[FFmpeg-user] Compressed AVI to useable format

Ferdi Scholten ferdi at sttc-nlp.nl
Wed Apr 13 19:28:16 EEST 2022

On 13-04-2022 16:50, Tobias Rapp wrote:
> On 12/04/2022 18:29, Ferdi Scholten wrote:
>> On 11-04-2022 21:48, Zach Beal wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>>                  I have compressed AVI files that I want to convert 
>>> to an uncompressed format. I do not know what the files are 
>>> compressed with because they are exported from data acquisition 
>>> software as "compressed AVI". How can this be accomplished with FFmpeg?
>> I don't think you want uncompressed format. The avi container can 
>> have a lot of different compressed audiovideo formats. There is 
>> however no clear specification of codecs for avi containers as it is 
>> a fairly old one, avi was superseded by asf. both formats were 
>> developed by Microsoft.
>> Try to use ffprobe to find out which codecs are used in the avi 
>> container. Most likely it will be something like 
>> divx/xvid/realvideo/cinepack as those were the usual suspects in the 
>> avi days.
>> Most flexible modern container is matroska (mkv). It can most likely 
>> handle those old codecs. Converting them to newer codecs will only 
>> degrade the quality that probably is not very good to begin with.
> That applies only when re-encoding with some lossy target codec. When 
> using a loss-less target codec like Uncompressed (UYVY, v210), 
> HuffYuv, or FFV1 there is no (additional) generation loss from encoding.
> And a suitable container format depends on compatibility with the used 
> media software. I think support for AVI is generally more common than 
> for ASF. I agree that Matroska would be good choice if backwards 
> compatibility is not an issue for you.
> Regards, Tobias

Yes, lossless compression will not reduce quality, but will also create 
much larger files. No problem if you have ample space, but still 
something to consider. Tested it myself, a high quality AVC1 encoded 
video (24338 kbps avg bitrate) ended up being about 5 times larger when 
transcoded with FFV1
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