[FFmpeg-user] Windows Media Player cannot play the file

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at prodsyse.com
Mon Mar 10 23:39:10 CET 2014

On 3/10/2014 3:23 PM, James Darnley wrote:
> On 2014-03-10 22:18, Spencer Graves wrote:
>> On 3/10/2014 3:39 AM, James Darnley wrote:
>>> As for uploading to youtube, just make the highest quality file.  They
>>> will re-encode it anyway.  But if you are aiming to produce a file that
>>> will play on any basic Windows installation you will want to read this:
>>> http://ffmpeg.org/faq.html#Which-codecs-are-supported-by-Windows_003f
> Just so we are clear.  None of this applies to a file you want to upload
> to youtube.  It doesn't matter what you give it.  They will re-encode it
> so it plays in browsers.
> Uploading to youtube would be an easy way to not have to provide tech
> support to some layperson about getting your video to play.

       Thanks again for the reply.

       My current project is to produce a 1-minute video to upload to 
YouTube and give to a Public Access television station, with the hopes 
that they will slot it in when they could use fillers -- where 
commercial stations put commercials.  I should ask them what formats 
they use.

       Thanks again.

>> Thanks for the reference. I'm still confused.
>> 1. 'mpeg1video' produces .mpg only, which "should work on most Windows
>> systems". This uses MPEG-1, which "due to its age ... is no longer
>> covered by any patents and can thus be used without obtaining a licence
>> or paying any fees", according to the Wikipedia article on MPEG-1. This
>> sounds like a strong potential.
> What question are you trying to ask here?  The FAQ means that you can
> use mpeg1video (the as the codec in ffmpeg) but that you should output
> to an mpg file (the format, file format, in ffmpeg).
> It is old, meaning it won't retain much quality at "regular" bitrates by
> today's standards and it is limited to specific combinations of frame
> dimensions and frame rates.
>> 2. We are "strongly advised to avoid ASF where possible." If I
>> understand correctly, this includes the first four options listed there:
>> 'msmpeg4v2', 'msmpeg4', 'wmv1', and 'wmv2'. A similar concern may apply
>> to the fifth option, 'mpeg4': AT&T actively "trying to sue companies
>> such as Apple Inc. over alleged MPEG-4 patent infringement." (Wikipedia,
>> "MPEG-4")
> You can use msmpeg4v2 in an avi file.  asf is another name for wmv.
> These both refer to the format not codecs and should be separate from
> this patent shenanigans but may still fall under other patent shenanigans.
> My non-legal, non-expert opinion is that you can't patent software.
> Consult your own lawyer.
>> 3. What codecs are used by default? If MPEG-1 video and Layer I/II
>> audio, that sounds great. Wikipedia, "MPEG-1", says, "MPEG-1 video and
>> Layer I/II audio is no longer covered by any patents."
> The codecs ffmpeg uses by default vary with the (file) format you asked
> for.  avi will use mpeg4.  mp4 will use libx264 if available.  mpg will
> use mpeg1video  other will use others.  I'm not sure about the defaults
> for audio.  I think many might be mp2.
> ffmpeg prints all this information when you encode something so if you
> are unsure, read the log.  Then if you don't know what some ffmpeg
> jargon might be look it up or ask for help.
>> 4. Also, is YUV420p a codec or something else?
> Pixel format, as ffmpeg calls it.
> Specifically it is Planar YCbCr with 4:2:0 Chroma Subsampling.  This can
> be found elsewhere usually with YV12 and I420 fourCCs.
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