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Adobe Encore or No?

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I got the Creative Suite some years back when I was doing multimedia for work and even then it seemed like Encore wouldn’t cease from giving me trouble. Now, years later, I’ve returned to experimenting with it as it’s the only readily available tool for blu-ray authoring even though Adobe has pretty much discontinued it. Sure enough, I’ve been having plenty of issues and I haven’t even made the big financial leaps I intend to in the near future.

I have yet to purchase a blu-ray burner, something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile, but I’ve been doing tests on standard DVDs with surprisingly mixed results of successful/unsuccessful. Wasting blank DVDs is one thing, but once I’ve spent considerable money on a burner and 50GB BD-Rs (I’m going to want large storage space), experimenting with high expectancy of failure won’t be as practical. Looking around, I see I’m not the only one who has had issues with successful burns in Encore. That being said, I don’t really want to spend even more money on something like Toast if I can assure myself that I have a reliable authoring program already.

Admittedly, my computer hardware is not the newest or the best for multimedia. I’ve seen Encore mentioned around here a few times, so I’d like to ask has anyone actually has success, recently, with Encore, not only in authoring, but also with the actual burning? Are there any specific things you do to make it work? What kind of media files do you use with it? Should I just give up using this to avoid (or at least lessen) the inevitable further headaches that I will have while getting these films on hard copy? Are there other, more preferable programs?

Thank you.

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Okay, Encore’s looking less and less attractive. Another thing I’d appreciate a little input on is that I was able to convert an MKV file to an MP4 file (that I was able to get into iTunes), as well as convert that same MKV file to a BDMV with an m2ts file (which Encore first seemed to accept than rejected it as a “pending” format). The quality loss between the MKV and MP4 is apparent, but I’m wondering just how much a decrease it is. Could this actually qualify as the difference between HD and Standard Definition?

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I’m slightly confused as to what your goal is. You can convert an MKV to m2ts just fine and with zero loss. And you should be able to import that into encore. You should also be able to demux the MKV if you only want some tracks from it. Why are MP4s and iTunes being used?

Not sure what you mean about HD and SD.

With whatever authoring software you end up using, you should be able to output the files for a BD disc, or a disc image. You can mount this on your computer and test it out in blu-ray playback software (there are some free ones, or you could find a demo or something) before burning.

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I made the MP4 just to see if it would work and put in iTunes for mobile devices (it’s actually not that bad for these, but of course I’m going for maximum quality for the end result).

Anyway, I was able to drag the m2ts file into Encore and it played in preview views pretty smoothly. However, when I tried to do a test burn, Encore said that m2ts was a “pending format” and could not complete the action. Now, the potentially foolish thing on my part was attempting to put an m2ts file on a Standard DVD, which for all I know may be impossible to do, but from what I’ve seen, Encore can down-convert high-def files. In further researching the issue, I came across this forum: http://98.139.21.31/search/srpcache?p=.m2ts+In+Adobe+Encore&ei=UTF-8&fr=aaplw&u=http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4ZTRiahaBfMJ:https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/145/873837 .m2ts In Adobe Encore&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=DkqNKmO_mZ2ldVsUD02gjw--

Towards the bottom, they discuss how m2ts files cannot be burned in Encore, at least natively which invites more confusion as to what would be needed for the proper conversions. Just when I’m about to finally give up on Encore, it ends up surprising me by actually succeeding in something. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, as it might be a lot healthier to just move onto a different program, even at some financial expense. I guess I’d like to put forth one ultimate question here and just ask: Has anyone here ever actually had complete success with Encore, from project inception to working blu-ray disc?

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Has anyone here ever actually had complete success with Encore, from project inception to working blu-ray disc?

Yes. It may not be amazing software, but Adobe did not ship a product that fails to build discs.

Now, the potentially foolish thing on my part was attempting to put an m2ts file on a Standard DVD, which for all I know may be impossible to do, but from what I’ve seen, Encore can down-convert high-def files. In further researching the issue, I came across this forum:

First of all, certainly do switch to blu-ray mode instead of DVD, if that’s what you intend to build. The compatibility with codecs will be different. I.e., if you want to import and use an h264 file, that will be compatible with BD but need to be transcoded for DVD. Secondly, everyone commenting in that link you gave says to demux the m2ts or mkv into individual streams with tsmuxer (this is something I also mentioned). It should work fine.

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After finally purchasing a blu-ray burner and using third-party software as a trial, I was able to simply load the entire ISO file and get everything burned onto a 25GB blu-ray. Testing it on my projection screen, Star Wars has never looked or sounded as good (and I take the official blu-rays into consideration stating that). There were even chapters built in which I didn’t expect. Logic says I should simply be grateful and load ISOs of Empire and Jedi the same way.

On the other hand, I’ve been fixated on making menus for these films for some time now and, as things currently stand, Encore is the only readily available way to do this. My plan is to create the menus in Encore, create an ISO, and put that into the third-party software I settle on purchasing. However, I continue to invite chaos by trying to use Encore with its refusal to cooperate with codecs. I have imported both .m2ts and h.264 files of the film (h.264 being something Encore is “supposed” to support and deal with fine) and, under “Blu-ray Transcode Status,” I see “Pending (100%)” and when I try to build the ISO, I get a message stating it cannot be done because “This file is still in a pending state.” I’ve looked all around the Internet and found people with similar problems, but no concrete solution. I’ve experimented with different codec names and different muxings, only to find myself up against the same wall. Something I never did mention was that I use a Mac (hence the inability to use IMG Burn) which I’m worried might be an inhibiting factor in all this. Any success stories about loading high-def (namely h.264) files in Encore successfully, I would love to hear.

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