Sunday, June 7, 2015

If Video DownloadHelper in Ubuntu fails with a "Failed Aggregating" error message

(from the I Love Linux department)

Hi everyone,

I use Video DownloadHelper for Firefox in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

Sometimes, when trying to aggregate video, it fails with a "Failed Aggregating" message.

Specifically, you see this error:

ffmpeg version 0.8.17-4:0.8.17-0ubuntu0.12.04.1, Copyright (c) 2000-2014 the Libav developers
  built on Mar 16 2015 13:26:50 with gcc 4.6.3
The ffmpeg program is only provided for script compatibility and will be removed
in a future release. It has been deprecated in the Libav project to allow for
incompatible command line syntax improvements in its replacement called avconv
(see Changelog for details). Please use avconv instead.
Input #0, mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2, from '/tmp/media.tmp':
    major_brand     : dash
    minor_version   : 0
    compatible_brands: iso6mp41
    creation_time   : 2015-04-22 12:53:09
  Duration: 00:07:02.96, start: 211.487256, bitrate: 64 kb/s
    Stream #0.0(und): Audio: aac, 44100 Hz, stereo, s16
      creation_time   : 2015-04-22 12:53:09
Input #1, mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2, from '/tmp/media.mp4':
    major_brand     : dash
    minor_version   : 0
    compatible_brands: iso6avc1mp41
    creation_time   : 2015-04-22 13:13:56
  Duration: 00:07:02.83, start: 211.419544, bitrate: 1147 kb/s
    Stream #1.0(und): Video: h264 (High), yuv420p, 1920x1080 [PAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 23.98 tbr, 90k tbn, 47.95 tbc
      creation_time   : 2015-04-22 13:13:56
Unrecognized option 'c:v'
Failed to set value 'libx264' for option 'c:v'

So - what happened?  Well - by default, Video DownloadHelper is installed to work with avconv.  But - if you reset Video DownloadHelper's settings, it falls back to an older conversion method based on ffmpeg.

This normally wouldn't be a problem, except that in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, there is no ffmpeg.  It's actually a script front-end for avconv, and doesn't take ffmpeg's arguments.  This is the error you're seeing.

The fix is simple.  Go into Video DownloadHelper's settings, and go to the Conversion setting:

Note the Converter path - it's most likely set to /usr/bin/ffmpeg.  Change this to the location of avconv, usually /usr/bin/avconv:

Now - try your file again.  It should work.  Hope this helps!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Connect The Dots With Wire!

(from the Yeah - this is how my mind works department)

So - this is probably of interest to hard core Wire fans only, but here's the link between the songs on Change Becomes Us and Document & Eyewitness / Turns & Strokes.

If you don't know what this means - this blog post is not for you.  Move along - nothing to see here. (^_^)

The list is arranged according to the track order of Change Becomes Us.  The arrows indicate my best guess as to the original song used to create the new song.  The title in brackets is the album that contains the original.

  1. Doubles & Trebles <--> Ally In Exile [Document & Eyewitness]
  2. Keep Exhaling <--> Relationship [Document & Eyewitness]
  3. Adore Your Island <--> The Spare One [Turns & Strokes]
  4. Re-Invent Your Second Wheel <--> ZEGK HOQP [Document & Eyewitness]
  5. Stealth of a Stork <--> Witness To The Fact [Document & Eyewitness]
  6. B/W Silence <--> Lorries [Turns & Strokes]
  7. Time Lock Fog <--> 5/10 [Document & Eyewitness]
  8. Magic Bullet <--> Over My Head [Turns & Strokes]
  9. Eels Sang <--> Eels Sang Lino [Document & Eyewitness]
  10. Love Bends <--> Piano Tuner (Keep Strumming Those Guitars) [Document & Eyewitness]
  11. As We Go <--> Part of Our History [Turns & Strokes]
  12. & Much Besides <--> Eastern Standard [Document & Eyewitness]
  13. Attractive Space <--> Underwater Experiences [Document & Eyewitness]

NOTE:  Although Attractive Space is based on Underwater Experiences, it is arranged much closer to the original demo version on Behind The Curtain, instead of the two (!) versions on Document & Eyewitness.  However - for the purposes of this list, I decided to only use Document & Eyewitness and Turns & Strokes, as originally issued.  This means that the bonus disc of demos on the new version of Document & Eyewitness, which includes alternate versions of a couple of the songs on Turns & Strokes, is also not listed here.

If I have any of these wrong, let me know.  This is a tricky exercise.  Fun - but tricky.