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I tried to slice up a dvd into chapters and encode each chapter separately to avi, then merge the avi's again, like this:
mencoder dvd://1 -ovc copy -oac copy -chapter 1-1 -o chapter01.mpeg
mencoder dvd://1 -ovc copy -oac copy -chapter 2-2 -o chapter02.mpeg
# encoding the slices
mencoder chapter01.mpeg -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=1000 -oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr:br=64 -o chapter01.avi
mencoder chapter02.mpeg -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=1000 -oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr:br=64 -o chapter02.avi
cat chapter01.avi chapter02.avi > chapters01-02.avi
mencoder chapters01-02.avi -noidx -avc copy -oac copy chapters01-02.fixed.avi
The problem: there will be an audio delay of cca. 2s inside the merged avi, starting from the original boundary of the two avi's (so, the first half of the avi will be correct, the other half corrupted).
When I play chapter02.avi, there is no audio delay, so the delay may be caused by mencoder, when fixing the merged avi.
I just realized that mencoder preloads the audio data during encoding. What is worse: it does not seem to throw away the preloaded, surplus audio-data at the end of the encoding process, but inserts them into the last encoded frame.
You do not notice this when you play the slices: the playback of each slice will be correct.
But, when you merge the slices, the surplus audio data at the end of the first slice will delay the audio data of the second slice by cca. 1s, when you merge the avi slices as described in the mencoder documentation. If you have more slices, then the audio delay will gradually increase all along the merged avi.