Monday, 4 March 2013

Centos 6/RHEL install Arista Video Transcoder

Many people treat their viewing of the fiction and fantasy turned out by the Movie and TV industries as a religious ceremony, kitting themselves out with all sorts of state of the art sound equipment and the now obligatory enormous screens.

Others, like me, don't find it so interesting to watch just another remake of an old remade remake from early last century which doesn't really tell us anything about what is actually happening in the world and are more likely to just watch the occasional clip to help them get to sleep.

Whichever of the two categories you place yourself in, if you are using Centos 6/RHEL then you will probably be interested in Arista Video Transcoder, a nice little program based on GTK and Gstreamer written in Python by Daniel Taylor.

It has been available for a while, appearing on Ubuntu Desktop versions but makes a nice addition to Centos 6/RHEL.

FFmpeg afficiados may frown upon the idea, but Arista is a clever little encoder for busy people, and boasts a LARGE range of presets covering practically every device on the planet and a fair proportion of devices available on OTHER planets.

Features include
  • Automatically discover available DVD drives and media
  • Rip straight from DVD media easily
  • Automatically discover and record from Video4Linux devices
  • Support for H.264, WebM, FLV, Ogg, DivX and more
  • Batch processing of entire directories easily
  • Simple terminal client for scripting
  • Nautilus extension for right-click file conversion
It can be used at the terminal as well as with the GTK interface, The GUI is very simple to use, you simply load the file and select the preset. Video purists may be disappointed by the limited user control in the GUI, and the not so great HD quality, but the arista-transcode command in a terminal offers a few more options for tweaking.

It is the GTK interface, however, which is probably of more interest to the majority of users, with its quick and easy conversion and wide choice of device settings. Considerably more presets are available from the web site in tar.gz format and they can be installed in a couple of clicks. You can download the binaries foe Linux from there in tar.gz but you may still have dependency issues, so I'd recommended following the procedure described below to obtain it from the nux-dextop repo.


Presets include

Android Phone, Apple AppleTV, Apple iPad, Apple iPhone/Pod

Archos 3 Vision, Archos 5 Internet Tablet, Blackberry, 
Computer, Computer (Advanced), Cowon D2, Cowon S9, Creative ZEN DVD Player, DVD Player SVCD, HTC Desire, HTC Touch (Elf), 
LG GS290, Netbook, Nintendo Wii, Nokia 5230, 5530, 5800, 
Nokia N Series, Nokia N97, Nokia S60v3 5320, PDA Generic, 
Palm Pre/Pre Plus, Samsung F-480, Samsung Galaxy Tab, 
Samsung Jet S8000, Sony Ericsson K850i, Sony Ericsson Naite Sony Ericsson Vivaz, Sony Ericsson W995, Sony NWZ-818, Sony PSP Sony Playstation 3, Sony Xperia, Vimeo Plus and more.

Installing Arista on your Centos 6/RHEL box is simple thanks to the guys at nux-dextop and I'd recommend this way using Yum.

To obtain nux-dextop first install wget if not installed.

$ sudo yum -y install wget                           

$ wget http://li.nux.ro/download/nux/dextop/el6/i386/nux-dextop-release-0-1.el6.nux.noarch.rpm

or

$ wget http://li.nux.ro/download/nux/dextop/el6/x86_64/nux-dextop-release-0-1.el6.nux.noarch.rpm

for the repo pack       

$ sudo rpm -Uvh nux-dextop-release-0-1.el6.nux.noarch.rpm

to install it.

$ sudo vi /etc/yum.repos.d/nux-dextop.repo   

set 'enabled' to '0'

$ sudo yum -y --enablerepo=nux-dextop install arista

Will install it, then run the GUI with

$ arista-gtk

See Fluxbox key bindings if you are using Fluxbox.

I'd also recommend disabling the preview because you simply don't need it and performance will be smoother.

Arista is a very handy encoder for quickly encoding media files.