TEncoder is an Open Source Audio and Video Converter

Video conversion has become a popular topic with me lately. I purchased a Google TV a few months ago, using the device to retire my old HTPC, which ran Windows 7 with Media Center set to launch upon startup. The problem is this — not all of my ripped DVD’s were in a format recognized by Plex, which now serves my home media to the living room.

Since purchasing the Vizio Co-Star, I have been slowly but surely working my way through the re-encoding of almost all of our movies, most of which had been ripped to ISO files in order to retain all of the menus and extras. Unfortunately, Google TV will not allow me to keep those options, but this is not the end of the world — I do not really need them, it was just a nice touch.

My latest experiment is using TEncoder, which is a powerful tool for converting video and audio files from one format to another. The app holds a lot promise, but may not work for every need — more on that later.

Download the App

TEncoder is a free and open source solution that is available over on Sourceforge. For those who wish to get a bit geekier with this, you can find the code over at Codeplex.

“TEncoder is a multithreaded video converter that uses MEncoder, MPlayer and FFMpeg. It can convert almost every video type to each other. Subtitles with same name as video can be hard-coded into video. Up to 8 simultaneous encoders can be run. You can select between multiple audio and subtitle tracks. Extracting video or audio content is possible. Edit subtitle and audio delays and part of video that will be encoded. Effects like deinterlacing can be applied to videos”.

Features

  • Supports almost all video formats
  • Multithreading enables you to use all cores of your CPU
  • Subtitles can be hard-coded into video
  • Output video codecs are: Mpeg1, Mpeg2, Xvid, Mpeg4, H264, FLV, WMV, VP8
  • Output audio codecs are: MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG Vorbis, AC3, Mp2
  • Choose between FFMpeg and Mencoder as encoder
  • Select between different audio and subtitle tracks for each file
  • Skin support
  • Do two passes to improve quality
  • Pass custom commands to encoders
  • Preview files before encoding

The Interface

You may think the interface is somewhat complex when looking at first glance, but no worries. You can master it fairly easily with just a bit of looking around.

The Left Column

The left column contains several options, including:

  • Add Files and Folders
  • Move Selected Up
  • Move Selected Down
  • Remove Selected Files from the List
  • Clear the List
  • Search
  • Settings

All are self explanatory, but Settings bears a closer look. when clicked, this pops up a number of options in a small window. Users can changes languages, set subtitles, choose encoding settings and even choose from a number of skins to alter the look of the TEncoder app with various designs.

Of course converting multiple files will also mean your PC won’t have the processor power to do much else, but if that’s a problem you can tell TEncoder to grab less cores for itself

The Right Column

This side of the screen contains all of the video and audio options. It may look a bit confusing at first, but it is pretty simple to understand.

Video options include a choice of codecs, bitrate, size, aspect ratio, container and encoder. You can also enable subtitles and you will find the rather important “Encode” button at the very bottom.

Codecs:

  • Xvid
  • Mpeg 1
  • Mpeg 2
  • Mpeg 4
  • H264
  • FLV
  • WMV
  • VP8
  • Huffyvu
  • ProRes
  • DirectCopy
Containers
  • AVI
  • Mpeg
  • MP4
  • MOV
  • MKV
  • FLV
  • WMV
  • WEBM
  • 3GP

Main Screen

The main screen (the middle part) displays track and subtitle information, profiles and output path — where the program saves your newly converted file.

Get Started

Click the “Add” button to add individual files or an entire folder of files. Then select a profile to define the appropriate settings for your device (there are more 800 to choose from).

Once you have chosen your files (you can do multiple ones at once) then you are off and running.  Click the your choices for codec and container. Next choose the output location — where your file will be placed when TEncoder is done. By default this is C:\”NAME”\Documents\TEncoder\. Now click “Encode”, and wait as your files are converted.

The Bad

As I had mentioned earlier, I ripped all of our video discs to ISO files — a complete image of the disc that can be loaded using something like Daemon Tools or Virtual CloneDrive. Sadly, TEncoder doe not allow me to mount those virtual DVD’s, making it useless for my little project.

The screen is somewhat confusing looking at first glance, thanks to its many options, but those options are also a plus.

The Good

With exception of ISO files, the TEncoder program can convert just about any format to any other file type, including popular forms such as MP4, AVI and MKV, all of which are compatible with most digital video players (Windows Media Player will not play MKV — use VLC). The software is extremely powerful, can handle multiple files at once and works quickly.

The Verdict

While this app will not work for my current conversion project, that is more me and not TEncoder. The app is powerful and simple, once you master the main screen options, which is easier than it first appears. You can not go wrong with the free app for almost all video and audio conversion needs.


Summary

A video and audio conversion tool.

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