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FFmpeg is a great tool and here are some examples.

What Where
Official Page
Windows choco install ffmpeg
Ubuntu sudo apt -y 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"

GIF video summery

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

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

Remove audio

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -map 0:v -c copy -y output.mp4 

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

Replace Audio with music

ffmpeg -y -stream_loop -1 -i "input_music.mp3" -i "input_video.mp4" -map 0:a:0 -map 1:v:0 -c:v copy -c:a aac -ac 2 -shortest output.mp4

Add Music to loop through the whole video

ffmpeg -i input_video.mp4 -filter_complex "amovie=input_music.mp3:loop=0,asetpts=N/SR/TB[input_music];[0][input_music]amix=duration=shortest,volume=2.0" 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
  • With re-encoding: ffmpeg -ss [start] -i input.mp4 -t [duration] -c:v libx264 -c:a aac -strict experimental -b:a 128k output.mp4
  • GIF from a special section (change "-ss 5.0 -t 3.2"): 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

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

  • Example: ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "transpose=1" output.mp4
  • 180 degrees run this command: ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "transpose=2,transpose=2 output.mp4"

Video Stabilization

Requires libvidstab additionally to ffmpeg

  • Generate stabilization data transforms.trf: ffmpeg -i input.mkv -vf vidstabdetect -f null -
  • Use transforms.trf and create a new stabilized video: ffmpeg -i input.mkv -vf vidstabtransform input-stabilized.mkv
  • Compare old and new video side by side: ffmpeg -i input.mkv -i input-stabilized.mkv -filter_complex hstack input-compared.mkv


Create a file e.g. input.txt with the following content:

file '/path/to/pics/pic1.png'
duration 5
file '/path/to/pics/pic2.png'
duration 4
file '/path/to/pics/pic3.png'
duration 3
file '/path/to/pics/pic4.png'
duration 2
file '/path/to/pics/pic4.png'

The last image has to be specified twice and the 2nd time without any duration.

Then use ffmpeg concat and reference your input.txt:

ffmpeg -f concat -i input.txt -vsync vfr -pix_fmt yuv420p output.mp4

Resize Video

  • Smaller MP4 (with sound) e.g. for Messenger: 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
  • Smaller MP4 (no sound) e.g. for Messenger: ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -an -vf "scale=vga" messenger.mp4
  • Video scaling for upload limitations: ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "scale=iw/2:ih/2" output.mp4

Convert Video

  • AVI to MKV (H.264): ffmpeg -i input.avi -c:v libx264 -preset slow -crf 15 output.mkv
  • GIF to MP4: ffmpeg -i input.gif -filter_complex "[0:v] fps=15" -vsync 0 -f mp4 -pix_fmt yuv420p output.mp4
  • GIF to MP4 alt: ffmpeg -i input.gif -movflags faststart -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf "scale=trunc(iw/2)*2:trunc(ih/2)*2" output.mp4
  • 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
  • VOB to MKV: ffmpeg -analyzeduration 100M -probesize 100M -i input.vob -map 0:1 -map 0:2 -codec:v libx264 -crf 21 -codec:a libmp3lame -qscale:a 2 -threads 10 output.mkv
  • MP4 to webp: 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
  • MOV to MP4: ffmpeg -i -vcodec h264 -acodec mp2 output.mp4
  • MKV to MP4: ffmpeg -y -i 'input.mkv' -c copy -c:a aac 'output.mp4'
# 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

Script to convert a video into gif

function video_to_gif {
  local input="$1"
  local output="$2"
  local fps="${3:-10}"
  local scale="${4:-1080}"
  local loop="${5:-0}"

  ffmpeg -i "${input}" -vf "setpts=PTS/1,fps=${fps},scale=${scale}:-2:flags=lanczos,split[s0][s1];[s0]palettegen[p];[s1][p]paletteuse" -loop $loop "${output}"

Export all video frames as images

ffmpeg -i "%1" frames/out-%03d.jpg

VOB preparation

To merge multiple VOB files simple run:

  • Windows: copy /b *.vob fullvideo.vob
  • Linux: cat VTS_O1_*.VOB | pv | dd of=output.vob

It is also possible to use ffmpeg :)

ffmpeg -i "concat:VTS_01_1.VOB|VTS_01_2.VOB|VTS_01_3.VOB|VTS_01_4.VOB" -f mpeg -c copy output.mpeg

Get information about the VOB file in order to get the right audio and video streams:

ffmpeg.exe -i fullvideo.vob

Then map the right video and audio streams and create an MKV file e.g.:

ffmpeg -analyzeduration 100M -probesize 100M -i input.vob -map 0:1 -map 0:2 -codec:v libx264 -crf 21 -codec:a libmp3lame -qscale:a 2 -threads 10 output.mkv

Convert 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"') }

Convert to Audio

  • WAV to MP4: ffmpeg -i 'audio.wav' -vn -acodec libfaac -ab BITRATE 'audio.mp4'
  • MP4 to WAV: ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vn -acodec pcm_s16le -ar 44100 -ac 2 output.wav
  • MP4 to FLAC: ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -acodec flac -bits_per_raw_sample 16 -ar 44100 output.flac
  • MP4 to MP3: ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vn -acodec mp3 -ab 320k -ar 44100 -ac 2 output.mp3
  • MP3 to OGA: ffmpeg -i input.mp3 -c:a libvorbis output.oga
  • JPG to MP4: ffmpeg -loop 1 -i img.jpg -c:v libx264 -t 30 -pix_fmt yuv420p output.mp4

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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