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Beginner question - merging video files

Please forgive a rather basic question, but I’m just starting to try to learn how to do some video editing.

I have two .avi videos from different sources that I want to join (I had converted them to .avi so that I could use VirtualDub). Using VirtualDub, I’ve gotten them in the same aspect ratio and the same encoding (x264vfw-H.264).

When I try to merge them with VirtualDub, I get an error message saying that the video streams use different compression schemes. After some quick research, I find people saying that VirtualDub is extremely finicky about merging files, and that it’s essentially impossible to join files unless they come from the same original source.

OK, well, I figured, there must be some other easy way to merge videos. I decided to try Avidemux. With this, I was able to output a file. But the part of the output video after the join is extremely jerky and basically unwatchable. I tried to debug this for a while, but was not able to get any better result.

Next I tried Easy Video Joiner. Again, I got an output file - but the video was garbage.

I searched for yet another option and found Movavi. I loaded the videos and the preview looked great! They were joined seamlessly and there was no jerkiness or distortion. Perfect, I thought, and hit ‘export’. Only then did I realize that the free download was only a trial version and I can’t produce an output video without a watermark.

It naively seems like joining videos ought to be easy. Whatever the encoding used, we have tons of programs that can interpret them as a series of frames; how hard can it be to take that series of frames, add a second series of frames, and re-encode the whole thing? And yet, after a day of trying, I’ve been unable to do that.

So, is there some simple tool that I’m overlooking? Do I need to spring for the paid version of some editing software? Am I somehow making things difficult for myself by using .avi? I’d really appreciate any help!

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Highest quality version or reconstruction of '97 RotJ?

Thanks for the information. So I guess if I can find the GKAR or TB versions, that’s probably the best bet.

So, I guess this means that these are the only HD versions that have the Victory Celebration (rather than Ewok Celebration), but also have Sebastian Shaw as the ghost, is that right? I’m a little bit surprised that there hasn’t been more interest in the '97 RotJ, simply because in my experience the Victory Celebration is one of the few semi-popular SE changes, while Christiensen replacing Shaw is rather reviled.

Does anyone know of any fan edits that have the Victory Celebration montage (from the DVD or BD), but replace Christiensen with Shaw?

Edit: Looks like I’ve found one - ADigitalMan’s fan edit.

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Ranking the Star Wars films

My rankings of 1-6 fluctuate a bit, but right now I’d say:

  1. A New Hope
  2. Revenge of the Sith
  3. Return of the Jedi
  4. Attack of the Clones
  5. The Empire Strikes Back
  6. The Phantom Menace
  7. Rogue One
  8. The Force Awakens

But there’s a huge gap between TPM and Rogue One. I love 1-6 (yes, even the prequels), but I have not liked Disney’s Star Wars so far.

Episode II and III extended soundtracks request for leitmotiv project

I realize this is an old post, but in case you are still interested, I did actually make an Excel spreadsheet of all the instances of various leitmotifs and themes (that I could detect!) a while back. It lists the track and time index where each theme is heard (using the SE releases for the OT, the UE for TPM, and the OSTs for II and III), or the time index in the movie for material that hasn’t been officially released on CD. If it’s of any interest, you can find it here:

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