[libav-tools] ffmpeg/avconv: negative bitrate

Daniel Franke franke.daniel at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 01:46:29 CET 2012

Hi all.

I hope this is the right place for my problem.

Generally I have no trouble backing my DVDs up to a NAS using ffmpeg/avconv 
through k9copy, but one set of DVDs gives me a headache due to a reported 
duration of 1 sec and a negative bitrate. During the copy process everything 
seems fine, but when copy is complete, the problem becomes obvious:

$ avconv -i unknown.mpg 
avconv version 0.8.4-4:0.8.4-0ubuntu0.12.04.1, Copyright (c) 2000-2012 the 
Libav developers
  built on Nov  6 2012 16:50:25 with gcc 4.6.3
[mpeg @ 0x99e7240] max_analyze_duration reached
Input #0, mpeg, from 'unknown.mpg':
  Duration: 00:00:46.72, start: 0.287267, bitrate: 6461 kb/s
  Duration: 00:16:02.68, start: 0.287267, bitrate: 5158 kb/s
  Duration: 00:39:47.36, start: 0.287267, bitrate: 5439 kb/s
  Duration: 00:00:01.05, start: 0.287267, bitrate: -2147483 kb/s
    Stream #0.0[0x1e0]: Video: mpeg2video (Main), yuv420p, 720x576 [PAR 64:45 
DAR 16:9], 8500 kb/s, 25 fps, 25 tbr, 90k tbn, 50 tbc
    Stream #0.1[0x80]: Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5.1, s16, 448 kb/s
    Stream #0.2[0x22]: Subtitle: dvdsub
    Stream #0.3[0x21]: Subtitle: dvdsub

$ ls -lh unknown.mpg 
-rw-r--r-- 1 daniel users 1.6G Dec 27 01:24 unknown.mpg

Interestingly, XINE gives a total duration of ~22 minutes when showing the 
.mpg (actual runtime is ~41 minutes), but other players, in particular the 
Plex Media Server and client which I use for everything else with that NAS, 
are picky about this and refuse to handle the files in any usable way.

Is this a known problem? Any suggestions how to work aorund or fix this issue? 



P.S. In case it matters, the problem occurs with DVDs of the TV serias ALIAS.

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