“Ready for your upgrade?”

“You know it! Even made sure to shave the back of my neck this morning for the port installation.”

“Seriously? Do you have any idea what hacking into your spine like that would do to you? You’ve seen The Matrix too many times.”

Microblogvember: neck

Short Treks E07: “Ask Not”: A bit predictable — I figured out what was going on long before the reveal — but still enjoyable, and better than the last two. About those views of Engineering, though…how is there room for all that with all the empty space around the turbolifts? 🖖

“You know damn well it’s not a question of whether I’m able to do the job,” she snapped. “I have twice his experience, not to mention at least twice the number of limbs, depending on how you count the cybernetics. He still has to do his own damn work.”

Microblogvember: able

Editing Chapter Markers in .mkv files

A gorgeous, fully restored Monty Python’s Flying Circus Norwegian Blu-ray Edition box set has just been released, and while I can definitely say that it looks great, others have reviewed it far more comprehensively than I’m able to do, and if you’re into the technical details, there’s some fascinating information about the restoration process in this article.

However, there is one small thing about the set that is a little unfortunate: Each episode only has three chapter stops.

Since I’m in the habit of ripping all of my DVDs and Blu-rays for storage and playback through my Plex media server, I decided to see if there was something I could do about that. Turns out there is! Here’s a rundown of the process, in case anyone else is curious (or if I need to remind myself how to do it for future projects).

  1. Rip the disc using MakeMKV to individual .mkv files for each episode (and while you’re doing so, you might want to pay attention to the subtitles as well.

  2. For each episode, open the .mkv file with the MKVToolNix GUI. Go to the “Chapter Editor” tab, and (at least in this case) remove the existing chapters.

  3. At the same time, open the .mkv file with a video player that allows for frame-by-frame scanning and that can display timecodes down to the millisecond (I use Aegisub.

  4. In MKVToolnix, use the “Add Chapter” button to create the first chapter; you’ll see it appear in the “Chapters:” list. Click on the chapter to enable editing. Set the start time to “00:00:00.000”. Optionally (but recommended), set the “Name” for the chapter: This could be as simple as “Chapter 1”, or a more descriptive chapter name (in this particular case, the highly detailed books of notes that came with the Monty Python set came in very handy for identifying the chapters and titles).

  5. Scan through the video file with your video player until you find the end point of the opening chapter/beginning point of the next chapter. Read the timecode from the video player, and use that to set the “End:” time in MKVToolnix (for example, “00:00:30.831” is zero hours, zero minutes, 30.831 seconds into the video).

  6. Click the “Add chapter” button to add the next chapter, and set its start time to the same timecode as the end time of the prior chapter.

  7. Continue on until all chapters have been defined.

  8. Once all chapters are defined, in MKVToolnix’s “Chapter Editor” window, choose “Save to Matroska file”. Select the .mkv file you’re working with, and click “Save”. Don’t worry if you get a warning that the file will be replaced, MKVToolnix will only replace the chapter markers, and will not wipe out the rest of the file.

Once that’s done, the .mkv file will have correct chapter markers set. If you then do any further encoding (such as converting from .mkv to .mp4 with Handbrake, which I do for my video storage to save space), those chapter markers will be preserve. This makes skipping around and finding particular points in the video (in this particular case, going directly to specific sketches within each episode) much easier.

It’s the one downside to an otherwise incredible set, and while this solution isn’t exactly simple or fast, neither is it terribly difficult or time consuming, and makes for a much better final experience.

“No, really,” he said. “We’d love to stay. In any other circumstance, we would. But….” He glanced over at his husband and took his hand, then turned back to their host, forcing himself to look into the wet, empty sockets where its eyes should have been.

Microblogvember: stay

They had always hated the cold, growing up. Thick clothes and as many layers as possible defined the winter months. But now, as they felt the heat of the overworked reactor move through the ship, they actually looked forward to feeling the cold of space.

Microblogvember: cold

New addition to the library: Number 230 of 1,250 signed copies of #nwc37 Special Guest of Honor Seanan McGuire’s collection Laughter at the Academy, from #nwc42 Spotlight Publisher Subterranean Press! Supporting Norwescon and our GoH’s one book at a time. :) 📚

He had said he wanted to be a star his entire life. They didn’t understand until he started to glow, incandescent, heat pouring out of him, immolating everything around him as he grew ever larger, brighter, and hotter. He finally got his wish.

Microblogvember: star