[MPlayer-users] Problem with QT video from pbs.org

Giacomo Comes comes at naic.edu
Tue Sep 1 16:25:29 CEST 2009

On Tue, Sep 01, 2009 at 03:52:14PM +0200, Reimar Döffinger wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 01, 2009 at 07:15:05AM -0600, Kevin DeKorte wrote:
> > I'm having some issues playing a video from pbs.org, is there anything I
> > can do to try and playlist one?
> > 
> > [kdekorte at quad ~]$ mplayer
> > http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/media2/eu-doubled.mov
> Oh dear, what a horrible setup.
> $ strings -n15 eu-doubled.mov 
> url nova_eu_3012c01_ref.mov
> url nova_eu_3012c01_caps.mov
> So
> http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/media2/nova_eu_3012c01_caps.mov
> has the subtitles.
> $ strings -n15 nova_eu_3012c01_ref.mov 
> nova_eu_3012c01_mp4_ref.mov
> nova_eu_3012c01_hi_ref.mov
> nova_eu_3012c01_lo_ref.mov
> More reference files, leading to e.g.
> http://stream.qtv.apple.com/qtv/wgbh/http/nova_eu/nova_eu_3012c01_mp4_ref.mov
> Hey, guess what? More reference files!
> Leading to e.g.
> http://stream.qtv.apple.com/qtv/wgbh/http/nova_eu/nova_eu_3012c01_mp4_300.mov
> Can you guess what it is? Yes, it is a reference file. Some people just
> never heard of HTTP redirect, and are stuck in "when all you have is a
> hammer, everything is a nail" mode. Well, actually it's "if all you have
> is QuickTime, ...", but nevermind.
> Btw. it points to
> http://a768.g.akamai.net/5/768/142/3f9e9589/1a1a1afb6ae049ae214fc034aad839a91985ea187bea5786f362d841a61948bf2688f01f87fb6fdf0e7ceb61c22186fb/nova_eu_3012c01_mp4_300.mov
> which plays just fine in MPlayer (though not with -demuxer lavf?).
> Sorry, no subtitles though, no idea if/how it would be possible to munge
> them in from that very first referenced file.

A couple of years ago, I created a small script able to extract the subtitles
from that nova program.
You can find it in the tarball of encode2mpeg (encode2mpeg.sourceforge.net)
in the TOOLS subdirectory (qtsub2srt and README.qtsub2srt)
It uses mplayer to parse the mov file containing the subtitles and it works
with 1.0rc2. No idea if it still works with the current snapshot.
It converts the subtitles to ISO8859-1, change the iconv option at the end 
of the script if you want a different encoding (utf8).


> There are probably some higher/different quality versions there if you
> follow some other "reference chain".
> I hope you understand that I almost feel it is a good thing that MPlayer
> does not follow all this mess... (though I have to admit that someone
> did try to implement trying to follow all those references in MPlayer,
> it just stops working at some point - though honestly I think that might
> be something that a frontend can hack together better).
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