FFmpeg Command Generator

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How to Install and Use FFmpeg on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X

If you don't already know, FFmpeg is a free, open source, and powerful cross-platform multimedia framework able to record, convert, and stream audio and video. I have created the FFmpeg Command Generator above to help you to easily generate FFmpeg commands to convert or merge video and audio files, but if you want to take advantage of all the features FFmpeg has to offer, check out the official documentation.

How to install FFmpeg on Windows

Download the latest static build from Zeranoe.com in either 32-bit or 64-bit version, depending on your operating system (see here). If you are confused about which file to choose, click here to download the 32-bit version, or click here to download the 64-bit version. Once the archive downloaded, extract the content using 7-Zip or any other archive program you have. In the folder that has been extracted create a file named ff-prompt.bat and paste the following code.

@ECHO OFF
REM FF Prompt 1.2
REM Open a command prompt to run ffmpeg/ffplay/ffprobe
REM Copyright (C) 2013-2015 Kyle Schwarz

TITLE FF Prompt

IF NOT EXIST bin\ffmpeg.exe (
CLS
ECHO bin\ffmpeg.exe could not be found.
GOTO:error
)

CD bin || GOTO:error
PROMPT $G
SET PATH=%CD%;%PATH%
CLS
ffmpeg -version
ECHO.
ECHO For help run: ffmpeg -h
ECHO For formats run: ffmpeg -formats ^| more
ECHO For codecs run: ffmpeg -codecs ^| more
ECHO.
ECHO Current directory is now: "%CD%"
ECHO The bin directory has been added to PATH
ECHO.

CMD /Q /K
GOTO:EOF

:error
ECHO.
ECHO Press any key to exit.
PAUSE >nul
GOTO:EOF

Once created, right-click on it and select "Desktop (create shortcut)" under the "Send To" menu. That's it, FFmpeg is ready, there is nothing to install on your computer! When you want to use FFmpeg to convert your media files, double-click on the shortcut that has been created on your desktop to open the FFmpeg prompt, right-click on it to paste a command generated above, then press Enter ↵ on your keyboard. Found this useful? Leave a comment below!

How to install FFmpeg on Linux

The easiest way is to install the latest static build from JohnVanSickle.com. Open a Terminal window and type or copy/paste the following commands. Each step is explained so that you understand what you are doing.

  1. Create a folder named ffmpeg in your home directory and cd into it.
    mkdir -m 750 ~/ffmpeg; cd ~/ffmpeg
  2. Determine your kernel architecture. If you see x86_64 it's a 64-bit system, otherwise it's a 32-bit system.
    uname -m
  3. Download the FFmpeg build. If you have a 64-bit system, substitute 32 by 64 before executing the command.
    wget https://johnvansickle.com/ffmpeg/builds/ffmpeg-git-32bit-static.tar.xz
  4. Extract the content of the archive then delete it.
    tar -xJf ffmpeg-git-32bit-static.tar.xz; rm -f ffmpeg-git-32bit-static.tar.xz
  5. The files you need are contained inside the folder that has been extracted from the archive. Display the name of this folder.
    ls
    [sample output]
    ffmpeg-git-yyyymmdd-32bit-static
  6. Move files up one folder then delete it. Substitute ffmpeg-git-yyyymmdd-32bit-static by the name of the folder before executing the command.
    mv ffmpeg-git-yyyymmdd-32bit-static/* ./; rmdir ffmpeg-git-yyyymmdd-32bit-static
  7. Add the ffmpeg folder to PATH.
    echo "PATH=\"\$PATH:$(pwd)\"" >> ~/.bashrc
  8. Close the Terminal window for changes to take effect then re-open a new one.
  9. In the new Terminal window, confirm that FFmpeg is ready to be used.
    ffmpeg -version
    [sample output]
    ffmpeg version x-xxx-xxxxx https://johnvansickle.com/ffmpeg/ Copyright (c) 2000-20xx the ffmpeg developers
    built with gcc x.x.x (...)
    configuration: ...
    ...

That's it! When you want to convert your media files, open a Terminal window, right-click on it to paste a command generated above, then press Enter ↵ on your keyboard. Found this useful? Leave a comment below!

How to install FFmpeg on Mac OS X

Create a folder named ffmpeg in your home directory. Download the .zip archive from FFmpegMac.net and extract the content in the folder that you have just created. Open a Terminal window and type or copy/paste the following commands.

  1. Get inside the ffmpeg folder.
    cd ~/ffmpeg
  2. Add the current working directory to PATH.
    echo "PATH=\"\$PATH:$(pwd)\"" >> /etc/paths
  3. Close the Terminal window for changes to take effect then re-open a new one.
  4. In the new Terminal window, confirm that FFmpeg is ready to be used.
    ffmpeg -version
    [sample output]
    ffmpeg version x.x.x Copyright (c) 2000-20xx the FFmpeg developers
    built on ...
    configuration: ...
    ...

That's it! You are now able to convert your media files using FFmpeg! Open a Terminal window, paste a command that you have generated using the FFmpeg Command Generator above, then press Enter ↵ on your keyboard. Found this useful? Leave a comment below!

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