52   #9  |  Link
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If anyone's interested, here are some mp4creator and MP4muxer test samples: -

http://www.mediafire.com/?9h9fpyi6bf7qk48


Cheers
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Old 11th March 2012, 22:02   #10  |  Link
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Thanks Kurtnoise and SeeMoreDigital for your answers. I just spent a couple of hours testing, but I got different results:

MPC-HC does not recognize Apple Text chapters on my PC. I installed the latest MPC-HC version, I installed the latest Quicktime version, removed Haali, installed the latest LAV package making sure MP4 was ticked, reinstalled Haali again, no luck. Maybe I have to install iTunes, but I refuse to do that...
BTW thanks SeeMoreDigital for your samples.

@Kurtnoise
Quote:
About Yamb's broken installer : iirc, the last beta from my website fixes it.
Thanks very much, you are (partially) right. The version on your website http://kurtnoise.free.fr/Yamb/ indeed has a fixed installer, but not the version on http://yamb.unite-video.com/

Unfortunately when you google for Yamb you will not find your site at free.fr. Could you please make sure that yamb.unite-video also links to the fixed version...

And one small issue with the fixed installer: The mkvextract folder needs the file regex2.dll in it. I got an error message about this file was missing.


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Old 11th March 2012, 22:28   #11  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manolito View Post
MPC-HC does not recognize Apple Text chapters on my PC. I installed the latest MPC-HC version, I installed the latest Quicktime version, removed Haali, installed the latest LAV package making sure MP4 was ticked, reinstalled Haali again, no luck. Maybe I have to install iTunes, but I refuse to do that...
BTW thanks SeeMoreDigital for your samples.
I have disabled all of MPC's internal filters. I don't have Haali or FFDshow installed either.

Currently I only have LAV filters installed
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Old 11th March 2012, 23:24   #12  |  Link
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Yep, this was it. Disabling all internal MPC-HC filters did the trick. But after installing Haali over LAV it was back to the old behavior, chapters were not recognized. Unfortunately I need to have the Haali splitter installed to make BD-RB happy...
BTW did you ony disable all internal MPC-HC input filters or also the internal transform filters?

Anyways, the Apple Text chapter format in the MP4 container seems to cause nothing but problems (even Quicktime Pro does not recognize the chapters). My conclusion is to stay away from this chapter format and use the MP4Box format if possible.


Thanks and cheers
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Old 11th March 2012, 23:33   #13  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manolito View Post
BTW did you ony disable all internal MPC-HC input filters or also the internal transform filters?
Yes I disabled the "Transform Filters" too...
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Old 13th March 2012, 17:22   #14  |  Link
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I use "subler" on Mac OS to mux my mp4's, and the resulting files' chapters play perfectly in MPC-HC. You can also insert those cool chapter thumbnails with it (that iTunes and iPads/iPods display), but beware that neither Haali or MadVR will play these files correctly, as they see the two video streams (actually one video one jpeg) and get confused.

Try using the latest build of MPC-HC, maybe that will work:

http://www.xvidvideo.ru/media-player...inema-x86-x64/
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Old 13th March 2012, 17:37   #15  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manolito View Post
But after installing Haali over LAV it was back to the old behavior, chapters were not recognized. Unfortunately I need to have the Haali splitter installed to make BD-RB happy...
Just block the Haali splitter in the config filters panel of mpc-hc...


@Nibus : Mac OS & Windows ??? wtf...
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Old 14th March 2012, 02:24   #16  |  Link
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@Nibus : Mac OS & Windows ??? wtf...
Yeah, well if you happen to have a Mac then it's by far the best mp4 muxer.
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