HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
Appendix H. Encoding with FFmpeg
You can convert video between container formats and re-encode the audio and video streams
within them using several different utilities. In this appendix you'll concentrate on FFmpeg,
a command-line tool. Let's review several good reasons for using this tool:
• It's open source and freely downloadable. [ 1 ]
1 FFmpeg is free, but you may be required to pay a licensing fee to the MPEG-LA if you use it to encode
h264 video.
• It's available for all the major client and server platforms: Windows, OS X, and
• Command-line tools lend themselves to scripting, if you have to process many
• It can be called from server-side code.
Let's also look at disadvantages:
• You may be unfamiliar with command-line tools if you've mainly used Windows
• The sheer flexibility of FFmpeg means it has a confusing plethora of options and
In this appendix, we'll do our best to walk you through using FFmpeg, but if you're planning
to do serious video work, you'll need to get down to the nuts and bolts. If you're only inter-
ested in playing around with the video element itself, you can just stick with an easy-to-use
tool such as Miro Video Converter ( ) .
H.1. How to get FFmpeg
If you don't have FFmpeg, the first thing you need to do is to install it. FFmpeg is primarily
distributed as source code. Fortunately, several helpful developers have produced binary
versions of it for all the major platforms. Check the officially sanctioned downloads on the
website for Windows binaries: . If you have a Mac, go here: .
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