Ripbot264 (developed by username Atak_Snajpera who can be contacted at the doom9 forum) is a very straightforward and easy to use GUI that allows the user to encode their videos to various formats using the x264 codec. An example of compatible formats would be iPod/iPhone, AppleTV,PSP, PS3, Xbox360, etc...
To avoid any conflicts with codecs your best bet is to try running Ripbot264 first. The program will tell you if you are missing any codecs of which you can then install. I have found that installing K-Lite Codec Pack along with AVisynth provided the best solution for me.
IMPORTANT - Please keep in mind that the time it takes to encode your video file will depend greatly on the specifications of the pc being used as well as the settings chosen. Encoding a Blu Ray movie can take anywhere from 10-15 hours with a Quad Core processor, so it is recommended that you only do the higher profile encoding using a system that has a Quad Core or higher (Core i7).
- After downloading and unzipping Ripbot264, double click on the main application file to start:
- Once RipBot264 has been launched you will be taken to the main UI. Since you will be creating a new job, click on "Add":
- You will now be in the "Encoding settings" UI, with most fields blank:
- To begin, you will need to select the movie that you wish to encode. Click the "..." button to the right of the "Video" field, and navigate to the file. If the video is comprised of several files just select one of those files, Ripbot264 will piece together what files belong together.
- Once you have selected the video file a pop up box will appear asking you to select the streams to be used for the new job. In most cases you will keep the settings that appear, but can change as desired.
- With the streams selected, you will now be taken back to the "Encoding settings" UI. Although it may appear as though nothing has happened, at the bottom left you should see a message noting that demuxing of the stream is currently in progress. Demuxing splits the video file that contains both audio and video data, as well as subtitles, into separate files. Demuxing does not affect the quality of the video, it simply splits out. Depending on the size and complexity of the video file, as well as the specifications of your computer, this process can take anywhere from 2-15+ minutes. The files will get stored in the C:\temp folder.
- After the demuxing process is complete, all the fields should now be populated.
- The first field to pay attention to is the "Profile" field under "Video". It is important that the correct profile is chosen, otherwise the file may not play properly in the intended device. If you are feeling courageous, you can edit each profile by clicking on the "..." button to the right of each profile.
- Now that the Video Profile has been selected, the next setting to address is "Mode". The two choices are CQ (Constant Quality) or 2-Pass. CQ will attempt to maintain a constant quality throughout the encoding. You will then assign a CRF value, with the lower the number the higher the quality (and larger file size). However, you will have no control over the final file size. With 2-Pass you can either designate an average bit rate that you want the video encoded at, or lock in the file size you want the video encoded at (RipBot264 will calculate the average bit rate). Along with "Mode" you can click on the "Properties" button to adjust any other settings such as cropping, subtitles, etc... I generally choose "Autocrop" to remove the black bars at the top and bottom of widescreen videos. The only risk is that with a dark movie Ripbot264 may not crop properly.
- Before moving on to the audio you need to decide what container you will be outputting your video in. The choices are mp4, mkv, and Blu-Ray disc. You need to understand what containers are supported by what device you plan on using. For instance, if you are encoding the video to play on the PS3, mp4 and Blu-Ray disc are supported but mkv is not. Another key distinction is currently mp4 only supports AAC audio. MKV and Blu-Ray disc will support the original audio of the video file, with the one exception being TrueHD. I believe this is because mkvmerge (which Ripbot264 uses) did not support TrueHD. It appears that mkvmerge added TrueHD to its list of supported audio in its latest release, so hopefully in the near term TrueHD will be supported by Ripbot264. Until then Ripbot converts the TrueHD audio track into AC3.
- If you are interested in adding subtitles you can do so by clicking on the "..." button next to "Subtitles"
Final Review & Results
- The final step in the "Encoding settings" UI is to assign a name to the file and where you want the file output to. Once finished you can now click on the "Done" button which will take you back to the main UI. As a reference, the screenshot below shows the settings I use to encode my Blu Ray movies into 1080p mkvs. I lock the file size to 8150MB, set cropping to "Autocrop" and set size to 1920/1080.
- Back at the main UI you should now see the job you just created sitting in the "Jobs in Queue". There are three additional options you can choose. "Shutdown When Finished" will do as it implies and shut down your pc when the encoding is completed. This comes in handy if you let your encoding jobs run overnight. "Low Priority" attempts to minimize the amount of system resources used by Ripbot264 while other processes are running. This may lead to the encoding taking longer to finish, but allows you to use your pc while an encoding job is occurring without dragging down the system. "Keep Jobs in Queue" will keep the job just created showing up in the "Jobs In Queue" list even after completed. This will allow you edit the settings of the job without having to run through the demuxing process. By checking this box the demuxed files will remain in the temp folder, so it is important to select "Remove" when you are completely done with the job, otherwise the temp files will remain and take up HDD space. If this box is left unchecked the temp files are automatically deleted once the job is done. You can also create multiple jobs and have Ripbot264 encode all at once.
- Once the encoding has been completed you should be able to locate the encoded file where you designated it be output to, and a great looking video to go with it.