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xRobert Richmond

Windows Media: Converting and Editing Files

February 2003

Page Three

Page One: Introduction / GraphEdit to the Rescue
Page Two: Simple AVI Conversion
Page Three: Creating an AVI for Editing

Creating an AVI for Editing

The problem with the simple process described above is that the file may still not be editable with "Video for Windows"-based applications like VirtualDub. Microsoft has provided VfW drivers for early Windows Media codecs like MS MPEG-4 versions one through three, while hacked versions of Windows Media Audio versions one and two are available through various Internet resources.

Media streams encoded with newer formats like WM9 will require an intermediate conversion to a valid VfW format before being editable with VritualDub. Nearly any compatible compression codec can be utilized, but the nearly loss-less HuffYUV codec will be utilized in this example to avoid any massive data losses through excessive compression. VirtualDub can be used to filter and re-compress the resulting file to any codec of choice once the output has been processed with GraphEdit. Audio is being handled with IMA ADPCM (found under "Audio Compressors" filter section) due to similar compression loss concerns for this example. Again, as with the last example, connect the graphs, then click the green play button to generate the output file.

Click to enlarge
(Click Image to Enlarge)

Final Thoughts

While the conversion process can be tedious and time-consuming for large video projects, it does allow people to actually edit or process Windows Media content with standard, often free, Video for Windows applications like VirtualDub or TMPGEnc. GraphEdit is not really a solution to this problem, but more of a way to circumvent the issue. GraphEdit certainly is a powerful multimedia tool as it allows enthusiasts to perform a great many actions that would otherwise be nearly impossible to find in off-the-shelf applications. Still, the best news concerning the Windows Media format is that Microsoft sources are indicating that a VfW WM9 codec should be available within the next few weeks, thus allowing for the direct container version via the earlier simple process without having to convert the media streams to other VfW-compatible codecs.

Robert Richmond

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