[FFmpeg-devel] on the hard state of ffmpeg command line options

Carl Eugen Hoyos cehoyos at ag.or.at
Sat Oct 27 03:48:14 CEST 2012

Roger Pack <rogerdpack2 <at> gmail.com> writes:

> I love FFmpeg, but sometimes I'm a bit unhappy 
> with the way it takes command line options.
> $ ffmpeg -i INPUT  -f h264 yo.mp4
> $ ffmpeg -i INPUT  -f mp4 yo.mp4

I can't follow you here:
What is unclear / ambiguous about these lines?
What makes you unhappy?

> $ ffmpeg -i INPUT -r 24 output
> I know this line makes perfect sense to long time 
> users of FFmpeg. But to newbies, it is really hard 
> to know where the r is going to apply. 

Do you mean it is ambiguous in any way?
Because I believe it is extremely clear and makes 
a lot of sense if one thinks about it for a moment.

> People mess it up all the time.

> And sometimes FFmpeg ignores input parameters

I don't think FFmpeg can refuse every possible 
combination of options that do not make sense, 
but you could open a bug report (with an example).

> So basically I would suggest that "ambiguous" 
> parameters like "r" and "f" be deprecated in 
> favor of something (anything?) else. One
> possibility might be something like 
> -o:r (for "output rate") or the like.

What about the people who RTFM?
What about long-time users?
What about people who like short command line options?

(And, much more important: How would ffmpeg know 
which of your output files this option belongs to?)

> Another option might be to force input into 
> its own section somehow, like
> $ ffmpeg -i "input_filename -r 24"

This looks fantastically broken to me...

Carl Eugen

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