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FFmpeg: 4 Essential Things You Should Know

Do you want to explore all the possibilities in video editing? The video editing industry is projected to grow much faster compared to others. This is why more and more people are venturing into the opportunities offered by this industry. 

If you want to explore video editing, the first thing you must do is check out different editing tools and learn how to use them. As a beginner, it’s not advisable to invest in expensive video editing software. Instead, FFmpeg software would be a good starting point.

Video editors at work in editing room

FFmpeg is a free video editing software project with built-in programs and libraries for managing and manipulating multimedia data. It’s capable of handling the entire process of image and video manipulation, video streaming, transcoding, and playback. Additionally, it’s one of the most extensively used software across different industries. 

If you’re interested in learning more about FFmpeg, this post can be of some help. This article will tell you what you should know about this free software project. Once you master this tool, you’re ready to explore other advanced video applications, such as Shotstack.

That being said, here are the things you’ll need to know about FFmpeg:

# How Do You Install FFmpeg? 

Installing FFmpeg is extremely easy—you don’t need the wisdom of Solomon for this task. Also, it can be easily downloaded on different operating systems (OS), such as Windows, Linux, and macOS. Here’s how to do it:

    • Windows: First, you need to download the zip or archived file—make sure it’s the latest version. Then, unzip it using any file archiver, such as Winrar. After that, move the extracted folder to C: drive and run as an administrator using the command: setx /m PATH “C:ffmpegbin; %PATH%”. Then, restart to verify the installation. 
    • macOS: First, install Homebrew, a package manager for macOS. Then, install FFmpeg using the formula ‘brew install ffmpeg.’ 
  • Linux: It has the same process as macOS but this time, you’ll need to use APT instead of Homebrew to download FFmpeg. Then, use the formula ‘sudo apt install ffmpeg.’

That’s how you install FFmpeg on different platforms. As you can see, it’s relatively easy. Even those who don’t have the technical expertise in handling computer systems will be able to do this properly. So, download yours now and start your journey to video manipulation.

# How To Trim Videos Using FFmpeg?

There are many ways to trim or cut videos using FFmpeg. You can trim using duration or start-end time, cut at the end of the video, and cut with re-encoding. Among these, the most popular technique is cutting with re-encoding. The code to use is:

  • ffmpeg -i inputVideo.mp4 -ss 00:03 -to 00:08 -c:v libx264 -crf 30 trim_opseek_encode.mp4

Furthermore, you may use this command line to re-encode at a specific timeframe, change the quality, improve video resolution, etc. However, this can be pretty time-consuming since you’re re-encoding. But it is perfect for a more specified trimming.

# How To Remove Audio From Video With FFmpeg?

Most people want to remove audio from their videos. They’re probably unnecessary and unwanted for a specific presentation, such as road noise and other disturbing background noise. Here’s how you can remove them using FFmpeg:

  • To remove the audio, the first thing to do is to copy the video into a separate file.
  • Then, discard the audio while copying it. This is quite easy since it doesn’t require any re-encoding. 
  • Use a command line to achieve this effectively: ffmpeg.exe -i videoWithAudio.mp4 -c:v copy -an videoWithoutAudio.mp4

The meaning of ‘-c:v’ is to tell FFmpeg to copy the video to videoWithoutAudio.mp4, while ‘-an’ means instructing FFmpeg to discard the audio in the process. As you can see, the process is quite simple. And it will only take you a couple of minutes to perform this task completely.

# What Are Other Uses Of FFmpeg?

FFmpeg can be used in a million ways—thanks to its added features, consistent updates, a wide range of tools, cases, etc. That said, here are some of the most popular uses of FFmpeg you might want to know:

  • Video Processing: This involves denoising, blurring, letterboxing, color rotation, extraction of frames, stacking videos, and other critical video processing workflows.
  • Video Compression: This is how you reduce the file size of a video for better storage and faster retrieval, along with improved accessibility.
  • Video Packaging Support: This allows developers to package multiple videos in different protocols, particularly HLS and MPEG-DASH.

Beautiful Female and Handsome Male Video Editors Discuss Footage

Final Words

FFmpeg is one of the best video software solutions in your video editing and processing toolkit. On top of that, it’s free to use and widely available to anyone who might want to learn how to process videos properly. Once you master this tool, continue to learn more with other advanced video processing software in the market until you’ll have unmatched video editing skills.



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