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

Thomas Worth dev at rarevision.com
Sun Oct 5 00:01:27 CEST 2014

On Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM, <skyscanner at gmx.ca> wrote:

> On Sat, 4 Oct 2014 22:57:32 +0200, "francesco scaglione" <
> scaglione.francesco at neuf.fr> wrote:
> > I can assure you that following these instructions it is quite simple to
> compile a recent version of FFmpeg, even without experience (it was my
> case):
> > https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/CompilationGuide/Ubuntu
> That would be true except for this:
> "Compilation & Installation
> You can compile ffmpeg to your liking. If you do not require certain
> encoders you may skip the relevant section and then remove the appropriate
> ./configure option in FFmpeg. For example, if libopus is not needed, then
> skip that section and then remove --enable-libopus from the Install FFmpeg
> section."
> Now if only they would follow that up by saying, "If you don't know which
> encoders you need or how to use the configuration options, here is how to
> build a 'standard' version of ffmpeg...", then this page might actually be
> useful.  The problem is that when you offer a lot of options, people such
> as myself that have no clue what those options do get lost really fast.
> All I want and need is a standard version that will work.
> However, if someone has any idea of what they actually want and need, that
> seems like a pretty thorough guide.
> Basically, however, the question that I think needs to be asked is this:
> If I go to the download page and it sends me to
> http://www.deb-multimedia.org/ and I add the repository suggested (deb
> http://www.deb-multimedia.org wheezy main non-free) to my
> /etc/apt/sources.list, why is it supplying an old version?
> This, I think, is the crux of the matter.  Had I received a current
> version from that source, we would have not had any of this discussion.

Another thing you may want to keep in mind is that many would consider a
"standard" version of FFmpeg of little use out of the box. The reason for
this is the FFmpeg source code does not include popular encoders like x264
and FAAC (i.e. h.264 video encoding and AAC audio encoding). In order to
use these, you must download their sources, compile them first and then
compile FFmpeg after you've configured it to look for the appropriate
libraries (libx264 and libfaac, for example). Sometimes, but not always,
these libraries are installed on your system so you can have FFmpeg
dynamically link to them. However, for my own use, I always statically link
the ffmpeg executable so I can move it from machine to machine without
having to worry about what libraries are installed on each system. I do
this with Mac OS X, but the same idea applies to Linux.

It would be nice to have one place where a Mac, Linux and Windows binary
can be downloaded, but because of licensing and the need to use code from
separate projects, this gets complicated. :-(

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