Video Editing Tools: An Introduction to Ffmpeg

The world of video editing tools has seen some big changes in recent years. One major reason for this is that in these modern times many people require the facility to post video online. Social networking sites provide for people posting their own videos, webcams have revolutionized communication, and YouTube has turned video sharing into a pastime in itself. Video seems to be an obvious means of documenting almost anything, and all it requires is the pointing of a camera phone in the right direction.

Background

Given that many more people now want to be able to add video to their sites, there's been a demand for the technology that perhaps didn't take into account the difficulties involved in accomplishing the task at hand. You can now take video, easily, and there plenty of places online to feature it, so it must be easy to put it there, right?

Flash video has emerged a dominant force when it comes to posting video. The public accepts it and it's now everywhere. Flash is pliable in that you can integrate it into customized interfaces. Other, more traditional contenders for video inclusion like Windows Media and QuickTime, aren't so useful when it comes to film being embedded.

There are a number of options when it comes to converting uploads to Flash video. There is Sorenson Squeeze, which can be installed on a server, for example. It features a ?owatch folder option with the capability to convert files. Another product is the On2FlixSDK. Neither of these work as well as Flash though, and there are license fees for using them.

Ffmpeg is entirely free. An open source library, it will convert most popular file formats. Its only downside is that it requires more developer effort to reach usable solutions. Ffmpeg is an open source project. If you persevere with Ffmpeg, you can easily create a good cross platform application for hosting on Windows or Linux servers, and there is no fee.

What is Ffmpeg?

In its simplest form, Ffmpeg used a decoder and also an encoder, enabling it to convert files from one container or codec combo to a different one. For example, a VOB file from a DVD with MPEG video and AC3 sound can be converted to an AVI file featuring H263 video with MP3 audio, or a QuickTime file with SVQ3 video and MP3 audio can turn into 3GP file with H263 video and AMR wideband sound. The first container is looked at and encoded data is extracted and then fed through the codecs. Newly decoded information is then sent through the end codecs to a new container.

Why We Need Ffmpeg

How websites differ is often down to the content they feature. Video is an important feature of most popular sites these days, to varying degrees. What is certain is that obviously lacking the capability to host video makes a site seem out of date.

Ffmpeg allows you to convert video files from one format to another, which is crucial today. It allows you to host programs related to software and programs. It enables you to perform Encoding and decoding processes on video and audio files. Lastly it allows for the running of an effective video sharing website.