Online videos, to a VCD, via Linux

With the upcoming elections, there have been some most interesting videos posted on Google Video and YouTube. The opposition is broadcasting on YouTube, sitting on social networks (Anwar and PKR, are on MySpace, Friendster, Facebook). The Internet is becoming more mainstream, for elections and politicians. What does this mean for the 2008 general elections? Definitely, not a 90%+ majority for the ruling Barisan Nasional, I do hope.

Anyway, on to working with video. Lets say, you have found an interesting video on Google Video, and feel that it is your sworn duty to share it with the poor who do not have access to the Internet. Google Video, on the right hand column, allows you to download it for the Video iPod/Sony PSP. Perfect.

What about interesting videos on YouTube? Naturally, you will use youtube-dl. Beware, this software changes often, as and when YouTube changes their protocol, so check back constantly if things stop working. Getting things in .FLV format, is kind of painful, which is why you’ll use ffmpeg to transform your video: ffmpeg -i foo.flv -y foo.avi.

Now, what about creating a VCD or DVD? Whats the easiest way? Hands down, you want DeVeDe. Its available in Fedora, apparently has got some bugs in Ubuntu (something about sound going wonky). Its dead easy to use. It works with Google Video MP4’s as well as AVI files you’ve converted from ffmpeg.

Let DeVeDe do its thing (which is creating a .cue and .bin file), and then, its time to write to a CD. To create a VCD? cdrdao write --device /dev/sr0 movie.cue. I understand, K3B has got all the gizmos to create this in GUI form, but that involves installing KDE libraries, and I’m sure I can use my disk space in a more efficient way. I found HOWTO Make a video (S)VCD a handy guide.

Wait… and you’ll soon have a CD that you can pop into a DVD/VCD player and enjoy viewing.

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