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I have some video from security cameras. The program outputs in avi file extension. I can play the file in Kaffeine (openSUSE 12.3) but the file doesn't play in vlc--says it does not play files with codec UMSV. It is for a customer and so they need to be able to play the file in Windows using vlc. So I thought I would convert the file using ffmpeg. I updated to openSUSE's latest ffmpeg 2.0.1.

The following does not work.

ffmpeg -i CH01.avi -c:v mpeg4 -c:a copy myavi.avi 
ffmpeg version 2.0.1 Copyright (c) 2000-2013 the FFmpeg developers
  built on Sep  6 2013 19:42:08 with gcc 4.7 (SUSE Linux)
  configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -g -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  WARNING: library configuration mismatch
  avutil      configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  avcodec     configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  avformat    configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  avdevice    configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  avfilter    configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  avresample  configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  swscale     configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  swresample  configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  postproc    configuration: --shlibdir=/usr/lib --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --libdir=/usr/lib --enable-shared --disable-static --enable-debug --disable-stripping --extra-cflags='-fomit-frame-pointer -fmessage-length=0 -O2 -Wall -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fstack-protector -funwind-tables -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gsm' --enable-gpl --enable-x11grab --enable-version3 --enable-pthreads --enable-avfilter --enable-libpulse --enable-libvpx --enable-libopus --enable-libass --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libspeex --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libgsm --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-postproc --enable-libdc1394 --enable-librtmp --enable-libfreetype --enable-avresample --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvo-aacenc
  libavutil      52. 38.100 / 52. 38.100
  libavcodec     55. 18.102 / 55. 18.102
  libavformat    55. 12.100 / 55. 12.100
  libavdevice    55.  3.100 / 55.  3.100
  libavfilter     3. 79.101 /  3. 79.101
  libavresample   1.  1.  0 /  1.  1.  0
  libswscale      2.  3.100 /  2.  3.100
  libswresample   0. 17.102 /  0. 17.102
  libpostproc    52.  3.100 / 52.  3.100
[avi @ 0x990ccc0] non-interleaved AVI
[avi @ 0x990ccc0] Could not find codec parameters for stream 0 (Video: none (UMSV / 0x56534D55), 352x240): unknown codec
Consider increasing the value for the 'analyzeduration' and 'probesize' options
Guessed Channel Layout for  Input Stream #0.1 : mono
Input #0, avi, from 'CH01.avi':
  Duration: 00:59:58.96, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 845 kb/s
    Stream #0:0: Video: none (UMSV / 0x56534D55), 352x240, 30 fps, 30 tbr, 30 tbn, 30 tbc
    Stream #0:1: Audio: pcm_mulaw ([7][0][0][0] / 0x0007), 8000 Hz, mono, s16, 64 kb/s
File 'myavi.avi' already exists. Overwrite ? [y/N] y
[buffer @ 0x993da80] Unable to parse option value "-1" as pixel format
    Last message repeated 1 times
[buffer @ 0x993da80] Error setting option pix_fmt to value -1.
[graph 0 input from stream 0:0 @ 0x990cbc0] Error applying options to the filter. 

any help to getting it to work in vlc would be appreciated. The idea is that it should "just play" for the customer without having to download anything. Thank you for your time and attention.

It may need a "filter format" line in front of the input argument. Don't know much about that.

share|improve this question
I don't have a short sample. I only have a 365 mb file. I tried making a sampling using ffmpeg -i CH01.avi -c:v copy -t 00:01:00 myavi.avi . Didn't work--would only produce an audio file with no video--as seen in Kaffeine. This is far from a murder case :). I see hope in that Kaffeine recognizes the codec... –  Craig Oct 9 '13 at 4:12
The sample would still be appreciated (even if it is large and if it isn't too much trouble for you) to get this to be properly supported in ffmpeg. –  LordNeckbeard Oct 9 '13 at 17:14
I'm currently uploading to dropbox...but it seems very slow.48 minutes. Also, my solution doesn't quite work yet. I tested it in vlc for linux...which works perfectly. Vlc for Windows is showing a gray frame every 3 seconds or so. Don't know why it would be different, but expected considering its actually a proprietary codec and not h264. However, I found out the customer is actually using a mac, haven't heard back from him whether it worked on his mac or not. Once its finished uploading I'll post a link. –  Craig Oct 10 '13 at 17:25
here is the file CH01.avi. –  Craig Oct 10 '13 at 18:18
This is now bug #3046. Can you provide some details on the file; including what created the file? –  LordNeckbeard Oct 12 '13 at 22:00

1 Answer 1

from LordNeckbeard I was able to guess that I could force a video codec by specifying it before the input file. I tried the obvious mpeg2video codec. Didn't work, then rawvideo. Worked by displaying, well, rawvideo. Finally I tried h264. This did the trick. so the working line was the following

ffmpeg -c:v h264 -i CH01.avi -c:v copy myavi.avi

Thanks for all your help LordNeckbeard.

EDIT in Windows- VLC shows gray frames every 3 seconds or so. This is fixed with either of these two:

ffmpeg -c:v h264 -i CH01.avi -c:v h264 myavi.avi


ffmpeg -c:v h264 -i CH01.avi -c:v mpeg4 myavi.avi
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