Monday, August 08, 2011

WinFF and the Removal of libfaac from FFmpeg

If you attempt to encode MP4 video with WinFF using later versions of FFmpeg, you will get an error:
Unknown encoder 'libfaac'

libfaac has been removed from FFmpeg for licensing reasons. So instead of using the following option to encode AAC:
-acodec libfaac

Use FFmpeg's experimental encoder instead:
-acodec aac -strict experimental

In WinFF, you can go into Edit>Presets and make this change to the affected preset, then click "Add/Update" and then "Save" when you are done.
Of course, the experimental codec is just that. YMMV. If you really want libfaac, there are special unofficial builds of FFmpeg on the web that include libfaac.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Where Have I Been

It has been almost two months since my last post. Most of the readers of this blog are people who pull up something I wrote by using a search engine, then move on. Average time per visit is just under one minute according to sitemeter statistics. However this blog is based on me. This blog is about the evolution of my Christian identity.
If you are a regular reader you will remember that recent posts have been very anti-Christian in tone. I am not sure how much more I have to say about my Christian identity at this point. It hangs by a thread. Trying to define it just makes it more senseless. Writing about it is a way of trying to take stock and define it, so that gets me nowhere really fast.
If you are scratching your head then go back and read my posts on Teddy Bear Christianity and Christian Nihilism (end of May, beginning of June 2011).
I have contented myself with the idea that there is a higher power, as opposed to atheism. I tried to remove the concept of God from my thinking but my psychological makeup means that this results in depression for me. But I think this is less some indicator of a "God-shaped" hole as it is a signifier that I am just screwed up mentally because of a lot of what I have been through.
That leaves the question of my relation to Christianity. In this matter I have contented myself that I am "theologically agnostic" ecumenicalist. If there be any truth to Christianity then the impulse of the Spirit courses through the universal church as it exists today in its imperfection. If there is any truth in the Bible it is this, that we see Christ as one who sees himself in a dark mirror, and when He returns, we shall know Him face to face, for we shall be raised to His likeness. I'll not curse the Catholics. I'll not berate the Baptists. NT Wright puts it best, the ecumenical nature of the church as Christ intended it is understood in the universal membership of her members in a covenant relationship with the Father through the Son. Maybe I mangled that and if so, apologies to Wright. The Gospel was supposed to be a uniter, but has now become the greatest divider.
I've seen beyond the hide-bound assumptions about justification and millennialism that my Baptist upbringing thrust upon me. I've seen enough to know that I can't limit my perspective like that anymore. Be honest, how many of you reading this thought my aforementioned reference to a "covenant relationship" had something to do with Calvinism/Reformed Theology? That's what I am talking about... most evangelicals (including fundamentalists) who are raised with any sense of theology at all are raised with such a narrow, sectarian sense of it that it ends up functioning primarily as a tool for cavilling and dissention. A simple exposure to different streams of theological thought would have been enough to break such an assumption and set your possibilities among a number of different theological contexts.
I am reminded of the old KJVO high school friend who accused me of following James White just because I quoted him in an argument against KJVOism. Not so!
My mother-in-law is certain that out church is Reformed in theology because we had a Sunday honoring some of the leaders of the Reformation. Not so!
So much theology is no more than an elaborate "label and dispense" scheme. How can theology truly matter in such a context?

If there is any salvaging of my Christian identity it is to ground my theology in the true Gospel, which means understanding theology in an ecumenical-convenant context that honors the diversity and universality of the church.
I'll bet the second part of that sentence was a real let-down for some of you after that first part!


NRSV vs. ESV

As you may know, I prefer to use the NRSV translation of the Bible. I have noticed lately a lot of people in my church carrying around the ESV. Commenter "Michael" over here puts into words my EXACT feelings about the ESV:

"The reason why the NRSV is stylistically superior to the ESV is because the translators devoted a lot more time and attention to the task than did the ESV translators.

"The NCC authorized a full revision of the RSV in 1974, the work of the translation committee was completed and approved in May 1989 and published later that year as the NRSV. So they spent 15 years working on it.

"By contrast, the ESV was conceived as a kind of knee jerk reaction against the publication, in England of the NIV with Inclusive Language in 1996.

"Now, let me be clear, I share some of the skepticism about inclusive language, so my problem isn't with the fact that they are skeptical about inclusive language, my problem is that their opposition is knee jerk, unthinking, reactionary, an emotional reaction and not the product of careful reflection.

"The ESV was first conceived in 1997, the committee was put together in 1998, and the first edition was published in 2001.

"They didn't really devote the necessary time and attention to the task that they should have, because they were in a rush to get it out as soon as possible."