Video Conversion

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Introduction

I bought my Zune 80 primarily for it’s video playing capabilities (watching Video Podcasts and movie files), so I have spent a considerable amount of time researching this subject. Specifically, how to convert existing video files (e.g., avi, mpg, and vob files) for syncing and viewing on my Zune 80. Unfortunately, the Zune Software on your Desktop PC isn’t setup to easily process video files. There was a lot to learn, such as what video format to convert to, what video conversion tools are available, how to sync video files to my Zune, how to add description text and sort TV episodes to video files, etc.

So, instead of having a detailed guide describing the minute intricacies of video files for the Zune, I’m going to present a Quick Conversion Guide explaining how I create compatible WMV files for my Zune 80 device. Note, that there are lots of video converters available on the web (both freeware and shareware), but the method that I am works well for me and best of all everything I am using is absolutely free!

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The Goal : To create a high quality WMV video file that can be quickly synced to the Zune

If a WMV file isn’t formatted to precise specifications, the Zune Software will convert it during the syncing process. This conversion is called “transcoding” which can take several hours to complete for a single video file. In contrast, a properly formatted WMV file will take 30 to 60 seconds to sync with your device. So the primary goal is to use the correct settings during the conversion process to avoid transcoding during syncing. The secondary goal is to have the highest quality video image and audio sound while minimizing the file size. The higher the bit rate for the video and audio data the large the file size, so using optimum settings is the key.

Getting the right tools for the job

Zune.net (the official Microsoft Zune site) recommends using the Windows Media Encoder 9 (WME) software for creating compatible WMV files for playback on the Zune. This software is full featured with lots of options and controls for the conversion process, and best of all it is free! To make the conversion process easier, I use a front-end to the WME software called Windows Media Batch Encoder (also provided free by Microsoft in their “Windows Media Encoder SDK kit”) which allows me to process multiple video files at one time. So to summarize, below are the applications and files that you will need:

  1. Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9
  2. Microsoft Windows Media Encoder SDK
  3. Media Encoder Profile Settings (a .prx file that I created)

(Note: If your intent is to convert video data that is stored on video DVDs, you’ll also need to first “rip” the data files from DVD and copy them to your PC’s hard drive. The page called “Ripping DVDs” explains how to do this.)

After downloading the above software and files, first install the WME software followed by the WME SDK software.

Converting a Video File

I normally use the Media Batch Encoder interface, which can be found here on your Desktop PC:

C:\WMSDK\WMEncSDK9\samples\vb\batcher\BatchEncoder.exe

Once you start up the Batch Encoder application, you should see a screen as presented in the image below.

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  1. Drag all the video files that you want to convert to the file input area
  2. Define a prefix text for the output files (in my example, I used “Zune_”)
  3. Select the prx profile (which contains all the conversion settings) that you downloaded earlier (file called “zune_profile.prx”)
  4. If you want higher quality video, check the “2-Pass” option. It will take longer to convert, but you get a higher quality for the video (I always check it)
  5. Click the Add button to add this conversion to the batch list. You can continue to add as many files as you want to the batch list.
  6. When you’re ready to start the conversion, click the “Start” button

The time it takes to do the conversion will depend on the speed of your Desktop PC. I normally set up to batch process multiple video files and let it run overnight. Just make sure you have enough free disk space for the converted files.

Syncing Your Converted Video Files to Your Zune

Once you have your converted files, you can simply copy them to the video folder on your Desktop PC (which you’ve defined the Zune Software to monitor), and they should be synced to your Zune device when you make a connection. Since you used the conversion settings that I specified in the zune_profile.prx file, the WMV file will not under go “transcoding” during the syncing process.

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Now the Gritty Details

Here are some details on the conversion settings that I used. On the Zune.net web site, the support page states that the recommended settings for the WMV file to play on the Zune is:

  • Video Size: 320 by 240 pixels
  • Frame Rate: 30 fps
  • Video Bit Rate: 500k to 800k bps (Average value)
  • Audio Bit Rate: 192k bps (Max value), 44.1 kHz Stereo, CBR

For the zune_profile.prx file that I provided, I used the following settings:

  • Video Size: 320 by 240 pixels
  • Frame Rate: 30 fps
  • Video Bit Rate: 768k bps (Encoder: Windows Media Video 9)
  • Audio Bit Rate: 128k bps (Encoder: Windows Media Audio 9.2)

These settings were chosen so that I would have a good quality video for playing back on my Zune 80, while keeping the WMV file at a reasonable size. Although I could have chosen a video bit rate of 500k bps, I decided to go with 768k bps to avoid “video tearing” or obvious pixelation during high-motion scenes in the video. The audio bit rate affects the file size dramatically, so I decided to use 128k bps instead of the maximum 192k bps (the audio still sounds great). You can reduce the file size further if you lower the audio bit rate even further (to 64k or 96k bps).

The most important setting, is to use the Windows Media Video 9 encoder. If you use the Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile encoder, you’ll see that transcoding will take place during syncing (which could take hours to complete the sync). Note: If you use Windows Media Video 7 or 8 for the video encoder, your resultant WMV file will undergo transcoding during syncing! You must use Windows Media Video 9 for the video encoder to avoid this.

If you intend to connect your Zune to your TV and play back video files on the TV screen, you may want to change the video size to 640 x 480 or larger. You can make that change by double-clicking on the zune_profile.prx file to bring up the editor and make the size change. Altering the size should not affect transcoding.

I’ve summarized the very detailed specifications for video files playing on the Zune on my Zune Video Specs page. If you stay within the max limits defined on that page, your converted video file should avoid transcoding during syncing.

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Troubleshooting

The usual culprit when having problems converting videos, is either bad or missing codecs (Codecs are used to decode and encode video/audio data). If you’ve downloaded and installed lots of trial versions of various video converters, you’ve bound to have installed a bad or conflicting codec. The best thing to do in that case, is to remove all codecs that seem suspicious on your system (most notably, one called “K-Lite Codec”). You can do this using the usual “Remove Programs” method from your Windows Control Panel.

Also, missing audio in a converted video file can be attributed to not having a proper audio codec installed. For example, I didn’t have the AC3Filter codec installed on my system, so Windows Media Encoder couldn’t encode the audio from a VOB file that I ripped from a DVD to a WMV file. (Note: Most DVDs require the AC3Filter, so it’s a good idea to download and install it if you’re converting DVD videos).

Now, if you have trouble during the ripping or video conversion process, it might be that DVD Decrypter or DVDShrink just can’t process that particular DVD. In that case, you can try using DVDFAB HD Decrypter which is freeware. I believe the people that made DVD Decrypter make this product as well, and it has updated routines for processing the newer DVD formats. Note, that you may need to use a program called VOBMerge to merge the multiple VOB files that it rips from the DVD into a single VOB file for Windows Media Encoder to process. If none of those three DVD ripper applications work, you can also try using AnyDVD and CloneDVD which has more robust routines for processing DVDs. Both of these applications are commercial ware, but I think you can use the trial version for a certain number of days before having to purchase it.

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Final Comments

Now, this is a simple guide to help people convert their video files to WMV format for playback on the Zune devices using free tools. If done properly, you won’t experience any “transcoding” during the syncing process. Note, that there’s lots of other topics to cover regarding video files (e.g., adding description text, categorizing, sorting TV shows, etc.) that I will cover in detail with individual blog postings.

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Reference Links

Here are a few web pages that talk more about using the Windows Batch Encoder Utility:

Article Link 1
Article Link 2

If you want to read information on the profile settings for TV Output from your Zune, check out this link.

514 thoughts on “Video Conversion

  1. malcolm says:

    hi thanks for the advice. i have a 30 and it wouldn’t sync my videos. it sync one video when i first connected it. but now it won’t even sync that video. the same goes for my brother zune 4. but now i’m have trouble with the batch encoder. i followed all of your details. but i put I:\zune video Zune as the output folder, its a external hard drive. and when i start to encode it reads error: encoder prepare – ATT. what have i done wrong.

  2. zunetips says:

    First, what kind of video file are you trying to convert using the WME batch encoder? Is it a avi, wmv, mp4, or vob file? Second, can you play this video file (before conversion) on your Desktop PC?

    I suggest you first make sure your original video file plays on your Desktop PC, then try the conversion process (using WME), then try syncing the file to your Zune.

  3. burma says:

    Awesome guide – just what I was looking for. Thanks for posting it. 🙂

    Look forward to future posts.

  4. garyOBX says:

    I had the same exact error message. If the OP is running Vista, then WM Batch Encoder *must* be run as administrator (right click on file or shortcut). HTH

  5. Queen28 says:

    Hey I just purchased a Zune 30gb for my boyfriend as a anniversary gift and want to have movies and music already downloaded but I don’t know where to begin. Where can I find free downloadable movies? Pleae advise.

  6. zunetips says:

    Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any sites where you can download free movies (other than YouTube videos). Most people either rip movies from existing DVDs or record TV shows and movies using a TV Tuner card in their PC.

    I did come across one web site that I mention in a recent blog posting where you can purchase movies for the Zune at low cost. I haven’t tried it yet, but it does look legitimate.

  7. Scott Moss says:

    This is an awesome resource. Your directions were direct and worked the first time. Thx for sharing your findings

  8. Rod Trent says:

    Does this work for Amazon.com Unbox wmv’s?

  9. zunetips says:

    I’m glad you found this information useful. I tried to make this guide somewhat simple, but detailed enough to get the job done. The biggest problem you might run into is having the right Codecs installed. If WME bombs out or doesn’t work, then it’s probably a Codec issue. Since this is a big mystery topic, I’ll create a posting that describes Codecs a bit better and give everyone some suggested links to “good” Codecs to download.

  10. Rod Trent says:

    You really don’t have to use Amazon.com’s player. Both Windows Media Player and the Zune software will play the wmv’s downloaded from Amazon.com — yet it won’t transfer to the Zune device. More here:

    http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/rtrent/archive/2008/01/04/amazon-com-unbox-and-zune.aspx

  11. zunetips says:

    Rod,

    What happens when you try to convert the wmv file using the Windows Media Encoder software? Do you get an error message? Is there a sample unbox wmv file that I can download and test out?

    [Update]: I found the following on the zunescene.com forum:

    Per Wikipedia, Unbox only supports portable devices that support the PlaysForSure format, thereby excluding devices such as the iPod and Zune.

    I’ll check to see if there’s a way to convert from the PlaysForSure format to a conventional WMV format for the Zune.

  12. Rod Trent says:

    During your conversion steps it tells me that a license is required. Not sure where the license is stored for Unbox…definitely some sort of DRM issue.

  13. Rod Trent says:

    Wow…it indicates that you need to uninstall Windows Media Player and never perform updates on it afterwards. Not sure it’s worth all of that. Plus, I don’t want to do anything illegal. Just want my purchased movie to play on my Zune.

  14. zunetips says:

    Apparently, you can’t use that utility unless you have a legal license for watching the movie file (which you can only get if you buy the movie from Amazon.com). Since you have the license, you should be able to use the utility to remove the DRM. Their reasoning is that since you bought the video you should have “fair use” and be able to play it on other devices you own such as your Zune.

    I’m with you, in that I don’t want to do anything illegal (it’s just not worth it). Recording TV shows with a TV tuner card or DVD recorder is probably the safest way to go.

    In the meantime, I’d wait for Microsoft to update the Zune Marketplace so users can purchase movies that will play on the Zune. Another alternative that I found is a site called ZuneDVDMovies.com that does have movies for purchase that should work on the Zune. It appears legitimate, but I haven’t tested it yet.

  15. ceallachan says:

    i must be stupid or something, but how do i launch the application to convert the video file

  16. zunetips says:

    After you install all the noted software, using File Explorer go to this location on your PC:

    C:\WMSDK\WMEncSDK9\samples\vb\batcher\BatchEncoder.exe

    This is where the batch encoder executable is. Double click on this exe file to start the batch encoder. What I did, was right-click on it to create a shortcut icon, then copy the shortcut icon to my Desktop screen.

  17. ceallachan says:

    thanks i was trying to go to that location directly i had to go the folder back and then execute the file

  18. ceallachan says:

    when i try to do some of the files i ripped from dvd it tells me

    system.overflowException: Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow at BatchEncode.Form_BatchEncode.sReportPercentComplete()

    what the hell do i do?

  19. zunetips says:

    How did you rip the DVD? Did you use DVDShrink or DVD Decrypter? If you change the ripped file’s extension from .VOB to .MPG, can you play it using Windows Media Player?

  20. ceallachan says:

    wow i just did the change from .vob to .mpg it played it, that was awesome thanks for that

  21. Jeff Rivera says:

    I’ve got my Zune coming today and I’m reading up on stuff so I can be ready when it shows up. Thanks for the tips! The posts here are going to be pretty much my personal reference guide for the coming days until I get this figured out.

  22. zunetips says:

    Jeff,

    I hope my postings will help. I was a bit overwhelmed at first since the Zune comes with very little documentation, so I started this blog to summarize my findings for others. Video conversion is the most asked question on the different forums, so I tried to explain my procedure in simplified terms as it seems to work well.

    I’m sure you’ll love your Zune. Good luck with it, and have fun!

  23. xc_shadows says:

    quick question when i try to use the batch encoder on a dvd i ripped i only get 1hr 7min out of it and it’s 1hr and 44 min long, what’s up with that?

  24. Brandin says:

    Okay, first off, I would like to say I am very impressed with your site. A lot of very useful and seems hard to find information about the Zune. Second, I have a problem. I just received a 30 gig Zune for a christmas present. I was using Cucusoft to convert my .avi movie files into wmv. Well, after about 10 minutes it started skipping. So I looked around and found your guide. I believe I followed every instruction correctly, but the video won’t work. There is nothing there lol. You press play, and it just sits there, blank screened. Any ideas?

  25. zunetips says:

    xc_shadows,

    How many VOB files are you selecting from the DVD? In most cases, movies on DVDs are broken up into several VOB files, so your 1hr and 44 min movie might be contained in two or more VOB files. Did you rip all of the necessary VOB files off the DVD into a single VOB file on your PC’s hard drive? Then, use WME to process that single VOB file?

  26. zunetips says:

    Brandin,

    I suspect that the DVD you are trying to rip from may have a protection scheme in place to prevent ripping. Is it a movie by Sony Pictures? I’ve heard their protection scheme causes skipping when ripping to a PC.

    There’s lots of reason why WME may not have created a viewable video from the ripped VOB file. First, check the file size of the WMV file you created. Is it about 300 or 400 MB in size? Or, is it smaller than 100 MB? If so, then most likely the conversion process failed for some reason.

    Second, you may not have the proper video codecs installed on your system for WME to decode the video from the DVD. In that case, WME has nothing to process. Try this: Take the VOB file that you’ve ripped off the DVD on your hard drive, and rename the extension from .VOB to .MPG and see if you can play it in Windows Media Player. If you can’t, then you’re missing a codec.

    Also, download the program called GSpot (Google it) and run it on the VOB file you ripped to help identify the required video and audio codecs. It will also tell you if the codecs are installed or not on your system.

    Finally, if you have a 2nd computer available, try using WME on that machine. If it’s a video codec issue, the 2nd computer might have them loaded already.

  27. Brandin says:

    Okay, I went back and changed some things. And it seems that for some reason when i select the Two Pass Encoding, it doesn’t work right. It ends up being only like a 5 mb file. But if I don’t select it, it works fine.

  28. xc_shadows says:

    i changed the .vob to .mpeg and played it to see how long it played, and i tried to convert the one that actually played the whole movie………or should i select all the vobs

  29. zunetips says:

    xc_shadows,

    You only need to convert the VOB file that contains the entire movie. I was thinking that the missing part of your converted movie may have been contained on a separate VOB file, but from what you’re saying the entire movie is contained on a single VOB file.

    I’m not sure why you’re not getting the entire movie converted. How big is the WMV file that is currently being generated?

  30. boobiemiles6 says:

    i can not get the media profile to download the .prx file. i go to the site but there is no download button that i can find

  31. zunetips says:

    boobiemiles6,

    When you click on the link for the .prx file, you should be directed to a free fileserver page that has a big green button labeled “Free Download” about half way down the page.

  32. combatnormal says:

    I got the video finally into my Zune, but the video is green and has no sound. I followed your directions to the T. How can I fix this? The DVD shrink works and I can play the videos fine on WMPlayer. It just goes green when I use the WMBEncoder to change the file.

  33. zunetips says:

    combatnormal,

    That’s really strange. I’ve never experience the “green screen” issue before, but I’ve read about it in some postings. How about this: Can you Google “WM Converter 2” and download/install that converter. Then, try to convert your ripped VOB file and see if it produces a WMV file that has a green screen? Make sure you select “Zune” when you do the converting.

  34. TG says:

    Hi!

    I have followed the methods you described, after converting a 21mins video (xvid-avi format) into wmv format, I realised the first 5 mins of video is missing. I tried to convert other file but experience the same issue. Any idea what should i do?

    Thanks

  35. zunetips says:

    TG,

    I haven’t had that issue. Can you play your original video in windows media player on your PC just fine? What happens if you turn OFF the 2-pass encoding option in WME?

  36. TG says:

    Hi, It works perfectly fine when I turned off the 2-pass encoding option. Thanks for your help!

  37. Mark B says:

    hey your site is great im trying to use batch encoder right now but when i start it up it says i need one or more codecs and it also says “Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.”

    when i rip the dvd with DVD shrink is it supposed to make 3 types of files? i have an IFO file, a BUP file and a VOB file. is that normal?

    hopefully you can help. thanks

  38. JP says:

    Any idea why I get this error:
    Error: Encoder Prepare-Attempted to read or write protected memory. I used DVD Encrypter and the file plays great on the PC with WMP9.

    Thanks.

  39. Adam says:

    First off, nice job on this site! I really appreciate what you’re doing here.

    Have you ever tried to use WME for dvr-ms files (recorded TV from Windows Media Center)? I get the following error “one or more codecs required to open this content could not be found (0xC00D1B83)”.

    I can use Windows Movie Maker to convert dvr-ms files to wmv, but the encoding/bitrate settings are so limited that I end up with wmv files that are too large and require transcoding at sync.

    I have been successfully using DVD Decryptor and WME for DVDs though

    Thanks,

    Adam

  40. zunetips says:

    Adam,

    I’m not sure about DVR-MS files, as I’ve never converted that format before. What is the file extension for those files? Either WME doesn’t have the ability to translates such files, or you simply need to have the right codec installed on your system. If you run the freeware program called GSpot and use it to examine this video file, what does it show for the video and audio codecs? Does it indicate that they are installed on your system?

  41. zunetips says:

    JP,

    Can you use WMP9 to view the ripped contents of the DVD (not the DVD directly)? I’m guessing it’s a DVD protection scheme that is causing that error. How about using DVDShrink to rip the VOB files from the DVD and create a single VOB on your system?

    Also, try turning OFF the 2-pass encoding and see if that helps the conversion process.

  42. zunetips says:

    Mark B,

    Try using some of the comments that I just made to Adam’s posting. I do think this is probably a protection scheme issue.

    Yes, DVDShrink will create those additional files (the are necessary for the DVD to play in a DVD player), but you only need the VOB file for the conversion. Note, that the VOB file is actually in MPEG format, so you could rename it to MPEG and it should play in Windows Media Player.

  43. Adam says:

    The extension is dvr-ms. I figured I have the codecs since the files play and since I can convert them with Windows Movie Maker. I did try GSpot, and confirmed that I have the necessary codecs. I think dvr-ms is just a container for standard Windows encoding formats. I think WME is just having a problem recognizing the files…which is strange given that dvr-ms is a standard Microsoft format.

  44. JP says:

    Yes I can view the movie in WMP9 after ripping. I tried unchecking the 2-pass recording but that didn’t help. I also downloaded the Shrink product and ripped one with it. Got the same error message afterwards. One positive thing though- I like DVD Shrink much better as it is faster than the other product!

  45. zunetips says:

    JP,

    Can you try using WM Converter 2 and see if that program can convert your VOB file? I believe it’s based on the ffmpeg encoding software, so it might process the VOB file when WME can’t. Just curious to see if that tool will work.

  46. JP says:

    OK it will convert using WM Converter 2. Does that offer any clues?

  47. zunetips says:

    Adam,

    With regards to the conversion of dvr-ms files, I came across a forum posting that said this: “If you are recording them yourself via Windows Media Center then try one of the MCE plug-ins like dCut. That’s what I use… go directly from DVR-MS to Zune-optimized wmv.”

    You might check that out, as it sounds like exactly what you need.

  48. combatnormal says:

    Thanks that WM Converter 2 worked. I just had to change the file extension. Thanks

  49. zunetips says:

    You are right. WM Converter 2 will create an ASF file, which is a basic “container” for the video content. You just need to rename the ASF extension to WMV and you’re good to go. I’m not sure why Windows Media Encoder was giving you the green screen… it must be the video codec that it is using.

  50. JP says:

    Re the “attempted to read or write protected memory” error I was getting on my PC, this all worked exactly as you said it should on my wife’s HP computer!

  51. Adam says:

    Thanks for the tip – I’ll check it out.

    Adam

  52. zunetips says:

    JP,

    So the procedure I outlined on my blog page worked for your wife’s computer, but not for your computer using WME? If so, then the problem is the video or audio codec installed on your PC. As I stated in my blog, having the wrong or conflicting codecs installed can cause conversion problems. What’s even harder, if figuring out how to fix the situation.

  53. Erik says:

    After I choose my input (AVI) and output (WMV) files on my Windows Media Encoder series 9 … I get this message: Select a distribution method.. The method you select will determines the encoding settings that are available in this session and these are my options: File download (computer playback)
    Hardware devices (CD, DVD, portable)
    Windows Media server (streaming)
    Web server (progresive download)
    Windows Media hardware profiles
    Pocket PC
    File archive I dont know which one to choose please help

  54. zunetips says:

    Erik,

    To make things easier to use, I suggest you download the Windows Media Encoder SDK (which was item (2) on my download list) and install it. I reference a free program that has a simple GUI to use (which I explained in the tutorial) which makes it very easy to use the profile that I’ve provided.

  55. Yipcanjo says:

    So… I ripped a DVD so that I have a collection of VOB files. In this case, there are about 6 VOB files that make up the full movie. No bother. I used VOB merge to create a single VOB file of the whole movie. I changed the file extension to .mpg and could watch the movie in Windows Media Player. Everything seems fine!

    Anyhow, I launched the Batch Encoder, selected the MPG file, loaded the Zune profile that you provided, and converted the movie. It finished fine with no errors, but I get no audio. I have installed the AC3Filter.

    Any ideas? The movie is Ratatouille, if that means anything.

    Thanks.

  56. zunetips says:

    Yipcanjo,

    Try using WM Converter 2 to convert the mpg file you have to a wmv file (note, you’ll need to change the extension of the created file from .asf to .wmv). Then, try to play that wmv file on your PC. If it works, then the issue is definitely an audio codec that WME doesn’t seem to have.

    [Update]: Here’s a link to a forum posting describing how one person was also having trouble converting the Rattoullie movie, and how he resolve the issue. You might try his solution.

  57. jair says:

    thanx for all the help. but i still have one problem. i cant find a way to convert multiple files. i already downloade the files that you mentioned but the batch part is not working. wher can i find it, or what do i need to do so i dont have to convert every single file by itself???

  58. zunetips says:

    What happens when you try to use the batch utility as I’ve described on this page? Do you get an error message? Have you installed the WME SDK?

  59. Erik says:

    im having problems with the audio matching the video when converted to wmv…. I uninstalled the k-lite codec,, what codec do you suggest? please help ..and thank you for all this great info

  60. zunetips says:

    Is the audio and video out of sync by a few seconds? Where did you get the file you’re trying to convert? From a DVD or did you download it from somewhere?

  61. Erik says:

    downloaded from torrent

  62. Erik says:

    though plays perfect on windows media player

  63. zunetips says:

    Is the audio and video out of sync by a few seconds? What kind of file is it (i.e., AVI, MPEG, etc.)?

  64. JP says:

    Thanks for the link to VOBMerge and your guide! It’s great!

  65. Erik says:

    its avi

  66. Erik says:

    and no its not out of sync

  67. zunetips says:

    Erik,

    I’m confused now. I thought you wrote, “im having problems with the audio matching the video when converted to wmv”, and I thought that meant the audio was our of of sync with the video. If not, what exactly is the issue when you try to use WME to convert the AVI to WMV format?

  68. Erik says:

    the issue is that it plays perfectly on windows media and when converted with your instructions and the media batch… the sound does not match the video on my zune

  69. Erik says:

    is this a codec problem

  70. Erik says:

    and the audio is totally out of sync with the video

  71. zunetips says:

    Ok, so there is audio in the WMV file, but it’s out of sync with the video, correct? Is it out of sync by two or three seconds, or is it totally not in sync?

    Can you try using WM Converter 2 to convert the VOB file to a wmv file and see how well it plays in Windows media player? If using WM Converter 2 the wmv file looks good, then it must be a codec problem for WME that needs to be fixed.

  72. Erik says:

    It appears to be a codec problem…. I tried the wm 2 converter and get the same results.. It looks good on wm2 converter.. What codec do you suggest? Can the problem be with the file I downloaded? I dont see why it plays normal on all my players ( wm and nero) but has an audio problem when I converted… I just tried to convert like three videos and on my zune the video starts like way ahead of the audio.. The audio starts from the begining but the video starts like half an hour ahead. Only one of my converted videos were perfectly synced in which I individually converted last night.

  73. zunetips says:

    Your video players on the PC may be using it’s own internal video/audio codecs, and that is why it plays ok. Use the program called “GSpot” to identify the exact video and audio codec for the troublesome AVI file you are trying to convert. Then, search the Internet for those particular codecs, download and install them on your PC, reboot, and try WME again.

    Also, if you have a different PC available, try using WME on that machine to do the conversion (if it works, then that tells me that you have conflicting codecs on your 1st PC).

  74. Erik says:

    Thank you for all your support,,, I really appreciate it,,, everything worked out

  75. zunetips says:

    Erik,

    So how did you resolve the issue you were having?

  76. Squad says:

    Hi,

    I read the instructions you perfectly wrote in the post, and everything worked fine: videos were encoded, and sync with zune. The thing is that a 9min video is shorten to 1min and sthg; the same happens with all the other videos (one of them is just a second long) I dont know what I´m doing wrong… The videos were downloaded from youtube…

  77. zunetips says:

    What format was the YouTube video? If you use the program “GSpot” to examine the YouTube Video, what does it show for the video and audio codec?

  78. Squad says:

    Initially the videos were .flv. Then, I converted them into .wmv with Media Converter, in order to watch it with windows media player. After enconded them, the videos has these features: Format: windows media; Bitrate: 280Knps; Video Codec: S-Mpeg 4 v3; Audio Codec: WMA2…

  79. JD says:

    Thank you for this guide, this is the best zune conversion guide I’ve seen yet. This gives the best quality and the best price (free) of any guide I found.

    The only thing is, I’m having the same problem as many others mentioned, being unable to do two passes, it seems to only want to do about 40% of the video on the second pass, and I do not know why. I’ve checked MS but information on Windows Media Batch Encoder seems to be pretty limited.

    Windows Media has a forum on the MS site, but it’s been down all day, so I’m waiting for it to come up, so I can check any information there might be on there.

  80. zunetips says:

    The encoded video file needs to have the following properties:

    Video Codec: Windows Media Video 9
    Audio Codec: Windows Media Audio 9.x

  81. zunetips says:

    JD,

    I’m not sure why people are having trouble using the two-pass encoding option. The creator of the batch utility has a web blog here: http://blog.retrosight.com/default,date,2007-02-16.aspx but he doesn’t say anything on the two-pass issue. I’ll look around and see if I can find an answer.

  82. Spartacus says:

    Great blog!

    Quick question. I’m using DVD Shrink 3.1 to rip my DVDs. I followed your steps where you say to save as 1 VOB file (instead of the 1GIG increments it suggests for you).

    But say the video is 2 hours long. The file I get out of DVD Shrink ends up only being 1.23 hours? I originally tthough this was happening when it came out of the Encoder, but I went back to check the original file from DVD Shrink and that’s when I found it was happening there. I’ve tried it on several of my DVDs and I keep seeing this reduced size.

    Any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

    Thanks again!

  83. zunetips says:

    Are you sure you selected all the VOB files for the movie? Maybe you’re missing a few of the VOB files near the end? Another issue might be that DVDShrink can’t get around the DVD’s encryption. You might try DVDFab HD Decrypter (free version) to rip the VOB file.

  84. Spartacus says:

    Yeah, I shrunk it into 1 big VOB (6 GIG) instead of the 4-5 1gig files that I normally put it in. So it is only the one VOB file that I am sending through the Encoder.

    Of course in the past I’ve only worked with the the Video/Audio TS folders that DVD Shrink creates. I’ve created these off of the same DVDs and never had a problem. That’s why I’m wondering why, now that I’m putting them into one VOB, I’m missing parts? I’ve always had great success with DVD Shrink. I guess I will try the DVDFab HD Decrypter. I’m not familiar with it . . . any suggestions on where to get it?

    Thanks.

  85. zunetips says:

    Look up in the troubleshooting section on this page for the link to DVDFab HD Decrypter, and give that one a try. You can also try using the program WM Converter 2 to convert this single VOB file and see if it creates the entire movie. I had a problem recently like this, and I tried everything without success. I ended up converting the movie in two halves, and recombining it using Windows Movie Maker. It was the only way I could convert the entire movie.

  86. Alberto says:

    First off, amazing site, I’ve learned tons about the Zune from here. I think that what you are doing for the community is awesome!

    I have the same problem that Marcus, the first person to reply, had. I get an error message reading: “error – encoder prepare ATT”. I was wondering if you knew what that is about? I followed your instructions to a T, so I do not know what is happening. Gary said to right click>run as administrator on the file if Vista was the OS I’m using. Tried that, but I still get the same error. I was wondering if you would be able to help me. I have a pretty huge amount of movies on my computer and this is driving me crazy!

  87. zunetips says:

    FIrst, can you try converting one of your movies on a different computer system? Second, can you use the program called “GSpot” and have it query your test movie file, and report back what it shows for the Video and Audio codecs?

  88. Tony says:

    Hey, first of all, great site, its people like you who are keeping a bunch of us from losing our minds. Quick, and possibly stupid question, how do I rename an .asf file to a .wmv?

  89. zunetips says:

    Tony,

    Just like you would rename any file in Windows. Using File Explorer, click on the file you want to rename, when it is highlighted click on it again, then highlight the “asf” part and type in “wmv” to rename it.

  90. mados123 says:

    Regarding renaming files asf to wmv:

    To be able to see the extension that needs to be changed, you have to make sure the option under File Explorer is unchecked that will “hide extension for known file types”. It’s under tools, options, view, “hide extension….”

    BTW, zunetips, excellent weblog!

  91. zunetips says:

    Very good point. I didn’t think that the extension would be hidden in File Explorer.

  92. Anthony says:

    When i use Windows Media Branch Encoder, i add the video i want to encode. My output folder is my shared folder with all my other videos and music. I put my string as “Zune”. For profile, i have the “zune profile.prx” thing i downloaded from your list. Preprocessing is standard. I enable 2 pass encoding. When i encode it, it always comes out as like 10kb and the duration is 0:00:00. Why does it do this?

  93. Anthony says:

    ok now i’m under the impression that i can only encode wmv videos. Say i have an mp4 video. Where should i convert that to wmv, since i can’t encode that?

  94. zunetips says:

    Anthony,

    What is the format of the video files you are trying to convert? Are they AVI, or MPEG2? If you use the GSpot program, what are the video and audio codecs for these files?
    Yes, WME won’t encode MP4 files. You’ll need to use a different program to create WMV files. I would suggest trying WM Converter 2 to do the conversion to WMV format. It will generate a ASF file,which you can simply rename to WMV. The only issue, is that the WMV file created by WM Converter 2 uses an older video Codec so the Zune software will transcode it when syncing to your Zune. I would then suggest using WME to convert the WMV file to a new WMV file with the zune_profile.prx settings.

  95. Anthony says:

    alright thank you

  96. Anthony says:

    ok i converted a movie to wmv. now im encoding it. is this going to take as long as the movie to play all the way through?

  97. zunetips says:

    The conversion speed depends on your computer CPU speed, but in general it might take about as long as the movie would play. If you selected two-pass encoding, it could take twice as long.

  98. Anthony says:

    what does 2 pass do anyway?

  99. zunetips says:

    The two-pass encoding is used to create higher quality video conversion. The first pass will examine the entire video file and make adjustments to certain setting values. The second pass will do the actual encoding. I normally queue up all my video files using WME (as I showed on this tutorial page) and let it go overnight with the two-pass encoding.

  100. Anthony says:

    when i do 2pass, at the bottom there are dots that pop up in a row, like its loading. a status bar, and it probably means its encoding. but the preview is stuck, even though i have “show” checked. why is this? and one of the movies, when i only do 1 pass, it stops at %1.

  101. zunetips says:

    It could be a lot of things. One, your DVD might use a protection scheme that the DVD ripper software couldn’t get around. In that case, you should try using DVDFab HD Decrypter (freeware) to rip the movie VOB files to your PC. If you’re converting an existing video file, it might be that the video codec used for that file is missing from your PC, or you might have a “bad” codec or one that simply doesn’t work very well. That is why you should use the program called “GSpot” to open your video file and examine what video and audio codec to see what was used for that file.

    Try these two things:

    (1) Try Windows Media Encoder and don’t activate the two-pass encoding option. See what it does.
    (2) Try using Windows Media Encoder on a different computer and see if that works.
    (3) Try using the program “WM Converter 2” (freeware) to convert your video file and see if that works.

    All of the above will help identify why the video conversion is not working. Make sure you use the GSpot program and report back what the video and audio codecs are.

  102. Anthony says:

    size: 857 mb
    stat: file is asf (.wma/.wmv)

    type: wideo/x-ms-asf
    imrr: n.a.
    i/l: n.a.

    video
    4cc: n.a.
    name: n.a.
    runtime: n.a.
    x:y: n.a.
    the rest is n.a. until the “direct show render”
    video src type: wmv2
    audio src: mpeglayer3 (mp3) (0x0055)
    video path: (s) –> wmvideo 8 decoder dmo –> (r)
    audio path: (s) –> mpeg layer-3 decoder –> (r)

  103. zunetips says:

    Anthony,

    Is the video file you presented above for the video file you are trying to convert, or the one you already converted using WME?

  104. Anthony says:

    i used magic video converter on that, to make it wmv from avi. then it just gets stuck encoding or something

  105. zunetips says:

    If you’re having issues using Magic Video Converter for creating WMV files, then I can’t help you with that. I’ve only used Windows Media Encoder 9 (as I’ve discussed on this page), and I know nothing about how that particular converter works.

  106. Giuliano says:

    Awsome blog.

    Question, the converter is converting the video upside down and in the wrong direction, what do I do?

  107. zunetips says:

    Wow, I’ve never heard of that one before. Are you trying to convert a file ripped from a DVD, or a video file you downloaded? If so, what are the attributes of the video file? You can use GSpot to determine the video and audio codec used in the original file.

  108. Giuliano says:

    video files i downloaded

    video: XVID (XviD 1.2 SMP), MPG-4

    audio: 0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3

    another one,

    video:DX50 (DivX 5.x/6.x). MPG-4

    audio:0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3

  109. zunetips says:

    I’ve converted DX50 (DivX 5.x/6.x) files recently using WME and they came out fine. Can you try converting on a different computer as a test? I suspect that the problem may be either the DivX codec or the WMV codec installed on your system. Do you remember where you downloaded the DivX codec for your system?

  110. harry says:

    You said that, “If you intend to connect your Zune to your TV and play back video files on the TV screen, you may want to change the video size to 640 x 480 or larger. You can make that change by double-clicking on the zune_profile.prx file to bring up the editor and make the size change. Altering the size should not affect transcoding.” I did change it to 640 x 480 and, yikes, it had to be transcoded by the Zune software before it would load it onto my Zune. It was an .avi .

  111. zunetips says:

    Harry,

    So, if you double-click on the zune_profile.prx file and then set the resolution to 320×240, does the generated wmv file require transcoding?

  112. Carmen says:

    ok i have no clue what to do, my movies are in rmvb, they look good, i can play them in wmplayer! and everything, i bought the license to convert them with WinAvi, to Wmv! and even they are in Wmv still i cant put them in my Zune! they are in my collection, i can play the converted files in my zune collection, but i just cant sync them….i used the same settings to convert, and still cant….please, gime me an advice, thanks

  113. zunetips says:

    Carmen,

    If you go to my “Determining Video Attributes” Page and use the GSpot program, what are the video and audio codec settings?

  114. harry says:

    No, the file doesn’t go through the zune transcoding when it is set at 320 by 240. In fact, I set it back to your default profile in order to avoid it. No biggie. Just thought you might want to edit this guide.

  115. William says:

    Thanks for this awesome tutorial! I went through the steps last night and created my first file. However, I noticed that there is a watermark that looks like little building blocks in the upper right hand corner of the movie. Is this part of the encoding or did something go nuts during the encoding process?

  116. zunetips says:

    William,

    The tools that I mentioned on this page shouldn’t create a watermark image. Did you rip the video data from a DVD (if so, what ripper software did you use)? Or, are you converting an existing video file?

  117. William says:

    It was the DVD Saving Private Ryan and I used DVD Decrypter. The DVD Decrypter rip is fine…there is no watermark. It’s after the encoding via the WM encoder that I get the watermark.

  118. zunetips says:

    After you decrypt the DVD to a single VOB file on your desktop pc, try renaming it from VOB to MPG and play it using Windows Media Player. Does it play ok without the watermark?

    Are you using the .prx profile that I provided for download? Also, what happens if you use the program WM Converter 2 to do the conversion?

  119. Uhlisuh says:

    Okay. So. I’ve gathered that I am missing codecs. And I downloaded the GSpot and it confirmed that.

    How do I know what I am missing?
    How do I fix it?

  120. zunetips says:

    Uhlisuh,

    GSpot should tell you what video and audio codec you need to decode a selected video file. Once you find out what the codec is, you will need to search the internet for a free one to download on your system.

    I suggest you check out http://www.afreecodec.com and http://www.free-codecs.com for possible codecs. Suggestion: If you download one of their codec packs, don’t install all the codecs. Only install the one that you need for your video file.

  121. rustycage24 says:

    I’ve had codec trouble with using the SDK, but when I use Windows Media Encoder 9 it blows up when I try to add your zune_profile.prx or any profile at that. Have you experienced WME blowing up like this? What should I do?

  122. zunetips says:

    rustycage24: What video codec was used to encode the video file you are trying to convert?

  123. Cobra says:

    First of all thanx for the great tips……….I followed your guide but seem to be having a “time-out” issue!! Please see below for the problem I am having.

    I get the DVD ripped no problem, and convert it using the Windows Media Encoder. It seems as it will not convert the whole movie, almost like it times out before the movie is finished. I watched and it has gone to like 115% finished, and then stops. It’s like I said it almost times out. I get a good file and can sync it to my Zune no problem.

    I know the VOB file is good, and that the whole movie is there, as I can play it on numerous playback programs on my computer and even did on another to make sure it was good. I have not changed any settings in the profile you provide, nor has anything on my system changed. Any Ideas???

  124. zunetips says:

    Cobra: Does this happen with just one particular DVD, or with other DVDs that you own as well? I had this problem with one specific DVD (where it wouldn’t convert the entire VOB file), and the only solution I could come up with is convert the video in separate VOB files, then take the resultant WMV files and combine them using Windows Movie Maker (on my Vista machine). I’m not sure why this is happening, but I can only suspect that it may have something to do with the protection scheme.

    What happens if you use the program called “WM Converter 2” to do the conversion for the single VOB file? Does it convert the entire movie?

  125. Cobra says:

    Hi, Actually it has happened with several different movies, older ones and newer ones. I will try making seperate files and combining them. After doing the combining do I then still run it through media encoder?? Thanx for the answers……..

  126. zunetips says:

    Cobra: Windows Movie Maker is designed to take several WMV files and combine them into one. If you use the same video settings for all the WMV files, it shouldn’t need to reconvert the files.

  127. Cobra says:

    Hi, I used dvdfab to rip, used vobmerge to create 1 file, and then tried to use WM Converter 2 which it converted the movie into an .ASF I then renamed it to .WMV but could not even get it to sync with my Zune. I could get the video to play but could not “seek” into it to see what exactly was converted because the file size only eneded up being like 160mb……….I even redownloaded your profile and tried everything over again. Same thing will not encode whole movie. I will give up on the particular movie I have been trying and move to a different one. I have XP and it does have movie maker but it told me that the .VOB files are not supported…..Did I do something wrong? Anyway thanx again for all the help and I will see if I can process a different movie. The movie I am trying is an older one……so I do not think it has to do with copy protection at all. I appreciate your comments.

  128. zunetips says:

    Cobra: It may be that the single VOB file you are trying to convert is too large. Is it over 2 hours in length? Most of my videos are under 1 hour, 45 mins and I can convert them with no problems.

    The WM Converter 2 asf file uses an older video codec, and your Zune Software will transcode it when you sync it to your Zune device (which could take 2-3 hours to complete). I asked you to try that converter just to see if the entire movie could be converted successfully.

    I would try to convert individual VOB files to WMV files, and find a program to combine the WMV files into a single one. That’s what I did using Windows Movie Maker.

  129. Giuliano says:

    Hi i posted a little while ago about my problem with the videos converting upside down and in the wrong direction. I just fixed it, i needed the xvid codec from the free codec website you posted a couple of posts up. Thx.

  130. rustycage24 says:

    It was the MPEG2 codec. I got it all working the other night, finally, but I noticed that each video I converted had a rubik’s cube-like emblem in the top right hand corner of the screen. Is that a BatchEncoder thing or a codec thing? Also, I used your profile for encoding but noticed a little bit of blocking. Have you found a way to totally remove blocking? The picture was awesome, but I’m a perfectionist, so 🙂

  131. Victor says:

    hey man!

    Your prx file works as well on zune first gen 30G?

    if changing 320X240 to 640 x 480 doesn’t cause transcode to happen… this means that both sizes look the same on the zune’s screen?

    Any tip for increasing conversion speed? obviously, i don’t want that transcoding to happen. thnx

  132. Victor says:

    U said:

    “…Although I could have chosen a video bit rate of 500k bps, I decided to go with 768k bps to avoid “video tearing” or obvious pixelation during high-motion scenes in the video…”

    If i set arbitrarily a bitrate between 500 – 800, and i respect the rest of the settings u suggested, zune software won’t transcode the video?

  133. zunetips says:

    rustycage24: The BatchEncoder does not put that small cube icon on the screen during encoding, so it isn’t creating it. I’m not sure where it’s coming from (unless it’s something with the protection scheme of the DVD). To eliminate video tearing or pixelation, you can experiment by increasing the video bit rate. I normally use 700kb, but you can go higher if you want (if you go too high, the Zune Software may transcode the file during syncing).

  134. zunetips says:

    Victor: The Zune Video Specs page describes the limits for the Zune video files to avoid transcoding. If you stay within those limits, I think you should be safe.

    The prx file that I supply should work fine for creating videos for the 1st and 2nd gen Zunes.

  135. Faith says:

    Hello, I just got my 30gb Zune and I’m discovering the ways to put video in it. It’s been a little frustrating, since I could instantly add almost any type of video to my Creative Zen Vision:M and if it wouldn’t accept it, it would encode it itself and then add it automatically. It also had a folder feature too. Zune would be perfect with these features. But, I am happy with my Zune and its larger screen and smoother functionality.
    Now, I don’t know if you know about Videora. I read about this way of encoding videos to mp4 (aka iPod format) format and then letting the Zune software transcode it. I was wondering if that process was faster than yours. It seemed like Videora enconded it faster than WMBE. Does anyone know which method is faster?

  136. zunetips says:

    Faith: The Zune 30 requires WMV files, so the MP4 files produced by Videora will require transcoding when you sync to your Zune. You always want to avoid transcoding, since it could take a few hours to complete. Creating WMV files directly using Windows Media Encoder is the more efficient (and faster) way, in my opinion.

  137. rustycage24 says:

    I downloaded some videos from stage6 and I am trying to convert them to wmv from divx. I’m not getting an error message, but it takes like a second to encode the file and the file contains nothing when it’s done. It’s about 8k when it does this. Any suggestions?

  138. cohoman says:

    Can you play the divx file on your PC? You might be missing some necessary video codec.

  139. rustycage24 says:

    yes I can play the divx file. I can even switch the extension to .avi or .wmv and it still plays.

  140. zunetips says:

    rustycage24: I actually had some problems converting a few stage6.com files to WMV format, but the majority of divx files converted with no problems. I’m not sure why you’re having issues. How many divx files are you having problems with? All of them?

  141. rustycage24 says:

    I only tried a few. Nothing less than 50mb.

  142. zunetips says:

    rustycage24: Are you using the Windows Media Batch Encoder (as I described on this blog page)?

  143. rustycage24 says:

    yes

  144. A Turtle says:

    Ok, well this seems helpful, but I’m stuck. My friend uploaded his movie from his ipod to my computer. It is a .mp4. I tried converting it to WMV using the steps you have provided, but ran into the same error that the first post said. Do you know what to do?

  145. bimmer says:

    I have an 80G and have been trying to get movies converted as you have described. Batch encoder keeps saying “error: encoder prepare- ClassFactory cannot supply requested class”. I have tried using just encoder 9 with your profile and it converts the 6Gb vob to a 14 – 29mb file which is about a 4 min clip of different sections of the movie. Gspot says the codecs are there and there are no issues. I have uninstalled and re-installed everything plus installed the .Net Framework (not sure how that works and don’t know if I have everything I need there) But still get the above error. The movie plays on WMPlayer. Any clue?

  146. zunetips says:

    Bimmer: I’m assuming you ripped the VOB file from a DVD. I would guess that the VOB file has some protection scheme that the DVD ripper software you used couldn’t defeat. You could try using a different DVD ripper.

    Can you try using WM Converter 2 to see if that can convert your VOB file? Also, try MediaCoder to see if that works. If both of those converters work then there must be a problem with WME9.

  147. A Turtle says:

    Bimmer that is the error I get when I try to make my mp4’s convert into wmv following this guide. I just started converting my AVI files and they seem to be working.
    Does this not have a timer thing?
    And Mr. Zunetips do you have any clue why taking an mp4 to a wmv would be a problem?

  148. zunetips says:

    A Turtle: You can call me Dave (Mr. Zunetips is my father) 🙂

    Unfortunately, WME can’t convert MP4 files. Only WMV, AVI, and MPEG (VOB) files. You’ll need to find another converter which can convert to MPEG2 format, then you can use WME (a real round about way to get a WMV file).

  149. A Turtle says:

    Ok, thank you.

  150. bimmer says:

    Yes it was a DVD and I used DVDShrink. I’ll try the other converters and also rip another DVD. What do you know about this .NET Framework as far as which versions batch encoder needs to run? This is all new for me. Thanks

  151. zunetips says:

    bimmer: I’m running WM Batch Encoder on my Vista system, and I don’t remember having to install any special .NET Framework files. The Batch Utility is written in Visual Basic, and you’re running the compiled version (so you don’t need VB). Note, that you need to have Windows Media Encoder 9 installed as well as the WME SDK files (where the batch encoder is located).

  152. Mertzin says:

    Hi, excellent guide!

    I do however have a problem. I try to convert a couple of .avi files, but after 1 sec it says “encoded” and the file is done. It’s only 5,33kbs big, so i don’t think it’s right =D.

    I’ve followed all of your steps, tried multiple files (all .avi though), but still nothing. What’s left to do is to try on another computer…

    I have Windows Vista 32bit btw… Do u have any clue to why that’s happening? I tried to search for an answer in all the comments, but no luck…

    Cheers for a great site!

  153. bimmer says:

    I used WM Converter 2 and used WMV to Zune in the “Convert to” section but it converted to an .asf ext. What am I doing wrong? Again I’m new at this.

  154. zunetips says:

    bimmer: the ASF extension is just a “container” for windows media files. All you need to do, is change it to WMV and it should play. I suggested you try using WM Converter just to see if it could convert your source file. Note, that the video codec used by WM Converter is WMV8. Since the Zune requires WMV9, syncing this file to your Zune will result in transcoding during syncing.

  155. zunetips says:

    Mertzin: First, can you play this AVI file on your Desktop PC system? Second, when you use the application gSpot and open this AVI file, what does it show for the Video codec?

  156. Mertzin says:

    The avi-files plays perfectly on my PC and on my PS3… I use VLC for playback though!

    It says codec Xvid when i open it in GSpot.

    Thx for the help!

  157. zunetips says:

    Mertzin: Can you try playing that avi file using Windows Media Player?

  158. Mertzin says:

    Yepp, that works just as it should…

  159. zunetips says:

    Mertzin: All I can think of is that the video codec you have installed for xvid format is not compatible with WME9 or conflicting with another installed codec. Can you try using WME9 to convert a test AVI file on a different computer or laptop machine?

  160. Kilroy says:

    zunetips: I downloaded a couple of Youtube videos with the Youtube Downloader software and converted them with the same. They synced up just fine but man do they look and sound bad on the Zune 80. Looking at the attributes I see that the audio and video bitrate is 64 kps. If I run it through the software you recommend will I be able to increase these bitrates and end up with a viewable video?

    Thanks for the site. Very well done and technical.

  161. Kilroy says:

    Well, I downloaded all the recommended files and installed them. When I tr to run the BatchEncoder (in admin mode) Vista says it stopped running. No matter what security or compatibility settings I change I get the same error.

    Suggestions?

  162. zunetips says:

    Kilroy: You can’t effectively increase the video bit rate of a video beyond it’s original rate. You can decrease a video bit rate during the conversion process, but you can’t increase it.

    Now, I’ve got Vista Home Premium on my system and WME9 and the batch encoder works fine. I’m not sure why the batch encoder fails on your system. Can you run WME9 ok (outside of the batch encoder)?

  163. Kilroy says:

    I’ve looked through the the entire folder structure under WMSKD and the only other executable was the “scheduler” It works.

    Where’s the WME9 executable?

  164. zunetips says:

    Kilroy: You need to install WME9 using the (1) link under the “Getting the right tools for the job” section of this web page. So, you need both WME9 and the WME SDK installed.

  165. Kilroy says:

    All three files are installed. Is it possible that I don’t have enough horsepower on my laptop to do the job? I tried to install SUPER and it stated I had inadequate processor speed to run the program. Weel, it said it could run, but there could be errors.

  166. zunetips says:

    Kilroy: If you’ve installed WME9, you should see an entry in your start menu that says, “Windows Media Encoded” and inside that, “Windows Media Encoder”. If you select that, it will bring up WME9 with the Windows-interface. I’m wondering if you select your video source using this method, can you convert your video?

  167. Kilroy says:

    Well, I don’t know what happened, but I somehow installed the incorrect file. I went and double checked after your suggestion and it went smooth as glass. I was able to make a perfect conversion to a WMV file.

    Thanks for your time one this one…it’s always the simple stuff.

  168. zunetips says:

    Kilroy: I’m glad it”s working now.

  169. Chaos says:

    Well, zunetips I have tried everything and wme just reports an error and shutsdown. It happens when I apply the settings in wme. When I used sdk and started to convert it stops and gives an error. Any ideas what is wrong?

  170. zunetips says:

    Chaos: What is the format of the video file you are trying to convert? Is it AVI, MPEG, etc? Can you play this video file in Windows Media Player?

    Can you use the GSpot program to identify what video codec was used for this video file? Also, can you try converting a different video file and see if that works?

  171. Chaos says:

    It is a VOB and I have tried a few different movies. They have been ripped with DVD Decrypter. I changed one of them to MPG and yes it played and looked great on WMP. When I use WME9 and try to apply settings with your profile it just says encountered a problem and shuts down. When I use WME sdk and use your profile it starts then stops pretty quickly and says in status window Error:Encoder Prepare-Attempted to read or write protected memory. Just ran gspot and it says video codec is mpeg2; audio codec is ac3.

  172. zunetips says:

    Chaos: First, I would try rebooting your PC just to make sure all available memory is free. Also, I’d check to make sure I had sufficient disk space for creating the converted file.

    Finally, how much memory do you have on your PC? If you only have 256 MB or less, it might be that you don’t have enough memory to do the conversion.

  173. Chaos says:

    Its none of that. Brand new laptop with 1gb ram, plenty of HD space. If WME didnt install correctly would SDK also not work right? Guess I could uninstall them and try reinstalling them. Or is it still possibly a codec problem?

  174. zunetips says:

    Chaos: I would make sure WME9 was installed correctly, and try to use it to convert a VOB file. If that works ok, then go back and try the batch encoder.

    So far as a codec issue, that is a possibility. Unfortunately, diagnosing codec issues is somewhat difficult…

  175. Chaos says:

    I do have a couple other converter prorams installed. Handbrake and Videora I-pod converter. And a couple Roxio programs. Would any of those conflict with WME? Videora is made for Ipod but it works to convert so Zune can sync it. I have used it on some movies, but it does have to transcode it during sync. I would like to get this WME to work because Videora doesnt give you as much control as WME. Havnt used Handbrake yet. Let me know if you think any of those are making WME shut down before it has a chance to do anything. Thanks.

  176. zunetips says:

    Chaos: Both Videora and Handbrake will create MP4 files, but they both need an MPEG2 codec to decode the video from a DVD. Most likely, they both install their own MPEG2 codec which could be causing the problem. That is why I suggested you try to convert a sample file using WME9 directly instead of the batch interface.

    Also, you should try to convert an AVI file to see if you get any errors. AVI’s use a different codec than MPEG, so that could be an indicator that you have conflicting codecs installed.

    That is why I always suggest trying the conversion on a different PC, since most likely multiple video converters were not installed, removed, etc.

  177. Chaos says:

    Thank you very much for the help zunetips. Best help I have found in messing with this Zune. Great blog and it will be highly recommended by me.

  178. zunetips says:

    Chaos: Hope everything works out, and have a good time with your Zune!

  179. Chaos says:

    I couldnt get WME9 or the SDK to work. But got WM Converter 2.0 and it worked to convert to .wmv, except that zune software will not add it to my video library?? WMP plays it fine but playing it in zune software is kinda choppy. It has settings just right and the setting even says for WMV/Zune but it wont add it to the library. Got any suggestions why? Videora seems to work best even though it is made for Ipod. Zune adds converted video from Videora to library and it syncs to zune but takes forever because it has to transcode it and I don’t think you can customize the settings in Videora like if you want to enlarge for TV output. Was hoping WME9 or this WM converter 2.0 would have it ready to sync without transcoding.

  180. Grim Reaper says:

    Greetings All, I Have The Black 30Gig Player, I had Bought for my Girlfriend as a Bithday gift for her, Now she wants to try and add Video to her player, I had told her to follow the instructions that came with the player, So Far Now Luck. I was wondering, If I follow the Tips that you have placed in here would that help??
    (I Had Updated the ZunePlayer’s Software, I really don’t like the updated,but it is what it is, How easy is the converter to use??)
    Thank you for time & patience

  181. zunetips says:

    Grim: For the Zune 30, you need to create WMV video files. If you follow the instructions on this page, it should work for your girlfriend’s device.

  182. zunetips says:

    Chaos: WM Converter creates ASF files (which you simply rename to WMV for your Zune), however, it uses the WMV8 video codec which does require transcoding when syncing. So, it isn’t the best solution. Also, if you select the ‘Zune’ option, I believe the video bit rate is pretty low. I prefer to use 700 kbps with 30 fps as it gives reasonable smooth video. You can specify the exact video bit rate you want to use, but then again it creates a WMV file that still requires transcoding.

    WME9 is still your best bet, but I’m not sure why it isn’t working. You can try a different converter called DVD-WMV which might work better for you.

  183. Grim Reaper says:

    Greetings All, I Would Like to Thank you All For This Site.
    It Worked…It Worked..It’s Alive!!!!!!!
    Please Keep up The Good Work!!!

  184. Bones says:

    I used DVD shrink to rip a Sister Hazel concert DVD, it worked great. my output file has multiple files, 2 MPEG files that correlate with the two parts of the movie I ripped. 4or 5 IFO files and 3 bup files. I use the batch converter suggested by this site to try to encode the MPEG files, settings as suggested. I recieve the following error code:
    “Error: Encoder Prepare – object referance not set to an instance of an object.”

    what the heck does that mean and where do I go from here?

    I have used pre reg versions of Avex and the like to rip from DVD straight to Zune and it worked great, but I do not want to pay for them.

    Please help.

    XBonesX

  185. zunetips says:

    Bones: DVD Shrink should create two VOB files (in your case). Is that true? You then supply the VOB files as input to the Windows Media Batch Encoder (as I described on this page). You don’t need the other files (IFO, BUP, etc). When you do this, do you get that error message?

  186. SerferJ says:

    I was having the problem some others were having…in regards to the video starting half way through with the audio starting from the beginning. I tried single pass but the videos were extremely choppy. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the programs, which now brought me to this problem. 1 video is taking over 12 hours to get 40% encoded when earlier it would do 4 files overnight. How am I screwing this up? Thanks.

  187. zunetips says:

    SerferJ: The speed of your computer can contribute to the slowness, but most likely the problem is with the video codec installed on your system. If you’re trying to convert a VOB files (extracted from a DVD), then the MPEG2 Video Codec that you have installed on your system may be bad or inefficient. Also, you might have multiple video codecs installed for MPEG2 (caused by installing and testing out various trial versions of converters) that are conflicting with each other.

  188. SerferJ says:

    Zunetips: I did a fresh install of XP…which although being a huge pain fixed the problem…The problem was definitely from testing many trial versions. In the future how can I manage the codecs my computer has?

    Thanks for posting this bad to the bone tutorial!

  189. zunetips says:

    SerferJ: If everything is working now, I’d set a System Restore Point in WinXP. In fact, I would set a System Restore Point whenever I was worried that I might mess up my system with a new software installation. That way, you can roll back to a previous point on your system that has a good working setup with a saved registry file.

    You can also check out the following link, which will show you how to identify your currently installed video and audio codecs:

    http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/12/how-to-remove-or-uninstall-audio-video.html

    This will only work for WinXP, as Vista doesn’t have such a feature.

  190. Aaron says:

    First of all, very helpful and informative site. I’ve been using your methods to rip and convert my dvds to my zune and so far have done about 4 seasons of tv shows but recently tried to convert a .vob movie and the batch encoder would not convert it. Once I tell it to start an error message comes up displaying this: System.OverflowException: Arithmetic operations resuted in an overflow.
    at BatchEncode.Form_BatchEncode.sReportPercentComplete()

    I have no idea what that means and after some trials, about half of the videos I tried to convert showed this and half worked just fine. (all .vob’s) I used Gspot and it tells me I have the correct codecs installed. Maybe I have an interfering one? But I have so many mpeg2 codecs I dont know which ones to get rid of. And could it really be the codecs since it converts other videos of the same format just fine?
    any help is much appreciated.

  191. zunetips says:

    Aaron: I’ve seen that issue a few times. It is as if the batch encoder program is overflowing the “percent done” variable with a really large number (if you watch the % done in the lower status bar window, you’ll see what I mean). Try using a different DVD ripper software (either DVD Shrink or DVD Decrypter HD). It might be that the DVD you are ripping has a protection scheme that is causing this, or that the MPEG2 video codec you have installed is bad or inefficient.

  192. Aaron says:

    Yeah I had actually noticed on the videos that did work the percent complete was very high, like %80,000. Im currently using Dvd shrink so I will try dvd decryptor which I also have installed. Although you said DVD Decrypter HD. Is there any reason to use that instead of regular DVD Decrypter?

  193. Aaron says:

    Ug. I just ripped the dvd using DVD Decrypter and it wont let me watch it or convert it. At least with DVD shrink I could watch it, just not convert it. So I guess the only thing left is that an mpeg2 video codec I have is bad. But I have so many installed I dont know which to delete and which to keep. I took a screen shot of my mpeg2 video codec list and was wondering if you could give me some advice. Heres the link to the photo: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/mouse3773/Untitled-1-1.jpg
    thanks a lot

  194. zunetips says:

    Aaron: I would remove the Nero stuff (in red) since it’s probably a remnant from a trial version of Nero that you may have installed. You can probably go through and find other such items that show missing files to remove.

  195. zunetips says:

    Aaron: I believe DVD Decrypter is newer than DVD Shrink, so the protection decrypting routines are probably more up to date. That is why I always suggest to try one of the other DVD rippers to see if it can decrypt the DVD successfully.

  196. Aaron says:

    Ok so I went to uninstall programs and removed the Nero trial that I had but I cant figure out how to remove codecs. No codecs are listed in the uninstall programs and I cant find any place to remove them.

  197. zunetips says:

    Aaron: Do you have WinXP or Vista? If you have WinXP, you can bring up “Device Manager” for your system and look under “Sound, Video, and Game Controllers”. You should see “Video Codecs” which will allow you to remove registered codecs.

    If you have Vista, there’s a freeware program called “Codec sniper” which will allow you to delete codecs. You need to be careful and not delete codecs indiscriminately as it may case your system to not work properly. Also, do a reboot after you remove the codecs to see if it fixes the problems you’re having.

  198. Aaron says:

    So since I have Vista I downloaded codec sniper from three different sources in which each time I tried to use it the result was an error. So I tried DVDFab HD Decrypter 4 which split to rip the troublesome video onto my computer, although into 3, 1 gig sections. The converter worked fine with these files. So then I used Mergedizer to merge the vob’s into one. Of course the converter wouldnt work with that file. Then I tried merger just two of them and it worked. But mergering the three wouldnt work. I guys Ill just have to live without cetain videos on my zune 😦

  199. zunetips says:

    Aaron: I’m not sure what more you can try. It seems that your system can’t process a 3+ GB file. Maybe you don’t have enough memory on your system? I’ve got 2 GB of RAM, which seems to be enough.

  200. Aaron says:

    thanks for the concern. The only thing is that I’m using a laptop with 2 gigs of ram and a core 2 duo at 2 ghz and I know it can convert large files because I also thought it might be a file size constraint but I shrunk the troublesome video from 2.8 gigs to under 2 gigs and still no luck. It seems the only remaining option would be to pay for the full DVDFab Decrypter HD which should allow for the video to be ripped as one large .vob since that is the only program that rips files that can be successfully converted for me. Anyways thanks for the help

  201. zunetips says:

    Aaron: You might try the freeware application called “DVD-WMV” which will do the DVD ripping and conversion in one step. I tried this application a while ago, and I decided to not use it because it seemed to load a lot of other freeware programs to do the conversion job, and the fact that I don’t convert a lot of DVDs. It might work for you, and it’s a free alternative to DVDFab Decrypter HD. Of course, if you plan to convert lots of DVDs in the future, it might be worth buying a good converter for that purpose.

  202. Mfamuz1 says:

    Ok I tried the gspot and got the message that an error had occured but I was able to see what codec was missing (#7) but in the ffdshow I was unsure of what to do after that I had no options on how to input what I needed any help?

  203. zunetips says:

    Mfamuz1: If you know the name of the missing Codec, then you should be able to install it from the ffdshow codec pack. Just start the fddshow installation procedure, and there will be one point where you can check off what exactly you want to install. Search through there for the desired codec. Check off that particular codec, and continue with the install procedure. When you’re done, reboot your system and see if it works. Also, check GSpot again to see if it shows the codec installed for that particular video file.

  204. sharlet says:

    not very computer savy and i am having a hard time down loading my dvds to my zune.
    I cant seem to find the list thing i was suppose to down load the Media encoder Profile Setting please give me some advice on what i am doing wrong or how to find it thanks

  205. zunetips says:

    sharlet: To convert DVDs to video files for your Zune, you need to follow a two step process:

    1) “Rip” the video data from the DVD to a file on your Desktop PC
    2) Convert the video file from a VOB format to WMV format for your Zune.

    The page called “Ripping DVDs” explains step (1). This page explains step (2). At what step are you having problems? Can you be more specific to what you’re having problems with?

  206. sharlet says:

    i have already did the first part which was the ripping the dvd to the hard drive. when i came to the second part of converting the ripped dvd i got stuck. i was able to download the media encoder 9 and the encoder sdk but i could not find the encoder profile setting to download that. hopefully after i get/find the media encoder profile setting file i will be able to do everything else. thanks in advance for you help and such a quick response.
    sharlet

  207. zunetips says:

    sharlet: There’s a link on this page where you can download the WME9 profile (.prx) file that I use. Here’s the link again.

  208. micki says:

    Hi – this is a nice guide – thanks for writing it and supplying the .prx file. I use this guide to transfer TiVo recordings to the Zune. I purchased the Tivo Desktop Plus program in order to automatically convert recordings to a portable format, but it doesn’t have a Zune profile nor can you add/edit the supplied encoding profiles. So after the Desktop progam converts the file, it then goes thru transcoding with the Zune software. Sure, it’s automatic thru watched folders but it just takes too long and the quality is not that great. No need to spend money on the Tivo Plus version because with your guide all one needs is the free version of Tivo Desktop and the wmenc.

  209. zunetips says:

    micki: I’m glad you found the information presented here useful. Creating a .prx file isn’t too difficult, because you can use the utility called “Windows Media Profile Editor” (which is supplied with the WME9 installation). The trick, is knowing the correct video and audio settings to avoid transcoding by the Zune software when syncing.

  210. Low 2 says:

    Alright I have everything installed, tried to convert an avi. It said the job was completed soon after I clicked start. The resulting .wmv file was 6kb. What could be the problem? Missing codec?

  211. Low 2 says:

    Think I fixed it, I went to http://www.free-codecs.com/download/XP_Codec_Pack.htm

    Installed those codecs and it’s working. Thanks for the guide.

  212. Tony says:

    After ripping my DVD’s I have many BUP, IFO, and VOB files. How can I tell which file to select to convert?

  213. zunetips says:

    Tony: First, you want to rip selected VOB files from the DVD to a single VOB file on your PC. To do this, you need to set an option in whatever DVD ripper software you’re using. For the conversion, you convert the VOB file. You can forget about the BUP, IFO, etc. files.

  214. Rob says:

    hi again zunetips. do you know, is there a limit to the amount of videos, windows media batch controller can do in one sitting.

    it seems to be quite buggy…. do you have any trouble with it yourself?

  215. zunetips says:

    Rob: I’m not aware of any limits to the batch encoder. The most I’ve queued up is maybe 10 or so, and I didn’t have any problems. What kind of bugs are you running into? Do you have enough free disk space on your system for the converted files?

  216. Rob says:

    it’s converting only the first bit…. a few meg then it’s moving on to the next one…

    there’s enough space on the hard drive..

    very strange….

  217. Rob says:

    it’s like encoding the first minute of video, then saying, encoded!

  218. zunetips says:

    Rob: That issue is usually caused by one of two things:

    1) The video codec used to decode the source video file is bad, inefficient, or conflicting with other codecs on your system.

    2) The video source that was ripped from a DVD was protected, and the DVD ripper software wasn’t able to get around the protection scheme.

    I suggest you try converting some different DVDs (if that is what you’re doing) and see if the problem is the protection scheme or codec.

  219. Rob says:

    cool, will do, thanks

  220. William Ball says:

    I know you probably got this a hundred times, but whenever I try to convert an avi to wmv, it always pauses and then shows this message:

    “Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.”

    I have all the codecs needed to play my videos, thanks to the CCCP codec pack. Any help would be appreciated. And the site is awesome and a great source of advice BTW.

    Thanks in advance.
    – William

  221. zunetips says:

    William: Do you get this error message for all AVI files you are trying to convert? Are you able to convert any other formats (mpg, dVix, etc) to wmv format successfully?

    Can you try to convert your test AVI file on a different computer? Also, how much memory do you have on your PC? What about free disk space?

    Finally, what is the source of this AVI file? Was it created by ripping a video from a protected DVD?

  222. William Ball says:

    My memory is: 448 MB of RAM, 2.26 GHz… I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

    It has the same message for both AVI & MPEG files. It’s not successful. Sadly, I don’t have another computer in the house to test.

    (I want to use this method because this seems like the best/easiest method, I hate waiting an hour for a TV episode to sync with my Zune.)

  223. William Ball says:

    The source of the AVI video is a TV rip.

  224. zunetips says:

    William: I have a 800 MHz, 512 MB RAM laptop that can convert 2-hour videos ok, so that may not be the problem.

    Since you’re having trouble converting both AVI and MPEG files, then it may not be a bad codec. Do you have sufficient disk space for the conversion?

    Also, can you try using the program called WM Converter 2.0 to convert your AVI file to WMV format? This program uses a different set of routines for the conversion, so I want to determine if the problem is codec-related or WME 9 related. Note, that the WMV file generated by WM Converter 2.0 is in WMV8 format, which requires transcoding when synced with a Zune.

  225. William Ball says:

    About that… I was using WM Encoder before, and it did encode all my videos to an asf. file just fine, but I don’t know how to rename a file extension with XP. If I did, I wouldn’t be asking for help so much.

  226. William Ball says:

    Never mind, I just found out how to rename file extensions on XP. But I can encode videos on WM Encoder just fine, but WME keeps showing that error.

  227. zunetips says:

    William: When you say “WME Encoder” do you mean “WM Converter 2.0”? And yes, WM Converter 2.0 will generate files with the ASF extension (which is simply a container for other formats). Renaming to WMV will fix that problem (as you’ve discovered).

    This tells me that something is messed up with the WME 9 installation. It could be a bad DLL file, etc. I suggest you go to the Microsoft Site and try downloading and reinstalling WME 9. Then, reboot your system and see if that works.

  228. William Ball says:

    Thanks, man. I’ll let you know if I encounter any future problems. And again, an awesome site.

  229. John says:

    Thank you for making this useful page! I have a question. How come when I click “2-pass” my video never turns out any where near correct? It would take about a day doing the first pass, then it would say it’s complete(but it’s not).

  230. zunetips says:

    John: I’m not sure why the two-pass option doesn’t work with some video files. It seems to work ok with my DVR-MS files, but I’ve heard it not working for some AVI files. You can always turn it off, and see how the output turns out. You might not notice a big difference on your Zune screen.

  231. Randall says:

    Ok well i followed all your instructions and some content i downloaded from Veoh.com doesn’t seem to be able convert is this a problem other people are having or is it jus me?

  232. Renee says:

    I converted my files with WM Converter after I ripped them with DVDShrink and the extension keeps coming out as .asf instead of .wmv. I made sure to choose to convert them into .wmv and I’m not sure how to fix this problem.

  233. zunetips says:

    Renee: Just rename the file from .asf to .wmv and it should work. Note, that WM Converter uses the WMV8 video codec, which will transcode when you sync with your Zune (The Zune specs requires WMV9 codec).

  234. zunetips says:

    Randall: How did you download the video from veoh.com? What was the format of the file you were trying to convert? What converter program did you use?

  235. Randall says:

    There is a download button on the website that you press and the files are .avi but i think its just the files because now when i click on them it causes a conflict with Windows XP even though they play in the Veoh player perfectly

  236. Randall says:

    Sorry i ment to mentioned that i tried using a variety of programs i have Opell Video to Zune Converter, A-Z Zune Video Converter, Alive VIdeo Converter, and Windows media encoder 9

  237. Renee says:

    Ok, so thank you so much for having this resource available to all the people who have trouble with technical things. This morning I changed the extension on the file name to .wmv instead of .asf and my Zune software is not detecting it in the specified folders. What could be wrong?

  238. zunetips says:

    Renee: Can you play the generated WMV file on your PC?

  239. zunetips says:

    Randall: Most sites like veoh.com, youtube.com, etc play FLV video files on their web sites. So, you’d have to use a utility or program what will allow you to download the FLV file to your PC, then convert the FLV file to WMV or MP4 format for your Zune. From what I’ve read, you were able to download the video file from veoh.com in it’s native format (full resolution in AVI format), but I’m not sure they still allow that).

    As a test, I installed a FireFox plugin called “Download Helper” which allowed me to download a few FLV files from the veoh.com site. There’s lots of other plugins that will allow you to download FLV files that you can try. The next step, is to convert the FLV file to WMV format. You can use the program called WM Converter 2 to convert the FLV file to WMV format, however, this converter uses the older WMV8 video codec which will require transcoding when syncing to your Zune (the Zune requires WMV9 video codec ).

  240. Randall says:

    OKay well i downloaded the WM converter 2 and the download helper and all that went fine but when i converted the video with the wm converter the zune software would recognize it so i converted the video again with the batch encoder and now everything plays and works perfectly thanks to you. Now my question is is there a way that i can get the zune software to recognize the conversion without converting it twice if not its cool but it would be very helpful if i could.

  241. zunetips says:

    Randall: The Zune wants the video codec to be WMV9, and WM Converter 2 creates videos with WMV8, so that is why the Zune software transcodes during syncing. There isn’t a way to avoid this using WM Converter 2.

    One option, is to search the Internet for some freeware utility that will either save the FLV file as a WMV file in WMV9 video codec format, or as a MPEG2 or AVI file. Then, you can use the batch encoder to encode it (avoiding the need to using WM Converter 2).

  242. rockin ronnie says:

    Hi, i have followed all of your detailed instructions however my AVI file only gets encoded, not converted (it quickly reports that encoding is complete but only creates a tiny file with nothing in it that the zune sees beautifully!)

    I have tried the codec pack mentioned in one of the posts and tried disabling the 2 pass encoding without success. My computer appears to have sufficient disk space.

    What am i missing?

    The file/s are torrent downloads, a presume from DVD rips. Their file extensions are .HDTV.XviD-BiA if that means anything.

    thanks in advance

    RR

  243. zunetips says:

    rockin ronnie: The file extension for these files are “.HDTV.XviD-BiA”? I’ve never heard of that before. Here’s a few things to try:

    1) Can you play these videos on your Desktop PC in Microsoft Media Player? If not, then you don’t have the necessary video codecs to decode the video data.
    2) Can you use the program called GSpot and examine one of these video files. What does it show for the video and audio codecs used for this file?
    3) What converter programs are you using to convert these files to? Is it Windows Media Encoder 9?

  244. John Helme says:

    Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.

    that is wut i get when i try and convert a t.v. show. and i dont know why this is. i had this other sofware (123psp name of software it worked for the zune too) but then one day it started to not work and was saying stuff about memory. so if u can help that would be nice.
    ty

    John

  245. zunetips says:

    John H: What is the format of the file you are trying to convert? Is it a AVI, MP4, or what? If you use the program called “GSpot” to examine the settings of this video file, what does it show for the Video and Audio codecs?

  246. rockin ronnie says:

    Thanks for your reply.

    They are AVI files, ie. HDTV.XviD-BiA.avi
    They play perfectly in WMP
    They dropped into my Creative Vision M and played perfectly when it existed (why can;t the zune be so simple!)
    I have followied your above instructions so downloaded
    Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9
    Microsoft Windows Media Encoder SDK
    Media Encoder Profile Settings

    and all seems to work fine until it just creates an empty encoded file that takes a second to complete. There is no conversion going on…

    cheers
    RR

  247. zunetips says:

    rockin ronnie: Are these High Def videos? If they are, I think I’ve read somewhere that the WME has problems converting them. Can you try using the program called “WM Converter 2.0” and see if it can convert the file to a WMV format? (Note: WM Converter 2.0 will create a file with a ASF extension. Just rename it to WMV).

  248. rockin ronnie says:

    will do, i think the HDTV may indicate that they are high definition. Where do I find WM converter 2.0? Do I enter the conversion parameters manually?

    I will do the G-Spot thing when I get home and send it pronto!

    Thanks for your good work

    RR

  249. zunetips says:

    Rockin ronnie: Using WM Converter 2.0 should be obvious. Just click on the button labeled “Zune WMV” and use the default settings. WM Converter uses the FFMPEG routines for converting, so I just wanted to see if it can convert this file when WME9 can’t. If that is the case, it might be a video or audio codec issue on your system.

    The only bad thing about WM Converter, is that it creates a WMV file using the older WMV8 video codec (which the Zune doesn’t like).

  250. rockin ronnie says:

    Hi zunetips,

    things are going from bad to worse. I think by messing with the Framework, (i can’t remember why i was downloading a 2.0 version) now my computer doesn’t open the Zune softwear. it is just coming up with an error and closing.

    Now i can’t check if the video conversion by WM converter has worked!

    Uninstall/reinstall makes no difference

    Now I am doing a .net cleanup as outlined here: http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/04/08/406671.aspx

    I hope it works…

  251. zunetips says:

    rockin ronnie: That’s a bummer. The messed up Framework 2.0 installation is probably hard to fix. You might try uninstalling the Zune Software using the “Unzoone” utility (which is suppose to remove everything including registry settings, old DLLs, etc), do a reboot, then try installing the latest 2.5 version of the Zune Software.

    Good luck. If all of that doesn’t work, it might be worth upgrading to the Vista OS if you haven’t done so already.

  252. John Helme says:

    Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.

    thats the message that i get when i try and convert a t.v. show.
    ty

    John

  253. zunetips says:

    John H: What format is the TV show video file you are trying to convert? Is it WMV, AVI, MP4? Also, if you use the program called “GSpot” and examine this video file, what does it show for the video and audio codecs?

    If I were to guess, I would think you don’t have the proper video codec (or a bad codec) installed on your system. If you use the program called “WM Converter 2.0” will it convert successfully to WMV format?

  254. rockin ronnie says:

    Well the WM converter 2.0 has done the trick, the size of the file has dropped from 350MB to 150MB but it plays ok on the zune and the audio matches so for now it is all good.

    I am going O/S in 4 days (hence the panic when i couldn;t get any video onto the player) so will stick to using WM converter 2.0

    In future, what other program do you suggest using to convert these files seen as the Windows Media Encoder 9 doesn’t seem to like the HDef format?

    thanks for your brilliant help, it’s been a stressful couple of days!

    RR

  255. zunetips says:

    rockin ronnie: I’m glad WM Converter is working for you. It has a nice, simple interface and allows you to queue up several files for conversion at one time. The only bad thing, is that the WMV file created uses the older WMV8 video codec which the Zune doesn’t like. The Zune needs the video codec to be WMV9 to avoid transcoding (reconverting) during syncing.

    I believe that WM Converter (as well as most video converters) use the FFMPEG freeware utilities to do the actual conversion. FFMPEG is a great program for converting from one format to another, however, it can’t create WMV files with the WMV9 video codec.

    An alternative to the WM Converter program is a set of converters at this link:

    http://downloads.zdnet.com/search.aspx?compid=57694

    The developer has several converters going from one format to another (including Zune), all of which use the FFMPEG utilities. I use the FLV->AVI converter from this series to convert FLV files from veoh.com and hulu.com to AVI format, then convert it to WMV using WME9. You might try the Zune converter in this series to see how it compares to WM Converter 2.0 (still has the same limitations to creating WMV files in the WMV9 video codec).

  256. Meg says:

    This is absolutely the best resource I have found for this video conversion info. I have over 400 episodes of shows in .avi format that were so easy to just drag and drop into my previous Creative mp3/video player :/ The Zune has been frustrating me since i got it. Every approach I tried before this was a bust. Even when I ended up with a .wmv file, my 80GB Zune wanted NOTHING to do with it. I was especially happy with the Batch Encoding option. I never would have discovered that on my own. Awesome. I’m so glad i found this site!

  257. Meg says:

    Ok, so I’m still loving your info, but when i try to use the batch encoder, the output files are coming out as 14kb and 00:00 duration. I used all the settings you advised, and i can’t figure out what’s wrong. Any Ideas?

  258. zunetips says:

    Meg: I’m assuming you’re trying to convert AVI files. If you use the program called “GSpot” and open one of your AVI files, what does it show for the video and audio codec?

  259. John says:

    this is great stuff!
    i knew i wouldnt get it right the first time but i think my problem is easy…after ripping the dvd using dvdshrink..i followed the appropriate steps that are mentioned above..everything worked except when playing it moves in slow motion. wondering if i need to tinker with the settings in the zune profile software but first wanted to see what you recommend zunetips

  260. zunetips says:

    John: I never heard of a ripped video moving in slow motion. If you rename the VOB file that you ripped to MPG, can you successfully play it in Windows Media Player on your PC?
    If you use the program GSpot and open the VOB file that you ripped, what does it show for the video codec, video bit rate, and frames per second (fps)?

  261. John says:

    does g-spot come with one of the programs i have already downloaded as mentioned above?
    after i rip the dvd using dvd shrink, i open windows media batch…when i click add the movie file opens but there are multiple folders…for example..i ripped the doors dvd and when i open the folder 5 subfolders are their:
    Video_TS(backup file of ifo)
    VTS_01_0 (backup file of ifo)
    VTS_01_1(dvd movie)
    Video_TS(dvd movie info)
    VTS_01_0(dvd movie info)

    i select VTS_01(dvd movie)
    do i need to include any of the other folders as well?
    i get the movie and the audio is correct it just seems like the framerate is off

  262. zunetips says:

    John: The “GSpot” program is a separate program that you can google to find it. It is a simple program that helps identify the attributes of the video file you are trying to convert. I suggest you use GSpot on the VTS_01.VOB file that you ripped and find out the video settings. If you email me that information, I can try to help you fix this problem.

  263. Steve says:

    Zunetips…
    Awesome site. I was hoping to get some help on audio/video sync issues. I have a Zune 80. The problem is that sometimes (not always) the audio and video are out of sync. This applies to DVD’s ripped, and FLV’s downloaded (legally) from HULU and NBC.com.
    I have tried using super to get the framerate info, and such, but to no avail. Can you help me?
    Thanks!

  264. zunetips says:

    Steve: I’ve had a similar audio sync issue when converting FLV files from Hulu.com and Veoh.com to WMV format. Some of the FLV files that I’ve downloaded (using the program Orbit Downloader) have a frame rate of 23.976 fps and if I use a program to convert this FLV file to AVI or MPEG and specify a different frame rate (say, 29 fps) the audio becomes out of sync (delayed). The solution, is to use the same frame rate as the original FLV file when converting to a different format. The program called “GSpot” will give you information such as the frame rate.

  265. Steve says:

    Thanks, zunetips…I down loaded Gspot, and followed the directions you outlined in the HULU and Veoh post. Worked flawlessly, although, WME Batch Encoder takes quite a while to finish. But patience is a virtue, right?
    Thanks again.
    S.

  266. zunetips says:

    Steve: The speed of the Batch Encoder is based on a few things:

    1) The speed of your computer’s main processor (obviously).
    2) The speed and efficiency of the video codec used to decode your video source.
    3) If you selected the ‘two-pass” option for the conversion.

    Item (2) is the biggie for speed. If you have an inefficient video codec on your system, it could take a long time to decode the video source. With item (3) activated, it will take 2x longer to convert the file (since it does it in two passes).

    In general, it does take a while for the conversion, so I simply batch up several files and let it go overnight.

  267. zunetips says:

    Steve: BTW, to eliminate some of the manual intervention for the FLV -> WMV file conversion, I wrote a VB Script to do part of the conversion using the FFMPEG encoder. My script will find the video source frames per second and screen resolution, and use that information with the FFMPEG encoder to convert the FLV file to a AVI file. I then have another batch program that will convert the AVI files over to WMV format (using WME9 and my Zune profile.prx file).

    This script ensures that I’m using the right fps and screen resolution when doing the FLV->AVI conversion. When I have some time, I’ll write up my procedure and make the script available for download.

  268. Steve says:

    Yes, my home computer main processor is a bit slow. It is not as up to date as it could be. But it doesn’t really matter if I run it overnight like you said. But I did not use 2 pass, as I thought this would add extra time to the conversion process. In any event, it worked great, and I was able to sync it to my Zune 80 in about 20 seconds. So I now have an awesome episode of Night Gallery on the Zune with other old TV stuff to come.

    BTW, do you think I should use the same process (first to AVI, then to WMV9) for DVD’s I want to put on the Zune? I had a couple DVD’s that went out of sync as well, and it seems to me that this process might cure it. What do you think?

    Thanks again for all your help.

  269. zunetips says:

    Steve: From what I can tell, the key to maintaining audio-video sync is using the same frame rate from the original source video file for the conversion. So, you don’t necessarily need to convert to AVI first before WMV, but rather make sure you use the right frames per second for the conversion. I’m not sure how you’re doing your DVD->WMV conversion operation, but if you rip your DVD to a VOB file on your PC, I suggest you use GSpot to examine the VOB file to determine the fps and use that value in a profile (.prx file) that you reference in the WME Batch Encoder.

  270. Craig says:

    I just wanted to say that so far, this has worked great. The only problem I’m running into is with the resolution of the videos I’m converting. Some are 720 x 400, others are 640 x 360, 640 x 352, etc. Obviously, when converting these videos to wmv at 320 x 240 they end up being squeezed into that resolution. Is there a utility out there or a way to know what the 720 x 400 type videos (others as well) need to be re-sized to?

  271. zunetips says:

    Craig: You can use the program called “GSpot” to determine the screen resolution of your video source if you don’t know it. Once you do know it, you’ll need to define your output resolution to eliminate the squishing of the video.

    Using simple math you can calculate the required output dimensions for the conversion. For example, if you have a 720×400 video source, the output width should be 320 and the height is then calculated using this ratio:

    height = (320*400) / 720

    In this example, the height would be 178 pixels, so the output resolution is 320 x178 to avoid squishing of the output video. I’m not aware of any application that can do this calculation for you, but I could create a simple program to do it if desired.

  272. Steve says:

    Quick question for you…Is there a program that can change the length of the audio track for a WMV? In other words, let’s say the video is 1:10:15. The audio is 1:08:05. The audio and video would be in sync for a little while, and then gradually go out until the video and audio were out by a good amount. Theoretically, if the audio could be manually lenghtened from 1:08:05 to 1:10:15, (to exactly match the length of the video)this would cure the problem, would it not?

  273. zunetips says:

    Steve: I’m not sure how you would increase the length of an audio clip without simply slowing it down to stretch it out to the desired length. To increase the length, you’ll need to add something to the source audio.

    The real question is, why do you have audio that is shorter than the video length? The only time I see this out-of-sync issue with video conversions, is when you’re using a higher frames per second (fps) rate than the input source for the video conversion.

  274. Tabikat says:

    Ok, I must be the biggest idiot ever, but I cannot for the life of me get the file to “drag” into the input box… Am I doing something wrong. Also, do we need to download the media encoder profile settings thing that you put up? If you could help me out with this, that would be great. I understood the DVD ripping part, but this one is throwing me for a loop.

  275. zunetips says:

    Tabikat: Hmm, you should be able to drag the desired video files from a folder into the big input box for Window Media Batch Encoder. Note, that you can only drag video files that the WME Batch Encoder can handle, so maybe you’re trying to convert a file that it can’t process? What video file format are you trying to convert?

    Yes, you should download all three items that I’ve specified (under, “getting the right tools for the job”) and use them in this conversion process.

  276. John Helme says:

    ok so this might not be the right place to post a comment but i dont know were else to do it.
    so my question is, is there any way to make folders in your zune, because when i add movie/tv shows to my zune they are all in the same place under videos.
    is there any way to organize it?
    thank you

    John

  277. John Helme says:

    p.s. thanks for keeping up with the questions and answering them fast and with good info, this is a nice web site.

  278. zunetips says:

    John: Unlike pictures, you can’t sort your videos into folders and have them transfer over to the Zune. The only way to organize your video files on your Zune, is to categorize them with specific, set category label. The available labels are “Music Videos”, “Movies”,”All Videos”, and “TV Shows”. if you have the latest version of the Zune Software and firmware loaded on your PC and Zune device, you can right-click on the thumbnail icon of your video file and set the category label in the properties. Or, you can use a program such as dSHARPIE to set the video file category.

  279. John Helme says:

    ok so i i have the latest software for my comp and zune.
    and so i click on videos on the zune software, and i see those categories u r talking aobut. All, tv, music, movies, and other. but every thing that i have converted is under “all” and “other” there is nothing under the other categories. so i right click on the files and i cannt figure out how to move them under movies, or t.v.?
    so this question is for the future: after i have the movies under the categories they should be under, when i transfer them over to my zune will it stay in those catergories. meaning will i be able to click on videos on my zune and have two categories “t.v.” and “movies”?
    thank you again for all the help

    John

  280. zunetips says:

    John: In the Zune Software, right click on the video thumbnail and select “Edit” from the popup menu. Then, you’ll be able to change the category label.

  281. shakes says:

    Thank you so much for posting this information. I have wasted quite a few hours trying to use all the so called ‘free’ software. The software either does not work at all or the video is too choppy on my new Zune 30 I just bought on clearance.

    This method is a little slower to encode, but the quality is worth it. I am enjoying all my mpeg-2 files I am offloading from my ReplayTV dvr. Thanks again!! Your instructions are very clear and precise.

  282. zunetips says:

    shakes: You’re welcome. I’m glad you found the information useful. 🙂

  283. Tushar says:

    Im a bit confused….even though the zune supports mp4 format,my zune software syncs half of my mp4 video collection only after transcoding…..while the other half is getting easily synced without transcoding.
    So could u suggest a mp4 video converter which wont be giving the zune software any reason to transcode the video.

    (PS – i dont want to convert all my files to wmv format)

  284. zunetips says:

    Tushar: Just because you convert to mp4 or wmv format, doesn’t mean they are compatible with the Zune to avoid transcoding. You might have some setting (e.g., screen resolution, bit rate, codec, etc) that is causing the transcoding.

    Can you use the GSpot program to identify the attributes of one of the troublesome mp4 video files and let me know what it is?

  285. Tushar says:

    The 1st link is of the info from G-Spot of the file which gets synced and the 2nd is of the file which needs conversion before being synced.


  286. zunetips says:

    Tushar: The significant differences that I see between those two files are:

    1) “Good” file: Video Bit Rate of 768 kbps, 23.98 fps
    2) “Bad” file: Video Bit Rate of 1024 kbps, 29.971 fps

    If you read the info on the Zune Conversion page on Zune.net, it shows the max Total Bit Rate (which is a combination of video and audio bit rate) should be under 1.672 Mbps (or 1672 kbps) to avoid syncing of mp4 files.

    I suspect that the total video bit rate for the “Bad” file is too high. If you convert this file using a video bit rate setting of 700 or 500 kbps, then it may sync without conversion. If that doesn’t work, you can also try reducing the frame rate to 24 fps to match the first file.

  287. Adam says:

    I really appreciate what you’re doing here, I’m trying to get some of my videos Zune ready, but something is going wrong in the process. I’m using the 3 files that you provided and I can’t get the video converted per the instructions. I am using Xvid’s and thinking that maybe the encoder does not support this type of video and I should be doing something else first but when I click Start it takes all of 20 seconds and says batch complete but the output is not watchable. Any help would be greatly appreciated

  288. zunetips says:

    Adam: The most likely problem is the Xvid video codec you have installed on your system. It either is conflicting with other codecs on your system or isn’t very efficient. The only recourse I can see, is removing all video codecs and try to find a better one that may do the job. Unfortunately, diagnosing video codec problems is somewhat difficult.

    Have you tried doing your video conversion on a different desktop or laptop computer?

  289. Adam says:

    I haven’t tried it on a different desktop or laptop computer. I don’t have much experience with codecs, but if I was to try your suggestion, how do I remove all video codecs and would it be best to then install a codec pack or look for a specific XVid video codec that would allow for video conversion of these files. Thanks again

  290. zunetips says:

    Adam: Finding and removing codecs is the hard part. First, I would remove any freeware or trialware video conversion software you might have installed (including Windows Media Encoder 9 if you installed that). Then, I would follow the instructions on this posting to find and remove all codecs, and reinstall the codecs from the Vista Codec Package as described.

    Then, do a reboot and see if that helps.

  291. Jon says:

    I’m trying to convert an .avi file (divx technically, i think). As soon as I hit start, I get the following error message: “Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.”

    Is this definitely a codec issue?

    I basically have a fresh install of Vista, so I didn’t have any codecs installed other than was came with Vista. I just installed the ffd show codec, uninstalled it, installed the Vista codec package and the AC3 Filter and nothing has worked. Keep getting the same error message.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.

  292. zunetips says:

    Jon: It’s probably a codec issue. Do you see this happening to all avi files you try to convert, or just a particular one? Can you use the GSpot program to identify the properties of this avi file?

  293. Jon says:

    I just ran GSpot with the video file loaded. What information am I looking for in particular in GSpot?

  294. zunetips says:

    What does it show for the video codec and audio codec? Also, do you have this problem with all avi files or just specific ones?

  295. Jon says:

    For Video it shows:

    Codec: XVID
    Name: XviD 1.1.0 Final
    Status: Codec(s) are Installed

    For Audio it shows:

    Codec: 0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3
    Info: 44100Hz 128 kb/s tot, Joint Stereo
    Status: Codec(s) Installed

    I tried two other xvid videos and get the same error message with them right away.

  296. zunetips says:

    Jon: I still think it might be a codec problem (maybe a conflict or you have a bad codec installed). Can you try converting the avi video file using the program called WM Converter 2.0? See if you can convert it to WMV format. Note, that the WMV format will be WMV8 which will require transcoding when you sync with your Zune, but I just want to see if it could be a codec issue.

  297. Jon says:

    I installed WM Converter 2.0 and it converted my avi file correctly. Does that mean it’s a codec issue? Is there a way to figure out the exact codec pack I need?

    Thanks.

  298. zunetips says:

    Jon: Hmm, now I’m thinking the codec might be ok on your system. Did you try playing the created WMV file on your PC? It just might be that WME9 can’t convert the Xvid files.

  299. Jon says:

    Yes, it played fine on my PC.

  300. zunetips says:

    Jon: Where did you get the Xvid file? If it’s not too big and you want me to test it out on my system, can you make it available to me? The best way would probably use a free download site like http://www.filefactory.com to upload the file for me to download.

  301. Liz says:

    I’m attempting to convert a VOB file to WMV for my Zune (well… obviously…) I follow all of your directions and attempt to start the coversion and get the folloring Error: Encoder Prepare – ClassFactory cannot supply the requested class.

    Am I missing a codec or something? The VOB file plays on my computer fine (in my AVS DVD Player) but WME seems to not like it. Any suggestions?

  302. zunetips says:

    Liz: I think it could be one of two things: (1) You have a “bad” video codec installed on your system, (2) The VOB file was ripped from a DVD with a special security encryption.

    Can you try converting the VOB file on a different computer system? Also, can you use the program called WM Converter 2.0 to convert the VOB file successfully?

  303. Liz says:

    I was poking around on various forums and such and established that the MPEG2 codec used in my AVS DVD Player is incompatible with Microsoft “stuff” (Using the Microsoft Video Decoder Checkup Utility). This made perfect sense considering I couldn’t play DVDs in WMP and WME didn’t like my VOB files.

    Quick Fix: Download the trial version of Power DVD, play a DVD in WMP (where it will recognize Power DVD’s MPEG2 codec) then uninstall Power DVD and the codec should remain on your system.

    It’s all going swimmingly now – thanks for your guide.

  304. Dre325 says:

    I have a quick question, Zunetips. I followed your instructions for ripping a DVD and converting using the WM batch encoder with the profile you created. The output wmv file only has about 1hr10min of the 2 hour movie. I saw previous posts relating to this problem above, but didn’t see a solution. This has happened to me with two movies now. Other movies have worked perfectly… FYI, I am creating single VOB files when ripping the movies with DVD Decrypter and when changing the extensions to .mpg, I can play them perfectly in WMP and the full movies are there. The batch encoder runs fine and completes without errors, but the resultant file only has about half of the movie. I have only tried 2 pass encoding to this point (which has worked fine for me with other movies). Any ideas?

  305. zunetips says:

    Dre325: Have you tried not using the two-pass option?

  306. Dre325 says:

    Just tried that and still only got about 1 hour and 7 minutes of the movie (in fact it stopped at the same spot as the 2-pass option). The length of the vob file I’m converting from is 2 hours and 2 minutes and plays fine as an mpeg when I change the file extension. I’m stumped on this one. Let me know if you have any ideas or if there are any other programs I can try that will let me sync this to my Zune as an wmv.

  307. Alex says:

    this helped a lot.
    Thanks so much.

    But to convert it to a .wmv, I just put the VOB into windows movie maker and save the movie, or “Publish movie” which ever the file option is.
    It might take longer, [Took mine about an hour to convert a 1hour and 20 min movie.], but you don’t need to download any other programs that way. :]

  308. TechnologicallyRetarded says:

    So I’m trying to download the converting programs, and it says they were successfully downloaded, but I think the first time I downloaded them, I downloaded the wrong one first.
    So I tried removing them and re-downloading, but I still can’t find the programs on my computer when I “C:\WMSDK\WMEncSDK9\samples\vb\batcher\BatchEncoder.exe” into the “my computer” bar.
    It says it can’t be found.

    HELP ME! Dx I’ve been trying to do this for HOURS.

  309. zunetips says:

    The BatchEncoder.exe program is installed when you install the Windows Media Encoder SDK application. Try reinstalling that program and see if you can find the batchEncoder.exe

  310. TechnologicallyRetarded says:

    So I found the program, but it’s BatchEncode.exe, not encode[r].

    But now the program doesn’t want to work. I’m adding the VOB files just like the instructions say, but then it says there’s an error or I MIGHT get it to work, but then it’s not a movie file? or zune just doesn’t read it? It’s very confusing. x]

  311. zunetips says:

    Did you also install Window Media Encoder? You need to install WME9 and WME9SDK to get it to work.

  312. moedin says:

    I followed your simple guide here to convert a few TV eps I had downloaded and I was unable to get a desired result… the movies were all ~5.3KB with .wmv file format. I double clicked it to play them back when they didnt play on the zune and all I got was a black screen. The video preview was running fine in the encoder so I don know what do make of it… where do I go from here?
    thanks for your help 🙂

  313. moedin says:

    after pluggin away at google (who should be everyone’s best friend!) I was guided back to your blog page but this time to the codec side of things and I think the reason I am experiencing problems with this could be to a tainted codec pool. I am going to clean up my codecs and registries to see if that helps… what registry cleaner did you use when you purged out those codecs?

  314. TechnologicallyRetarded says:

    Yes, I installed that.
    But it still says there’s an error, “attempted to read or write protected memory. this is often an indication that the information is corrupt.”
    So maybe that’s because it’s a DVD? I’m so lost.

  315. zunetips says:

    moedin: I used these products to clean up my registry files:

    1) CCleaner
    2) AsuLogics Registry Defrag

    I also manually (using RegEdit) removed some registry settings. I don’t recommend doing this unless you know what you’re doing (since you could screw up your system).

  316. zunetips says:

    TR: What program did you use to rip the video data from the DVD to the PC? The error you are getting could be caused by:

    1) The DVD data is protected, so WME9 can’t defeat the encryption.
    2) The video codec on your PC (MPEG2 for DVDs) is having trouble decoding the video data.

    You should try using DVD Decrypter HD to rip the video data to a VOB file on your PC, and also do a video codec clean up and try installing a different MPEG2 video codec (see the other pages that I’ve posted on this topic).

  317. Thomas says:

    HI i have been trying to convert using Windows Media Encoder 9 and when i get to the last step I click finish, and it says not responding and restarts. Please help.

  318. Dre325 says:

    I never heard anything back regarding my post #306 above (sorry, I’ve been on vacation). Again my issue is that WME is only converting about half of some of my movies and I can’t seem to figure out why. Do you think it’s a codec issue? Anything else I should try? One weird thing that I noticed is that when I take one of the VOB files I’ve had trouble converting to wmv and change the .vob to .mpg, the full movie is there, but the play time is not correct. When I get to the credits at the end, it’s only showing 50 some-odd minutes of play time (although the whole movie is there). When I use the batch encoder, I get the first half of the movie as an output only (67 minutes or so). I need to get this to work so any help is much appreciated.

  319. dextorboot says:

    This is a great tutorial and very easy to follow, but I’m having issues with the quality of the video I converted. The vob I ripped plays great on my PC with no issues, but when I convert it to wmv, the video stalls a bit then jumps to the current time. The audio is perfectly in sync and keeps playing when the video stalls. This happens every few seconds making the movie near unwatchable. The only thing I changed on the prx file was the output resolution to 320×214 so it wasn’t squished.

    This is the second time I’ve tried converting this vob. The first time I didn’t use the batch encoder and used a different tutorial for WME9 that used almost the same settings as your prx. That time the video was converted to wmv but at ~15 fps even though it was set to encode much higher.

    If this helps: I’d converted some smaller vobs using windows media version 8 as the encoder and, other than the wait time to transcode during sync, there weren’t any problems. I noticed the difference in picture quality right away when using 9 though.

  320. zunetips says:

    dextorboot: I suggest you try reinstalling WME9 and the WME9SDK and see if that helps. Otherwise, the problem might be with the Video codec you have installed to decode the VOB video data (MPEG2). If that is the case, you’ll need to remove the codec and try to install a different one. Do a search for “codec hell” on this site to see my past comments.

  321. zunetips says:

    Dre325: It’s hard for me to say what the problem is. It could be a bad video codec, or the DVD from which you ripped the VOB file may have some protection encryption. Try this: use the program called “WM Converter 2” and convert the VOB file to WMV format. Note, that this format is WMV2 ( or WMV 8 ) which is not compatible with the Zune, but you should be able to test if the VOB file can be fully converted without interruptions. If that works, then the problem might be with the WME9 installation.

    If possible, you should try to do the conversion on a different computer to see if the issue is with the installed video codecs on the system.

  322. zunetips says:

    Thomas: Are you using the WME9 interface, or the batch encoder? The batch encoder is easier to use, with less controls and settings to worry about. I discuss how to use the batch encoder on one of my pages on this blog.

  323. mike miller says:

    Hello, thanks for the instructions. I’ve got DVD Shrink working correctly (the .vob files play correctly) and I’ve got Windows Media Encoder 9 installed and running with your profile settings.

    My problem is I have no sound on the files after they’ve been converted through WME 9. I’ve been trying different combinations and Googling about WME 9 and Vista issues, but I’m having no luck at all, do you have any suggestions?

  324. zunetips says:

    mike: I had a similar problem when I first started converting my videos to WMV format. The culprit, was a bad audio codec. Try removing any audio codec on your computer system (from the “Remove Programs” screen), do a reboot, and then try installing the AC3 Filter at this link. I’m suggesting you get a new codec for the AC3 Filter since that codec is most commonly used in DVDs, and it was the codec that I was having problems with.

  325. mike miller says:

    thanks…

    I tried that this morning…but after removing all the audio codecs shown and installing the AC3 filter the WME won’t run at all…even after a couple uninstall/reboot/reinstall cycles

    Unfortunately, it’s starting to be too much like work (I’m a network admin) so I’ll probably just spend the $30.00 on one of the one-step programs if I have to have movies on my Zune :-/

  326. dextorboot says:

    So I tried uninstalling/reinstalling WME9 and the batch encoder several times and no changes. Still got the horrid video. Uninstalled a bunch of codecs and dowloaded the codec pack you suggested. Then I started getting this error message at the beginning of coversion “Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected Memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.” I researched this on your site and saw that it was almost always a bad install of WME9 or codec, so I did the uninstalling/reinstalling again and used a different codec pack someone here said they had success with. Still the same error message. Saw one of your posts that said it may be copy protection from the DVD, so I ripped it several times using different programs and they all worked fine, but when I tried to use WME9 I get the same error message.

    I downloaded the Cucusoft trial package and used it to convert a few minutes of the VOB and it worked fine. Synced to my Zune and it’s working too. Also, I keep seeing some conflicting information about Zune native file formats. Can I convert to an MP4 without the file being transcoded at sync?

  327. dextorboot says:

    Sorry, guess it would help to know I have a Zune 80. Thanks.

  328. zunetips says:

    Mike: Spending some money on a commercial converter is a good solution. I suggest you test out a trial version of whatever program you select just to make sure it converts to the proper format for your Zune. Most converters will only convert to WMV8 or MP4 format, and you should make sure it does the conversion correctly so you don’t have syncing transcoding issues, audio-video out-of-sync problems, etc.

  329. zunetips says:

    dextorboot: My “Video Codec Hell” posting described how difficult it can be to clean up bad codecs on a windows machine. It becomes a real problem when you install and uninstall various trialware software converters, where each of them tries to install their own codecs. I would guess that is why you’re getting the encoder error, or you might be missing a needed codec.

    So far using CucuSoft, it might be converting the videos to MP4 format using non-Zune standard settings. That will cause the Zune software to transcode (reconvert) during the syncing process. My page called “Zune Video Specs” describes the proper settings required by the Zune 30 and Zune 4/8/80 devices to avoid transcoding. You can try making the settings adjustment in CucuSoft to see if that helps.

  330. dextorboot says:

    CucuSoft synced the WMV file without transcoding, but I still have a hard time talking myself into the cost of the software when I only want to put a handful of movies on my Zune.

    I tried using Handbrake (free!) and converted it to an MP4 file and it also synced without transcoding, so I went back and did the entire movie. Other than the fact that a 2 hour movie is a little over 1 GB on my Zune, I’m satisfied with the quality.

  331. zunetips says:

    dextorboot: Handbrake is a popular converter for Apple Mac users. They recently ported it to the Windows platform. If you’re happy with the MP4 format, that may be the way to go. Another freeware app you might check out is called “Free Zune Video Converter” at this link. It converts to the older WMV8 format (which the Zune 80 transcode) but you can convert to MP4 format. I use their “FLV->AVI” converter and like it, so the Zune converter might be good for you.

  332. Ly says:

    Hi,
    I’d really want to try your method of converting videos to good quality and being able to sync to the Zune at a reasonable pace.
    I have Windows Media Encoder 9 as well as Windows Media Encoder SDK, and the file you created
    But I can’t even get past the first step becuase I can’t find the batch encoder. When I tried to open it, there’s an error telling me it can’t be found. I tried to open it from where the program is located but the only thing in that folder is the help guide and nothing else. I keep thinking it’s missing or something. I even searched it on microsoft’s site and downloaded it from there, and still nothing.
    I’m really confused…

  333. zunetips says:

    Ly: On my Vista System, the Batch Encoder is at this location:

    C:\WMSDK\WMEncSDK9\samples\vb\batcher\BatchEncode.exe

    Do you have this executable on your system?

  334. Ly says:

    No, I don’t have that.
    Is that supposed to be the “Code Samples” the installation wizard shows in the beginning? Because it says it’s included in the kit along with two others, and yet I don’t have anything but the help f1 information.

  335. zunetips says:

    Ly: When you install the WME9SDK, it should install the batch encode folder and files.

  336. Ly says:

    Yeah, it should… but I don’t understand why I don’t have them.
    I’ve tried uninstalling and reinstalling multiple times now.
    Anyway, thanks for trying to help me.

  337. Brent says:

    Why is the video I down loaded onto my Zune play in slow motion? It will play at the right speed in my Zune area on the computer.

  338. zunetips says:

    Brent: Where did you get this video file? Did you create it by converting from a DVD or other format? If so, what conversion program did you use?

  339. Brent says:

    Any Video converter 1.0

  340. zunetips says:

    Brent: I need more details on the conversion. What was the video source? What was the video output from the converter (wmv, mp4). What settings did you use with the video converter program?

  341. Alec says:

    The DVDshrink recommended works great, It rippped the lord of the rings the fellowship of the ring in 16 minutes.
    However, the ripper gave me the VOB file in the folder, along with a VIDEO_TS.BUP, VIDEO_TS.IFO, VTS_01_0.BUP, and VTS_01_0.IFO.

    Do I convert all the files or just the VOB file?

  342. Brent says:

    I found out that the site I got this movie from might be the reason (not legit).I am not to sure if I can say that site name or not. I am going to try Ipod lounge to see if it works better fron there. If not I will be back. Thanks for all your help. You have a great site.

  343. zunetips says:

    Alec: The VOB file contains the video data (it’s basically an MPEG2 file). You can forget about the other files.

  344. Alec says:

    Thanks…also, I was getting some arithmatic overload error thing, so I tried encoding with the regular Windows media encoder, and it seems to be working. i just plugged in the settings you put up.

  345. Alec says:

    Never Mind! It didn’t work fine! The audio is not there!

  346. Alec says:

    I realized the problem. I didn’t have the AC3 filter. But I downloaded it. Do I have to rip the dvd while having the codec, or do i just need to encode it while having the codec installed?

  347. zunetips says:

    Alec: If you’re missing the audio, then you probably have a bad audio codec installed on your system. Most issues like this are related to missing or bad codecs. Do a search on the word “codec” on this blog site for possible solutions.

  348. zunetips says:

    Alec: You don’t use any codecs when ripping data from a DVD. Only when you play the video or try to convert it, do you need to use the codecs.

  349. Alec says:

    I followed the instructions in the Video Codec Hell article, but i am trying to install the Vista codec pack, but it is stuck about 1 mm away from completion of the installation.

  350. Alec says:

    Despite the lack of the Vista codec package being completed, the audio bar at the left (I am using regular Windows media encoder 9) tells me that the audio is working now.

  351. Ly says:

    I was able to open the batch encoder!
    The only problem I had after that was the videos not being in sync with the audio. I unchecked the two pass encoding and it worked fine after that. I still think the quality of the videos are great.
    And the syncing was faster than I expected.
    I’m going to uninstall all those other programs I went through that ate so much of my time.
    Anyway, just wanted to thank you for sharing this.

  352. zunetips says:

    Ly: I’m glad you got everything working. Hope you enjoy your new videos on your Zune!

  353. Alec says:

    Another update on my progress with the encoder. The Vista codec package is installed, despite the installer not finishing. The icons and such are that given by the codec package. Once my movies are encoded I will have to try and close the installer to see if it would still be installed.

    Also, thanks for these guides zunetips. i now have movies on my Zune, after nearly a year of having the Zune 30GB.

  354. zunetips says:

    Alec: I’m glad it’s working now for you. I’m sure you’ll fill up your 30GB drive real soon!

  355. Alec says:

    Yep. Also, I am sure posting this will help some people out.

    If you get this error when using the batch Encoder:

    system.overflowException: Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow at BatchEncode.Form_BatchEncode.sReportPercentComplete()

    You should be able to convert it fine using regular Windows Media Encoder 9 (not SDK or batch.)

  356. Ly says:

    I thought I did…
    The audio and video were in sync, but once it got further into the movie/show, the faces would stretch vertically of about 1/2 more of it’s normal size… along with everything else, but it’s more noticeable with people’s faces.
    Then everything would go back to normal for a bit and the next thing, more stretching.
    I don’t know what to do about that now.

  357. zunetips says:

    Ly: That sounds really bizarre. I’m not sure why that would happen, unless the video codec you’re using is having problems.

  358. Ly says:

    Do you think it has something to do with the pixel size? Because the original is a widescreen.
    Or because I unchecked the two pass encoding?
    I don’t remember if it had any vertical stretch in the file that went through the second pass because I was too busy worrying about the audio being completely out of sync.

  359. Brooke says:

    When i try to open a file onto the windows media batch encoder, i go to the file and try to open it but it doesnt appear on the list. What should i do?

  360. Brooke says:

    this is way too complicated for me lol. i gave it a try but i cant figure out whats wrong.

    thanks anyway this explanation is great.

  361. zunetips says:

    Ly: If you noticed that the entire movie seemed stretched vertically, then it is a video output size issue. The widescreen video is squished down to fit in the 320×240 screen size. If you noticed that only portions of the video gets stretched at different times, then it’s a different problem.

    What you can do, is use my Video Attributes utility to examine the video source file. It has an option to tell you what width and height pixel settings to use to encode your video so that it won’t be squished on the screen. It will create black bars at the top and bottom of the video, but it will preserve the wide screen format.

  362. zunetips says:

    Brooke: If you’re trying to convert a VOB file (which you ripped from a DVD), then you need to change the file filter in the open dialog box from “Media Files” to “All Files” to see the VOB files. Or, just drag the VOB file from File Explorer into the Add Files window in the Batch Encoder interface to add it.

  363. Ly says:

    At first I thought that the video stretched at different times because the beginning seemed to be in good quality.
    When it got into a few minutes, where the faces are close up, they are noticeably stretched, while wider shots look normal.
    I searched Google for what people were setting their widescreen movies to and I found numbers from 132 to 180, and so I tried that out and that worked. Only thing is, it’s much harder to watch because it’s cut down to half the screen.

    Thanks. I just tried the application of yours. It’s telling me 588 x 240. Would that make the Zune software reconvert?

  364. zunetips says:

    Ly: No, it shouldn’t reconvert the file during syncing for that resolution.

  365. Lady Shaly says:

    Ok so I followed your steps, being no newb to ripping files and messing around with them it wasn’t a problem at all. Used DVD Shrink to rip Matrix Reloaded (I own the DVD, wanted to put it on hubby’s new 80GB Zune). Changed the extension of the resulting vob file (only one, I double and triple checked) to .mpg and played using Media Player to ensure the whole movie and sound was there. Worked great, only weird thing was the total time said it was a 57 min movie, but it’s like 2+ hours. Whole movie was there. When I encoded it the encoder goes beyond 100%, like 130%+. The resulting .wmv file is only 1 hour 20 min long and cuts off a large portion of the movie. I reviewed all the settings, it seems to be fine.

    I tried another movie which I own and it only did 3 min 18 seconds even though the source file is the entire movie.

    What am I doing wrong?

  366. zunetips says:

    Lady Shaly: I would guess DVD Shrink isn’t capable of circumventing the protection of your DVDs. “Matrix Reloaded” is a relatively new DVD, and as such may have newer protection schemes which cannot be defeated by DVD Shrink. You might try using DVD Decrypter HD to rip the video from the DVD (as that program is newer than DVDShrink). Also, your movie may be on more than one segment or VOB file on your DVD, so you may need to select more than one item when you rip it to a single VOB file.

  367. Lady Shaly says:

    Thanks for replying.
    I will try that program you suggested, however the problem has occured with two video files now. Both of which will play the entire movie on my PC and get cut off after the encoding process. And the other file was ripped using a different DVD ripper.

    As for the multiple VOB files on the actual DVD, that’s definately not it. When I re-author the DVD the time of the VOB file that I ripped is 2+ hours, (cant remember the exact time but it is the length of the movie.)

    As I said, both video files (one mpg/vob and one avi) work perfectly on my computer. After encoding the mpg it plays roughly half of the file, and after the avi is encoded it plays only 3 minutes 19 seconds. Both times I left the computer and ran no other programs along with the encoder. I am however running Nortons and I know how that loves to mess with stuff. =\

  368. Lady Shaly says:

    EDIT:
    After encoding the mpg it plays roughly half of the file
    ***What I meant to say was half the movie, it’s the entire file.

  369. Ly says:

    I converted the movie to 588×240 and the software didn`t reconvert it while synching. However, it still had the black bars as it did the 320×132. I`m guessing all it did was improve the quality.

  370. ladyshalymar says:

    A widescreen movie is always going to have the black bars unless you are viewing it on a widescreen or you actually go into the program and set it to crop out that space.

  371. ThunderBlade says:

    Is there any way to change the software settings so that it can convert flv files?

  372. zunetips says:

    ThunderBlade: Windows Media Encoder 9 can’t process FLV files. What I do, is use a freeware program to convert downloaded FLV files to MPEG2 or AVI format, then use WME9 to do the final conversion to WMV format for my zune.

  373. Pedro says:

    when i click start on the batch encoder the status for the movie says

    Error: Encoder Prepare – Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

    What does that mean?
    What do i do?

  374. zunetips says:

    Pedro: Do you get that error message when converting any video file, or just specific ones? Can you successfully convert any videos you have?

    I would suggest reinstalling Windows Media Encoder and the WME SDK again on your laptop, then rebooting your system and trying again.

  375. Anthony D. says:

    Hey, first off I’d like to thank you for this great guide. Unfortunately I am having some problems though. I just bought a Zune 80 yesterday and I’ve been messing around with it and so far I love it, but for some reason I can’t seem to get your video conversion suggestions working. I downloaded all of the programs and then I opened up the batcher program and put everything in the fields just like you said. When I hit the start button it says the encoder is stopped, then it starts for 2 seconds and says the conversion is complete, but the output file has no content. Any idea as to what I might be doing wrong? Thanks for your help.

    Anthony

  376. zunetips says:

    Anthony D. – My first immediate guess is that you have bad or conflicting video codecs installed on your system. If you have a different computer system available, try installing the WME9 software on that computer and do the conversion. If it works, then the video codec installed on your 1st system is the problem. You should then check out a few of my postings on this blog which discusses bad video codecs.

    Also, what kind of video files are you trying to convert? Are they VOB files from DVDs, or MPEG files?

  377. Anthony D. says:

    They are mpeg files that I am trying to convert, what codec do you think could be the issue? I’ll try this on my desktop. Thanks for the quick response.

  378. zunetips says:

    Anthony D – Check out the “Determining Video Attributes” page that I have on this blog, where I describe how to determine the video and audio codec used in a specific mpeg file.

  379. Jason says:

    I have been using windows media encoder for a while now but I have one problem I cannot figure out and found this site. I can fill out the “description” field in the batch encoder but when the file is copied to my zune there is no description there. The “author” field is there but no description. I can even verify this with a program for editing the zune meta tags. I have run the program in a debug mode in the development software and the descriptions seems to flow all the way through. Any ideas where it is getting lost?

  380. zunetips says:

    Jason – Sorry, I’m not sure why you’re not seeing the meta data tags in your Zune from WME. So far as I can remember, these tags are added correctly to a converted file in WME (I don’t have a video file to test this now, however). If it doesn’t work for you, then your only other recourse is to use an application like dSHARPIE to edit these tags manually.

  381. Dre325 says:

    Well, I’m back again. Your last response to me is up at post 321… It’s interesting to see that Lady Shaly has the EXACT same problem as I do with converting my vob files as she mentions in posts 365, 367. We both have scenarios where the vob file can be played perfectly when changing the file extension to .mpg although Windows Media Player says the movie is only 50 some-odd minutes when in fact the full 2 hour plus movie is there and is playable. Then when we convert to wmv, WME is only encoding about an hour and 10 minutes of the movie and then cutting it off without any errors, etc.

    I have to admit that I haven’t tried your recommendations to convert with a WM8 converter yet and haven’t tried the batch encoder on a different computer since I don’t have one. What I wanted to mention, however, is that the other day I watched one of the DVDs that I had ripped and tried to convert. I noticed that at the exact spot that the WME cut off the conversion from vob to wmv, the movie pauses slightly which I believe is associated with the DVD player changing to a different layer of the dual-layer disk. This possibly confused WM Encoder and it thought the file conversion was complete. Do you have any thoughts on this? This may also explain why a few movies convert perfectly for me as they may be shorter and not have to switch layers.

  382. Jason says:

    Yeah. I have another program for editing the meta tags of the wmv files. Just hoping to skip that step.

  383. zunetips says:

    Dre325 – I’m not a video expert, so I don’t know why you’re having problems with the VOB->WMV conversion. I suggest you try using the FFMPEG freeware program to convert the VOB file to MPEG and see if that fixes the video file. Then, try converting the new MPEG file to WMV format using WME9.

  384. chava says:

    I have a few questions about my Zune but before I post them, I just wanted to thank you for your site. I’m scrolling through these questions and you have incredible patience and willingness to explain things. G-d bless you!

  385. zunetips says:

    chava – You’re welcome! 🙂

  386. srb says:

    finally i thought but it is not working out for me. i have tried many different converters and thought that would be the solution to get the avi to wmv, but then the converted files would still convert and get stuck at 91 or 99% when syncing to the zune. i thought this was the solution but when i tried to start the conversion with your recommended software it would run for just a few seconds and would say that it was done but when i open the output file it is there but 0 sec. long and nothing happened? is this and installation glitch? what am i doing wrong. i would love to be able to use my zune to its fullest potential.

  387. zunetips says:

    srb: Are you trying to convert an AVI file to WMV format?

    Most likely, your problem is with the video and/or audio codecs installed on your computer system. See my posting titled “Video Codecs from Hell” which describe some of the issues I’ve had with codecs.

    Usually, issues like this occur when you install and uninstall several different trial versions of video converters from the internet. sometimes DLLs or codecs are not removed and that may cause problems.

    Can you play the AVI file using Windows Media Player on your Desktop PC?

  388. Jaylan says:

    When converting a vob file (that’s all I’ve tried to convert) the batch encoder and just the media encoder 9 freeze and the task manager says they’re not responding. I downloaded dvdshrink for my ripping as you recommended and that seemed to work just fine, though the file it created doesn’t play with wmp or zune. Is it the rip, or the converter?

  389. zunetips says:

    Jaylan: The VOB file is basically an MPEG file, so try renaming the extension from VOB to MPG or MPEG and see if it can play on your computer system using Windows Media Player. If it doesn’t, then you probably don’t have the required MPEG-4 video codec to decode the movie file for playback (and conversion). If that is the case, you’ll need to download the missing video codec (search my past postings for “Video” and “Codec”).

  390. Jaylan says:

    Okay, the batch encoder is giving me an error: encoder prepare-object reference not set to an instance of an object. How F’d up is that for an error message? Any idea what’s wrong. I Converted a couple vob files successfully with Roxio Copy and Convert (I paid for the crappy software, figured I’d use it) and it worked for two, but since then its been offsetting the audio and video so the lips don’t match up. That hurts my head to watch. That and Zune had to transcode during sync and it’d be nice to avoid that if I can just get the batch encoder to work. Thanks.

  391. zunetips says:

    Jaylan: I had an issue with the audio not syncing with the video during a conversion, and it turned out to be the AC3Filter audio codec. Do a search on this blog for audio codec or AC3Filter and see what I had to say about it.

  392. Mike says:

    Hi, i downloaded all three things, chose my avi movie file, and followed all your instructions…but when i press start, the status goes from pending to encoded in a split second…ill go to the output folder and theres the wmv file and everything…but its
    only ike 5 kb, with a length of 00:00:00…….ive tried switching off 2-pass, but still nothing… keep in mind that the original .avi is like 699 MB and is 1:36:00…and yes, they play perfectly in windows media player on my computer

  393. zunetips says:

    Mike: It might be for codec used when creating that avi file. WME9 may not be able to process it. Did you try using a different converter program? Maybe Handbrake or the Converter 2 program that I mention on my conversion page? Neither will give you the wmv formatted file that you would want for you Zune, but they should verify that your system has the correct codecs for video conversion.

  394. Mike says:

    ok, handbrake will not work on these, because I just downloaded this movie as an avi…i didnt rip it from a dvd…someone else did for me, and ill have no way of knowing how i think…on downloads dot com it lists ‘Any Video Converter 2.62’ which is free and sounds usable…do you have any experience with this?
    P.S. Thatks you for your speedy response

  395. zunetips says:

    Mike: If you use the program called “GSpot” to examine the file contents, what does it show for the video and audio codecs?

    So far as all the “free” converters, nearly all of them are based on the same free conversion programs (ffmpeg and mencoder). They just have a different front end to them. You can certainly give them a try, however, installing and uninstalling them can cause problems with your system. The reason being, they install various video/audio codecs that sometimes don’t fully get uninstalled, and then cause conversion problems.

  396. Mike says:

    Under audio 0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3
    Under video XVID XviD 1.1.2 Final

    The status for both is Codec(s) Installed

  397. zunetips says:

    Mike: I’m not sure why it is not working on your system. The only thing I can think of, is that the video codec for XviD isn’t fully compatible with the WME9 encoder. Do you know if you installed this codec manually yourself, or was it installed from a video codec pack?

  398. Jeff McLain says:

    Hey!
    Love the blog and directions, but as usual for me, it’s never as easy as it appears =( There’s always some sort of problem for me. First I used the batch encoder and got Error: Encoder Prepare – One
    Not sure what it means or how to fix it.
    Then I tried just one file on the WME and was told that a codec was missing.

    These are video podcasts, some of which are already in the right format, and sync right to my zune 30 in a min or so, are all mpeg 4 files. Not sure what I’ll have to do with any of this, but yeah, I’m a tad irked that I STILL can’t get videos on my zune =( Could you point me in the right direction? Reaching me by my email would be the safest bet, but I will check back here to see if I can’t reach you. Thanks a lot!!

    -Jeff-

  399. zunetips says:

    Jeff: So what kind of video files are you wanting to convert to WMV format? Are they MP4 or AVI files?

  400. Jeff McLain says:

    .m4v is what it says. >.>

  401. zunetips says:

    WME9 doesn’t have the ability to convert MP4 or M4V files. It can only handle AVI or MPEG format. That might be why you’re getting the error message when trying to convert it.
    Someone on the Zune forums recommended this free application for video conversion:

    http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/

    You might give that one a try.

  402. Mike says:

    Im pretty sure it was already installed, since i didnt need to download anything to run it…there was one however (I have a few different avis i wanna convert) that needed AC3 Filter for the audio, but i installed that and i runs fine…

  403. Jeff McLain says:

    Sweet, thanks a lot. That worked like a charm! You might want to add that to the main blog as a good resolution to my issue. Thanks a lot! Love the blog, and this for sure is just..wow, so helpful! Take care.

    -Jeff-

  404. flips says:

    I was getting the Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected memory Like a lot of you were and I finally found the fix. This was the fix that worked for me anyway.

    Use GraphEdit to see what codecs windows is using. I was using FFDshow for both audio and video. For the audio box of FFDshow I right clicked and went in to properties and then disabled FFDshow for the particular audio format (it is the one highlighted). When I reloaded FFDshow it was using MPEG Layer 3 encoder instead.

    Also, I recently installed the divx codec, previously I only have xvid and FFDshow installed. Now graphedit doesn’t say that I’m using that, but I’m wondering if that could have done something as well. I don’t plan on messing with it as it works okay now.

    Good Luck,
    flips

  405. Chris says:

    Hey, for some reason the Batch Encoder keeps crashing when I try to open it. I think it’s my computer being a 64x. But since I cant use it how do I do the WME 9 and import the PRX file?

  406. zunetips says:

    I believe the batch encoder is Visual Basic app that makes calls to the WME9 APIs, so it may have trouble running on a 64-bit OS. I like to use it, since it has a simple interface. You can use WME9’s interface directly, but it can be a bit overwhelming with all the options and switches. I suggest you try running WME9 directly and see if it works.

  407. Chris says:

    Because I’m a complete idiot, how would I do that?

  408. zunetips says:

    Chris: There’s a link to “Windows Media Encoder 9” at the top of this page. Download that file and install it on your system. Then, run WME to bring up the main interface. You’ll need to poke around to find the location where you can import the settings I’ve been using from the PRX file.

    As an alternative, I describe in this posting how I used a DOS batch file to convert all of my VOB video files in a specified folder to WMV format using WME9. Very useful if you don’t mind creating a DOS batch file. (Note, you’ll still need to download and install WME9 from the previous mentioned link).

  409. agameofyou says:

    When I hit start to convert any .avi video file (have only tried .avi’s) I get the following error…

    Error: Encoder Prepare – Object reference not set to an instance of an object

    Any help?

  410. zunetips says:

    agameofyou – It could be a lot of things, but I would guess a video or audio codec is the culprit. Do you know what codecs were used with that AVI file? You are probably missing the required codec and WME9 can’t decode the AVI file. Search for the word “Codec” in this blog and you’ll find several references which might help out.

  411. agameofyou says:

    Ok, i have tried this now on 3 separate machines. My earlier post was from my Windows Media Center box that’s been up for probably 3-4 years so it quite possible there’s a codec issue there. The other two run xp sp3 and both have the same issue. One is a work laptop that only has a couple of codecs installed and i can watch the movie just fine on it with WMP11 so there shouldn’t be a codec issue with it. On that one I can run the conversion but it finishes in a couple of seconds and produces a 6kb output file.

  412. zunetips says:

    agameofyou – I’ve found that even if I can play an AVI file on my computer, that doesn’t mean I have a compatible video codec installed for WME9 to use for decoding and encoding. Try this:

    Go to dcunningham.net and download his converter called EncodeHD. It’s a beta program that uses FFMPEG as the main converter. It’s very easy to use, and can generate MP4 files compatible with the Zune. Give that a try and let me know if it can successfully convert your AVI file.

  413. agameofyou says:

    After reading through a third of this blog I decided to try the WM Converter 2. I was able to successfully convert the AVI files but the quality was sub par. Lot’s a pixelation and random green screens. I tried it with default settings and 1 pass and with double the resolution and 2 pass but it made no discernible difference. I then tried the EncodeHD and that worked wonderfully. Picture and sound are great. I did not watch the sync so I’m not sure if the Zune software had to re-encode it or not but I’m going to redo all my videos with EncodeHD now. Thanks for the help!

  414. Erik says:

    i downloaded the windows media encoder 9 series and the sdk from the links you provided. i converted the movie “step brothers” and it worked perfectly, first try. i let it run over night and did the 2-pass option. the next morning i got the movie onto my zune, and deleted the movie off of my computer to save space (i am running out and getting a new hard drive for christmas). no problems with naything yet. but then i tried to do another movie and it would only encode for about a second and say encoded. when i looked in my output folder, there was only a 5kb file. i have tried several times and the same thing keeps happening with different files. they were all avi video clips. i then uninstalled everything and reinstalled everything exactly the same as the first time i installed everything. now i am getting an error message that says the attempt to read or write protected memory did not work and is probably due to corrupt memory. i see others have gotten this as well. please help! i really do not want to be stuck with JUST “step brothers!”

  415. zunetips says:

    Erik – I would guess it is a video or audio codec issue. It really depends on what codecs were used to create the AVI files you are converting. They might use a codec that you do have installed on your system, but isn’t compatible with WME9.

    You might try the suggestion I made in posting #412 above. EncodeHD uses the converter called FFMPEG to create MP4 files, which is compatible with Zunes.

  416. Erik says:

    i tried the hdencoder and it converted my avi file to MP4, which then required converting by my zune, so i guess i will fiddle around and try to get it to work. do you know the codec(s) i might need? anything will help.

  417. zunetips says:

    Erik – Check out this page for help with identifying video codecs.

  418. Erik says:

    well, that did not help very much. i looked at some of the video files that i have tried with the encoder but i have all of those codecs. now that i think about it, when i re-installed the encoder program, there was a message that asked me if i would let it use a certain thing, i think it was an ff… something. i said “yes” to it. that could possibly be it. i think i will re-install it again and select “no” and see if that works at all. this is somewhat weird now. by the way, great job with all the tutorials the answering back so quickly. some people take ages to respond.

  419. zunetips says:

    Erik – Unfortunately, working with codecs isn’t a simple thing. For example, you might have a ‘Divx’ codec installed, however, it might be a “bad” codec that is not compatible with some video converters like WME9. It’s really hard to figure out if you have a good or bad codec installed. What I did, was try my best to remove all the questionable codecs on my computer system, reboot my system, and try to install the needed codecs from web sites that had good user responses. If you search for “codec” on this web blog, you’ll find several hits where I’ve talked about all the stuff I’ve done in this area.

  420. Erik says:

    i guess i am confused by all of this because it worked fine the first time. when i look at the “all codecs and filters” list produced by the gspot program, i see that “WS Mped2 Dec” is “missing.” is this the codec that is causing the read and write problems? is this the one included in the “ffdshow” package?

  421. Erik says:

    WAHOO!!!!! i figured it out! i read earlier that you said that if you have two or more codecs installed at once, it might not work. at the time i first read that i did not know that eah converter program would install codecs on its own. i was looking around and noticed a comment on the “encoder360” page that you said something like how you didn’t like the program installing codecs on its own. a bulb in my brain went “click” and i realized i should just uninstall the other THREE converter programs i had installed. i did that, ran the WME9 again, and tadah!!! pass one of two is currently running! thank you so much for this website and the indirect help. now i will be able to watch movies of any kind on my zune.

  422. Erik says:

    well it isn’t over yet. i tried two movies since and they both worked but there are some movies that will only produce 4-44 kb files. i do not understand why it will only work with certain ones. i looked at their properties and looked at them with the gspot program and they are all axactly the same. they all use the xvid codec. the error message is gone so i got that out of the way but now i have this. and i am pretty much stuck with this because there aren’t any programs out there besides the cucusoft one and that one is impossible to get without buying since you have to do an online registration. i have an old 30gb zune so i can’t use that one guys hdencoder. grrr!!! do you know what is going on with the WME9 encoder?

  423. zunetips says:

    Erik – Where are you getting the original video files? Are you ripping them from a DVD, downloading them from the Internet, etc? If they are coming from various sources, then the codecs might be slightly different (either the video or audio). And, you still might have some “bad” codecs installed on your system causing some issues. This is usually caused when you install and remove trial versions of the various video converters. What I did on my machine, was remove every single codec that I could find, rebooted my system, ran a registry cleaner (CCleaner) to clear everything out, rebooted again, and installed some select video codecs from the Vista Codec Pack (which also works on XP I believe). I then installed the AC3Filter codec for audio (which is what DVDs mainly use). That seemed to get my system up and running.

    It’s certainly tough to get everything installed and working. If you have a different computer system available, you might try installing WME9 and see if it can convert the troublesome video files, and if not, try installing some select video codecs from the Vista Codec Pack (just the ones you think you need).

  424. Sarah says:

    Ok, I am getting frustrated with the Zune…
    I bought an 80gb Zune for my husband for Christmas but I wanted to put some movies on it before I gave it to him… but this has been the hardest thing ever!! So far here is what I have tried…
    1. Downloaded and paid for DVD to Zune software, the sound was off from the movie.
    2. Downloaded everything you reccommended but the encoder gives me the same message as many people “Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.”
    3. Used the Gspot just to make sure I had all the Codec’s it said I did.
    4. Found a video on youtube that suggested using the Jodix converter, it changes them to mp4 (I didn’t think it would work, but the guy said he had a zune and it worked), which worked for my ipod touch, but would not transfer to the zune.
    5. Tried a program called prism video converter, again sound was off from the movie.
    6. thought I had found a great alternative called DVD-WMV that was also free, but the sound was again off.
    7. Right now I am trying what you suggest on my husband’s grandfather’s computer.. and it didn’t give me the error, but…. I have left it running for the past 4 hours, without anyone touching it or anything and it says that it has 4% converted…. so I would rather not have to wait 100 hours for a movie to encode.
    HELP ME!!! I am desperate!
    I am even trying all this with an old DVD (Tin Cup) that is like one of the first DVD’s so it shouldn’t have any crazy protection or anything.
    Anyway, any pointers you can give me would help me greatly!

  425. Erik says:

    the files are downloaded from a website. they are mostly dvd rips. how long does the process of removing all codecs and replacing them with the ones i need take? how do i do it?

  426. Erik says:

    i tried the wme9 encoder program on another computer and it worked with the files that wouldn’t on my computer. i guess you were right about the left over codecs from the programs i removed. could you please recommend a site or link that would help me remove and re-install codecs? i admit i am not the most intelligent in this area of computers. thanks a lot. i think i can see the end of the road ahead…

  427. zunetips says:

    Sarah – It’s noble of you to jump through so many hoops to get videos on your Husband’s new Zune for Christmas. I’ll try my best to help!

    I remember converting some video files once and the audio was slowly going out of sync while it was playing. At first the syncing was off just a bit, but as the video progressed the audio was getting more and more out of sync. I figured out that my settings for the output video was higher than what was in the input video source. For example, the original video file had a video bit rate of 400 kbps and I tried to make the output video at 700 kbps. It’s impossible for the converter to increase the video bit rate, so that caused the audio to get out of sync with the video.

    I suggest you try the following: check what the video bit rate, audio bit rate, and frames per second of the input video source file. For the conversion, make sure you are not setting any of these levels HIGHER than what was contained in the input video source. So the video and audio bit rates as well as the frames per second for the output file should be the same or lower than the input source file’s settings. Give that a try, and see if it helps with the audio syncing. If it doesn’t work, report back and we can try a few more things….

  428. zunetips says:

    Erik – Check out this posting called “Video Codecs from Hell!” that I wrote a while back. It explains my situation which is very similar to what you’re experiencing now. I talk about how I searched my system for all codecs and how I removed them.

    Don’t feel bad, as this codec stuff is a real pain to get working. It’s really hard to find them and remove them from a system (that’s why I made my posting to help other in the same predicament!).

  429. Erik says:

    do players like VLC, RealAlternative, and Powerdvd have extra codecs? i would like to keep those players.

  430. zunetips says:

    Erik – From what I understand, they probably do have their own Video/Audio codecs. I know for sure PowerDVD does. Try just removing the codecs from old trial versions of the various video converters you’ve installed. Also, you might try removing the codec for K-Lite Pack or any other Pack that you don’t remember installing. Be careful not to remove something you might need for the system…

  431. Erik says:

    well i di everything you did to fix the codec problem and tried some of the troublesome videos and they worked. so now that is fixed. the only thing left is how i can create my own settings like the file you gave everyone. when i convert my widescreen wideos, mostly the movies, the all get smooshed to fit the zune screen, losing the black bars on the top and bottom. is there a program or some way for me to make my own settings?

  432. zunetips says:

    Erik – I’m glad you got the codec issue straighten out. If you download the WME9 profile that I use from this link, you can double-click on it to bring up the Profile editor on your system. In this editor, you can make all the changes you wish, and save your settings to a new prx profile file. When you use WME9, you can reference this new profile.

  433. Gabriel says:

    Zunetips – I just want to say Awesome! site! The information here is invaluable. I’ve downloaded and installed all the apps you mention, WME, WMESDK, GSpot, & dSharpie. I tried converting some of my avi files last night and they went through but the audio and video are out of sync. I’m trying an edit of the zune_profile.prx file now, but if I can’t get it to work I’ll probably be sending you a question.

    I have one file that is in DV Type 1 AVI that I foresee having problems. I think the video and audio are interleaved because GSpot doesn’t give me and audio bit rate information. Also, the stuff at the bottom says it’s “failed to connect…” under GSpot, but the MS A/V seems to work. The file is huge, 12.1 GB, so that may be the issue. I’ll see if I can get it to work with some tweaks to the .prx file.

    Thanks again for the wonderful site! d(^_^)

  434. zunetips says:

    Gabriel – The out of sync audio is probably caused by trying to convert to a higher frame rate than what is available in the source video file. For example, if your AVI input file was created at 15 fps, then you can’t effectively increase it to 30 fps for your output WMV file without suffering from an audio out of sync situation. Check the video parameters of your input source, and make sure you don’t exceed them for the converted video file.

    I’m not sure about your DV Type 1 AVI (never heard of that format before).

  435. Bill says:

    The link to the zune profile prx is trying to get me to buy a membership. Is there another way to get the profile?

  436. zunetips says:

    Bill – If you pick option (2) on the FileFactory page, you can download the prx file for free. You don’t need to signup or be a member. I just tried it, and it works fine.

  437. Richard says:

    Awesome guide. I’ve had no particular problems at all. Great job man. Microsoft should pay you to do this.

  438. zunetips says:

    Richard – I’m glad you found the info useful. Have fun with your Zune!

  439. Richard says:

    Thanks man. Back at you!

  440. Chris says:

    It’s me again, I downloaded the PRX file. And I’ve opened up WME, but I haven’t been able to find out how to use it. I clicked the “Help” section they offer, but the only thing they have to offer is how to edit the file and save it. So I was wondering, is there an opition there where it allows you to use it?

  441. zunetips says:

    Chris: Normally, I use the WME Batch Encoder interface which I supply the prx file to use. If you’re using the main WME interface, then from “Custom Session” select the “Compression” tab, then select the “Edit…” button, and then click the “Import…” button. You’ll be importing the settings from the prx file that I provided. Now, that is the hard way of using WME9 for video conversions. Using the Batch Encoder interface is much easier…

  442. MKT says:

    Hello and thanks for a great blog!

    So I used your .prx and changed the resolution, bitrate and audio bitrate and I get a 720×480, 3000Kbps video 192Kbps audio file that still has to “Convert” when synching. Is that the same thing as transcoding, or is that normal? It’s only a three minute video and can take 4-6 minutes (2pass) so I’m guessing converting=transcoding.

    I changed the audio conversion setting in the Zune s/w to “Only convert formats that aren’t supported by the zune device.” I have the video setting on “Optimize videos for TV Output (takes longer)” since it’s my understanding that that is how I get it to output 720×480 on my TV. When I pull the video off my Zune again and check its properties I see 320×212 and 736Kbps. What am I doing wrong?

    More generally, many of my source videos are in 320×192 so is there any advantage (increase in quality) if I bump that bitrate up to 640×480 or 720×480 when I convert to .wmv? I just “up”converted one and in the end it was a smaller size, what’s the deal there? I know garbage in = garbage out but thought I’d ask to make sure.

    Thanks!

  443. zunetips says:

    MKT: The 3000 kbps video rate is exceeding the limits for the Zune (to avoid transcoding) check out my video specs page which shows the limits you have to stay within.

    If you have a video source of 320×192 and try to increase the screen resolution to 720×480, you’ll end up with grainy video since you’re just blowing up the pixels you have in the source. So, either stay at 320×192 or go smaller is ok.

  444. Queen28 says:

    Hello, I have been trying to read all of the comments to find out how to get video movies on my zune. I can save the video/dvd on my computer but now what do I do? How do I convert the movies to the right fles extension for Zune and what conversion software do I use. Please help. My boyfriend has had this Zune for over a year and I can’t figure out how to do the videos but we have plenty of music on it.

  445. zunetips says:

    Queen28: First, how are you saving the DVD video to your computer? Are you using a DVD ripping software (as discussed in my “Ripping DVDs” page)? If so, you should have files with a .VOB extension. You can then convert the .VOB files to the desired .WMV format for your Zune using the Windows Media Batch Encoder as I’ve discussed on this page. Note, that you’ll need to set the filter on the File Open dialogbox for the batch encoder to “* All Files” to see the VOB files for selection (or simply drag-n-drop the VOB file to the list box under the “Source” label.

    If this all seems too complicated, then an easier route is to purchase a software that will do the DVD-to-video file conversion for you. That way, you can simply select the DVD and let it do the rest.

  446. Tikidee says:

    You have easy to follow directions…and thanks for being a good teacher, but I just can’t get it to work. I have Vista Home Premium, loaded the DVD with DVDShrink. Files are listed as .VOB. I downloaded both window programs as well as your .prx file. Got the batcher loaded with all the necessary information without changing anything (because your directions are straight-forward). Clicked “start” and nothing happened. No errors codes, no nothing!! Any idea what the problem might be?

  447. zunetips says:

    Tikidee: If you change the extension of your VOB file to MPEG or MPG, can you play the video file on your PC using Windows Media Player? If not, then you’re missing the necessary video codec on your PC to decode the MPEG (VOB) video file.

  448. Tikidee says:

    I HAD decoded the vob file (used Handbrake) to mp4 and it plays with Zune and Windows Media Player. In fact I got one disc (after coding to mp4) to load to the Zune. But the next one wouldn’t do it from mp4–it would convert but not sync….why it was converting, I don’t know –it was already mp4 and I thought Zune took that. So I tried to use your process from the .vob extension. Then I couldn’t the batcher to work. Please advise o’ great one.

  449. zunetips says:

    Tikidee: If the settings used to create the MP4 file doesn’t fall within the specs for the Zune, the Zune software will transcode (recovert) the file file. So, that may be the issue with some of your MP4 files. Also, some DVDs may have a protection scheme that is preventing the DVD ripper program you are using to extract the VOB file correctly from the DVD. I’d try a few more DVDs using Handbrake and see if any of them will sync with your Zune.

  450. mishimau says:

    ummm so how do find the media batch encoder interface??
    ive downloaded all th tools but i dont know how to use it..
    (yea i know dumb question but im confused)

  451. zunetips says:

    mishimau: The Windows Media Encoder Batch interface is a VisualBasic application that can be found in this location:

    C:\WMSDK\WMEncSDK9\samples\vb\batcher\BatchEncode.exe

  452. Vic says:

    ZuneTips;

    Thanks for sharing all you know, and taking the time to post it. Like many, I am dealing with the Zune/Unbox issue. I have tried to run the conversion process you posted, but it seems that it will only work for WMV files that do not have any DRM associated with them. The error actually mentions that I will need to have the license (?) or something like that. I am sure you are familiar with it. In my case, I should have the license, because I did purchase and download my movie’s from Amazon Unbox … so my question to you is two part:

    In your post #14 (January 5, 2008) you say “Apparently, you can’t use that utility unless you have a legal license for watching the movie file (which you can only get if you buy the movie from Amazon.com).” I did make the purchase legally, but I do not see any licenses on my PC. Can you tell me the extension for the licenses, and how to find them?

    Also, maybe mote importantly, you said “Since you have the license, you should be able to use the utility to remove the DRM.” I have looked in the Unbox player but do not see an option for removing DRM. What utility?

    An answer to these two questions would be greatly appreciated, by me, and many more I am sure. Thanks a lot; we appreciate your help.

    Sid

  453. zunetips says:

    Vic: I’ve never used Amazon Unbox, so I really can’t answer your questions. When someone mentioned the topic to me, I did a Google search and posted a response based on what I found. I suggest you also try doing a Google search and see what you find. I have a feeling there’s not much you can do to remove the DRM protection, unless someone has found a hack to do so.

  454. Vic says:

    ZuneTips,

    I am fine if we drop the discussion about UnBox for now, it may make be easier for us to communicate. I do apologize for bugging you on this; but maybe you could re-read your post (#14).

    Here is a copy what you posted on Jan. 5, 2008: “Since you have the license, you should be able to use the utility to remove the DRM.”

    I am just trying to figure out what ‘utility’ were you referring to in comment #14?

    Thanks,
    Vic

  455. nycskigal says:

    Very grateful for all of your advice…

    I am getting the same error message when trying to encode from DVD files with Batch Encoder as some others “system.overflowException: Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow at BatchEncode.Form_BatchEncode.sReportPercentComplete()”

    I use DVD shrink to rip the DVD to a single file, and it ends up as a single ATI file (is this right?)

    The file plays fine on my computer with WMP, so I think all the codecs I have are correct

    But when I try to encode it, I get the above error message…has happened with all (3) DVD files I’ve tried.

    Any advice? Thx

  456. zunetips says:

    nycskigal: There seems to be a bug in the VisualBasic coding for the Batch Encoder that is not calculating the percent complete correctly and thus overflows the variable buffer. I don’t think it’s a problem with the actual video processing. I’ve only seen this occur on a few DVDs that I’ve worked with, as most of the time the conversion works fine for me. The only way I know of fixing this, is to edit the VisualBasic code to correct the problem.

  457. Franklin Paine says:

    how can I convert a dvd with UDF format so I can use it on my zune?

  458. zunetips says:

    Franklin: I have no idea what UDF format is…. can you use DVD Shrink or DVD Decrypter to rip the video files from the DVD to your PC?

  459. Mel says:

    First off thanks for all your great work. I’ve been having a problem with both encoders. I tried the batch encoder first and it came up with the error:
    “System.overflowException: Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow at BatchEncode.Form_BatchEncode.sReportPercentComplete()”
    I’m tempted on editing the Visual Basic code (like you mention above) but have no idea how…
    So I switched to the other encoder. It ripped the second file I tried perfectly fine but the first one I tried to encode is still giving me troubles. First I tried it with two-pass encoding and it stops about halfway through the movie…it says it’s still converting but after letting it sit for awhile and checking the file it’s pretty obvious it isn’t. When I chose not to do two-pass encoding it would go through the movie and say it was done. When you play the output file it gets about 3/4 of the way through the movie and stops like that’s the end of the movie. I tried it again and it did the same thing.
    I’ve searched all over for an answer to my problem but can’t find anything.
    All in all I’m feeling cursed when it comes to getting movies on my Zune as I was using Cucusoft before but that program would die on me too and there’s no real support for it.
    Any help would be awesome!

  460. zunetips says:

    Mel: What video file are you trying to convert? Did you rip it from a DVD? If so, I’m wondering if the DVD had some protection scheme that is not allowing the video transfer. If what you’re processing is a VOB file, can you rename the extension to .MPEG and see if it plays on your PC?

  461. Mel says:

    Yes, I ripped it from a DVD (it’s Howl’s Moving Castle…so it’s done by Disney).
    I changed the extension from VOB to .MPEG and played it with no problems through Windows Media Player.

  462. zunetips says:

    Mel: You might try using Windows Media Encoder with the encoding set to 1-pass. I’ve had that problem before and using 1-pass seemed to work.

    The only other option I would try, is to use ffmpeg to convert the VOB file to an AVI file, then use WME to convert the AVI file to WMV. It’s a pain, but worth trying if you really want to convert that video.

    Alternatively, you can try a commercial converter that is designed to convert DVDs to video file format for the Zune.

  463. Mel says:

    Using one-pass didn’t work. When I changed the file to .MPEG I left it playing and it stopped at the same scene it stops at when I do one-pass encoding. I’m thinking it’s DVD Decrypter not getting the right keys for the second layer of the disc. Of course I could be wrong.
    I’ve converted files to .avi before. There’s a really easy way to do it…just need to redownload all the programs. If I can remember which ones I used 🙂

  464. Curt says:

    I am trying to convert a DVD (Firefly, Episode 1 Serenity). I used DVD Decrypter. The VOB file plays fine in WMP when the extension is changed to MPEG.

    When I use the batch encoder, I get the following error message in the Status:
    “Error: Encoder Prepare – Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.”

    I rebooted several times and it always fails with this message. I have tried it with both one and two pass.

    I couldn’t find a log or stack trace, and nothing was written to Event Viewer.

    I am running Windows XP Pro SP3, on a Dell XPS.

    Thanks for any suggestions you could give me.

  465. zunetips says:

    Curt: Are you able to convert any other video files to WMV format using Windows Media Batch Encoder? I’m wondering if the issue is your particular setup or the actual VOB file you are trying to convert. Can you try converting some other video (maybe an older one that is not made by Sony)?

  466. Curt says:

    Oh, I also have a trial version of Cucusoft installed, if that has any bearing.

    Thanks.

  467. zunetips says:

    Curt: You have Cucusoft installed and it worked in converting the video file or not?

  468. Curt says:

    I posted this before, but it isn’t showing up.

    I tried Fight Club. I got a successful decrypt, checked by play through WMP as a MPEG.

    I got the same error message in Batch Encoder.

    I tried to do it directly in Windows Media Encoder. It failed when I browsed to the VOB file. That failure did show in Event Viewer:

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: Windows Media Encoder
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 1000
    Date: 4/25/2009
    Time: 8:33:26 PM
    User: N/A
    Computer: DF629L71
    Description:
    Faulting application wmenc.exe, version 9.0.0.2980, faulting module ntdll.dll, version 5.1.2600.5755, fault address 0x0001b21a.

  469. Curt says:

    Cucusoft worked last week when I used it (with some issues, like low frame rates at some points).

  470. Curt says:

    Same vids (Firefly and Fight Club).

  471. zunetips says:

    Curt: Were you able to convert any VOB files using Windows Media Encoder or the batch encoder interface? I’m wondering if you’re missing a DLL file or something that is preventing the conversion with WME, or if WME just can’t convert specific VOB files that you have.

    Have you tried re-installing WME9 and/or rebooting your PC?

  472. Curt says:

    No, those were my first tries. I just installed WME and the SDK this morning.

    Uninstall, reboot and start again?

    I think I will uninstall cucusoft at the same time, just in case I got a bad dll version or something with cucusoft, since it is producing wmv.

  473. Curt says:

    Uninstalled everything and reinstalled WME. Same problem, blows off on trying to open the file. It will at least open other media files than VOB without failing.

  474. zunetips says:

    Curt: If you can convert other DVDs (VOB files), then I would say that the problem is with the ripper software decrypting the protection scheme on the DVD. I suggest you try using the freeware program called “Handbrake” and see if you can create an MP4 file from a DVD. If you can’t, then it must be the protection scheme.

  475. Curt says:

    Handbrake would create MP4 off of these VOBs without failing, but when I tried to play them, the screen was black.

  476. Curt says:

    Was using Zune software to play them before downloading.
    BTW – that was the reason I was trying the WME method instead.
    Decrpyter is DVDDecrypter version 3.5.4.0

  477. Curt says:

    Current version of Handbrake 0.9.3 no longer has internal DVD encryption, so it doesn’t work with the DVD directly.

  478. zunetips says:

    The news about Handbrake is interesting, since processing DVDs directly was one of its strongest features.

  479. Curt says:

    I think it has to be something with DVD Decrypter. I used it on another computer, and got the same results. I reinstalled the trial version of Cucusoft, and all the DVD’s converted fine with it. Just for a test, I tried to used Cucusoft on one of the decrypted VOB files and got a couple of error messages, the first one being something about an invalid render pin.

    I think I may just have to pay for Cucusoft.

  480. zunetips says:

    Curt: In my opinion, if you’re planning to convert several DVDs and you’re comfortable with using Cucusoft, then I would just buy it. Cuts down the hassle of converting DVDs.

  481. Curt says:

    Well, it does have the advantage of working on my system (the trial version anyway). BTW, I tried installing everything (DVD Decrypter, WME) on a different computer, my cruddy laptop (Win XP Home, SP2), and got the same bad results, so I think that is a dead-end for me in any case.

    And I have a bunch of DVDs I want to put on my Zune120. Thanks for all the help.

  482. Janette says:

    How can you convert ISO files using the program? Or, is there a better program out there for that? I have a lot of ISO files that need to be transferred to my Zune. The only way I can do that now is by creating a VOB file.

    Thanks

  483. zunetips says:

    Janette: From what I understand, an ISO file is basically an “image” of a CD or DVD. So, I believe you would need to do the following:

    1) Mount the ISO file as a CD or DVD using a program such as “Virtual CloneDrive
    2) Use DVDShrink or DVD Decrypter to rip the video data from the mounted ISO file to a VOB file.
    3) Convert the ripped VOB files to WMV, etc.

    So, essentially you treat the mounted ISO file just like a DVD in your DVD-ROM Drive.

  484. al2nd2nun says:

    OK here it is I use super with the following settings:

    microsoft zune: wmv
    output video codec: WMV9
    audio output: WMA2
    video scale size: 320:240
    aspect Ratio: 16:9
    frame/Sec: 30
    Bitrate: 576(the zune has a 800k bitrate total between video and audio)
    options: High Quality and stretch it checked only
    Audio
    Sampling Freq: 44100
    Channels: 2
    Bitrate: 192
    language default

    SO far so good min glitching and pixelation!! And most importantly no transcoding!!!

    I also have the following codec pack installed:

    the free pack at the bottom of the page install and say no to all the offers use only if you need it!

    http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/31560870/error-encoder-prepare-.aspx

    Al

  485. Anthony S. says:

    During the batch conversion it gets about 50 frames in (I’m assuming) then freezes and doesn’t continue encoding beyond that.

    Ideas?

  486. zunetips says:

    Anthony S: What’s the video source? Is it a AVI file, or DVR-MS file? Or, did you rip it from a DVD? It might be protected, and as such won’t convert completely. What software are you using to do the conversion?

  487. Meg says:

    I don’t know where else to ask this question — I record TV programs on my desktop using Windows Media Center. Those videos (quickly and easily) sync to my Zune for viewing. I would often prefer to watch those videos on a larger screen, naturally. The laptop! It also has Windows Media Center (but not a TV tuner).

    Before I torture myself or mess up everything on the Zune 80, I ask the master: is it possible to connect the Zune to the laptop (which never met the Zune) through the USB connection and watch those programs on the laptop screen? And if so, how would one manage that? Sorry that I’m a dunderhead, Zunetips, but thank you for your contribution to educating dunderheads in Zune World. — Regards.

  488. zunetips says:

    Meg: I’m not aware of a way to do what you’re asking. I don’t think you can directly access the video files stored on your Zune from your laptop via a USB connection. There might be a way, but it would probably be a big hack and difficult to do. Now, if your laptop has video input jack you might be able to play your Zune videos through a video cable connected to your laptop. That really depends on if and what kind of video connector you might have.

    I suggest you do a google search on the topic and see what comes up. You never know, you might get lucky! 🙂

  489. Meg says:

    I kinda figured it wouldn’t work. No video cable connections on the laptop. I wouldn’t want to hack and didn’t want to download from the Zune to the laptop or anything, just view on the larger screen what was already in the small device.

    Ah well. Worth a try. Thank you for your assist!

  490. Seattle Rain says:

    Some of the videos I convert using your steps give me blank results, the video length is 00:00 on the file after it’s converted. Any idea how to fix this?

  491. zunetips says:

    Seatle Rain: Most likely it’s the video codec you are using to decode/encode the video source. Can you play these videos on your computer ok? Search this forum for “codec” and you’ll see that I posted several comments on this subject.

  492. Seattle Rain says:

    Yes the video plays on the computer fine, I ended up using a program called Free Zune Video Converter 1.0 and it converted the files. They are playing and synch fairly fast, I just would like to use your suggested program instead of needing multiple converters.

  493. zunetips says:

    Seattle Rain: What is the video source you are using? Is it ripped video files from a DVD? It might be that the DVD is protected and these utilties that I’ve suggested using can’t defeat the protection scheme of your video source.

  494. user0one says:

    I have been using TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress to covert Videos to the Zune Format. Easy to use

  495. zunetips says:

    TMPGenc 4.0 XPress appears to be $99 US, which is substantially higher in cost compared to DVDFab DVD-to-Mobile which is going for $30 US.

  496. Ecuatorial patience says:

    I’ve been having some trouble, and can’t seem to find a workaround. I use sign language videos, which contain no audio. This tiny glitch has caused me so many problems. I can convert to WM9 without audio, and sync with no transcoding, but I can’t do the same with MP4/M4V (using a 120GB, BTW). No matter what I do, it will always go through transcoding. I can use the exact same settings with a DVD that has audio, and it works perfectly. Zune softerware limitation? Does it detect there is no audio and has to transcode? Seems very unfair…. Any ideas?
    Oh, I could use WM9 for all sign related videos, but I’m using Windows 7, and I can’t get the batch encoder to work at all.

  497. zunetips says:

    Ecuatorial: I’m guessing the lack of audio is causing the transcoding during syncing.
    What is the source of your video? Is is a VOB file ripped from a DVD?
    What program are you using to convert the source video to MP4 format?

  498. Ecuatorial patience says:

    My guess as well. I’m using the latest dev version of Handbrake svn 2829 (the latest one that can actually read DVD’s that don’t have audio). The source, of course, is a normal unprotected DVD. I’m using the iPod Legacy settings, as I want to later output to TV. I’ve used the exact same settings using similar DVD’s that do have audio, and they sync perfectly.

  499. zunetips says:

    Ecuatorial: Does Handbrake have an option to add in blank sound as an audio track?

  500. Ecuatorial patience says:

    I thought of doing the same thing, and I looked over the Handbrake forum, but couldn’t find anything. If anyone knows how to add a blank audio track in Handbrake, please share!
    Just a side note – I could just use WM9 and batch enocder, and have been doing so in the new XP Virtual mode, but I honestly like the H.264 encoder better. I’d love to have my videos in that format, but can’t seem to find the way to do it. I really do appreciate any help!

  501. Charlie Owen says:

    As the developer for the Batch Encoder application (it seems like ages ago) just wanted to drop by and say thanks for writing this blog post. 🙂

    Charlie Owen
    Microsoft

  502. zunetips says:

    Charlie: Thank you for creating Batch Encoder, as I use it frequently to more easily use the Windows Media Encoder features.

  503. Bill Gates says:

    Damnit Charlie I told you not to go around flaunting. We will be having a nice long chat on Monday.

    Bill

  504. Justin says:

    I am trying to download the .prx file, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I am aware that this blog was started a long time ago. Is the file still there or am I doing something wrong in downloading it? All I get is popups, but no download.

  505. zunetips says:

    The file is still there. I just tried to download it and it works. Since this file is being made available on a free server, you need to click on the download link and wait the required 25 seconds or so before the actual download link is active.

  506. Justin says:

    Yeah, it was there. I was just being an idiot and clicking on the download link for the stupid games advertised. I am encoding my first video now. So far so good. Thanks!

  507. Cherish says:

    This is exactly what I needed. I tried it. I tested one video first. It synced to my zune quickly but when I looked at it, the quality of it playing was really pixel-y. Can you please help me out? How do I make the video clearer? =]

  508. zunetips says:

    Do you have a Zune 4/8/80/120 or a newer Zune HD? I had to make a lot of adjustments to my conversion process to generate clearer videos for my Zune HD.

  509. Nate says:

    This program worked perfectly on my other videos, but I’m trying to convert some new movies and the program stops encoding after about 20 minutes and the movies end up having a play time of less than 4 minutes. The movies are more than an hour long each and the encoder only encodes the first few seconds/minutes.

  510. zunetips says:

    I suspect that the video you are trying to encode may be protected. Did you rip them from a DVD? If so, what ripper software did you use? I would guess that the ripper software wasn’t able to defeat the protection scheme of the DVD. You’ll need to do some Google searching to find the right tools to do that.

  511. Andrea says:

    FileFactory says the PRX file is gone. I know this is an old old post but it’s no easier to convert to WMV these days than it ever was, and since I have an old Zune 30 it’s really my only option.

  512. zunetips says:

    To be honest, I’m not sure I even still have that prx file as I’ve switched off of Windows to an iMac a few years ago. I’ll try to find it, but I can’t promise anything….

  513. Rich Reamer says:

    the download link above for MWE (media encoder 9) is bad now.
    MS has removed it.
    its been replaced by something called Expression Express 4.

    does this work (or is better than wme) ??

  514. zunetips says:

    Microsoft replaced WME with Expression Express 4. The interface for this new program looks different, but it should work the same.

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