FFmpeg running on Microsoft Windows
|Initial release||December 20, 2000|
|Stable release||2.4 (September 14, 2014) [±]|
|Preview release||Git [±]|
|Written in||C and Assembly|
|Operating system||Available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux but may be compiled for other OS|
|Platform||Available for x86, ARM, PowerPC, MIPS, DEC Alpha, Blackfin, AVR32, SH-4, and SPARC but may be compiled for desktop computers|
|License||LGPL 2.1+, GPL 2+
Unredistributable if compiled as such
FFmpeg is a free software project that produces libraries and programs for handling multimedia data. FFmpeg includes libavcodec, an audio/video codec library used by several other projects, libavformat, an audio/video container mux and demux library, and the ffmpeg command line program for transcoding multimedia files. FFmpeg is published under the GNU Lesser General Public License 2.1+ or GNU General Public License 2+ (depending on which options are enabled).
FFmpeg contains more than 100 codecs, most of which do not just store uncompressed data. Most codecs that compress information could be claimed by patent holders. Such claims may be enforceable in countries like the United States which have implemented software patents, but are considered unenforceable or void in countries that have not implemented software patents.
The project was started by Fabrice Bellard (using the pseudonym "Gerard Lantau") in 2000, and has been maintained by Michael Niedermayer since 2004. Many FFmpeg developers are also part of the MPlayer project. The name of the project comes from the MPEG video standards group, together with "FF" for "fast forward". The logo uses a zigzag pattern that shows how MPEG video codecs handle entropy encoding.
FFmpeg is developed under GNU/Linux, but it can be compiled under most operating systems, including Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, AmigaOS and its heir MorphOS. Most computing platforms and microprocessor instruction set architectures are also supported, like x86 (IA-32 and x86-64), PPC (PowerPC), ARM, DEC Alpha, SPARC, and MIPS.
There were two video codecs and one video container invented in the FFmpeg project during its development. The two video codecs are the lossless "FFV1", and the lossless and lossy Snow codec, the development of which has stalled, while its bit-stream format hasn't been finalized yet, making it experimental for now (February 2011), and the multimedia container is "NUT," also no longer being actively developed, but is still maintained.
In summer 2010, Fiona Glaser, Ronald Bultje, and David Conrad of the FFmpeg Team announced the ffvp8 decoder. Through testing they determined that ffvp8 was faster than Google's own libvpx decoder. Starting with version 0.6 FFmpeg also supported WebM and VP8.
On March 13, 2011 a group of FFmpeg developers decided to fork the project under the name "Libav". The event seems related to a recent issue in project management. Since then, the maintainer of FFmpeg packages for Debian and Ubuntu operating systems, being one of the group of developers who forked FFmpeg, has switched them to the fork. As of 10 November 2013[update] Debian Developer Rogério Brito moved to reincorporate FFmpeg into Debian and Ubuntu, with user support.
The project comprises several components:
- ffmpeg is a command-line tool that converts audio or video formats. It can also grab and encode in real-time from a TV card.
- ffserver is an HTTP and RTSP multimedia streaming server for live broadcasts. It can also time shift live broadcast.
- ffplay is a simple media player based on SDL and on the FFmpeg libraries.
- ffprobe is a command-line tool to show media information (text, CSV, XML), see also Mediainfo.
- libswresample is a library containing audio resampling routines.
- libavresample is a library containing audio resampling routines from the Libav project, similar to libswresample from ffmpeg.
- 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. This library includes Adler-32, CRC, MD5, RIPEMD, SHA-1, SHA-2, LZO decompressor, Base64 encoder/decoder, DES encrypter/decrypter, RC4 encrypter/decrypter and AES encrypter/decrypter.
- libpostproc is a library containing video postprocessing routines.
- libswscale is a library containing video image scaling and colorspace/pixelformat conversion routines.
- libavfilter is the substitute for vhook which allows the video/audio to be modified or examined between the decoder and the encoder.
Codecs, formats and protocols supported
The PGMYUV image format is a homebrewn variant of the binary (P5) PGM Netpbm format. FFmpeg also supports 16bit depths of the PGM and PPM formats, and the binary (P7) PAM format with or without alpha channel, depth 8bit or 16bit for
pix_fmts monob, gray, gray16be, rgb24, rgb48be, gray8a, rgba, rgb64be.
- AVI and also input from AviSynth
- GXF, General eXchange Format, SMPTE 360M
- ISO base media file format (including QuickTime, 3GP and MP4)
- Matroska (including WebM)
- Maxis XA
- MPEG program stream
- MPEG transport stream (including AVCHD)
- MXF, Material eXchange Format, SMPTE 377M
- MSN Webcam stream
- Open standards
- IETF FTP, TCP, UDP, Gopher, HTTP, RTP, RTSP, SDP
- SFTP (via libssh)
- Adobe RTMP, RTMPT (via librtmp), RTMPE (via librtmp), RTMPTE (via librtmp) and RTMPS (via librtmp)
- Apple HLS
- Microsoft MMS over TCP and MMS over HTTP
- RealMedia RTSP/RDT
Projects using FFmpeg
Graphical user interfaces front-ends for FFmpeg have been developed, including Avanti, and the Miro Video Converter. JavaCV, a Java wrapper for OpenCV, includes a supplementary Java wrapper for FFmpeg.
Multimedia frameworks using FFmpeg
- ffdshow (external project)
- lavfilters (external project)
- GStreamer FFmpeg plug-in (external project)
- Other frameworks
- Perian (external project)
- "Initial revision - git.videolan.org/ffmpeg.git/commit". git.videolan.org. 2000-12-20. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
- "Get FFmpeg". 2014-09-14. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
- "Developer Documentation". ffmpeg.org. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "Download". ffmpeg.org. FFmpeg. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- FFmpeg can be configured to make it proprietary and unredistributable software because libfaac and libaacplus, two optional external libraries, are proprietary software and cannot be distributed under the terms of the GPL.
- "FFmpeg License and Legal Considerations". ffmpeg.org. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "Codecs list". ffmpeg.org. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "Legal information on FFmpeg's website". ffmpeg.org. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- Bellard, Fabrice (18 February 2006). "FFmpeg naming and logo". FFmpeg developer mailing list. FFmpeg website. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "FFmpeg Automated Testing Environment". Fate.multimedia.cx. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "NUT". Multimedia Wiki. 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Fiona Glaser (2010-07-23), Diary Of An x264 Developer: Announcing the world’s fastest VP8 decoder, retrieved 2012-01-04
- FFmpeg Announces High-Performance VP8 Decoder, Slashdot, 2010-07-24, retrieved 2012-01-04
- "FFmpeg Goes WebM, Enabling VP8 for Boxee & Co". newteevee.com. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2012-01-04. "...with VLC, Boxee, MythTV, Handbrake and MPlayer being some of the more popular projects utilizing FFmpeg..."
- Libav project site, retrieved 2012-01-04
- Ronald S. Bultje (2011-03-14), Project renamed to Libav, retrieved 2012-01-04
- A group of FFmpeg developers just forked as Libav, Phoronix, 2011-03-14, retrieved 2012-01-04
- What happened to FFmpeg, 2011-03-30, retrieved 2012-05-19
- FFMpeg turmoil, 2011-01-19, retrieved 2012-01-04
- transition: Libav 0.7, 2011-05-01, retrieved 2012-01-04
- Ubuntu Release Management: Transition: "libav", retrieved 2012-01-04
- FFmpeg project site, 2013-11-12, retrieved 2013-12-31
- #729203 - RFP: ffmpeg -- complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video - Debian Bug report logs, 2013-11-10, retrieved 2013-12-31
- "Native VP9 decoder is now in the Git master branch". Launchpad. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "FFmpeg Now Features Native HEVC/H.265 Decoder Support". Softpedia. 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- FFmpeg and a thousand fixes; January 10, 2014; Google.
- "Changelog". FFmpeg trunk SVN. FFmpeg. 17 April 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "ATRAC3plus decoder - git.videolan.org Git - ffmpeg.git/commit". git.videolan.org. 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- "FFmpeg development mailing list". FFmpeg development. FFmpeg. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
- vitor (13 April 2008). "FFmpeg development mailing list". FFmpeg development. FFmpeg website. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
- vitor (30 March 2008). "FFmpeg development mailing list". FFmpeg development. FFmpeg website. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
- benoit (14 April 2008). "FFmpeg development mailing list". FFmpeg development. FFmpeg website. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
- ramiro (18 March 2008). "FFmpeg development mailing list". FFmpeg development. FFmpeg website. Retrieved 18 March 2008.
- banan (8 June 2008). "FFmpeg development mailing list". FFmpeg development. FFmpeg website. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
- faust3 (21 March 2008). "FFmpeg development mailing list". FFmpeg development. FFmpeg website. Retrieved 21 March 2008.
- "Google’s YouTube Uses FFmpeg | Breaking Eggs And Making Omelettes". Multimedia.cx. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- "FFmpeg-based Projects". Ffmpeg.org. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "Origyn Web Browser for MorphOS". Fabian Coeurjoly. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
- Holwerda, Thom (March 8, 2010). "Origyn Web Browser 1.7 Supports HTML5 Media, More". OSNews. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
- "Avanti: FFmpeg/Avisynth GUI". Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- "Miro Video Converter FFMPEG Conversion Matrix". Participatory Culture Foundation. 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2011-10-11.