Until I started doing more video work, I ran under the assumption that DVDs were a good way to transfer video. DVD should use only three encodings: MPEG2 for video, and AC3 or MP3 for audio.
Or so I thought. In fact, you can have other audio encodings, because some people or devices create DVDs with PCM (aka WAV) audio streams. But that should not be too much of an issue, should it?
It turns out there's another annoyance: video editing programs don't generally support VOB files (the files on DVDs). Dragging a VOB onto Sony Vegas fails. Same for Quicktime Pro and Windows Movie Maker (both old and new). I think VideoSpin won't read them either. (I suspect that Linux editors will handle them.) You have to reconstruct the videos as MPEG-2 files (mpg files). Even then, there's no guarantee that the files will import, or that there will be audio on it.
I used the following command to create an mpg file:
ffmpeg -i VTS_01_1.VOB -vcodec copy -acodec libmp3lame clip1.mpg
This copies the video stream over unchanged, and converts the audio to MP3. The audio was converted because the original audio was PCM.
The resulting file will play on VLC, but will import only the video into Vegas.
So I ran another command
ffmpeg i- VTS_01_1.VOB -vn -acodec libmp3lame clip1.mp3
That transcodes the audio stream into an MP3 stream. Vegas will import this!
So, with video and audio separated like this, you have to re-sync the video and audio tracks manually. It's do-able, but what a pain.