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Normally you can feed FFMPEG with images from the file system using -f image2, but this doesn't work when you have a named pipe as input: FFMPEG complatins that "index in the range 0-4" could not be found. Obviously FFMPEG wants to have images named 0...x, which is not possible with named pipes.

What is the right way to do this with named pipes?

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You would probably need image2pipe instead of image2.

I find it strange that it isn't documented online, but it's listed in ffmpeg -formats anyway.

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This would be a good candidate for a patch (and probably a good way to learn about contributing to FFmpeg for anyone interested). –  LordNeckbeard Feb 18 '13 at 21:53

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