Common uses for FFMPEG

May 13, 2019By Mike Herchel

FFMPEG is a free open source command line tool used to convert any video type into any other video type! It’s used by the likes of Youtube (who are major contributors), VLC, and many more.


On MacOS

brew install ffmpeg

Convert a weird file into a normal MP4

ffmpeg -i  -movflags +faststart outputfile.mp4

Convert an animated gif into an MP4

We had to do this with the new launch of

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

Compress a video file

ffmpeg -i input.mp4  -movflags +faststart -vcodec libx264  -crf 20 output.mp4

The 20 is the constant rate factor and should be between 18 and 28. The default is 23. According to the previously linked article, a change of ±6 should result in about half/double the file size, although your results might vary.

Thanks for reading. Notice an error or have something to contribute? Submit a Pull Request!