Save your Settings as a Preset!

Discuss about generic usage of MediaCoder.

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meRobs
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Save your Settings as a Preset!

Postby meRobs » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:11 pm

[Updated 25 Jan 2013]

Having gone to the trouble of choosing suitable settings on the various Tabs in MediaCoder and adjusting them to suit your needs, why throw away all this work by just closing MediaCoder? Why not save the settings for a similar use later? If there is a reasonable chance of needing these settings, or something similar, for other files that might come your way, I suggest you save them as a Preset!

At this point, let me state that the comments made below are valid for Builds 4490, 4522 and 4740 and probably later. However, Presets created in one build may not work in an earlier one. Also see section “When Updating to a Newer Build”, below.

Important Note: if you change from the 32-bit version of MediaCoder to the 64-bit version, or vice versa, any Presets that were created in one may not work in the other. They should be created from scratch in the particular version (32- or 64-bit) that you are to use.

Section 1. General Comment
To understand what is involved, I begin by pointing out that each conversion (encode) is controlled by numerous parameters set under “Advanced Settings”, accessible via the third button from the right on the Toolbar (see Fig. 2, below). There are 10 categories with over 160 parameters in just the first! Fiddling with these is not for the faint hearted!

Fortunately, Stanley, the developer of MediaCoder, has placed the most important ones on the Tabs for easy user access – tabs for Video, Audio, Container, Picture, Subtitle, etc. When entries are made on the tabs they are meant to automatically copy over to the Advanced Settings list. Occasionally, this fails to work. For example, the audio delay that may be set on the Time tab (or the Sound tab since build ~5000) fails in some builds – see Test Report viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9611.

Thus, usually a Preset would be created with the 4 steps (but see below):
(1) begin by setting all parameters to their initial, as-installed values. This is done by selecting “Revert all Settings” on the File menu (see Fig. 1, below).
Better still, use the 'Starter Preset' defined below.
(2) Make sure you include any changes settable under the Effects button, on the Picture tab, or under the Encoder button, on the Video tab. On the first, you may set De-interlacing or Brightness, Hue, etc, and, under Encoder, the Number of frames between Keyframes (or the equivalent). These will be remembered.
(3) make a few changes under Advanced Settings (see below) where necessary.
(4) save the set up (all current settings) as a Preset, by clicking “Save as Preset” from the File menu (Fig. 1).
Here you need to give it a suitable name and choose a destination folder.

To use such a Preset, simply click “Load Preset” on the File menu (Fig. 1, below) and select your Preset.

Figure 1: the File menu

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In practice, the Preset may just be the starting point. Once loaded, minor changes may be made to the settings to suit that particular file or you may wish to fiddle, for example, by trying changes to the video and/or audio bitrates, frame size ('Resize') or Aspect Ratio, etc.

Section 2. Advanced Settings
The use of “Revert all Settings”, mentioned above, does NOT in fact revert ALL settings. This is fortunate, because there are some settings you would not want to change (revert). For example, under “Advanced Settings”:
I.Ignore build”, accessible via Overall > Generic (see Fig. 2), should be auto-set equal to the current build number. If a more recent build is available, a Popup window will announce this fact and ask if you would like it. To avoid this Popup, set the parameter at 9999.
II.Do not show welcome screen”, under “Overall > User interface. When MediaCoder is installed, this will be set equal to the build number if 'Skip this page at next start up' is selected on the Welcome screen. If its value is equal to or greater than the current build, the Welcome screen will not appear on a re-opening of MediaCoder. However, its value will be overwritten by a Preset if it contains a non-zero value! Hence, better to save the value '0' in a Preset, to keep the build number, or store the value '9999' (my preference).
III.Output folder”, under Overall > Task. This sets the destination for a conversion. The default is a blank entry, which will display as “Original folder”, i.e., the converted file will appear in the source folder.
If the default, blank entry is saved to a Preset (to get 'Original folder'), and is later loaded into MediaCoder, it will not overwrite a folder with a defined path, such as D:\ MediaCoder\Conversions\MPEG. On the other hand, a defined folder, when saved to a Preset, will overwrite any other value and is possibly the safest.

There are many settings that are changed to their defaults on “Revert all Settings”, which you may not want. For example, the state of the Preview window (defaults to 'Live Display' in early builds, to 'Embedded' in build 4720 and ‘Framed’ in 5300, etc), Parallelize and Priority, etc, on the Generic tab and Channels on the Sound tab (defaults to 'Stereo'). I now make special mention of two others because of their significance in general use:
IV.Show splash screen for …”, under Overall > User interface, which was available in builds prior to 4720. The default was 8 sec and could be set to zero. However, since then, the splash screen will appear for about 15 sec or until you click on it!
V.Tray icon configuration", under Overall > User interface. The default is 'Enable tray icon and minimise to tray' with the alternatives: Disable or Enable tray icon.

Section 3. Create your Preset
Hence, I suggest that the above parameters I to V be examined under Advanced Settings (Fig. 2, below) and changed as required. Do this before saving as a Preset. Rather than do this every time, I prefer to build them into a 'Starter Preset', created as follows:
Apply “Revert all Settings” followed by changes to the above 5 parameters, repeated here:
(a) “Ignore build” = 9999
(b) “Do not show welcome screen” = 0 or 9999 (see item II in Section 2)
(c) “Output folder” as required
(d) Not applicable since build 4720 (see item IV in Section 2)
(e) “Tray icon configuration” = Disable. This will force the icon/button for MediaCoder to remain in the Windows Taskbar whenever MediaCoder is open, even if minimised. This is a particular advantage in the Premium Edition.
(f) And any other advanced settings you may want for this Starter Preset.


All future Presets will then be created in 3 steps:
1. load the Starter Preset, with no need to revert settings,
2. set up the chosen specifics on the tabs, as well as under the 'Effects' or 'Encoder' buttons, etc.
3. File > Save as Preset

Figure 2: advanced settings, showing where to change the Audio Delay, if the setting on the Time tab fails

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Section 4. When Updating to a Newer Build
With the above parameters I to V built into a Preset, the next time a MediaCoder update is installed it will open the Welcome page in your browser. All you need do is check "Skip this page at next start up" and click 'Start MediaCoder' or Start Now', depending on the version. It will open with the new build number installed under Settings and all else correct. The loading of a Preset will then not change the build-number setting.

Occasionally, a MediaCoder build may have changes to its Settings or to its underlying utilities, such as FFmpeg, MEncoder and MPlayer, etc, that are not compatible with your existing Presets. For example, when I updated from Build 4526 to 4580 and then to 4596, the Presets I had created earlier gave the incorrect audio format for each Preset; and on updating from build 4755 to 4760, the Presets for Xvid in AVI and MKV failed, and I had to change the Video source from MEncoder to Bypass (see Note 11 in viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9643). So, it is necessary to check for this, correct if necessary and re-save the Preset, as described below. For more comment, see: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8521&start=0.

If you often set things up manually, and leave Presets to special tasks only, the changes in Settings that may occur in an upgrade may go unnoticed. So, if an encoding that had previously worked no longer does so, after an upgrade, simply load the Starter Preset and continue manually. This does more than just 'Revert All Settings' (see above).

Store the Tab Settings: as a precaution, I suggest you keep notes on the specific tab choices you have made for each Preset. For example, I keep my information in a form similar to that tabulated in the Encoding Guide at viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9643. Then, on trying out a new build, load a Preset and compare the resultant tab parameters with those in these notes.

Re-save Presets: If after an upgrade, it is necessary to modify Presets on comparing its resultant tab settings with those in your Notes (above), first load the existing Preset. This will effectively include the benefits of loading the Starter Preset, mentioned above. Then, correct the tab parameters to suit and File > Save as Preset.
Have you checked out the Tips & Guides for MediaCoder? Try: http://forum.mediacoderhq.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8061
Also, get older builds at: http://www.videohelp.com/tools/MediaCoder/old-versions#download

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