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Re: MPEG file creation

Robert Pina (rpina@astro.ufl.edu) writes:

> I am running IDL5.1 under Windows NT 4.0 and am trying to create an MPEG
> file. I have a set of images which I can load and play using XINTERANIMATE.
> Everything looks fine. I then push the "Write MPEG" button. Again, everything
> looks ok with the file being written to disk. However, when I try to play the
> file back using a QuickTime Movie Player, I get an error saying it cannot
> open the file. When I try to insert the MPEG file into a Microsoft Powerpoint
> 97 Slide presentation, I get a message saying Powerpoint found an error that
> it can't correct. I've also tried creating the MPEG file using the MPEG_OPEN,
> MPEG_PUT, MPEG_SAVE, and MPEG_CLOSE procedures as described in the IDL5.1
> help and I still have no success reading the file back. Has anyone
> successfully created an MPEG file under IDL5.1 directly or using
> Finally, I've tried creating an MPEG file by EXACTLY running the example given
> in the IDL5.1 help for XINTERANIMATE (which uses the IDL bundled abnorm.dat
> data). Again, it seems to create an MPEG file (76 KB) when I press the "Write
> MPEG" button but I have no luck reading it with the two MPEG reading capable
> programs mentioned above. Am I missing something?

According to Technical Support at RSI, this problem is known
to them and they are still in the process of trying to discover
why some MPEG players have problems with the files created by
IDL. They are pretty confident they are creating the MPEG files
correctly according to the MPEG file specifications. 

Until more is known, here is a list of MPEG players that 
was given to me by RSI that have apparently been tested and
are known to work with the MPEG movie files created by IDL.

For Windows machines:

   - ActiveMovie (http://www.microsoft.com/directx/pavilion/amovie/default.asp)

   Version 2.0 and higher is recommended, but I find version 1.0 also works.

   - VMPEG (http://www.udel.edu/ps/sw/vmpeg.exe)

   There have been some problems with players dropping frames
   during playback. If this is occuring with your player, you may
   want to try this player, which is not susceptible to this problem.

For UNIX machines:

   Xanim (http://xanim.va.pubnix.com)

   Apparently source code is available for this viewer if you want
   to compile it for other platforms. See the web page for details.

For Macintosh machines:

   Quicktime Player (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/)


David Fanning, Ph.D.
Fanning Software Consulting
E-Mail: davidf@dfanning.com
Phone: 970-221-0438
Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming: http://www.dfanning.com/