DVD Commentary to MP3. Painlessly? On a Mac?
August 31, 2005 10:32 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to transcode the commentary tracks of some DVD's for iPod listening, preferably on a mac. I think I have it narrowed down to some obscure VLC commands.

I've been passively working on this for the past few weeks. The closest I've come is this tutorial which was recently posted to lifehacker. This tutorial is perfect, except it only works for the primary audio channel. Some googling revealed command line options --audio-language, --audio-track and --audio-channel, but none of them appear to be working.

--audio-language seems to be the obvious one to go with. It accepts a string as the parameter. I've tried every Possible permutation of the name apple's DVD player reports for the commentary track ('Audio English 2'), without any luck.

So, I'm asking for either the correct way to do this using VLC, or any other (possibly better?) method.

I apologize if this has already been addressed (It seems like it should have been). I searched using both available methods.
posted by adamkempa to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can do it with Audio Hijack. Basically, what that program does is "hijacks" any other program that you specify's audio stream and burns it to the file format of your choice (like mp3).

The only caveat is that i wouldn't recommend using your computer for other things while it's happening, though I guess that would depend on how fast your computer is.

I did it with the audio stream of a Criterion Laserdisc so that I could share it with people (the title is out of print).
posted by dobbs at 10:39 PM on August 31, 2005

Audio Hijack - there's a pro version as well but it's twice as much.
posted by dobbs at 10:43 PM on August 31, 2005

You can use 0sex to extract just the audio stream. It's not exactly an intuitive program, but it gets the job done.
  1. Deselect the video track(s) under the "Vid" menu.
  2. Deselect all but one audio track under the "Aud" menu. You'll have to guess which is the commentary, but you can preview the file in VLC as it extracts --- if it's the wrong track, just cancel and start over
  3. Change to "Elem. Streams" under the "Fmt" menu. This will extract a separate AC3 track instead of a VOB.
  4. Click "BEGIN" and choose an output folder.
  5. You can convert the AC3 file to an AIFF with a52decX or LAME, if you're friendly with its options.
Hope this works for you.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:50 AM on September 1, 2005

Best answer: You can do this with mplayer. Assuming the main movie is in title 1 on the disc (which is usually, but not always, the case), the command should be something like
mplayer -vc dummy -vo null -af resample=44100:0:0 -ao pcm:file=foo.wav -aid XXX dvd://1
where XXX is a value between 128-159 – see the output of mplayer -v dvd://1 for possible values.
posted by hilker at 8:43 AM on September 1, 2005

You might also try WireTap Pro for OS X
WireTap Pro is your all-purpose digital recording device: with the click of a button, WireTap Pro allows you to record any audio on your Mac. WireTap Pro's simple but powerful interface allows you to record audio from any running applications, as well as from any microphone, line-in, headset, and even your radioSHARK.
Want to record sound snippets from your favorite DVD movie, digitize your old record collection, record streaming audio from the Internet, or even use your iPod as a personal Dictaphone? WireTap Pro is your solution.

WireTap Pro can save your digital recordings in the popular .mp3, AAC, QuickTime, and AIFF file formats, saving them to your hard drive for later processing/listening. WireTap Pro can also save your recordings directly into iTunes, or onto your iPod or other iTunes-compatible .mp3 player. You have total control over the file format, compression, and quality of your recordings.
posted by Independent Scholarship at 11:21 AM on September 1, 2005

Response by poster: In case anyone stumbles across this thread via the search, I ended up writing an app to do this. It's here.
posted by adamkempa at 11:41 AM on September 16, 2005

Response by poster: Whoops... fixed link: here.
posted by adamkempa at 3:18 PM on November 6, 2005

« Older .   |   Restore selected files from backup? 2.5k selected... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.