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Thread: Best file format for sharing files?

  1. #1
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    Best file format for sharing files?

    I'm using Ubuntu Mate 18.04 LTS. I can copy files from my Ubuntu HDD to a flash drive with NTFS OK, but when I try copying them to a Windows machine and playing them they're all messed up. Apparently, I can't use ext4 to copy to Windows. Anyone know an answer?

  2. #2
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    Re: Best file format for sharing files?

    I use NTFS on all my shared flash drives w/o a problem. What do you mean when you say that they "are all messed up"?

  3. #3
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    Re: Best file format for sharing files?

    Indeed, the error is somewhere else. For years I am using an ntfs removable disk to play video files on a TV without any issues. File systems need to be in a healthy state. You should check your file systems from time to time and always be very careful in removing removable media from a computer or other device.

  4. #4
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    Re: Best file format for sharing files?

    I've never seen any issue with this as described. Check the system log files for other problems.
    Flash drives do wear out. What are the file types involved? There are media types that Windows doesn't support without addon codecs.

    How are you copying from ext4 to Windows? Act like we are 5 yrs old and please provide the steps.
    Last edited by TheFu; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:02 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Best file format for sharing files?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autodave View Post
    I use NTFS on all my shared flash drives w/o a problem. What do you mean when you say that they "are all messed up"?
    I agree. The meaning of "all messed up" would be quite helpful.

    Can you give us an example - from Linux - of a file that gets messed up when you try to access it from Windows.

    Linux has a wider set of allowed characters than windows when it mounts an NTFS partition. When Windows tries to read them it gets all discombobulated. THere's a parameter that prevents the saving of those files with those caracters during an ntfs mount in Linux:
    windows_names
    This option prevents files, directories and extended attributes to be created with a name not allowed by windows, either because it contains some not allowed character (which are the nine characters ” * / : < > ? \ | and those whose code is less than 0x20) or because the last character is a space or a dot. Existing such files can still be read (and renamed).

  6. #6
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    Re: Best file format for sharing files?

    I meant the video is stepping and the audio is out of sink. Seems mkv files work fine when played or copied in Windows. Other formats like avi and mpeg4 have problems. When I use a video converter program to change them to mkv, they play OK. Must be some kind of issue with codecs in Ubuntu.

  7. #7
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    Re: Best file format for sharing files?

    Quote Originally Posted by jacatone View Post
    I meant the video is stepping and the audio is out of sink. Seems mkv files work fine when played or copied in Windows. Other formats like avi and mpeg4 have problems. When I use a video converter program to change them to mkv, they play OK. Must be some kind of issue with codecs in Ubuntu.
    avi, mkv, mp4 are all "containers", the video codec and audio codecs inside aren't fixed. There is no need to transcode either avi or mp4 files to have them placed into an mkv container.
    install the mkvtoolkit and either use the GUI program or mkvmerge:

    Code:
    mkvmerge -o file.mkv   file.avi
    It is as fast as a file copy.
    Code:
    mkvmerge -o file.mkv   file.mp4
    The root issues is most likely poor MSFT codecs for the specific vcodec and acodec inside the files and has nothing to do with the container used. You'll see when you change a few files into the mkv container. It won't help with the playback issues.

    Once the are in the mkv container, you can easily see the codecs used by using the mkvinfo program. There are avi codecs that were substandard. Lots. Transcoding those files into h.264/aac will loose some quality, but can also drastically improve playback.

    To transcode the video to h.264, something like:
    Code:
     ffmpeg -i "$IN" -c:v libx264   -crf 19.5   -c:a libvorbis -q:a 6  "output.mkv"
    is probably easiest.

  8. #8
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    Re: Best file format for sharing files?

    The standard audio and video codecs for AVI files were mp3 and mpeg4. What player are you using in Windows? Try this: https://www.smplayer.info/en/downloads
    If you ask for help, do not abandon your request. Please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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