Encoding Video and Argument for Separate OP/ED

That’s what I want to do. Encode.

Chocotto Sister, as I have mentioned before, was subbed up until episode 13 by Ryoumi Subs. The quality they provided was less than DVD quality, and was censored (the raws were presumably captured from the original television run). So, I plan to make new files for myself by taking the subs made by Ryoumi and muxing them with DVD raws.

For me, it’s a learning experience. I found DVD-ripped episodes (raw) that I can use. I was a bit surprised to see it say that they were 720×480. Well, sure, that’s the standard NTSC DVD resolution, but the show’s supposed to be 16:9! Yeah, my ignorance is stifling. I know about anamorphic DVDs, but wasn’t sure how it would work for what I intend to do. So I looked it up and learned that it’s fine, so long as I tell the container (I’ll be using mkv) that the display AR should be different than that of the provided resolution.

Then I saw the size of the raw files, and was disappointed to see that the files were big enough to cause burning on a single DVD to be impossible. So, I remembered the neat “trick” that other groups have been using (specifically THORA). I will attempt to cut out the OP and ED from each episode, and link to them in the individual episode files using ordered chapters.

Since I’m using mkv, I can use soft subs. No trouble there, as I didn’t want to have to re-encode a file every time I spot a spelling error. Yeah, even if it’s only for personal archiving, I want to do it right.

Just before I started this entry, I was at another person’s blog. I thought the complaints he made about “cutting” the OP and ED “out” were so terribly ill-informed, I wrote a huge response (despite the fact that the post was a couple months old). I was ready to “shipp it”, but decided I’d rather not. I’ll try to explain what he thought was bad, although his argument was baseless.

First he points out the pros

1) Save time encoding.

2) Less to upload. I’ll just mention that 3 minutes in 24 is 12.5%, not 8% (which is not the same as 1/8).

3) Some people don’t like watching the OP and ED, so not including them is a benefit.

Now his so-called “cons”

1) Not much time is actually saved encoding. And speed only really matters for speed subs, which are generally of lower quality. “A great majority of the leechers always wait for the better quality subs to be out anyway.”

My response: even if it’s a minor benefit, it’s still a benefit. The process becomes faster for any group, and quality will remain unchanged. And I’m certain that the majority of leechers can’t argue that a quality sub being released faster without loss of quality is a con.

2) As quality improves (the usage of HD raws for subs), the importance of file size becomes insignificant. Modern internet connections are fast enough to download 170MB within 30 minutes, so it doesn’t take long to download. The exception would be for batch torrents, where the size issue is more significant. However, the OP and ED are likely to have changed after a certain number of episodes.

My response: it’s certainly true that downloading files these days doesn’t take as long it used to. But the speed is dependent on when you start downloading. If you missed the rush, you’ll quite possibly take significantly longer than 30 minutes. As for batches, the smaller size of OP-less and ED-less files will be significant. In fact, if there’s only one episode, there’s no savings to be had in a separate OP and ED. But if you have two episodes, the savings is approximately 6.25%. Since the theoretical potential for savings is 12.5%, we’re already at half that with only two episodes in a batch. Add more episodes, and we get closer to the theoretical maximum. In any case, if 12.5% can be considered significant, why not 6.25%? Given that there’ll usually be at least 12 episodes to an OP and ED, if the files are 200MB each, we’ll save 275MB for that many episodes. For those who miss the swarm, that 275MB can save a day or two. Not all broadband connections were created equal.

3) Over time, faster speeds and different containers and codecs. Using mkv as a replacement for avi results in smaller files (let’s say 30MB smaller). Also, not everyone has great computer hardware, and won’t necessarily be able to play the mkv along with its linking capabilities. So then, we’d need the avi equivalent with its greater size.

My response: ugh, such a garbage argument. This isn’t even an argument against ordered chapters/segment linking. I’ll concede that some won’t be able to play the mkv that uses H264/x264, but when comparing apples to apples (avi with mpeg, mkv with mpeg), the playback isn’t a problem. Linking can be turned off by either setting off something in Haali Splitter, or by simply not having the OP and ED in the same folder as the playing file. There is literally no problem to be had with ordered chapters here. The biggest benefit goes to those who watch HD encodes. Chop 50MB off for each 300MB episode, and the savings add up. If you can watch HD without trouble, you can certainly make use of ordered chapters without trouble.

4) Not wanting to see OP/ED is a lazy leecher’s argument. Skipping them takes a few clicks. It isn’t such a bother that necessitates the removal of the OP and ED completely. And not all media players support the function – that’s dumb. Who wants to install yet another media player for a specific series by a specific subber?

My response: I agree, that’s pretty lazy and not a solid argument. That fact isn’t really a con though. Though it solves a very, very slight inconvenience, the slightness of it doesn’t act negatively against the process. And who here hasn’t heard of CCCP and Media Player Classic? Are you really an anime fan? No, seriously, that’s sick. To be blunt, MPC is the only media player you really need. Disable the internal filters, and the filters installed by CCCP will work automatically. No installation is necessary for MPC, as it is a lightweight, standalone player.

His Conclusion:

“I feel that the cons outweigh the pros”

What cons were those again?

“It’s mainly the inconvenience of having to proceed in a different way to get and watch your anime.”

Two extra files to download. A few clicks. Did you not just say that skipping the OP with a few clicks isn’t a problem? Never mind the fact that you’ll only need one click to skip the OP and ED using ordered chapters (skip the chapter), but those few clicks per episode for 12 or more episodes outweighs the few clicks for the two files.

“The amount of time and effort saved is not significant, unless you want your episodes to download in 10 minutes instead of 15.”

I don’t even know why I’m responding to this here. I’ll repeat myself. If you miss the swarm, you’re in the slow lane. Using your arbitrary scaling (I’m actually just talking to myself since I chose not to actually respond to that garbage post), you could take 10 hours instead of 15. For batches, it is significant. For HD, it is significant. It’s significant, damn it!

The poster even omitted the potential for fitting more episodes onto a single DVD, an important thing to those who using burning to make room on their ever-full hard drives. And for those who keep everything on the hard drive, there’s the benefit of being able to fit more on the hard drive. (This isn’t rocket science.)

Consider an HD encode to be 320MB without OP/ED, and the OP/ED are 50MB combined. Let’s take a 13 episode show for our example. 13 * (300+50) = 4550MB. That’s binary, so our conversion gets us 4.77GB. That’s too much for DVD5. I’m actually undershooting here, but you can see how close it gets. A real world example can be found with THORA’s Utawarerumono HD subs (excellent work, by the way). Each episode is 333MB and the OP/ED combine for 160MB. Using 13 episodes again, the decimal result is 4.45GB, and even with a bigger OP/ED than chosen before, it will all fit onto a single DVD. If the separate OP/ED method hadn’t been used, then those same 13 episodes would have taken 6.7GB. And by no means is that insignificant.

As you can see, the benefit of using ordered chapters in tandem with a separate OP and ED is impressive. The trend is especially noticeable for those moving towards higher quality subs, rather than the speed subbers and impatient leechers the poster was trying to throw stones at. In conclusion, you know what I plan to do when it comes to my little problem with Chocotto Sister. The higher quality episodes won’t fit as-is, so I’ll make them fit by using ordered chapters and having a separate file for each the OP and the ED (via segment linking). See the link below for information.



3 Responses to Encoding Video and Argument for Separate OP/ED

  1. ( ¯◡◡¯·) says:

    hi, i casually came to your blog and noticed this article.
    I’d like to discuss with you about ‘separate op/ed’ topic, as i’m trying to improve my skills on this same argument.

    do you have an msn address, or can i write you an email, or are you available on Irc?
    anything is good. feel free to contact me whenever you want on marcoscompilation@fastwebnet.it

  2. jdinc says:

    Hi, I try not to spread my email address out too much (sorry), but if you want to discuss anything in particular, feel free to leave messages here. That way, maybe others can get something out of the discussion as well.

  3. toph says:

    I always use linked OP/ED myself, so there is one more PRO: you can encode standalone OP/ED at a much higher quality without any single artefact.

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