Newbie to Playlist Obfuscation

Please post here for issues related to Blu-ray discs
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:03 am

Newbie to Playlist Obfuscation

Post by bunjo » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:18 am

I've been using AnyDVD to rip DVD's for a while with no problem. I just started to rip Blu Ray and now am seeing these issues with playlist obfuscation. I'm not a dummy, but I'm having a hard time grasping this and how to correct it. I obviously don't want to rip a bunch of blu rays and have to watch them to know if they are correct or no. I've seen that one video that explains how to find the right playlist, but what I'm not understanding is how do you know if you've got the right playlist in the first place and if not how to change it? I keep seeing things about playing the DVD with AnyDVD on and it will show the playlist it's selected but I'm not seeing that. Actually I did try that with speedmenu on and it shows me playlist 1 which doesn't seem to make sense. It then shows various chapters out of sequence so again just very confused on this.

Here's my scenario for instance with Harry Potter - The Philosopher's Stone. I pop in the Blu Ray and rip it with Any DVD. I then open it up with Handbrake and it shows me 60 files with the first one being the longest at 2:28:50, even though if I got into the folder the longest one is 2:32:22. A Google search shows the run time at 2:39.

Can someone clarify with using AnyDVD and Handbrake how to do this from start to finish or point me in the right direction for a primer. I would really appreciate it.

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Re: Newbie to Playlist Obfuscation

Post by yorgo » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:29 pm

If a disc uses playlist obfuscation (Lionsgate movies primarily), AnyDVD will display the correct playlist. See here under "Java BD protection good playlists" as an example: ... hot098.jpg.

To my knowledge, none of the Harry Potter films use playlist obfuscation (Warner Bros.)

Anything further regarding use ofAnyDVD and Handbrake should be directed in forums for those groups. Any questions regarding MakeMKV, post away!

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Re: Newbie to Playlist Obfuscation

Post by Papa007 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:10 am

Hey Bunjo and welcome to the wonderful world of cat and mouse, otherwise known as playlist obfuscation!

Since you obviously know what playlist obfuscation is, I won't try to explain it too much. I will tell you this: if I run across a disc with 100+ playlists, the first thing I do is hit this forum... there are other people that see the same thing you do and have gone through the process (usually...) of finding the correct playlist. There are methods to finding the playlists yourself, but those generally require a working Blu-ray player (for your PC... like a paid version of some player or some crap...). I don't like paying for codecs, so I skip those, but I did purchase MakeMKV and it has worked masterfully for several years and through one PC upgrade, so yeah, support these guys!

Back to what I was saying.... hop onto the forum and check the Blu-ray error reports. If it's a new title, Tuesday release usually... maybe Friday for some Disney stuff, there is usually someone on here that has the answer to the playlist question.... if there is no answer, then just ask the question: Hey, love the forum! Keep up the great work! Yadda yadda yadda! :) I'm trying to rip this wonderful Blu-ray but the ass-hats at the production company decided to give me 1000 treasure maps and I just need the one that leads to the real treasure! Can someone please help? A few people have this forum sending them notifications, so they'll hop right on and either ask you to send them some data about the title or someone else will just tackle the task and hand you the right playlist. It's really that simple with such a great community here!

Anyways, happy ripping and welcome to the forum! Cheers!

Also, if I remember correctly, there may be some sort of guide to how you can get the right playlist somewhere buried in this forum.... I don't have the link because I'm just not going to look for it... it's somewhere though... :) Good luck!

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Re: Newbie to Playlist Obfuscation

Post by TheTerrorBeyond » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:58 pm

Forum member unab0mb put together a guide for the best possible way to find the proper playlist.

This works MUCH better than the .mpls version.
unab0mb wrote:I've seen a lot of folks still referring to old YouTube videos showing how to use Process Monitor and PowerDVD to find the correct playlist when there is a lot of playlist obfuscation on a Blu-Ray disc. Unfortunately, that method is dated and is not always accurate anymore because PowerDVD accesses random playlists on a disc to throw you off.

Below is the method I use for finding the correct segment map. It is similar to those YouTube videos, but you are getting the actual segment map, not a faked .mpls playlist.

Open Process Monitor. Create a filter for the following:
1. "Process Name" contains "DVD". (works for PowerDVD.exe, WinDVD.exe, etc.)
2. "Operation" is "CloseFile".
3. "Path" ends with ".m2ts". (NOT .mpls!)
Check to see if you have a column header titled "Path" showing in ProcMon. If you do not, RIGHT-click on any column header and choose "Select Columns...". In the middle section titled "Event Details" make sure you put a check in the box for "Path" then click OK.
Now, start capturing events in ProcMon (File>Capture Events).

Fire up PowerDVD. Play the disc. Get past all of the initial junk until you get to the main menu. Immediately after hitting play on the main menu and you see the actual movie playing, just clear the contents of the ProcMon window (Edit>Clear Display). This clears all the initial garbage we don't need or care about that we already sat through (previews, menus, warnings, studio logos/intros, etc.). Now as the movie is playing, hit the fast forward button in PowerDVD and put it on max speed 32x fast forward. Let the movie play to completion. Stop logging events in ProcMon (File>Capture Events) immediately after the credits finish and the last segment shows in ProcMon. Close PowerDVD. Ignore or remove any additional entries that may have populated in ProcMon that showed after the credits ended because that's just the disc going back to playing junk/menus.

Assuming you set up your filters correctly and were capturing events as the movie played, you would have seen that once PowerDVD had finished playing a segment of the movie, an event would be added in the ProcMon window showing which file (segment) was played. Look at each line/row in order from top to bottom. Under the "Path" column it will have a value like "D:\BDMV\STREAM\00520.m2ts". Look at the ending file name and drop the leading zeroes and the .m2ts for each line. Let's say your list of rows in the ProcMon window shows file names of 00520.m2ts, 00530.m2ts, and 00523.m2ts. Your segment map is "520,530,523". Some movies only have 1 segment, others can have a very large number of segments. Now, go find the playlist in MakeMKV that matches the example segment map of 520,530,523 and start ripping that playlist.

All of the below stuff is optional, but it can come in handy when there are hundreds of playlists to sort through. I actually key in the segment numbers appearing in ProcMon into Notepad as the movie plays in the background so I'm ready to easily search for the segment map in this next step. I type the segment map all together on one line, no spaces, each segment separated by a comma like "520,530,523".

Next thing I do is dump out the disc data from MakeMKV to a text file using this command on the command line (Windows). Modify it for your purposes as needed.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\MakeMKV\makemkvcon.exe" --robot --messages=C:\Users\YourUserName\Desktop\MakeMKVOutput.txt info disc:0

Then I open up my MakeMKVOutput.txt file from my Desktop in Notepad and I do a search (Edit>Find) for the segment map which again in this example is "520,530,523". I click (Edit>Find Next) to make sure there is only one title that is found with that segment map. It actually is possible that more than one title/playlist has the same segment map (and that's OK).

Anyway, if you look at the line in Notepad that was found with your segment map ("520,530,523"), look a couple of lines just above it for the name of the playlist (.mpls) for that title. The line will read something like "TINFO:0,16,0,"00943.mpls"". So in this example you know to go to playlist "00943.mpls" in MakeMKV instead of hunting through hundreds of titles/playlists. Click it in MakeMKV to make sure the description matches your segment map, and if it does, rip away.
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