Creating an automated daisy chain - ordering a sequence of multiple conversions

“Daisy Chaining” Conversions

Daisy chaining allows you to create a sequence of actions/conversions where the output of one conversion task feeds as the input of the next conversion task in a specific order. This helps if you need to sequence actions or conversions in a specific order.

This is just an example of how to create a two step sequence. First you setup one monitor task which feeds into the first conversion task (e.g. MKV Unprocessed), then you setup a second monitor task which monitors the output of the first conversion task (optionally a delay), which then feeds into a second conversion task (e.g. MP4).

Here are some screenshots for a step by step working tutorial on setting up a daisy chain.

Step 1: Setup a Monitor Location which monitors your files, assuming you’re monitoring TS files located in c:\temp\RecordedFiles:

Step 2: Setup a Conversion Task which converts your source file to MKVUnprocessed files.

  • Set the destination to c:\temp\MKVUnprocessed
  • Optionally, if you want to remove commercials on this task, set Ad remover to Comskip or whatever you want to use.
  • Select the Monitor locations box and select the Monitor Location you created in Step 1:

Step 3: Setup a second Monitor Location which monitors the output of your first Conversion task c:\temp\MKVUnprocessed.

  • Check the Monitor converted videos. This is important since by default MCEBuddy won’t reconvert already converted files, this is to tell MCEBuddy that you specifically want to reconvert the already converted file.
  • Optionally, if you want to delay the second conversion, open the Expert Settings page on your Monitor Location and set the time delay, Minimum age before processing, to whatever you want (e.g. you want a 6 or 12 hour delay before the MKV’s are converted).

Step 4: Now create a second conversion task which will convert your MKV to MP4.

  • This time you need to select the Monitor location that was created in Step 3.
  • If you had already set a commercial remover in Step 2, then you also don’t want to run ad detection again and set Ad remover to None. Optionally, If you had not run the commercial detection in Step 1 you could set to run here.

When it’s done it finally looks like:

This is called Daisy Chaining and now you have two tasks which are feeding from one into the other and delayed a period of time.

You can get creative in how you create multiple daisy chains. Just be careful to ensure you don’t create an endless closed loop.

Just out of curiosity, what’s the benefit of doing it this way? Can’t you just go straight from .ts files to MP4?

You absolutely can, this post is not about converting from TS to MP4, it’s just an example of how to do a multi step conversion or multiple-step process in MCEBuddy.

There are many reasons why you may want to do multi step conversions/processing. For example for some recordings, Comskip only works once the “black bars” from the video are removed. So the first step conversion would be to crop the black bars and the next step would be to run Comskip on the file.

Here are examples where a multi step conversion or processing may help:
Multiple Conversions?
CLI to only refresh metadata
Can MCEBuddy process an audio stream and then process the output of that process again?
Move Scheduling to the Task level
Allow Multiple Passes of ComSkip

Thank you!
The idea of daisy chaining was interesting and I had no idea about comskip and those black bars! I will check out the other links you posted.

I use the process and have 1 job which converts the any video input file to AV1 encoded, then 2 possible jobs that run depending on file name matching for renaming, one for movies and one for tv, and both also call powershell scripts to do some other folder arranging.
The one thing I would like is separate control over archiving. Originally most of my original inputs were TS, and would convert to MP4, then rename so I’d get 2 archived files. Reason I like it is sometimes I’d reprocess the TS file for some reason.
But I also have some situations where my original input is also an MP4, so the archiving overwrites the original.