If you’d ask anyone which is the most popular software project or library to handle audio and video processing. Chances are that most of them would mention FFmpeg. It is widely used for tasks such as transcoding, packaging, video playback, basic editing, video scaling, etc. It is one of the most popular tools used for video and image processing. Many video platforms use FFmpeg as part of their project.
What is FFMPEG?
FFmpeg is a free and open-source software project consisting of different libraries and programs for handling video, audio, and other multimedia files and streams. FFMPEG is a command-line tool used for processing video and audio files. It is widely used for format transcoding, basic editing (trimming and concatenation), video scaling, and video post-production effects.
How to Install FFmpeg on Windows?
Installing FFMPEG is fairly straightforward. You can head to this link to download from gyan.dev.
For a much detailed installation guide, you can see the instructions in our blog on setup and install FFMPeg on Windows.
You can even watch this video and follow instructions on how to install FFMPEG on Windows.
What Are The Uses of FFmpeg ?
It is used for a wide range of tasks such as transcoding, packaging,and video playback. Various software projects use FFmpeg and it’s libraries are currently the part of several software projects, such as VLC, YouTube, and more.
These are the popular use cases of FFmpeg:
You can use FFmpeg for video processing tasks such as denoising, rotation, extraction of frames, blurring, color conversion, letter-boxing, etc
It provides excellent support for video compression. Its an open secret that most streaming companies use or have used FFmpeg for their production systems
Video Packaging Support
For OTT or eLearning platform providers or developers, FFmpeg also has complete support for packaging your videos in both HLS and MPEG-DASH protocols. It can also be configured to stream the videos using RTMP or other protocols.
Audio and Video Container Support
FFmpeg also has extensive support for containers and can be used to read, write, and convert between containers such as avi, mp4, mp3, wma, wav, ts, flv, mkv, and so many other obscure formats.
How To Use FFMPEG?
Getting File information from a video file
To access all the file information including metadata of a video you can use the following command.
|ffmpeg -i sample.mp4|
Cut/Trim a video file
You can trim a video starting from a specific time using ffmpeg,To trim a video using ffmpeg use the following command.
|ffmpeg -ss 00:00:05 -i sample.mp4 -to 00:00:10 -c:v copy -c:a copy trim_sample.mp4|
This is used to seek the video to time from where you want to start the trimming.
You can specify the duration of the required clip using the -t parameter.
You can specify the end-time using the -to parameter.
Resize the video file
You can resize a video using the below command, -s is used to resize the video in below command.
|ffmpeg -i sample.mp4 -s 640×480 -c:a copy resizedSample.mp4|
Split a video into multiple parts
Using FFMPEG you can split a large video file into smaller parts. You can use below command to split a video
|ffmpeg -i sample.mp4 -t 00:00:30 -c copy fragment1.mp4 -ss 00:00:30 -c copy fragment2.mp4|
In the above command -t 00:00:59 represents a part that is created from the start of the video to the 30th second of the video. -ss 00:00:30 shows the starting time stamp for the video. It means that the 2nd part will start from the 30th second and will continue up to the end of the original video file.
Convert images into a video sequence
The below command will transform all the images in a directory to a video file.
|ffmpeg -framerate 30 -i filename-%03d.jpg output.mp4|
Convert a video to x images
The below command will generate images named image1.jpg, image2.jpg, etc, from a given video file. The following image formats are available: PGM, PPM, PAM, PGMYUV, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SGI.
|ffmpeg -i video.mpg image%d.jpg|
Convert a video file from one format to another format
This command will convert a video file from one format to another.
|ffmpeg -i sample.wmv-c:v libx264 sample.mp4|
Crop a video file
FFMPEG provides a crop parameter for specific purposes.
|ffmpeg -i sample.mp4 -filter:v “crop=out_w:out_h:x:y” output.mp4|
- out_w is the width of the output rectangle
- out_h is the height of the output rectangle
- x and y specify the top left corner of the output rectangle
- output.mp4 is the output file
Resize a video
To resize a video to desired size you can use -vf parameter.
|ffmpeg -i sample.mp4 -vf scale=320:240 sample.mp4|
Extracting audio from a video file
Use the below command to extract audio from a video file.
|ffmpeg -i sample.mp4 -vn -ab 128 audio.mp3|
Here -vn is used to extract audio and -ab is used to save audio as a 128Kbps MP3 file. You can change the bitrate to 256Kbps or something else. Just change the value after -ab.
Mute audio in a video file
The below command will mute audio in a video file.
|ffmpeg -i sample.mp4 -an mutesample.mp4|
Adding Poster image to video file
Adding a poster image with FFMPEG is an easy task, The below command will add a poster to a video file.
|ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -i image.png -map 1 -map 0 -c copy -disposition:0 attached_pic out.mp4|
Add text subtitles to a video
Using FFMPEG it is easy to add subtitles to a video file. The below command will add subtitles to a video file.
|ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -i subtitles.srt -c copy -c:s mov_text output.mp4|
FFmpeg is a great library to have in your video processing and compression toolbox. FFmpeg has endless capabilities and being open-source, you are more than welcome to modify the source and extend it’s capabilities.
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