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Libav is a complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video.

Libav 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.

Libav also contains libavformat, a library for multimedia container formats and libavfilter for video and audio filtering, libswscale for colorspace conversion and software scaling.

Among the tools provided avplay is a simple media player, avconv is extensive tool to capture, reencode/remux and stream multimedia contents, avprobe is a quite simple information extractor.

About the Libav project

Libav is a fork of the FFmpeg project and while it doesn't share the same development practices it shares the same aims.

Libav is developed mostly under unix-like systems, but it can be compiled under most operating systems, including Microsoft Windows. The code is released adopting a seasonal major release cadence, with point releases provided when the need arises or monthly. Security releases are provided for the past 2 mayor releases and the current. Libav is free software, released under the GNU Lesser General Public License or GNU General Public License (depending on which sub-libraries one would include).

Libav Components


  • avconv is a command line tool to convert multimedia streams from a format to another. It supports direct capturing from hardware device and network sources and allow streaming over the network as well.
  • acserver is a barebone HTTP (RTSP and RTMP is being developed) multimedia streaming server for live broadcasts. Time shifting of live broadcast is also supported.
  • avplay is a simple media player based on SDL and on the FFmpeg libraries.
  • qt-faststart is a MOV atoms reorderer useful to reformat quickly ISO Media streams so the codec information are on the start of the file instead of the end.


  • 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.
  • libswscale is a library containing video image scaling routines.
  • libavfilter is in development and is an API and library for video and audio filtering.

Api compatibility


See also

External Links