[FFmpeg-user] What is the difference between versions of ffmpeg?

skyscanner at gmx.ca skyscanner at gmx.ca
Sat Oct 4 21:58:23 CEST 2014

On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 21:32:42 +0200, "Reindl Harald" <h.reindl at thelounge.net> wrote:
> Am 04.10.2014 um 21:25 schrieb skyscanner at gmx.ca:
> > But my (rhetorical) question is, if the download page can link to the static builds
> > for OS X, why doesn't it do that for Linux? It would be a big help if it did!
> first:
> there exists no offical ffmpeg binary, for no OS at all
> whatever you find linked for binarys is just a pointer

Yet in the case of OS X, the link is from the ffmpeg.org download page. To the casual user, that sure looks like it's been given an "official" stamp of approval.

> second:
> because on Linux you typically get packages from distribution
> or 3rd party repos or fire up a compiler / rpmbuild

It was getting the package from the "official" repo that caused me to get the libav version. It was using the third party repo that caused me to get an old version.

> third:
> in case of Apple 98% of OSX users have zero technical knowledge
> and *rely* on a random binary found somewhere

And why would you assume that Linux users, particularly Ubuntu users, are any different? It might have been true ten years ago that almost all Linux users had a great deal of technical knowledge but since Ubuntu came along, anybody and their grandmother can use Linux, and never have to touch a command line if they don't want to.

In my case, it's the whole thing about "git" that first mystifies me, and then the process of compiling from source. I know there are Linux users that do that, but I can only do it if there are very clear, explicit, line by line instructions that don't assume any prior knowledge on my part. Otherwise it's like handing me eggs, flour, and sugar and saying "bake a cake" - I would have no idea where to begin and the results are probably going to be a hot mess.

> but as said - there is *no official binary* at all and whenever
> you use one from a random source instead self built or from
> your distribution you do that at your own risk

Then in theory, the ffmpeg.org download page should not link to any of those at all, or at least should include a big disclaimer to that effect. But then again, any software you download is risky if you don't personally know the developers. If these are static builds that have worked for others and haven't caused anyone problems, I don't see any harm in making it easier for people to have access to such builds. And I definitely don't see why there should be a different standard for OS X users and Linux users. Not all OS X users have zero technical knowledge (I'm pretty sure the percentage is less than 99%!) and not all Linux users started coding at the age of 12. Each group has users at all levels, even if the Linux user base does tend to skew toward the more technically inclined.

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