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AVI to MPEG Converter Tutorial using Fx MPEG Writer - Page 1 2

FX MPEG Writer is available as a free version and a full version which is available at JHepple.com - Fx, Sound & Magic.

  • The free version will convert:

    • AVI to Standard MPEG-1

    • MPEG to Standard MPEG-1

  • The full version will convert:

    • ASF * and WMV Windows Media, AVI and MPEG files to Standard MPEG-1

    • AVI and MPEG file to MPEG-1 with VCD extensions

    • AVI and MPEG file to Standard MPEG-2

    • AVI and MPEG file to MPEG-2 Super Video CD extensions

    • AVI and MPEG file to MPEG-2 with DVD extensions

Note: To be converted with this utility your source movies must have sound.

To add sound to a silent movie try Fx Resound or VirtualDub.

Converting from one MPEG format to another is particularly slow because the file has to be entirely reconstructed frame by frame. In the above example converting a 624 MB MPEG-2 file to MPEG-1 with VCD extensions took a little over 7 hours. To convert an AVI file of the same size took a bit less than 6 hours. The computer used for this test was a Pentium III, 1,000 MHz with 256 MB of RAM running on Windows 2000.

Before you begin:

MPEG (pronounced EMM-PEG), is an acronym for Moving Picture Experts Group which is the ISO committee that sets standards for the audio and video formats under their purview. Before ISO standards were applied to computer technology, every software and hardware vendor used their own system for creating, playing or displaying multimedia files. Now by adhering to committee standards software developers and hardware manufacturers can create products that will interact without any direct consultation between the companies or designers.

The primary advantage of the MPEG format is that the compression algorithm produces relatively small size and high quality media files. Until recently, creating MPEG movies required special hardware, but of late, with the general use of more powerful computers, software conversion has become a practical reality. This new generation of computers equipped with fast, accurate CD burners and the popularity of DVD players has created a new, do-it-yourself market niche for creating CD audio disks and video CD's that was long ago anticipated by the Moving Picture Expert Group.

The MPEG standard addresses both audio and video which is often confusing. The actual scheme for MPEG file extension convention has been long overlooked and abused. In practice MPEG movies, which consist of an audio and video stream use MPEG, MPE, MPG and DAT interchangeably as file extensions. MPEG audio files contain only one stream and generally are saved with MP2 or MP3 extensions which may or may not accurately reflect the audio layer. Most modern media players are capable of playing the file properly regardless of the format or file extension by reading the file header and counting the streams. Some DVD players however are a bit more finicky requiring specific adherence to MPEG standards as well as size, frame rate and audio sampling. There are several MPEG standards for video CD beginning with CD-i, which was created for a CD Interactive market that never really developed. MPEG-1 VCD, MPEG-2 Super VCD and MPEG-2 DVD each improved the resolution and data transfer rate of the standard media.

Getting Started with Fx MPEG Writer

Picking a source file:

Clicking the Browse button open a window that will permit you to navigate all available drives to find a source file. 

Supported types for the full version are MPEG, AVI and Windows Media.

You may select a filter from the dropdown list to show a specific type of file in the browse window or you can select All Files (*.*) to shown files that you know to be supported that have other extensions. For example an MPEG file with the extension DAT or a Windows Media file with an ASF extension will open when selected. Once selected the size of the source file will be displayed instead of the prompt.

Fx MPEG Writer can alter video height and width during conversion to comply with various MPEG VCD and SVCD requirements but it does not alter the audio track and thus cannot convert a movie that has no audio. We do however produce another product called Fx ReSound which can add audio to silent movies or you can download VirtualDub free to accomplish the same task.

Setting a target:

Unlike the browse for source which permits you to find an existing file, browsing for a target may in fact be browsing for a file that does not yet exist. You may of course select an existing file or you may browse to the folder where you want the file saved and type a new file name into the text box.

If you have MPEG Files selected in the Save as type drop down, MPEG will automatically be appended to the file name that you typed in. You may change that extension to DAT, VCD or any other extension that might be required by another software package. You can of course also change the name after the save.

Selecting a format:

You may select a supported output format from the drop-down list.


Exactly which format you should choose depends upon the purpose of your output, the requirements of any intermediary or playback software and the power of your computer.

If you have a full version of Fx MPEG Writer and you don't see the MPEG-2 options, you must enable MPEG-2 Encoding first by agreeing to the terms of the patent holders.

If you have a trial version or a revision prior to 8.3 the MPEG-2 codecs will not be available.

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Go to Page 2 of AVI to MPEG Converter Tutorial

FX Sound and Magic Software
Here are just a few great Video and Audio software titles from JHepple - FX Sound & Magic.

Fx Movie Joiner

Fx Movie Splitter and Trimmer

Fx Resound Move Audio Replacer

Click to learn more about JHepple.com and the wide range of audio and video software tools.

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