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Multiple audio tracks, how to select which one

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Kirk Smith
Multiple audio tracks, how to select which one
on Jul 10, 2010 at 3:15:09 am

I'm trying to convert a DVD (that I own!) to put it on my Droid for a flight. I can get the .VOB files to open in After Effects CS5 if I rename the extension to MPG, but it's playing with what sounds like French audio. I obviously need English, but I can't find anywhere in After Effects where I would make this switch. I know I could just get a DVD converting software, but there aren't any good free ones and I don't want to pay for one, I already have After Effects.

So, does anyone have any idea how I might go about getting just the English audio track to be the one playing in After Effects?


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Graham Quince
Re: Multiple audio tracks, how to select which one
on Jul 10, 2010 at 8:14:19 am

I'd guess French is the primary language on the DVD. In which case, there's probably other VOB files on the DVD which contain the other languages.

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Kirk Smith
Re: Multiple audio tracks, how to select which one
on Jul 10, 2010 at 8:58:28 am

Well a VOB is a Video OBject, it's similar to an AVI in that it can contain multiple audio, video, and subtitle tracks within the single file. With DVD's the VOB's are split to be less than 1 GB (they're always 32KB less than 1 GB.) Each VOB contains the video, audio, and, and subtitles for that section of video, with multiple audio tracks for the different languages. French, English, and Spanish are in this particular DVD (Avatar). French seems to be the first track for the first VOB chunk, but in the second VOB English is the primary track, the third is different again. Is there no way to control which audio track is playing in After Effects?

I have this same issue when I'm importing video files that I'verecorded with my capture card. It records from component video and fiber optic audio to an M2TS container. There are 3 tracks of stereo audio to get the 6 total tracks for 5.1 audio, but I have no way of telling After Effects which track to use.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Multiple audio tracks, how to select which one
on Jul 10, 2010 at 5:55:36 pm

If ripping DVDs is a nail, After Effects is a screwdriver. If you need to drive nails, use a hammer.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter Soyka
Re: Multiple audio tracks, how to select which one
on Jul 10, 2010 at 6:05:36 pm

To be a little more helpful, from the Supported import formats page of the manual:

Note: Some MPEG data formats are stored in container formats with filename extensions that are not recognized by After Effects; examples include .vob and .mod. In some cases, you can import these files into After Effects after changing the filename extension to one of the recognized filename extensions. Because of variations in implementation in these container formats, compatibility is not guaranteed.

Also, AE doesn't work well with temporally compressed media like MPEG2, and it doesn't encode temporally compressed media like MPEG4 very well, either.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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