What tools can I use to encode, decode and transcode my media files?

There are a lot of different tools for encoding, decoding and transcoding media, and one tool commonly used for WATCHOUT files is FFmpeg.

FFMPEG is a free tool which, according to their own website " supports the most obscure ancient formats up to the cutting edge". And learning how to use it is well worth your time.

For example, you can use FFmpeg if you need to remove audio from a video file.

The following is a simple example for encoding a HapQ movie and removing the audio from the file: 

ffmpeg -i InputMovie.mov -an -vcodec hap -format hap_q HapQMovie.mov

 

-i specifies the input file, which can be just about any format

-an tells ffmpeg to remove any audio tracks

-vcodec (or -c:v) specifies which codec to use

-format specifies which hap flavor to use (hap, hap_alpha or hap_q)

The last argument is the name of the re-encoded file. 

 

OR if you need to divide a large HAP file into chunks so the video can be decoded by multiple processors when playing, resulting in smoother playback.

Use the -chunks n argument to enable multithreaded decoding, where n is the number of chunks to use. It never makes sense to use more chunks than there are cores in the target (display) computer. As each additional chunks adds a (very) slight overhead in the form of decreased decoding speed and larger files, it is generally a good idea to keep the number of chunks as low as possible. 

 

Since HAP files tend to be large, a fast disk is probably one of the most important aspects when encoding HAP movies. 

It is also quite easy to do batch encoding in ffmpeg by just using a regular .bat file (when running on windows).

http://ffmpeg.org/

For a list of codecs supported by ffmpeg: ffmpeg -codecs

For help about a specific codec: ffmpeg -h encoder=x, where you would replace x by the name of the codec as listed by the ffmpeg -codecs command.