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I'm running the following command:

ffmpeg -i audio.mp3 -ar 44100 -f image2 -i logo.jpg -r 15 -b 1800 -s 640x480

Which successfully outputs a video with my recorded audio and an image on it.

When I try and upload this to YouTube it fails to process, regardless of the formats I try: .mov, .avi, .flv, .mp4

Is there some setting I'm missing in the above that would generate a format Youtube will accept? I've tried looking through the ffmpeg documentation but I'm in over my head.

I did an experiment by putting a 2 second video with a 30 second mp3. When I uploaded to youtube, the resulting video was only 2 seconds long. So it may be that YouTube looks only to the video track for the length, and since a picture is only a frame long or whatever, maybe that borks it.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Here's what worked:

ffmpeg -i audio.mp3 -f image2 -loop 1 -i logo.jpg 
-r 15 -s 640x480 \
-c:v libx264 -crf 18 -tune stillimage -preset medium \

Specifically, the loop option, which will duplicate the image as frames. It will also then need the shortest option to keep the file from growing and growing (this way it truncates it to the length of the shortest stream – here, the audio file).

The r option changes the frame rate, and crf 18 sets the quality (use a higher value here for lower video quality). See here for more details: FFmpeg: The ultimate Video and Audio Manipulation Tool

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Doesn't work for me. I get an one-frame movie. – Pavel Vlasov Aug 23 '11 at 22:46
I does work for me now. – molnarg Mar 22 '14 at 11:03

A piece of code that works for me, from another forum:

ffmpeg -loop 1 -r ntsc -i image.jpg -i song.mp3 -c:a copy -c:v libx264 -preset fast -threads 0 -shortest output.mkv 
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with avconv:

avconv -i input.mp3 -loop 1 -f image2 -i logo.png -r 30 -s 640x480 -ab 128k -ar 44100 -ac 1 -ss 00:00:00.000 -t 01:02:03.123 foo.ogv
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Welcome to SuperUser and thanks for your answer. Some more detail about what you are proposing and why would be helpful. – Brad Patton Mar 20 '13 at 15:23
the response is because of ffmpeg is deprecated – ZiTAL Mar 22 '13 at 11:13
No the ffmpeg project is ongoing. There was a dispute that lead to the deprecated message. See… – Brad Patton Mar 22 '13 at 11:17
ah ok, anyway, another way to do the same with different application, specially for me, i usually forget how to do it with avconv ;) – ZiTAL Mar 22 '13 at 12:11
This command didn't work for me. The video kept growing and growing. My mp3 was 50 minutes long, but video was 5+ hours long at the time I interrupted it. – user31494 Jul 25 '15 at 11:32

I took Pavel's code, that worked for me too, and shortened it by trimming needless options:

ffmpeg -loop 1 -shortest -i <audio file> -i <image file> <output video file>

this is a general form that works with any image and audio file as input and produce a video file as output.

That said, since your video stream will be made of a single picture repeated indefinitely, you could set a low frame rate (that is the number of images that appears in a second) with -r. Note that not all output containers allow low frame rates. One that does is avi, so you might do:

ffmpeg -loop 1 -shortest -r 0.1 -i <audio file> -i <image file> output.avi

this would create a video file with a frame rate of 0.1 (i.e. one image each 10 seconds) instead of the default of 25. This will affect file size but not video quality. Eventually, you can set the audio bitrate to get a better audio quality with -ab. This is the command I actually use to make this kind of videos for youtube:

ffmpeg -loop 1 -shortest -r 0.1 -i <audio file> -i <image file> -ab 128k output.avi
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Thanks. I ran ffmpeg -loop 1 -shortest -r 0.1 -i audio.mp3 -i image.jpg output.avi but got 'Option loop not found.' Any ideas? – Colonel Panic Dec 15 '12 at 1:12
@col If you're still interested: you need the loop option before the image input, not before the audio. – slhck Mar 20 '13 at 15:04
this is what worked for me: ffmpeg -i <audio file> -loop 1 -i <image file> -shortest <output video file> – Karolinger Apr 5 '13 at 2:18

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