- FFMPEG : is the big daddy of open source video encoding. Don’t be surprised to find many video converting software using this under the hood. It can convert video and audio from almost any to any format. To use ffmpeg in its ‘raw’ form, you need to be comfortable working with commandline options (something Windows users hate very much) If you don’t understand what I am saying have a look at this : http://www.ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg-doc.htmlÃ‚Â .If you are looking for commandline tool which you can use in your applications, you sure should seriously consider FFMPEG.
- MEncoder : Another FFMPEG like tool. It is related to the famous MPlayer project. It can encode/decode all formats that MPlayer can open. MEncoder comes bundled with MPlayer and can be downloaded here . Here is some cool techy documentation for MPlayer http://www4.mplayerhq.hu/DOCS/HTML/en/encoding-guide.html. But you should be able to use the search engine to discover how to perform common tasks with this. I found some interesting stuff on DVD ripping and creating VCDs and DVDs on their site. VLCPlayer:This is basically a neat media player. But it can convert video from one format to another. It has very basic UI for conversion. Not so great for serious work, but can be handy. It can also be used to stream videos. I had written about its video streaming capability in one of my older articles.
- VirtualDubb : Another nice little tool ! The good thing about it is its availability for multiple OS and small size. VirtualDubb can be used to edit videos and add logos/text, subtitles and transitions to them. The UI is not really intuitive, but if you play around with it, you will realize that it is quite powerful. At the first glance you might think, there is not a whole lot which this tool can do.
But with a little creativity and technique this tool can be quite useful for simple video editing needs. People who own an ipod or PSP might find some features interesting.
- Microsoft Windows Media Encoder : as the name suggests this is Microsoft’s entry in field of video encoding. The media encoder is capable of converting videos from one format to another, and works
well with windows specific media formats (WMV,WMA). It is also capable of streaming video and audio. If your video editing needs revolve around WMV/WMAs, you should have a look at this tool. This, however, is not a full-fledged windows video editor like Windows Movie Maker.
- 3GP Video converter :If you recently bought a budget mobile phone, then you may experience the need to convert your videos to 3GP format. This is a great tool which I have used many times to convert videos for my Motorola mobile phone. It is mainly useful to convert videos to QVGA or QCIF 3GP files. If you are looking for small program to convert your video clips for your iPod,PSP or mobile phone this is a nice tool to check out.
Now I don’t want to spook people reading this post, but there are some legal aspects related to usage of these tools. If you are planning to use any of above tools in your commercial products you should read this: http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu/legal.html. Though these tools are open source, using them in commercial products might cost you !