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FFmpeg is a great tool and here are some examples.


What Where
Official Page
Windows choco install ffmpeg
Linux apt install ffmpeg



File Information

Get codec details

Get codec details of a given video file e.g. "video.mp4":

ffprobe -v error -select_streams v:0 -show_entries stream=codec_name -of default=noprint_wrappers=1:nokey=1 video.mp4

Overwrite the video title

Change the title of input.mp4 to "My Title"

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -map_metadata -1 -metadata title="My Title" -c:v copy -c:a copy output.mp4

Download video streams

Locate the playlist file, e.g. using Chrome > F12 > Network > Filter: m3u8 Download and concatenate the video fragments:

ffmpeg -protocol_whitelist "file,http,https,tcp,tls" -i "playlist.m3u8" -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc output.mp4

Time Lapse Helper

This example will shorten a given video to create a time lapse video. The video quality in this example will be reduced to VGA and reduce image quality. If the video is to slow/fast change the value for thumbnail=100.

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "scale=vga,thumbnail=100,split[a][b],[b]palettegen=reserve_transparent=0:stats_mode=single[b];[a][b]paletteuse=new=1,settb=1/25,setpts=N" output.mp4

Extract frames for timelapse

ffmpeg -i videoname.mp4 -vf fps=1/5 videoname%05d.jpg

Change the value fps=1/5 to whatever works best (fps=1/5 = every 5 secounds one picture)

Extract frames from a video as image file

Extract all frames

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf -vsync 0 output%d.png

Extract all frames in a given timeframe e.g.: between 3 and 5 seconds as well as 55 and 60 seconds:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf select='between(t,3,5)+between(t,55,60)' -vsync 0 output%d.png

Extract only one frame per second:

ffmpeg -i in.mp4 -fps=1 -vsync 0 out%d.png

Extract only one frame

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -ss 00:00:10.000 -vframes 1 thumbnail.jpg

Create Time Lapse Video using pictures

This example will create a video based on pictures as input. In this case the files are from a GoPro so all pictures start with a "G" followed by seven digits e.g. G0011565.jpg. The starting number of the series of pictures is 11021 in my example. Change the value for "start_number", the filename prefix (in this case "G") and the length of the number (currently 7) to match your requirements.

ffmpeg -framerate 30 -start_number 11021 -i "E:\path\G%07d.jpg" -c:v libx264 "E:\path\output.mp4"

Add Subtitles

Add the subtitles to the video file (not just overlay).

Runsh to see if "--enable-libass" is listed under section "configuration:". If not you need to get libass/enable libass.

Convert the subtitles to .ass format, then use them for a video filter:

ffmpeg -i sub.ass
ffmpeg -i video_nosub.mp4 -vf ass=sub.ass video_withsub.mp4

Manupulate Sound

Overwrite sound with silence

To replace all audio with silence between 30 sec and 1min and 30 sec (=90 sec):

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec copy -af "volume=enable='between(t,30,90)':volume=0" output.mp4

Add audio file to video

Mux video.mp4 and audio.mp4 to output.mp4. The -shortest option will cause the output duration to match the duration of the shortest input stream.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -i audio.mp4 -c copy -map 0:0 -map 1:1 -shortest output.mp4

Delay audio

In this example by 3.14 seconds

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -itsoffset 3.14 -i in.mp4 -map 0:v -map 1:a -vcodec copy -acodec copy output.mp4

Manipulate Video

Stack Videos in a Grid

2 Videos Horizontally

ffmpeg -i input0.mp4 -i input1.mp4 -filter_complex hstack=inputs=2 horizontal-stacked-output.mp4

2 Videos Vertically

ffmpeg -i input0.mp4 -i input1.mp4 -filter_complex vstack=inputs=2 vertical-stack-output.mp4

Videos of Different Lengths

ffmpeg -i input0.mp4 -i input1.mp4 -filter_complex hstack=inputs=2:shortest=1 shortest-output.mp4

2×2 Grid of Videos

ffmpeg -i input0.mp4 -i input1.mp4 -i input2.mp4 -i input3.mp4 -filter_complex "[0:v][1:v]hstack=inputs=2[top]; [2:v][3:v]hstack=inputs=2[bottom]; [top][bottom]vstack=inputs=2[v]" -map "[v]" output.mp4
ffmpeg -i input0.mp4 -i input1.mp4 -i input2.mp4 -i input3.mp4 -i input4.mp4 -i input5.mp4 -filter_complex "[0:v][1:v][2:v]hstack=inputs=3[top]; [3:v][4:v][5:v]hstack=inputs=3[bottom]; [top][bottom]vstack=inputs=2[v]" -map "[v]" output.mp4

Trim video

Without re-encoding:

ffmpeg -ss [start] -i input.mp4 -t [duration] -c copy output.mp4

Without re-encoding:

ffmpeg -ss [start] -i input.mp4 -t [duration] -c:v libx264 -c:a aac -strict experimental -b:a 128k output.mp4

Delay audio/video

To fix audio/video sync you can delay either video or audio:

Delay video by 3.14 seconds:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -itsoffset 3.14 -i in.mp4 -map 1:v -map 0:a -vcodec copy -acodec copy output.mp4

Rotate a video

For a 90 degrees rotation use one of the following options:

0 = 90CounterCLockwise and Vertical Flip (default) 1 = 90Clockwise 2 = 90CounterClockwise 3 = 90Clockwise and Vertical Flip

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "transpose=1" output.mp4

For 180 degrees run this command:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "transpose=2,transpose=2 output.mp4"

Convert Video

To compress an avi file you can use H.264 on the output file named e.g. "input.avi" and create a smaller version of the video named "output.mkv" More details:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -c:v libx264 -preset slow -crf 15 output.mkv

Convert Video optimized for Messenger

This works well for Whatsapp, Signal, Threema, Telegram, etc... Make sure not to reach current allowed max files size.

With sound:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "scale=-2:480" -c:v libx264 -preset slow -crf 21 -profile:v baseline -level 3.0 -pix_fmt yuv420p -r 25 -g 50 -c:a aac -b:a 160k -r:a 44100 -f mp4 output.mp4

No sound:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -an -vf "scale=vga" messenger.mp4

Convert to AV1

# Pass 1
ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -c:v libaom-av1 -b:v 200k -filter:v scale=720:-1 -strict experimental -cpu-used 1 -tile-columns 2 -row-mt 1 -threads 8 -pass 1 -f mp4 NUL && ^
# Pass 2
ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -pix_fmt yuv420p -movflags faststart -c:v libaom-av1 -b:v 200k -filter:v scale=720:-1 -strict experimental -cpu-used 1 -tile-columns 2 -row-mt 1 -threads 8 -pass 2 output.mp4

Convert from/to GIF

From GIF to MP4

ffmpeg -i input.gif -filter_complex "[0:v] fps=15" -vsync 0 -f mp4 -pix_fmt yuv420p output.mp4


ffmpeg -i input.gif -movflags faststart -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf "scale=trunc(iw/2)*2:trunc(ih/2)*2" output.mp4

or for many GIF in one folder:

Get-ChildItem -file -Path * -Include *.gif | Foreach-Object { ffmpeg -i ('"' + $_.Name + '"') -movflags faststart -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf "scale=trunc(iw/2)*2:trunc(ih/2)*2" ('"' + $_.BaseName + '.mp4"') }

From MP4 to GIF

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "fps=12,scale=480:-1:flags=lanczos,split[s0][s1];[s0]palettegen[p];[s1][p]paletteuse" -loop 0 output.gif

GIF from a special section

Add e.g. "-ss 5.0 -t 3.2" to only create GIF for 3.2 secounds ot "input.mp4"

ffmpeg -ss 5.0 -t 3.2 -i input.mp4 -vf "fps=12,scale=480:-1:flags=lanczos,split[s0][s1];[s0]palettegen[p];[s1][p]paletteuse" -loop 0 output.gif

GIF video summery

Create a short GIF from a long video

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "scale=vga,thumbnail=100,split[a][b],[b]palettegen=reserve_transparent=0:stats_mode=single[b];[a][b]paletteuse=new=1,settb=1/25,setpts=N" output.gif

Convert to webp

Webp is great for web content as all browsers can read the format directly. E.g. I use this for videos on the website.

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "fps=30,scale=720:-1:flags=lanczos" -vcodec libwebp -lossless 0 -compression_level 6 -q:v 50 -loop 0 -preset picture -an -vsync 0 output.webp

Convert to Audio

Convert MP4 to WAV

e.g. for Azure Speech to Text conversion.

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vn -acodec pcm_s16le -ar 44100 -ac 2 output.wav

Convert MP4 to FLAC

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -acodec flac -bits_per_raw_sample 16 -ar 44100 output.flac

Convert MP4 to MP3

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vn -acodec mp3 -ab 320k -ar 44100 -ac 2 output.mp3

Convert MP3 to OGA

ffmpeg -i input.mp3 -c:a libvorbis output.oga

Convert all files in the current path to mp3

This uses libmp3lame with default settings. The script will convert all media files it can handel and continue on error.

Get-ChildItem -file -exclude *.mp3 | Foreach-Object { ffmpeg -i ('"' + $_.Name + '"') -map_metadata -1 -acodec libmp3lame ('"' + $_.BaseName + '.mp3"') }
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