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Restoration tips: free software

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Do think you need the latest dual CPU octa-core ultra overclocked desktop computer, and really expensive software, do make your own restoration? Well, the fastest computer the better, of course - even if I'm still using my old Core 2 Duo E6300 1.83GHz to make my own projects... anyway, let's stay on topic... I was writing, a powerful computer will indeed encode your intermediate lossless and final lossy files, but it will be useless without proper software; I'm going to list free software to make your own projects - yes, no payware, trialware etc. - is it possible to do a complete project without spending a dime; with this, I don't want to say that you have not to spend some bucks to buy a good software, nor that free software could do everything a pay software do...

The following is the list of the software I currently use to do my own projects; I'm still using Windows XP, but many *should* work even with newer Microsoft operating systems; you could use some, or all, it depends on your need:


The best to capture video and audio; very stable, with a powerful enough PC (10+ years dual core will be enough) it will not lose any frame!


It's not only a great capture software, but also a simple, yet powerful, video editor, with a lot of free plugins and filter that will do almost every effect you can think of.

Not properly a classic software, it is called a " frame server"; in few words, you write a script - similar to a computer program, and "feed" it to AviSynth through another software - I use VirtualDub, but there are many others!
To me, this is the most powerful video tool still today; it can do everything, there are literally thousands filters and script, and, if there is none which can fit your need, you can always take an existing one and modify it, or write a new script from scratch!

Frankly I don't use it usually, but it's still a good simple editor to try.


The best free AVC encoder, that's it. You can use it as command line, or use one of the many GUIs around; one of the simpler, yet powerful, is Simple x264 Launcher - you can set every parameter there, and now it can encode also in x265!

The best free lossless codec; fast, and compress more than many other codecs.

One of the older lossless codec, doesn't work with YV12, but I still use it when I capture video, because it's fast and lightweight, and compress about 2.5x times in comparison to uncompressed video.

Another alternative lossless codec


I use it to index DVD VOB files; it works with MPEG-2 codec.

As its name says, it index AVC files.


A simple and powerful audio editing tool; perfect to cut, paste, and add effect to your audio tracks.

I use it mainly as audio converter, when the audio track needs just that. A lot of plugins avaiable.

Aften GUI
Best AC3 free encoding; but Aften CLI could be used also with other softwares, like FooBar


One of the best muxer around, could mux, demux, remux .ts and .m2ts files, and even a complete BD structure; warning! It *may* produce not-compliant BD files, even if it's still not clear if it's true, and also *may* depends from the version number, or wrong settings used.

Used to mux in MKV.


MPC-HC (Media Player Classic - Home Cinema)
One of the best free media player, can play anything, or, if not... you can always use

VLC (VideoLan)
The alternative; what it can't do, the other can, and viceversa.


EasyBD Lite
This free software doesn't allow you to make menus, but it produces BD compliant disc structures

Free BD authoring with menu maker; quite difficult to understand at the beginning, but simpler than many other payware; after all, it's the only free authoring software that could make BD menus, so...


Subtitle Edit
The most powerful freeware; must spend some time to learn how to use it, but it worth that time!


Yes, surprised? What about levels?

A very simple piece of software; Photoshop ain't it, but it's easy, and works well - I use the old version, seems better than the old one!


Tells everything (more or less) about your audio and video files

Great audio tool, difficult to use as CLI; but it has many GUIs, and many other softwares use it.

Bitrate Viewer
Calculate the average bitrate of your video files.

A disc burner, free and reliable.

Remember to install FFDShow, Haali Media Splitter, LAV filters, audio/video codecs etc.

And don't ask me the download links; they are free, and easy to find everywhere on the net, so...

There are of course many other free softwares around, impossible to list them all; but, if someone don't know how to start, I think these should be present "as default" in any project maker computer; maybe you don't need them now, but probably you will need one, or more, in the future.
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog

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