PC not seeing dvd-rw/vr recordings

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Spamlet, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Spamlet

    Spamlet
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    Hi all,

    A while back Gavtech and others kindly advised me on how to convert dvd recordings to cd format. I foolishly imagined I knew enough to understand the basics however!

    Since my earlier thread, I have filled a dvd-rw with 'radio' series recorded at the lowest resolution on our Sony HXD - in vr mode because this gives a proper file list when viewed on the recorder.

    Now I come to try the conversion via our XP Pro equipped pc, I find that XP does not see the files if the disc is unfinalised, and if it is finalised it only sees the first clip.

    This clip does play in our vlc media player, but even that does not see the files that are on the disc.

    I was foolishly expecting that the list of files on a dvd would appear just as the list of files does on any other storage device, hence had not realised that before I could carry on following the earlier advice given to me, I needed to know how to get off the starting blocks first!

    No doubt this is a pretty dumb question, but I'd much appreciate an explanation or a pointer towards one.


    Much obliged,

    S

    PS: I notice that there is a file VR_Mangr.IFO as well as the one visible vro. If I open this in notepad I see the list of files is at the bottom of all the code. Presumably XP needs a gizmo to read the IFO file. Also note that Windows 'Media Player' (11) doesn't run the vro file either - presumably lacking the necessary codex.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  2. Broadz

    Broadz
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    The problem is probably caused because you have recorded in VR mode. This is a non-standard mode which is unsuppoted by most DVD players. It's unlikely that anything but the recorder you used to actually make the recording will read it if it is recorded in VR mode.

    You should record in Video mode if you want to be able to play the disc back in anything other than the recorder which made the recordings in the first place - and also make sure that it is finalised.

    It will then play back as a normal DVD on any other DVD player/recorder - or on a PC with software that is capable of playing back DVD video (i.e. PowerDVD, Windows Media Player, Nero Showtime etc). The fact that the disc appears to only be audio (i.e. radio channels) is irrelevant. They are still DVD recordings that you have made, it's just that you are only interested in the audio.

    Once you've got that far, we can then advise you on ripping the DVD encoded audio (which will be DD2.0) from the DVD disc into an alternative format on your PC (i.e. MP3) and then burn this to CD as CD-audio.
     
  3. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    I've just been reviewing your earlier thread because you have not said here what your objective is. - You mention your intention to convert, but to what?

    Are you still planning to make playable MP3 CD's?
     
  4. Spamlet

    Spamlet
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    Yes Gavtech, just as before, I intend to convert them to wav/cd audio for playing in the car.

    Broadz: up until now the free VLC media player has been able to play vr recorded tracks from the dvd recorder - this once the necessary codex had been downloaded.

    I have not noticed the tracks/files not show up in XP's Explorer windows before though.

    Why would it now see one track but not another?

    It might be something to do with using the lowest recording mode perhaps?

    I really don't like using video mode, as this gives almost no control or viewing options in the dvdr, and even less room for fitting in the titles. It is a horrible mode and completely unsuited to sensible filing or browsing of what one might watch.

    Cheers for the replies,

    S
     
  5. Broadz

    Broadz
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    What difference does it make? Seeing as all you want to do is get the audio recordings onto your PC as MP3s so you can burn them to a CD. So, whether it is horrible or nice, whether it is an inefficient method of recording (even though it is actually a more efficient method than VR mode in reality) or not doesn't make a blind bit of difference.

    The problem you have got is that you can't see what you think are individual tracks on the PC when recording in VR mode - and that's because VR mode is not true DVD recording. It is manipulating one or more recordings using fancy pointers and internal menus to create pretend chapters, to hide recordings which you don't want visible even though they are still there, to make the disc think that it has got one long chapter when actually it is two or more recordings linked together using a chain effect, and these pointers cannot be read by anything but the recorder that put these fancy pointers on in the first place. Whereas a DVD recorded in Video mode has separate video files for each individual recording - which presumably is what you want to be able to rip into MP3s prior to putting on CD.

    The reason you are only seeing one file listed is almost certainly because all the info is stored in that one file - VR mode just creates pointers to a certain section of that one big file which contains the start of "chapter" 2, "chapter" 3 etc. If you'd done it in Video mode you would have individual files for each individual recording as VOBs, and VOBs can be played back, and ripped, using any DVD playing or audio rippiing software. Whereas the one file created by a VR recording cannot.

    What you think are separate files as listed on your DVD recorder are not seperate files on the disc - they are simply pointers to different sections of the one VR file on the disc, which your DVD recorder is displaying to you based on the rules you set when you created the recording, split it into chapters, set start and end points etc etc etc. But nothing other than your DVD recorder will see the recording as seperate chapters - everything else will just see the file as one big file, because nothing else will be able to use the other file that was created alongside it that contains all the information about where each section starts and ends.

    It's up to you - I've told you why your DVD reading software is struggling to understand what you have put on the disc - and it's got nothing to do with the quality of the recording mode. It is to do with the type of recording you have made - one that is incompatible with almost any DVD playing software that exists. If you've still got the recordings on the hard drive of your DVDR, put them onto DVD again this time using Video mode then try playing the recordings back on your PC - and you will find that the DVD disc you have burnt will appear just like any other DVD, with a proper menu to allow you to choose individual recordings, which can be fast forwarded, rewound, skipped to a particular point in time, scanned etc etc etc. And once you've got that, you can start using DVD rippiing software to extract the audio from the DVD video recordings you have made.

    Why do you care whether the DVD-RW is in Video mode or VR mode once you've ripped the audio to CD? What exactly are you going to do with that DVD disc once you've burnt the audio to CD to listen to in the car - other than format the thing and start again? You're never going to "watch" those recordings on that disc are you? Cos they'd be pretty boring DVDs to watch, being audio alone.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  6. Gavtech

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    Spamlet - You mentioned the .IFO [ Information ] file earlier... and when dealing with DVD's structured this way, it is normally that file which you should target as it contains all the metadata about the bulk data.

    In this case what you are after is the audio data so what you need is an audio extractor.

    Have a read of this thread which is generally applicable and will guide you to AVS Video Convertor Software. [ See mainly from post number 7 onwards ]

    This is software which has restrictions when used in its trial version [ by inserting an AVS logo] ... but only on video content. It contains an audio extractor which you can use forever freely.
    It will extract to .wav or MP3.

    Note that at the end of that thread BobW mentions going through another stage to extract at a higher rate but that was presumably because he had not yet discovered that the settings could be changed directly in original extractor.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Spamlet

    Spamlet
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    Thanks Broadz,

    This is a very interesting post and I am grateful for the effort you have put in to it.

    "What difference does it make?"

    Well, in this case, it might make quite a lot time wise, as it happens: and I find it easier to deal with files that come at about 10 to a sceen rather than the 3, I get in video mode, and where the silly and unnecessary thumbnails take up half the screen, that could more sensibly be used for text that would better identify the files. For all I know this may be just the crass way the Sony presents them, and on other equipment things might be better, but when I have the VR mode - still a bit limiting mind you, compared with files on a pc - that does the job, why bother with video?

    "one that is incompatible with almost any DVD playing software that exists."

    That's odd, there seem to be quite a few people using Sony stuff, even in these columns: I had no idea it was such a rare make.

    Do you think VR is likely to be discontinued in the future? To me, this would seem to be a step backwards; but if other equipment presents video mode in a better way than Sony chooses to do, then you may have a point, and I may have a lot of rerecording to do in the future (hopefully at high speed!) (Actually I was hoping for simple drag and drop...).

    Problem is, the Sony is a bit fussy about what it allows me to do in high speed dub. For some reason that I have not yet worked out, the device sometimes allows me to dub in high speed to dvd in video mode, but at other times it tells me 'cannot dub at high speed in video mode'. This, even if I dub on to -RW to resample tracks to fit more on; and then dub them back to the hard drive in the new compression state at high speed; it still sometimes then lets me dub it to a dvd in video mode, but at other times swears this is not possible!

    Hence I tend to stick with VR except when making stuff for others to play on different recorders.

    In this case, at the 'SEP' setting, 10 hours of radio will fit on a dvd. If I dub this in VR at high speed that is about 14 minutes: otherwise it's 10 hours!

    As to being able to see only one file. In this case there are visible: the .IFO file of 180k, and one .VRO of 1.7 gig. The disc properties say it is full at 4.7gig however. The one .VRO file does play and it only has one 15 minute programme on it.

    Probably, as you indicate, there may be other instructions in the IFO file which tell the player how to access the next track. My query comes about because my VLC media player has presented files separately before, and played them normally, so presumably it used to be able to read the IFOs. (Thinking about it now, it might possibly be that earlier tracks were dubbed one at a time on different occasions, but on this occasion I dubbed them all in one go: actually, that sounds like I may have just answered my own question after all..., or does 'finalising' join them all together anyway?)

    Gavtech,

    Thanks once again, I'll have a look at that thread, and let you know how I get on. It sounds interesting even if as Broadz points out, there might be a simpler way...

    As Broadz points out, the 'easiest' way would appear to be to dub the tracks again in video mode, but as noted above, I am having problems getting the DVDR to let me dub at high speed in that mode, and I don't want to have to tie up the Sony for 10 hours at a time doing it in real time.

    Thanks once again to you both,

    S
     
  8. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    I don't see how having to do it again would be easier?

    You already have the recording - so just point the audio extractor at it and you should get your MP3 or Wav file which is what you are after.

    The tracks issue is a red herring.
    Point the extractor at the IFO file and you'll get the audio of the whole DVD.
     
  9. Spamlet

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    Right ho,

    I haven't got round to reading the relevant thread yet (lots of eml backlog to clear before getting on to the interesting stuff...)

    As a post script to my other points about the Sony's fussiness about what it lets me do at high speed:

    I just spent three hours in real time recording three concerts to a dvd in video mode because it said I couldn't do it at high speed in that mode. Then when finished I noted there were '10 minutes' left on the disc, so I thought I'd add a radio prog or two. Blow me but the message that then popped up was that 'editting points would move if I went ahead at high speed in video mode': ie. this time it assumed the dub would be at high speed, and had forgotten that three hours before it said this was impossible!
    :confused:

    Cheers,
    S
     
  10. Broadz

    Broadz
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    Well, it's taken you three days so far to get nowhere. Whereas, if you'd done it in Video mode, regardless of how long it had taken to get the files from your Sony DVDR hard drive to DVD disc, you'd have achieved something. You'd have then had standard DVD discs which could be played back on any other DVD player, and which could have been accessed by any computer program written to manipulate DVD video discs.

    Makes no odds once you've got the DVD disc on your PC and you're trying to rip the audio. Because you won't see any thumbnails and your filenames won't mean anything. You will select recording number 1 - and rip the audio. Recording number 2 - and rip the audio. Recording number 3 - and rip the audio. Get the idea? Stop trying to think of the menus and contents that you see on your Sony DVD recorder as being the same format that you will see when trying to rip the audio using computer software. Because it will not be the same.

    What does this have to do with Sony? My LG DVD recorder can record to DVD-RW discs in Video mode or VR mode, and my Panasonic DVD recorder before it could also record in VR mode - and as long as I only intended to watch those discs back on the recorder which made the recordings in the first place, mine displays the menu for VR format discs fine and lets me select the recordings I want to watch - and perform further editing on them if I wanted to.

    But, if I wanted to watch those discs back on any other DVD player, or (and this is where it corresponds with your problem) if I then wanted to use some completely different software which was nothing to do with watching the DVDs (i.e. audio ripping) then the VR format would be of no use whatsoever - because audio ripping (and video ripping) uses the IFO file and the corresponding VOB files to identify which particular file contains the audio or video that I want to rip - and VR mode does not create individual VOB files for each individual recording you have made on the disc.

    Of course VR won't be discontinued in the future - a lot of people have one DVD player/recorder in their house, only ever record to DVD-RW discs, and like being able to go back and manipulate the discs after they have already recorded some stuff on those discs, deleting individual programmes after they have been watched and adding extra programmes as they are broadcast. And for those users, VR mode is ideal. But they aren't the kind of people who then want to use the disc that they have recorded on not only a different DVD player, but on a computer with software on it which isn't going to play the DVD as a DVD video, but is actually going to rip a portion of the individual video files as MP3 audio tracks, and then burn them to CD as audio tracks.

    You really need to come away from the idea of thinking that what your Sony DVDR shows you on a VR mode DVD-RW discs as being what all other software (DVD players or otherwise) will see the contents of the disc as. Because they will never be the same. Just because you name a recording on a DVD (say) "Hustle Episode 1" does not mean that there will be a file called "Hustle_Episode_1.VOB" stored on the DVD disc if you view it in Windows Explorer or some audio-ripping software. The name that you give to that recording is held (encoded) somewhere within the IFO file that is created when the recording is made - but the filename itself will be something like VTS_01_1.VOB - and the link within the IFO file will indicate to DVD playing software that Hustle_Episode_1 is actually held within the above file. The filenames and thumbnails that you give to these recordings on your DVDR will not help you in the slightest when ripping the audio from these files.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  11. Spamlet

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    Progress report,

    Firstly thanks very much for your help and patience you guys, as this is all new territory to me and I am rather feeling my way and not actually aware of the questions I need to ask until I try to do something that seems straight forward and find that it isn't...

    As noted, I have been accustomed to using VR mode as I mostly just use the one machine and this presents things best as VR (Thanks Broadz for all the detailed info about the diferences between the two modes.)

    It had seemed a handy thing to do, to use the series record facility on the dvdr to capture a whole radio series at low quality and then combine the episodes and copy them to cd as one complete recording. As speech does not need to be high quality, I thought I ought to be able to fit a lot more of it onto a cd than is the case for music...

    Anyhow, as I already had some recordings in VR mode I tried that first.

    Gavtech's suggestion of using AVSVideo converter, seems to get over the problem of extracting the full stream from my first VRO file (Which had played in VLC media player though only the first section - but not WindowsMP).

    After an initial mix up where I tried to extract from the IFO file instead of the VRO, AVSVideo did copy the whole thing to AVI - taking 3 and a half hours - and ending up with a file of 457meg that plays and seems to have all the programmes in it as a single stream.

    Continuing with AVSVideo converter's edit options, I tried to 'extract to audio' but this ends up with a 3Gig plus wav file which Windows Media Player, again says it lacks the necessary 'codecs' to play (And it certainly wouldn't fit on a cd...)

    The VLC Player does, however, play this as a full five hour plus set of recordings all joined into one continuous stream.

    Returning to the dvdr I found that the Sony would now let me combine the instalments of the various series into single programmes, and then copy them at high speed onto -RW in Video mode after all. (Still don't know why the Sony sometimes lets me record at high speed to video mode and sometimes not.)

    In this mode, WExplorer does see the right number of separate BUPs VOBs and IFOs. However, I find that once again Windows Media Player will not open them because it 'doesn't have the codecs', and that (just as with the VR mode) VLC Player only sees the first of the 10 episodes that made up the whole series that forms the first VOB, so it still needs to be extracted.

    I am writing this as I wait for the AVI converter to extract just this first VOB (739 meg) and after 30mins plus it is still only half way through...

    Seems I have been rather spoiled with the high speed dubbing capabilities of the Sony and wasn't ready for all the time the simple copying back and forth was going to take once off the DVDR.

    Anyhow, what to do next? The AVS converter does not seem to have a separate section for compression and convertion to audio cd (seems to lump audio with MP4 - which I'd not heard of before, having most of my recordings on tape.), and the wav format is too big without some further step to just get the minimum amount of sound necessary for speech, and hence the smallest possible file onto a cd.

    Much obliged for any further tips on what is the next stage. You will probably be thinking 'Why the xxxx doesn't he just buy an MP3 player.", and this does indeed look like what we really need, but the car came with the cd player built in, with a multichanger, so it would be handy if we could use it as it is.

    All the best,
    S
     
  12. Gavtech

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    It seems you have given yourself rather a lot to do by gathering all this material together in one lump before you had a system developed to deal with it. It would be easier to deal with in smaller chunks.
    If possible, use something smaller to develop your system.

    However there are a few things that may make it easier... and possible to deal with the corner you are painted into.

    I note you extracted to .wav format, whereas you have the option to extract to MP3 [ and I thought that was your intention ] which would make it easier to handle because the file is so massive.

    You need an audio editor to split up this material ... but the file size is so huge as to be effectively unmanageable, so I suggest a better approach is to extract each audio programme separately [ as MP3 or Wav whichever is your intended format ].

    You can do this by setting the start and end points in the editor before you extract - so it will only extract that section.
    For guidance on how to set the points look in 'About / Help' in the main AVS front skin.

    Once you have your separate files, of manageable size you can organise them ad lib for laying onto CD.

    However, your comments suggest that you do not have authoring software... which will be necessary if you wish to make a traditional CD format disc using wav files.

    That will not be necessary if you are working in MP3 as they can simply be burned onto a CD... and will work provided your car player supports it and the files are laid down according to its specification.

    But I am still not clear if MP3 is your target?
     
  13. Spamlet

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    Thanks Gavtech,

    No MP3 is not currently my object as we have a number of ordinary cd players (mostly 'furniture items' with combined tape and radio).

    MP3 would only be used at the moment on our pcs and the laptop I am writing on here. The main use for these recordings would be in the car which has a built in cd player and disc changer (Clarion AX413R - about which I can find no technical details as the 'Owner's Manual' concentrates almost exclusively on fitting the device, and tells b' all about what it can do. On the web all I can find is others who can't even get hold of a handbook...)

    Of course, if I need to convert to MP3 in order to compress and then convert back to audio to burn to CD, then it will still be handy to keep the MP3 versions on file on hard drive.

    What authoring software do I need, to separate the audio from these tracks, compress it, and rewrite it as audio to cd? Is there no 'all in one' that will handle all these processes from VOB, through audio stripping; compressing; converting back and forth between audio and MP3; and writing to disc in whatever form one wants? I seem to be building up quite a collection of progs which only each handle a part of what, I thought, ought to be one straight forward conversion process.

    Cheers,
    S
     
  14. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    Bear in mind that when you compress something you throw away data. So if you convert back 'upwards' it will be a shadow of its former self.
    Sadly these processes are infamous in requiring multiple pieces of software.
    There is never an all in one solution.

    To take your question: ' What authoring software do I need, to separate the audio from these tracks, compress it, and rewrite it as audio to cd?'...
    You already have the audio extracted.. in wav format - which is the destination filetype that you require.... so you do not need to compress.

    The problem is that the file is inordinately large ... but may work as is.

    You can either try and work with this file ... or re-extract the audio from the disc ...but in shorter programme lengths as suggested earlier.

    Another alternative is to work with an audio editor and cut the audio up into tracks. However I think it likely there would be significant problems with that approach because of the filesize.... especially if the software has an 'undo' feature, which most do... because - just supposing you cut the file in half - you have to wait while it rewrites the whole file in two halves and preserves the original in case you want to 'undo' to it... so there is endless writing of pagefiles by the PC.

    Another alternative...and perhaps the best ... given that you need an authoring programme to make a CD... is to not worry about breaking the file up at all ... but let the authoring programme perform the controls necessary on the file to break it up into name-able discrete tracks.

    An disc authoring programme such as Nero can do this. Others probably do but I cannot comment on them.

    Obviously the material you have will require several CD's [ Given typically 80 minutes per disc ] but you can work from the master file in all cases and simply denote that part of the file you want and separate it into appropriate tracks.

    So it is only an authoring programme you require now.
     
  15. ramjet

    ramjet
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  16. Spamlet

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    Thanks Chaps,

    I have a version of Roxio, but will have to look to see how up to date it is as we have tended just to use XP's built in functionality up till now.

    And I have seen a number of mentions of that TMPGEnc so that must be worth a look at.

    Gavtech: I have rerecorded my original progs as single series titles, and one for example comes in as 206 meg as an avi but 1.4gig as a wav. I thought if one was only interested in the sound, things would get smaller not bigger: what has the conversion packed out the recording with, to make it bigger? The wav does indeed play with a fair amount of 'surface crackle' as if from dust on an old LP stylus...

    If I converted the avi to MP3 instead, and only then converted to wav, would the result be any different/smaller/less crackly?

    Steep learning curve here!
    But very pleased to have all your help:thumbsup:.

    S
     
  17. Tuddy

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    Just to put my tuppenceworth in, if I have any radio recordings (Vr mode) that I want as a CD or mp3 I play the recording in a capable dvd palayer (maybe not an option for you spamlet) then record the audio through my PC's line input in real time using an old version of Roxio Spin Doctor.

    If I want some basic mp3 editing I use 'cool mp3 splitter'. Used this method for Planet Rock several times as the SKY box is also in the loop.
     
  18. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    On what did you record this?.. obviously not the DVDR


    It is presumably a DivX avi which is an intensively compressed form of file and so it has enlarged when you have converted to an uncompressed format.
    The noise is probably the result of the of the data that has been discarded as a result of being so compressed in the first place.
    Discarded data due to compression is permanently lost and cannot be retrieved.
    It would probably be even worse.
    Conversions, should always be kept to a minimum. Every conversion to a compressed format throws data away.
    DivX and MP3 are compressed formats. wav is an uncompressed format.
     
  19. Spamlet

    Spamlet
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    Thanks for that bit of lateral thinking Tuddy.

    Thinking slightly more laterally, what would happen if I connected the headphone socket of the pc to the line in...

    Anyhow, let's stick to the original task for now, as I ought to learn how to manipulate this video stuff properly, so as not to have to bother all you good folks with my silly questions - other than on an occasional basis at least:)

    Cheers,

    S
     
  20. Spamlet

    Spamlet
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    Hi Gavtech,

    (I hadn't noticed you'd arrived.)

    Appols for any confusion, I did re-encode the radio series onto dvd as video after combining the episodes into one track on the dvdr first. Then I used the AVSVideo Converter to convert to avi, and then converted that to wav. I was surprised to find the wav 7 times the size of the avi even though it was supposed to have only stripped the sound.

    It may be that I have used the wrong procedure with the Video Converter, as there do seem to be a large number of options there, and I have only the vaguest of notions (as yet) as to what each actually is for. There are a number of editing options on the audio section of the Converter, but i am not at all sure about how these should be used. Perhaps the right settings would reduce the crackle that is currently being created with the wav.

    So from what you say about wav I should think of it as the equivalent of raw in still photography - but a whole lot bigger. I do try to minimise conversions on my still pics but at the mo on video I am in the experimental stage and only beginning to find what counts as a lossy resampling and what is just a minor adjustment.

    Keeping the analogy with still pics, I would imagine there will be an equivalent of 'despeckle' somewhere, to reduce the noise on any audio I separate.

    Cheers once again,

    S

    :smashin:
     
  21. Spamlet

    Spamlet
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    PS.

    Just had another look at the AVS converter and found that it does let me export the vob straight to wav from the editing screen - which is not clear from the first screen one gets.

    It still comes out the same size as the wav created via the avi conversion, but the noise is not created this way.

    :smashin:,

    S
     

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