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x264 is a highly successful H.264 encoder. It provides a library and a simple frontend application that accepts raw YUV input, and outputs either a raw H.264 elementary stream or a Matroska or MP4 file.

While its encoding speed is not as fast as most ASP encoders, the output quality is quite high. x264 managed to win a recent codec comparison by Doom9.

x264 was born in late 2003. Originally developed primarily by Laurent Aimar, since about mid-2004, the majority of the work on this encoder has come from Loren Merritt.