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Hybrid 5.1 audio dvd - remaster to dvd-a?
post Oct 13 2010, 15:15
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I have two "hybrid" type 5.1 dvd audio titles, both of which are backups of the originals which I have misplaced over the years. A sound engineer friend did the initial clone of two titles I own for me long ago and I never had much use for them until we recently purchased a new Acura with dvd-a playback capability. First I simply tried the discs (dvd-r) in the car and got a "Bad Disc" error. A little research revealed that the Acura player will ONLY play non-hybrid dvd-a format and is very sensitive to watermarks. Further investigation into a solution to extract the 5.1 audio tracks into wav files and remaster to a new compilation revealed both how difficult this can be as well as some VERY STRANGE properties of these discs. If anyone can help me understand what kind of beasts I am dealing with that will help immensely....

Title "A"
Put the dvd in a Win7 PC or Mac, and the main menu pops up with a track list of 12 songs. Any of these will play fine and exhibit 5.1 sound. There is a menu item for "Videos", which takes you to a new menu that has 6 videos...all of which are songs included in the 12 on main audio only selection.
However, if I try any software to extract the audio tracks (DVD Fab 8, dvd audio extractor 5.2.1, etc), they ONLY see the 6 video tracks and the corresponding audio for each. Browsing the Video_TS folder reveals 7 VOB files, out of which only 6 of are enough size to be actual media (around 250mb each). The 7th is obviously a menu at 96k. DVD Fab and other software see the 6 titles as mpeg2 which match the duration of the music videos, but there are apparently two chapters contained in each title according to DVD Fab, with the 2nd chapter being 0:00 in length. However, it seems I cannot extract whatever that phantom 2nd chapter is. DVD Audio Extractor only sees the 1 chapter.

Title "B"
Same as above, except it contains no music videos at all. The only thing that shows up in any of my backup software is the menu VOB. Once again, there is no Audio_TS, folder...only the Video_TS with one large VOB (300mb) and one small one for menu (400k). If I do a file properties on the large file, I get the following info:

length:00:00:00, size 720x480, data rate 9000kbps, total br 9448kps, Audio bit rate 448kps, Channels 6, 48khz.

Small file: length:00:00:04 (all other properties the same)

Codec additional details in VLC: Stream 1-Video, Mpeg-1/2(mpgv), Stream 2-Audio, Codec A52 AC3, Channels 3F2R/LFE

VLC sees the audio section of both discs as a single long track with marker points evoked by the skip button (or clicking the graphical track list for Title "A"). Plays fine in Windows Media Player or on the Mac but I cannot get any extraction software to recognize the audio files. I'm guessing they are not "true" dvd-audio format since there is no Audio_TS folder, but I have no idea how they were authored/backed up.

Now, if I do a CLONE of either disc in DVD Fab all the audio tracks are there. Any help figuring out how to extract these to 5.1 wav files so I can nake a dvd-a compliant disc for my car would be appreciated.

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post Oct 13 2010, 20:26
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NOTE - I don't have an DVD-Audio player and I've never made a DVD-Audio disc... There is a free open-source DVD-Audio program called DVD-Audio Tools. And, Wikipedia lists a few other programs.

I'm guessing they are not "true" dvd-audio format since there is no Audio_TS folder
That's correct. DVD-Audio discs have the audio data in the AUDIO_TS folder (video DVDs have an empty AUDIO_TS folder). There are "universal" (hybrid?) discs with information in both the AUDIO_TS & VIDEO_TS folders (I have a couple of those). In the VIDEO_TS folder you often have a still-image which might simply be a "picture" of the text showing the album/artist, etc. And of course, you usually have a video menu.

Or, you can make an "audio Only" or "slideshow" DVD like that with no actual video and nothing in the AUDIO_TS folder.

However, if I try any software to extract the audio tracks (DVD Fab 8, dvd audio extractor 5.2.1, etc), they ONLY see the 6 video tracks and the corresponding audio for each.
That's really weird that you're not seeing all of the tracks... I have no idea why... You might try opening the VOB files with an audio editor. (I think Audacity can do that if you install FFMPEG, and you might have to rename the VOB to MPG.) The audio for all 12 tracks IS obviously in there somewhere!!! There are a few other programs that can extract the audio from an A/V file, but if you have an audio editor try that first.

Browsing the Video_TS folder reveals 7 VOB files...

... only the Video_TS with one large VOB (300mb
You either can have separate titles for each song/track, or (just like a movie) you can have a single title (spanning one or more VOBs) with chapter markers wherever desired. If you want to play gaplessly, it's better to have a single title containing all of the songs. But, that makes it tricky to play one song and then jump back to the menu.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Oct 13 2010, 20:34
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