[LAU] ffmpeg or libav

Lou Logan lou at lrcd.com
Sat Jan 26 23:42:35 UTC 2013

Looks like I missed the party...

On Sat Jan 12 04:49:59 UTC 2013, Rustom Mody wrote:

> All that I know is that as an ordinary mostly-ignoramus user, Ive used
> ffmpeg on and off and then one day my debian updates told me ffmpeg is
> obsolete use libav.  

The "not developed anymore" and "deprecated" messages have caused much
grief for users and for FFmpeg. I can't count how many times the
situation had to be explained that FFmpeg is still very active, and
that buggy thing from the distro isn't actually ffmpeg (the program)
from FFmpeg (the project). I tried to get this changed, but the
end result was unsatisfactory.

Additionally, the fake "ffmpeg" transitional package adds to the
confusion. Calling something ffmpeg that isn't from FFmpeg is misleading
and fails the "likelihood of confusion" test. As an occasional mostly
non-coding contributor to FFmpeg, the time and work I invest into the
project are important to me. Naming something "ffmpeg" that is not
ffmpeg makes me feel like my work is being misrepresented. It also
demonstrated a lack of regard to the general users of these distros;
many of which have expressed feelings of being duped.

The good news is that this transitional bizarro "ffmpeg" package has
been dropped in Debian experimental which will hopefully make getting a
real ffmpeg package included more of a reality.

> Currently it appears that for using ffmpeg one needs to compile from source.  

You have several options. You can compile from source. See How to
Compile FFmpeg on Ubuntu:

Use Jon Severinsson's FFmpeg PPA:

Or use a Linux static build that you can simply download and execute:

FFmpeg Static Builds by Burek

FFmpeg Static Builds by Relaxed

> Since people are recommending use of ffmpeg am I to understand that the
> headache is worth it?  

You can do both. You can keep the repo version for other packages that
depend on it, and compile (or download a static build) your very own
brand new and customized ffmpeg for command-line usage.

> http://blog.pkh.me/p/13-the-ffmpeg-libav-situation.html seems to say that
> ffmpeg is integrating libav patches and not vice versa  

Yes, that is basically the situation. FFmpeg merges many changes from
libav. libav generally ignores FFmpeg but will cherry-pick some stuff
on rare occasion, so it isn't very reciprocal.


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