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Use the hidden MPEG2 encoder in OS X Apps
If you have large QuickTime movies eating up your hard drive space, you can easily convert them to MPEG2 using iDVD2 without burning a DVD! You need:
  • iDVD2 or iDVD3 -- Came with some copies of OS X, or it's part of iLife.
  • QuickTime Pro - $30
  • QuickTime MPEG2 Decoder - $20 ... Yeah, so there's a cost involved, but I compressed a 1.45 Gig movie to 455MB! It's worth it.
What to do:
  1. Create a new iDVD project (basically just open the application).
  2. Select a theme, preferably one without motion.
  3. Drag as many QuickTime movies into the project as you'd like (they will still remain separate files through this process).
  4. Now, the third tab in the theme window reveals the status of each movie's compression with a green bar. Wait for these bars to be filled (for your movies to be compressed). Save again.
  5. Go to your project file in the Finder and right-click or control-click on it and select "View package contents." Then peruse through until you find a folder named "MPEG."
  6. The files in this folder are your movies! Just drag them to a new folder and rename them to anything you like, ending in .mpg. Ahhh, so you now notice that they play GREAT but there's no sound. Two more steps...
  7. Open the original QuickTime movie and export the sound as .wav, making sure to keep the same data rate settings etc.
  8. Give this file the exact same name as your MPEG2 file, only with a .wav extension. Place this file in a folder with your .mpg movie. Just to clarify, you now have a folder with two files: "Anything.mpg" and "Anything.wav".
  9. Double click your .mpg file and you should find that your movie looks great, has great sound (and is in sync), and is roughly one-quarter to one-third the size of your original movie.
You just saved $1,000 since you didn't have to buy Cleaner 6!
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Use the hidden MPEG2 encoder in OS X | 15 comments | Create New Account
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Use the hidden MPEG2 encoder in OS X
Authored by: momerath on Jul 24, '03 10:30:51AM

iDVD will only install at all if you have a Superdrive. If you don't have one - even if you do have iLife - it will refuse to install and leave you without this so-called "free encoder."

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Use Pacifist
Authored by: jecwobble on Jul 24, '03 10:59:32AM
Use Pacifist to extract it from the install CD. Other's have confirmed that iDVD2 & 3 will have full functionality on a non-superdrive machine with the exception of actually burning a DVD.

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Use Pacifist
Authored by: tj68 on Jul 30, '03 12:55:54PM

Can not mount software cd iLife. The iLife package comes with 3 cds. One for non superDrive one for SuperDrive macs and a keynote cd. My non SuperDrive G4 will not mount the SuperDrive cd that has the iDVD software on it. I have pacifist loaded but it has no chance to get at the iDVD package because the cd will not mount. I insert it and then it comes back out after a few seconds. So how do I get the cd to mount? And then use Pacifist to install the iDVD software.

Please how do I get iDVD 3 on a non SuperDrive G4?

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Use Pacifist
Authored by: tj68 on Jul 30, '03 01:00:57PM

sorry but I just looked at apple's software download and iDVD 3.03 is downloading to my G4 now. Only 82MB. I didn't think you could download it.


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Use Pacifist
Authored by: tj68 on Jul 30, '03 01:34:44PM

I downloaded iMovie and not iDVD so I'm back to not having iDVD on my non-superdrive mac.

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Use Pacifist
Authored by: tj68 on Jul 30, '03 02:43:42PM

OK I need a DVD drive to read the iLife cd because the cd is a DVD. to be continued. I will use my son's iMac that has a DVD combo drive and copy the package over to my G4

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Starting with version 3.0.1, iDVD can be used on any Macintosh G4 or G5
Authored by: osxpounder on Jul 24, '03 12:30:13PM

According the Knowledge Base article below, iDVD 3.0.1 can be used on your machine even if you don't have a SuperDrive. See the article for details:


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Beat me to the punch...
Authored by: mustang_dvs on Jul 24, '03 01:05:15PM
"While iDVD 3.0.1 and later can be used on any PowerPC G4-or G5-based Macintosh model to create DVD content, the option to burn the finished DVD is only available on computers with a built-in SuperDrive."

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Use the hidden MPEG2 encoder in OS X
Authored by: bjk on Jul 24, '03 11:02:55AM

Beyond iDVD being only available for SuperDrive owners ... the rendering quality is also not the best for interlaced video.

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Use the hidden MPEG2 encoder in OS X
Authored by: clmensch on Jul 24, '03 11:39:29AM

Keep in mind you have to have "background encoding" enabled. I have to turn it off on my G4-upgraded B&W because it just brings my system to its knees.


"I drank WHAT?" -Socrates

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Use the hidden MPEG2 encoder in OS X
Authored by: tj68 on Jul 24, '03 12:15:37PM

How is this method different than using Missing Mpeg Tools and MediaPipe to encode mpeg2? Would the picture quality improve and encoding speed increase with iDVD 3? Looks like a lot fewer steps.

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Use the hidden MPEG2 encoder in OS X
Authored by: mrpresident47 on Jul 24, '03 05:53:46PM

Maybe, I came up with this because it uses tools I already had on my computer. As for quality though, I compressed a movie using iDVD2 and it looked better than one my friend did in Cleaner 6! Both were shot with the same camera and tapes and edited in Final Cut Pro 3.0. And I hear the encoder in iDVD3 is even better.


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An alternative...
Authored by: brooks_lt on Jul 28, '03 09:43:17AM
If you've got a system that's fairly fast (700 mhz G3 or better), I'd have to recommend Major4's ffmpegX. This encoder is available to any mac system running OS X, and provides a GUI to several pieces of useful, command-line video and audio encoding/transcoding software. About the only thing on the list of things you need to pay for that you might need would be the QuickTime MPEG-2 playback component, though you can even get around that with a program like mplayer, which you can find over at

ffmpegX is like a varitable swiss-army knife for video, letting you encode mpeg-2, mpeg-1, DivX AVI, XviD AVI, and even DivX compatible MPEG-4. On the audio side, it lets you work with AC3, mp2, and mp3. If you're looking for a good price on a powerful piece of video and audio encoding/transcoding software, this is definitely worth a look.

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An alternative...
Authored by: raider on Aug 06, '03 07:12:10PM

That app looks killer.... Can I use it for bulk storage - for instance put all my raw video to MPEG2 or 4, then when I need it back in iTunes, import it back in? I know that this is lossy - but for home camcorder movies it shouldn't affect quality too bad. I currently have over 100GB of video I would like to reduce in size..... ;)

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Use the hidden MPEG2 encoder in OS X
Authored by: agamorim on Nov 21, '03 07:03:32AM


is there some trick to make a temporary iDVD disk image in the Finder, before burn it in a DVD?

I know in DVD studio pro, we can make these disk images, but since iDVD only have the option to burn the DVD, i don´t see any option to do that.

It´s be nice if we can make this images, for several reasons. I think Apple don´t put that option to avoid people burn dvds with other writer than SuperDrive. But i think, even users with superdrive, will be happy with the option to make those preview images!


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