Monday, December 21, 2020

FFmpeg Is 20 Years Old

FFmpeg (Hacker News):

Here’s to 20 more years of open source multimedia! 🎉


FFmpeg is a free and open-source software project consisting of a large suite of libraries and programs for handling video, audio, and other multimedia files and streams. At its core is the FFmpeg program itself, designed for command-line-based processing of video and audio files. It is widely used for format transcoding, basic editing (trimming and concatenation), video scaling, video post-production effects and standards compliance (SMPTE, ITU).

FFmpeg includes libavcodec, an audio/video codec library used by many commercial and free software products, libavformat (Lavf), an audio/video container mux and demux library, and the core ffmpeg command-line program for transcoding multimedia files.

FFmpeg is part of the workflow of hundreds of other software projects, and its libraries are a core part of software media players such as VLC, and has been included in core processing for YouTube and iTunes. Codecs for the encoding and/or decoding of most audio and video file formats is included, making it highly useful for the transcoding of common and uncommon media files into a single common format.


FFmpeg is a miraculous tool and I have relied on it for a couple decades now. Beyond the plethora of personal use-cases, it has enabled individuals and smaller companies to possess the same abilities as the bigger guys, who themselves are all pretty much using FFmpeg these days. The only folks who need to build/use alternatives are the platforms at the top of the market and/or with immense scaling needs who are truly pushing beyond the realm of FFmpeg’s practical abilities.

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