How to create VCD compliant music videos, part 2 - Encoding with TMPGEnc

This guide tries to explain how to use TMPGEnc, an excellent freeware MPEG-1/MPEG-2 encoder, to encode VideoCD compliant videos. This guide can be used as a second part for my music video guide, but it works also as quick reference for general use of TMPGEnc. You can download the latest version of TMPGEnc from here:

Step 1 - Launch TMPGEnc

To put it simple, here you can see the basic screen of TMPGEnc with nothing loaded yet. Next step from here is to choose the video source for encoding. TMPGEnc offers an option to use separate sources for audio and video, but we ignore that part now. Make sure that in box, located in right side, there's System (video+audio) selected. Just simply click the browse button next to Video source line -- this opens up a file dialog that allows you to choose from video files you have on your harddrive (Note that TMPGEnc allows you to use basically any video format as a source -- we don't recommend using previously encoded files for this, since the quality from that kind of procedure is normally worse than horrible). After you've selected the video clip, same filename should appear in Video source and Audio source boxes. Also, the Output file box should have the filename selected, added with .mpg extension. Change the output filename or the directory if you want.

Step 2 - Choose the format

Now you need to choose the correct settings template for this video. Because we're creating VideoCD compliant videos, that's the one we're going to pick. You also need to know your source file's video format -- normally if you live in the U.S., it is NTSC and in rest of the world, it's PAL (third selection is NTSCFilm which is used only in rare cases -- this is NOT the selection if you want to encode a movie you've captured from TV, use the PAL or NTSC instead). Simply click Load from bottom-right corner and file dialog opens. Dialog should open in correct directory, but if it doesn't, try to locate your TMPGEnc directory and Templates directory under that. You should see similiar box that you see in here, listing various formats available in preset templates. Select VideoCD (NTSC) or VideoCD (PAL) and click Open.

Step 3 - Encoding

Last step before proceeding to encoding, is to select correct priority settings. This really doesn't matter if you've planned to leave your computer on during the night to encode the video. But if you're planning to encode the video in background while you're doing something else with your computer, this is important as TMPGEnc really uses all of your CPU power. Go to Options and choose Task priority from there. If you're leaving the computer on and don't use it while TMPGEnc encodes, select When active - High priority and When inactive - High priority. But if you're planning to encode the file in the background, select When active - Normal priority and When inactive - Idle priority.

After you've done this, just hit the Encode button located in top-left corner of the main window. And then all you have to do is to wait - a very loooong time (time what it takes to encode a video, depends on your computer's CPU, computer's memory, clip's length and clip's complexity and resolution).

What's next?

Ok, now we've covered capturing musicvideos and encoding AVI source files to MPEG-1 format. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to visit our discussion boards. Everything what we have left now, is the actual CD writing process -- you might want to check out our guide for burning VCDs with Ahead's Nero.
Written by: Petteri Pyyny