Wednesday, August 08, 2012

ffmpeg - Discovering a new Swiss Army Knife Software Tool

Over the years, I've learned that there's often one or two tools that a geek should truly master to reign over a topic. Often the tools are cryptic and have a nasty learning curve, but once you're over it, the tool will pay you back for years to come.

Here's a few examples that come to mind:

I've got a project that requires some video manipulation, and I've learned that ffmpeg is my new best friend. You can use it to convert, trim, crop, slice video. Want to add a watermark? All you need is ffmpeg. And because you can do all these things from the command line, you can also do them in a shell script, on thousands of files or from within a PHP program.

Sure, the filter syntax is confusing, but it's nice and powerful too.

If you need to tweak videos, chances are, you need ffmpeg. I definitely haven't mastered it yet, but I'm glad to spend the time to try.

Update: Just found 19 ffmpeg commands for all needs - definitely looks like a handy resource for learning some common/useful ffmpeg commands.

Update: I just added AutoHotKey to the above list. It definitely belongs: it's cryptic, yet amazingly powerful.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:44 PM

    it's nice to see someone with similar interests. but using ffmpeg without a gui is a bit cumbersome 99% of the time for most people. allow me to add another tool in your shed...

    it's a free ffmpeg front-end that i think is at least at par (modesty aside) with the popular ffmpeg gui's out there. its simple gui, being unique and focused, will hopefully appeal to casual video encoders and hardcore ffmpeg users. the fact that you're an AHK user and that i created this with AutoIt practically makes us cousins *LOL*.