FFmpeg is a collection of software libraries that can record, convert and stream digital audio and video in numerous formats.
FFmpeg includes the libavcodec audio/video codec library, a decoder/encoder codec-suit that forms the basis of most free and open source software multimedia programs. The FFmpeg project aims to support all popular and less known codec formats and it is closer to that goal than any other (commercial or open source) program or library
FFmpeg also contains libavformat, a library for multimedia container formats and libpostproc for postprocessing, (and in the future also libavfilter for video and audio filtering). ffplay is a simple media player that uses libavcodec and libavformat.
In 2011 FFmpeg was forked and the Libav project came into being.
About the FFmpeg project
The name of the project comes from the MPEG video standards group, together with "FF" for "fast forward".
The project was started by Fabrice Bellard (using the pseudonym “Gerard Lantau”), and is now maintained by Michael Niedermayer. Many FFmpeg developers are also part of the MPlayer project, and FFmpeg is hosted at the MPlayer project server.
FFmpeg is developed under Linux, but it can be compiled under most operating systems, including Microsoft Windows. There are periodic releases. FFmpeg developers recommend using the latest Git snapshot as development maintains a constantly stable trunk. Released under the GNU Lesser General Public License or GNU General Public License (depending on which sub-libraries one would include), FFmpeg is free software.
Image of applications that uses FFmpeg and libavcodec and libavformat
The FFmpeg project is made of several components:
- ffmpeg is a command line tool to convert one video file format to another. It also supports grabbing and encoding in real time from a TV card.
- ffserver is an HTTP (RTSP is being developed) multimedia streaming server for live broadcasts. Time shifting of live broadcast is also supported.
- ffplay is a simple media player based on SDL and on the FFmpeg libraries.
- libavcodec is a library containing all the FFmpeg audio/video encoders and decoders. Most codecs were developed from scratch to ensure best performance and high code reusability.
- libavformat is a library containing demuxers and muxers for audio/video container formats.
- libavutil is a helper library containing routines common to different parts of FFmpeg.
- libpostproc is a library containing video postprocessing routines.
- libswscale is a library containing video image scaling routines.
- (libavfilter is in development and is an API and library for video and audio filtering)
Codecs and formats supported
The FFmpeg developers have reverse engineering|reverse-engineered and/or reimplemented or invented, among others:
See libavcodec for more details.
- FFV1 lossless and intraframe-only codec invented by ffmpeg developers
- H.261, H.263 and h.264/MPEG-4 AVC
- Indeo 2 and 3
- QDesign Music Codec 2, used by many QuickTime movies prior to QuickTime 7.
- Snow lossless or lossy working codec based on wavelet transform, invented by ffmpeg developers
- Sorenson 3 Codec used by many QuickTime movies
- Theora (together with Vorbis makes a base for the .ogg format)
- VP5 and VP6
- Windows Media Audio
- Some Windows Media Video codecs, including WMV1, WMV2 and WMV3
Clang Static Analyzer
Other projects and applications that use FFmpeg
- ac3encode (DirectShow AC3 Encoder)
- BeOS FFmpeg decoders
- BeOS HybridDivx
- Chroma Player
- Dr. Divx
- Easy VOB 2 DivX
- ffdshow tryouts
- FFMPEG for QT
- ffmpegX for Mac OS X
- ffmpegX Companion
- FFusion, Alternative Codecs for Mac OS X
- GOM Player
- HTS (Home Theater System)
- ImTOO DVD Ripper
- MLT Framework
- Mobile Media Converter
- movie thumbnailer
- mplayer plug-in
- Network-Integrated Multimedia Middleware (NMM)
- Off The Hook
- PowerCinema for Linux
- PSP Media Player
- PSP Video 9
- QuickView Pro
- Riva VX
- Replay Converter
- TaKa FLV Encoder
- Virtual Choreographer
- WMA codec for Mac OS X
- XBMC (formally known as XBox Media Center)
- XBox Media Player