Sunday, 18 January 2009


I recently bought the DivX pro pack. I didn't necessarily buy it for the ability to do one-step conversion of .MOV files from my decidedly broken camcorder. I bought it because I think that the DivX Codec is ultimately useful because it can encode HD video in a file size small enough to be put up on the internet, and it includes the DivX web player. And it allows you to burn DivX videos to CD. And it does useful stuff which I might use sometime in the future. Okay, so now that I've established why I bought this, I'll compare it to what I have already. I paid $23.79 on the DivX website, this was purely error as I didn't see the drop-down box in which you choose which currency you want to pay in until after the order. I calculate that it cost £16.15. This includes VAT, and it said £14 (excl. VAT) on the main site so I wasn't ripped off that badly. Still, look for the currency box. Also, there's some faffing about at Steam who've changed the currency rates to 'reflect the current economic situation' and made all the games more expensive in Euros but cheaper in Pounds. Don't ask me how it works.
Here's a comparison of the file sizes thrown out by different formats of the same video:
  1. .NSMOV file from camcorder: 245,590 KB
  2. .AVI file converted using MP4CAM2AVI (some strange free converter): 255,744 KB
  3. .DivX file converted using the DivX converter at 720p HD settings: 246,072 KB
  4. .MPEG file exported at Draft settings from Serif MoviePlus 5: 447,296 KB
Okay, so the reduction in file size isn't that great. And it took a fair while longer (I didn't time it) to convert the file in the DivX converter than in the strange open-source converter. And it forced me to download Quicktime before it would acknowledge .MOV files.

And here's my quality comparison, which shows that apart from a few little things, both output videos look pretty much the same:
Thus concludes that to the untrained eye, I shouldn't have bought DivX Pro. However, it does make video editing easier by having a really really nice user interface. And It's better than spending £10 on a game because games are not as useful, the parents would approve.

The comparison screenshots are taken from a video of Peter and me (or me and Peter) in a canoe with the camera attached in the middle. I might upload it later with my flashy web player.

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