Video Tools for Linux


Free tools for video manipulation and editing in Linux are not that hard to find if you know where to look.

Here are my favorites:

Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Interestingly, it's available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Windows under the GNU GPL license. I have not tested Mac OS X and Windows versions, but the program runs fine under Ubuntu Linux (Dapper Drake).

For file conversion, there's FFMPEG, which is free – but you'll have to learn to use it through the command line. Unfortunately, the MAN page for the program is not very clear.

To save some of you the trouble of figuring it out, here's a quick tutorial.

Let's say you want to convert a file called MYVIDEO.AVI to the mpg format, which is the format supported by the K3 CD burning program. After installing FFMPEG (you can use Synaptic Package Manager), fire up Terminal.

From the command line, navigate to the folder where the file is kept. So you might type:

cd / home / user / Converts

to go to the folder where the file is kept.

Then type the following at the command line:

ffmpeg -i MYVIDEO.avi -target ntsc-vcd MYVIDEO.mpg

and hit Enter. That should get the conversion program started, and you bought to see some text scroll by in the Terminal window. Do not accidently close the window, because that will stop the conversion. You can minimize it, however.

To convert an avi file to SVCD format, you would type:

ffmpeg -i MYVIDEO.avi -target ntsc-vcd MYVIDEO.mpg

There's a GUI front-end for FFMPEG on Mac OS X, but I have not found one for Linux.

For ripping DVDs, I use AcidRip. Very simple but fast and efficient.


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