Here is the Quickest Way to Make a 1-Hour-Version of a Song


Do you have a song stuck in your head? And you want to play it over and over and over again?

We have all been there, haven't we?

And we have all seen them on YouTube:

1-hour-versions of songs.

How much work is it to create a 1-hour-version ourselves?

And what would we need to make one?

And how exactly can you do it?

I will answer all these questions and show you how it's done -- so you can do it yourself.

Some general information first:

A 1-hour-version of a song is just a loop of a video. That means that the same video is repeated multiple times. This is actually a special case of what is called a concatenation. A concatenation is basically putting things like words (or in our case videos) one after another.

Example: The concatenation of the words "bed", "car" and "house" is "bedcarhouse" -- which makes no sense, but that is what the concatenation of these three words actually is.

Some things to consider

Ok, so we want to repeat the video. We could install a video editor, import the video multiple times and let the video editor do its thing. Yes, that is true. But that process is very slow and additionally, the video will be re-rendered. That might lead to some quality loss.

We want to avoid rendering the video material again.

The advantages should be obvious at this point: No quality loss and it's super fast.

On my pretty slow laptop I achieved more than 300fps with the method that I will show you for a FullHD video. fps stands for frames per second. A video consists of individual frames (think of pictures). One second of video might contain 25 frames or 30 frames, for example. The more fps our computer achieves, the faster the video is finished.

For comparison: The method which I will show you achieves more than 300 fps. Rendering that same video in a video editor would lead to about 15 fps on the same computer. Therefore, the method which I will show you is more than 20 times faster.

The steps

I assume that you are using Windows 10 as your operating system. It should be exactly the same or very similar for older versions. And if you're using Linux, you probably know how to adapt the steps. If you're using macOS, you need to know how to adapt the steps, because I certainly don't. 😅 But I believe it is very similar.

  1. Have the video as an MP4 file. There are ways to download videos from popular video streaming platforms. DYOR (Do Your Own Reasearch) for that. 😉

  2. Install ffmpeg as explained here.
    Honestly, it is not very user-friendly to install, but it is well worth installing.

    And it's absolutely free.

  3. RTFM (Read The eFfing Manual)
    https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/Concatenate#samecodec
    Ok, I'm joking. I read it for you, of course, so you don't have to. 😉
    We use a modified version of the example code that we can find in the section called "Using intermediate files".

ffmpeg -i song.mp4 -c copy -bsf:v h264_mp4toannexb -f mpegts int.ts
ffmpeg -i "concat:int.ts|int.ts|int.ts|int.ts|int.ts|int.ts" -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc output.mp4

And here is what the code above does:
The first command transcodes our MP4 file called song.mp4 to an MPEG-2 transport stream (whatever that means) which we call int.ts (int stands for intermediary).

The second command concatenates the transport stream int.ts multiple times without any quality loss.

In the example below, we concatenate it 6 times. If you need to concatenate the video more often, just copy the command into a text editor such as Notepad and add some additional |int.ts. If you need to concatenate the video less often, just remove some |int.ts accordingly.

The resulting video is called output.mp4.

The example above assumes that our video song.mp4 uses the H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec by the way.

And that is the song we use

I chose this song for the 1-hour-version.

Step 1 is obtaining the MP4 video file and naming it song.mp4.

Let's make the 1-hour-version

All we need to do is to open the command line: Click the start button (or hit the windows key) and type cmd.

4d4f3e848f62c4b263d83ff8ac66bb10.png

Then hit the enter key on your keyboard. You will see something like this.

bfb736dd5a2388fc6619431c85a40651.png

Navigate to the directory in which the file song.mp4 is located using the cd command.

Copy and paste the example commands into the command line and wait a bit. You will see lots of text that you can ignore.

The process is pretty fast. Once it is finished, check that the resulting video ouput.mp4 works and has the length you wanted. If everything looks good, you can delete the intermediate file int.ts.

4c2cf393c66a1f74012d04afe605a3c0.png

c8b389fff29a2a6d9fc7d1c52242f506.png

That's it.

Now you have your very own 1-hour version of your favourite song. If the copyright allows it, you may even upload it to YouTube, like I did.

I used a song which is copyright free, modified the song and made my own music video for the song. You can read about the process in this article.

 

I published this article first on my blog on read.cash.

 


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