[vlc] Problems (Sound, Transcoding, Codecs, Logs) On Ubuntu Intrepid (8.10)

Hal Vaughan hal at thresholddigital.com
Thu Jan 1 18:32:03 CET 2009

On my previous workstation, I was using VLC on Ubuntu Hardy and was able 
to transcode video show on my HD camcorder with no problem.  With a new 
computer, I installed Ubuntu Intrepid, with KDE 4.0 and am using VLC on 
there (version 4.3.2).  I'm having several significant problems with 
this install:

1) No logging.  I tried to set the log to ~/tmp/vlc-log.txt and nothing 
is logged to that file.  As a matter of fact, even when I forced errors 
by loading a bad file, this log file wasn't even created.  I finally 
looked in my home directory and found ~/.vlc/vlcrc and in that config 
file all the log settings were commented out, so I uncommented them to 
set up a log file, with no success.  I get the error messages from VLC, 
but there is no log to check for more details.

2) When I play a .mts file from my HD camcorder, there is no sound.  I 
get sound with .wav files and with some .mpg files (possibly with all 
that have them, but I've gone through so many files at this point, I may 
have mis-remembered on this point).  No error messages, either.

3) When I play the .mts files, I have to select, each time, to discard 
interlacing.  Can't I set this somewhere?  There doesn't seem to be a 
place in the preferences where I can do this.

4) I've tried saving my preferences, but sometimes that locks the 
program.  It'll keep playing a video, but the UI doesn't respond and I 
have to kill it and restart it.

5) I've tried transcoding my .mts files to a format more programs 
understand, but I can't transcode to MP4.  I get errors that the codec 
or encoder is not there.  I've installed all the packages that should be 
connected with VLC and codes, but I still get reports that the MP4 video 
and AAC audio codec or encoders are not there (I figure this might be 
part of the sound issues as well).  The error messages tell me to check 
the log for more details, but there's no log file.

I'd really like to get the log working and I'm guessing that if the 
codec issues were fixed, the other problems (like sound) would be as 
well, though I may still have to keep specifying to discard interlacing.

I tried to search the forums, but was given messages that the search 
function wasn't working.  I tried to register, but the confirmation code 
image didn't show up in Konqueror or Firefox when I tried and the 
subscribe page on the VLC site didn't work -- I had to go through 
mailman, and still had trouble in subscribing.  (Thought I needed to 
mention this as a heads-up to VLC people -- when I tried to send an 
email to the forum admin, I got a bounce that it's waiting for moderator 

Thanks for any help with this.  I have some videos that friends of mine 
have asked to see, but I can't do anything with them until I can convert 

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