Handbraked! | CRTs are not worth it

If you haven't noticed yet, I use Feedburner to keep tabs on how many people and how many people subscribe to the feed on this site, and there I found that many visitors from places like Oslo, Winnipeg, Chihuahua, Nice, and a bunch of other places were coming down to visit.

A lot of people seem to be wondering how long the muxing process in Handbrake would take.

I thought that just bringing them here and not giving them a solution to their problem was unfair, so if you guys are looking for a figure on how long Handbrake's muxing process takes, a ballpark figure would be about 3 hours. That's how long it took to mux the 192 kbps audio with the film. The used my laptop.

The film was about 2 hours long. Handbrake gives very high detail regarding the video encoding, if only it would do the same for the muxing of audio and video as well.

So, depending on your configuration and the length of the video, it could take anywhere between 2 to 4 hours. Pretty long process, so if you have something else to do in those 4 hours, then go ahead and do it. Because the progress indicator which is stuck at 0.00% most of the time is not going to be of much help. So, my advice: if you are encoding a full-length feature film, running time about 2 hrs, then just leave your PC running and leave the room. There's one thing you can do to speed things up, create an ISO of the disc from (DVD Decrypter is good, I don't use anything else, except Nero for a change) which you're encoding the movie and then, mount that ISO using virtual drive software onto a virtual drive. Use Daemon Tools for this. Then Handbrake it. This works and you'll find that it may speed things up a bit. And your disc is less likely to get scratched will safely in its case.

Here's an extract from the Handbrake FAQ on their site:

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Stuck at 100%? Try these tips.

Here's the deal with getting stuck at 100%...

It isn't stuck. (Usually)

It's still working on the conversion. Those comfortable in Terminal can use "top -o cpu" to see that HandBrake is probably the top item, and still using a large portion of your processor(s) speed.

Canceling the conversion at this point is virtually guaranteed to result in a broken file. (It's possible to get lucky, but if you've spent hours converting so far, why risk throwing it all away?)

Give it time, and it will almost always finish.

Many people have reported various voodoo actions to prevent this from happening. Waving a dead chicken about is probably just as good, and really now—couldn't you put that chicken to better use, by making a yummy sandwich?

From my own experience, tempered by what I've been seeing reported here in the forums, all I can say is that the pause is usually associated with particular discs, and that lower-end machines are more likely to be delayed at the end like this. (My PowerBook G4 1Ghz with 1GB of memory was delayed often, but my PowerMac dual 2Ghz with 2GB of memory rarely is.)

There have been times when I've returned to my faster machine and found it paused at the end of a conversion, and "top -o cpu" didn't list HandBrake at the top. In this case, all I needed to do was access the drive the converted movie was being saved to, and the process completed. This has happened maybe twice out of hundreds of conversions.

The only magic bullet here is time. Patience will be rewarded.

The most costly bullet is to get a better machine/more memory... But that's not a guaranteed solution - it just worked for me.

So generally, HandBrake really isn't "stuck", it just isn't displaying the last step(s) it needs to finish before the conversion is complete.

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Don't handbrake Handbrake! They know what they're saying.

Note, I've found that most people don't realise that computers do actually consume a lot of power, especially if you use a CRT monitor (those big bulky ones that weigh a ton!). So, turn off the monitor if you don't have to look at the screen that frequently. Only leave the monitor on while you are using the machine. And by using I mean, sitting at the keyboard, typing out a blog post, or a recipe for chicken biriyani (I have one that my grandmother gave my mother, who in turn gave it to me, I'll put it up later). So, remember if you can, get LCDs - they cost a little more, but the savings on power will be enough to make up for that little extra expense.

So remember, turn off your monitor when you're not using it. Go for LCDs, they're less power-hungry and they look cooler on your desk. Or go for a laptop. But even with those, there are issues. There was an article in the recent PC Magazine (Reduce, Reuse, That's It by Sascha Seagan) about how even laptops are becoming power-hungry these days. So, if you're trying to convert that gaming rig of yours into a notebook, please don't. Visit Good Clean Tech for more info.

And remember, with handbraking - patience is virtue, and nicely encoded movies for which people the world over will thank you. :-)
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