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Free Video Encoding in Windows 7 Using AutoGK

After you copied the DVD video to hard drive [1] using DVD Shrink you might want to compress it further by converting it to avi or mkv formats. I would talk about the conversion to mkv format in the next post [2], lets first focus on conversion to avi using AutoGK or Auto Gordian Knot [3]. AutoGK is a free software and it packages several of the classical tools like VirtualDub, Avisynth  etc. and gives the option of DivX and XviD codecs for video compression, and variable bit rate mp3 audio or ac3 surround sound audio. You can use predefined file sizes or specify you custom size or target quality in percentage. The user settings are very few and hence it is one of the easiest video encoding tool to use. The GUI has nice and clean look, so you won’t get lost in the technicalities. It also takes standard mpeg files as inputs. It installs all the needed software packages on its on, so you won’t have to google for individual components.

To start the process select the IFO file located in the VIDEO_TS folder of the ripped DVD. Select the name and location for the output file. Select the audio and subtitle tracks. Choose the Advanced settings to decide the video and audio codec types, and choose the resolution of the output, add job and start. Entire encoding would take several minutes to hours depending on your CPU speed and the number of cores. The good part is that it does support parallelization for multi core processors, making it much faster than serial encoders. The final result is optimized as the video encoding is done in 2 passes, so you can never go wrong with your encoding work.


It took 1 hour and 3 minute to encode the movie shown in the screenshot on an Intel Core 2 Quad 2.83GHz, Q9550 desktop. Pretty fast from my P4 days, when it would take 4-5 hours on my 2.4 GHz P4. Advantage of encoding using DivX or XviD codec is that these codecs are very popular codecs and most media players support them out of the box.