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Oct 31, 2016

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How to download video .ts files and join them to create a single MP4 file in ONE minute. No manual process!

Amazon When you want to download a video from some website don't you find it annoying to find that the video files are a bunch of .ts files? A .ts file is a small file containing a piece of the video and audio data. The video file you intend to download contains many .ts files, and you must join them to create one single video file which is usually an MP4 file.

A video MPEG transport stream, aka MPEG-TS, MTS or TS, is a standard digital container format for transmission and storage of audio and video. It is commonly used by many protocols. For example, HTTP Live Streaming uses MPEG transport stream.

So how do you go about joining all of the .ts files to create a single MP4 file for easy playback? One simple way is to manually download all the .ts files and use a software tool to combine the .ts files to create one MP4 file, but it's too much hassle.

Allow me to give you a one-minute automatic, painless solution to merge the MPEG-2 TS fragments into one MP4 video/audio file so you can easily play it back.

Solution

The short answer is use VLC media player. If you are technologically savvy like I am, you can tinker with VLC until you get it. But why waste your time when I've already gone through the effort and found how to create an MP4 file from a list of .ts files?

Read on to find how to easily download and save the .ts files as an MP4 file.

Download VLC Media Player

Download and install VLC. The version I use is 2.2.2.

Locate .m3u8 file URL

Use Google Chrome's web developer tool to find the .m3u8 file used by the .ts files. Let's suppose the .m3u8 file is http://www.nacentapps.com/m3u8/Gear9/prog_index.m3u8.

A .m3u8 file is a text file that lists other .m3u8 files or lists all of the .ts files. The .m3u8 file you use must contain only .ts files.

Follow these steps.

1. Open VLC media player and press Control+N to open a dialog for video streaming from the web.

2. Enter http://www.nacentapps.com/m3u8/Gear9/prog_index.m3u8 into the web address text field.

3. In the lower right corner, the button left to the Cancel button has a down arrow. Click on the down arrow and select Convert (Alt+O).

4. Select a destination file. This is the MP4 file created by joining all the .ts files.

5. Click on the Start button for the streaming and converting to happen.

6. Wait until streaming and converting is done, and your MP4 file is done!

In step 5 and step 6, VLC downloads all of the .ts files and join them to create a video/audio file of your choice. Since the default format is Video - H.264 + MP3 (MP4), the outputting file is an MP4 file.

If you want a different output format, simply select the one you want in the drop down menu in the dialog box before you click on the Start button. Other formats include "Video - VP80 + Vorbis (Webm)", "Video - H.264 + MP3 (TS)", "Video - H.265 + MP3 (MP4)", etc.

You can even output to an audio file only such as "Audio - MP3" and "Audio - Vorbis (OGG)".

Caveat

http://www.nacentapps.com/m3u8/index.m3u8 has multiple .m3u8 files with various resolutions to select. If you want 1920x1080, you must use the .m3u8 file for 1920x1080, which is http://www.nacentapps.com/m3u8/Gear9/prog_index.m3u8.

In other words, the .m3u8 address you enter in VLC must contain .ts files only. If your .m3u8 file contains a list of .m3u8 files, then it's up to VLC which .m3u8 file to use. In version 2.2.2, VLC would pick the first .m3u8 in the list.

Questions? Let me know!
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One Minute Information - by Michael Wen
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