MPEG-4 encoding

This site covers encoding to the two most advanced MPEG-4 levels: MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) and MPEG-4 Advanced Video Codec (AVC). DivX 4.0+, XviD and NeroDigital are all MPEG-4 ASP codecs, NeroDigital AVC and x264 are MPEG-4 AVC codecs. In addition, the close MPEG-4 Simple Profile derivate DivX3 is also explained. DivX3 is a modified version of Microsoft's MPEG-4 v3 codec where the ability to store it in the AVI container has been re-added.

Whichever codec you chose is really up to you. If simplicity is your goal, Auto Gordian Knot offers you easy DivX, and XviD encoding. Gordian Knot is a semi-automated solution for DivX3/5/6, XviD and x264, and you'll find some lengthy and complex guides on DivX3 and XviD encoding as well. NeroDigital is only available within Nero's Recode2 application. In terms of quality of each codec, you best read up on your own.


+: the first widely used video codec since MPEG-1
-: the legitimacy of this hack is to be doubted, the codec by itself is not very controllable and needs external programs to be properly controlled


+: open source, very configurable
-: unless you plan to use it commercially (you need a license then), I don't see any


+: free for private use, rather easy to use, compatible to all previous DivX versions
-: Pro version is only free for the first 6 months

Nero Digital

+: completely legitimate solution, free for private use, extremely fast, supports 6ch audio output at low bitrates (AAC), completely integrated solution
-: integrated solution means less flexibility, only DVD is supported, codec can't be used outside the integrated solution, output is restricted to the MP4 format, subtitles and chapters require the Nero Media Player


+: open source, under heavy development
-: some features are still missing or broken (situation similar to the early XviD days with lots of new codec builds all the time)

MPEG-4 manipulation guides

DivX autorun guide - how to make CDs that start playing and install the DivX codec if needed
Ogg Media stream guide - how to create an Ogg Media stream containing Ogg Vorbis audio
MP4 stream guide - how to create MP4 media streams containing AAC audio
DGIndex frameserving guide - the best way to frameserve
VirtualDub procedures - explains pretty much everything you can do in VirtualDub (cutting/splitting and joining, audio compression, synching audio and video, etc.)
VirtualDubMod procedures - muxing audio and video in VDubMod, editing and creating AVIs, OGMs and Matroska files
XCD guide - how to put 800MB of video data onto a 700MB CD

This document was last updated on August 9, 2005