[FFmpeg-user] Best documentation web site ( or other source )

Stefano Sabatini stefasab at gmail.com
Sat Dec 21 20:58:48 CET 2013

On date Monday 2013-12-16 06:54:45 -0800, Phil Rhodes wrote:
> > I do not understand this, what is not documented?
> >
> The problem is that it's just a list of features. Carefully writing
> down the names of all the things that a program does is not adequate
> documentation. There is almost no usage information. I mean, I'm a
> reasonably experienced computer user, and I'm not sure what you mean
> by:

> ffmpeg [global_options] {[input_file_options] -i ‘input_file’} ... {[output_file_options] ‘output_file’} ...

About this, it is probably true (that is: we may extend synopsis
section to give a brief explanation). Note that in case of ffmpeg this
is introduced in the first section "Introduction".

> There is no basic introduction to typical tasks


> examples

There are tons of examples in the various sections. Also there is the
wiki and many third-party (more or less outdated) tutorials you can
find on the Internet.

> definitions of terms, or anything of that sort.

This is partly introduced in "Detailed description":

About terms, this is really out of scope of FFmpeg, since it employs
the standard terminology adopted in the multimedia field, and the user
is supposed to have some basic working knowledge and terminlogoy about
the main topics (encoding, decoding, muxing, demuxing, etc.).

That said, having some sort of FFmpeg dictionary (ffmpeg-jargon(1)?)
would be probably a good idea.

> This is how you document commandline software:

> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490816.aspx3

Even for this very basic tool, I can't really understand what it's
doing by simply reading that page, without having more contextual


This is not to say that FFmpeg documentation is complete or cannot be
improved, far from it, just that your claim is a bit exagerated.

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