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Locate MPEG-4 codec used by Nero Recode2 and Nero Showtime

Posted on 2004-03-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I upgraded to Nero 6 Ultimate when I added a DVD recorder to my computer and discovered a MPEG-4 encoder was included in the suite.  Nero Recode2 is able to copy non-copy protected DVD discs and create .MP4 files that are then playable in Nero Showtime.  I also discovered that MS Windows Media Player 9 was able to play the .MP4 files created by Nero Recode, even though not supported by either MS or Nero.

I'm very interested in discovering which codec on my computer is being used to playback Nero Recode2 ".mp4" files.  Nero will not offer any help.  Their official comment is that ".mp4 files can only be played back by Nero Showtime" and that "Nero Showtime is not sold septerately".  This is the only resonse I could get inspite of 6 requests for assistance in identifying the Nero codec.

The encoded quality of the Nero MEPEG-4 files is extreemely good and I want to identify the codec used for encoding since any file I encode with Nero Recode2 can only be played back on the same computer.

A follow-up question will be ... how can I copy the codec to another comuter that does not have Nero 6 Ultimate installed on it?

Thanx!
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Question by:wadedesk
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by:cl3012
ID: 10700338
Nero developed its own codec that competes directly with the popular MPEG4 codecs currently available (DivX, Xvid, etc.).  It is called "Nero Digital."  As it is proprietary, I don't know if there is an easy way to have the freedom to use this codec as you would with the publicly available ones.
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by:JaffaKREE
ID: 10701596
cl3012 is right about Nero Digital's proprietary mpeg-4 codec.  You can encode to RAW .mp4 if you like.  Divx/Xvid are still better and far more standard.

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Author Comment

by:wadedesk
ID: 10708559
I do not see whre I have the option to record to a RAW .mp4 in Nero Recode2 in the highest quality setting.  Can you expain what you mean by RAW?

I have worked with both the DivX and Xvid codecs and found them good on detail but lousy on handling action.  I was looking for an MPEG-4 encoder that I could use to archieve DV .AVI's that I've edited asnd burned to DVD.

DivX and Xvid look really bad if there is very much fast motion within the frame  even when I create a large file.  When I use the HQ setting in Nero Digital codec the action and detail are both extremely good and the file is still smaller than an MPEG-2.  (Currently I'm encoding to MPEG-2 and will not go down in quality just for smaller file size.)

I have downloaded several MPEG-4 tools that are suppose to read the codec from the encoded MPEG file, but none recognize the Nero codec.  I believe all codecs are located in the Win32 folder of Windows, but do not know how to locate it beyond that.

I assume that codecs are registered in Windows Registry somewhere ... would this be the next place to look and compare two of my machines for installed codecs?

The payoff for this question is locating the file and determining how it is installed (or registered) in Windows.  It would more than likely be in violation of software licensing if I install Nero on more than one machine, so the more elegant way is to locate the codec and install only it.  Let's set any discussion of legallity asside and talk in the abstract as this project is to learn more about codecs and encoding.

(I can not figure out why Nero would create a good codec and then make it nearly impossible to author in their format and they will not respond to the question.)

Thanx!
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by:cl3012
ID: 10708981
For reference, there is a similar open Q from earlier:

http://experts-exchange.com/Applications/MultiMedia_Applications/Q_20911342.html
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Expert Comment

by:JaffaKREE
ID: 10713584
It really depends on how much time you are willing to put into encoding your video.  I don't know what internal filters the Nero .mp4 codec uses (and I don't think we ever will), but generally some pre-processing (Smart Smoother/Temporal Smoother Filtering) is applied before encoding to Divx/Xvid (Multipass encoding).  This greatly improves the results and gets rid of the artifacts you mentioned.  A correctly done Divx/Xvid/Mpeg-II encode won't have any distortion.

I have a very detailed guide to encoding video in mpeg-2 and mpeg-4 if this is how you want to proceed.  I just don't think you're going to have much luck locating the Nero codec.  There isn't really a need for it, so I don't see why anyone would have gone through the effort to extract it.  
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Author Comment

by:wadedesk
ID: 10717007
I disagree as to the acceptable quality of Divx/Xvid multipass encoding, I do not know how much this has to do with the fact that I edited professional (analog) video many years ago.  I am relatively pleased with MPEG-2 quality on my PC, but plan to keep this question open for I am interested in locating the MPEG-4 codec used by Nero.

Having worked with computers for the last dozen years, I've been able to locate the needed information if I only patient.  In this case, my personal belief is that the Nero Digital codec is the best MPEG-4 on the market today (that I've tested) and I want more information on it.  My hope is that Nero will also expand support on the product going forward.

Thanx!
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Expert Comment

by:cl3012
ID: 10717864
I'm guessing you have seen this already in your information gathering, but just in case:

http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/131
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Author Comment

by:wadedesk
ID: 10900177
I've continued to research my question on my own since there has been no new feedback.  I've noted that Codecs are listed in the PROPERTIES tab of CODECS PROPERTIES in the SOUND, VIDEO CONTROLLERS group of DEVICE MANAGER.

I had thirteen (13) codecs listed on the system.  I installed Nero 6 Ultra program on a new system and still had only thirteen codes listed.  When I installed other programs (such as ATI Multimedia for my ATI All-In-Wonder card), I've seen the ATI codec listed in CODECS PROPERTIES.

Why would the NERO DIGITAL codec not be listed, yet programs like Windows Media Player be able to access and use it?
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Expert Comment

by:adecold
ID: 10915659
According to Nero, the codec is still in some sort of a beta stage. And the codec will soon be released and it features encoding, decoding.

http://nerodigital.com/en/ -> If you look to the bottom of the screen
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by:JaffaKREE
ID: 10918536
:)

It's really not as great as you think it is, I swear  !
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Expert Comment

by:cl3012
ID: 11031854
I don't believe there is enough information yet available regarding the Digital codec, as it is relatively new and apparently "[over]guarded" by Nero.
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Accepted Solution

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adecold earned 450 total points
ID: 11068842
Hey,
  I've found the codec used by nero recode 2. I'm not at my pc right now but i just want to post it before the question gets deleted.
The name of the codec file is nendvid.ax (not sure, as i said i'm not at my pc).
But here's a way to find it. Download GSPOT    go to codecs --> Installed codecs and u should see the nero digital encoder and decoder there. Maybe tomorrow when my pc is connected i'll give you the exact location. I think its somewhere in commons.

Adecold
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Expert Comment

by:adecold
ID: 11068855
Download gspot from here
http://www.headbands.com/gspot/

adecold
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Author Comment

by:wadedesk
ID: 11070816
Fantastic Job!

I did download GSpot and installed on my non-DVD burner system and found:
- DSH  (type)
- Nero Video Decoder  (codec)
- Ahead Software AG  (vendor)
- NeVideo.ax  (driver file)
- C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\DSFilter  (in folder)
- 924 KB  (file size)
- AX File  (file type)
- 12/19/2003 6:19 PM  (date modified)

I will award points, but would like to have some ideas how this file might be able to be installed/registered so that it can be used on a system.

I've been working with the download (not CD) version of Nero 6 Ultimate and it does not install (or did not for me) Nero Showtime or Nero Recode2 on a non-DVD burner system.  The system did have a CD burner and it installed appropriate CD burning software.  The instatllation program did install the codec which can be used by Windows Media Player 9.

My interest was (and is) to be able to play back MPEG-4 created with Nero Recode2 on the non-burner system without installing Nero 6.

Any ideas on how to register the codec in Windows XP now that we know what and where it is?

Thanx!
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Expert Comment

by:adecold
ID: 11071066
DId a little snooping around and here are the ideas i came up with.

First, try playing it on the other pc that does not have nero installed. PLAY IT WITH QUICKTIME. Have a funny feeling it will work

Second, If that doesn't work, Install the 3IVX codec pack. they keep on babbling about mp4 files...

Thirdly, if that doesn't work, Wait for Ahead to release the codec...

I'll also test it and do more snooping

Adecold
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Assisted Solution

by:cl3012
cl3012 earned 50 total points
ID: 11071707
Copy the driver file (NeVideo.ax ?) onto the target computer, place into \WINDOWS\system32 directory.

At the command prompt, register the driver using "regsvr32 NeVideo.ax".

Not sure if this will work, but it is the method to register a codec/driver.
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Expert Comment

by:adecold
ID: 11072019
it has to be a dll file to work

Adecold
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Author Comment

by:wadedesk
ID: 11072602
The C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\DSFilter folder contains:
- aacplus.dll  (audio decoder)
- mp4file.dll  (mpg4 file format library)
- NDParser.ax
- NeAudio.ax
- NeFileSrc.ax
- NeReder.ax
- NeVideo.ax

I'm building fully patched Windows XP XP Pro test system with no burner.  I will copy all seven files into the Windows\System32 folder and try registering the two DLLs.

I will post my results for trying to register the DLLs in Windows after I get the test system prepared.

On my non-DVD burner system that had Nero 6 Ultimate files installed in the Common Files\Ahead\DSFFilter folder;  I can play NeroDigital .MP4 in Windows Media Player but QuckTime will not recognize the file format.  This is the desired result I would like to get on the test system by registering the DLLs only.

Thanx!
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Expert Comment

by:cl3012
ID: 11072662
Normally, regsvr32 is used to register libraries (.dll).

It can also be used to individually register audio/video codecs (.ax).
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Expert Comment

by:adecold
ID: 11073124
I've tried using regsvr32 to register the file several times, and it did not work. Tried changing the directory several times to no avail. It's not nessecary for the files to be in the system32 folder. as long as you have the right directory whil registering it. (eg. regsvr32 c:\program files\common\nevideo.ax)

But copying all those files to one directory and registering it just might work. The .ax file extension is just a mpeg-4/DVD filter not an actual codec, so what i'm thinking is one of those dlls you have up there uses it. Just a guess

Adecold
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Author Comment

by:wadedesk
ID: 11073401
Success!

I copied the DLL and AX files from C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\DSFilter folder on the source machine to the C:\Windows\System32 folder on the test machine.  I registered all of the AX files successfully.  I was not able to register the DLL files ("DLL entry point not found").

I then tried playing a NeroDigital MP4 file in Windows Media Player 9.  It worked!  WMP will conplain that the file is not supported, but it does that on my DVD-burning system with registered Nero 6 Ultimate installed.

I was not able to test audio as the system does not have speakers and my test file did not have sound, but I expect it to work as well since the NeAudio.ax was registered.

Thank you everyone.  I would like to split points between adecold and cl3012 because they both help solve my question.  I will have to lookup how to do this since this was my first posted question.

Thanks again!
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