Im trying to use ffmpeg to convert my flv files to mp4 to play them on iOS devices but the converted video has a much worse quality than the original one.

Here is the command i use:

ffmpeg -i input.flv -ar 22050 output.mp4

I would really appreciate if someone could provide me with the best settings for flv to mp4 conversion.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 4 '12 at 20:53

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Depending on the codecs used in your FLV you may be able to get away with simply re-wrapping it in an mp4 container. You'll need H.264 or MPEG4 simple profile video and AAC audio. You can find out some info on your source file with ffmpeg -i input.flv

I'm not sure whether simply having H.264/MPEG4 Simple + AAC is good enough or if there are specific options to the codecs that are supported. It's easy enough to test:

Try using

ffmpeg -i input.flv -c copy -copyts output.mp4

-copyts is copy timestamps it will help audio sync.

If that doesn't work, try forcing audio and video codecs. This will re-encode the file:

ffmpeg -i input.flv -c:v libx264 -crf 23 -c:a libfaac -q:a 100 output.mp4

To improve the video quality, you can use a lower CRF value, e.g. anything down to 18. To get a smaller file, use a higher CRF, but note that this will degrade quality.

To improve the audio quality, use a higher quality value. For FAAC, 100 is default.

Here are a couple thoughts on the ffmpeg command suggested in the question.

-ar refers to the audio sample rate. I would recommend not messing with this until you understand things better. If you want to play with audio encoding, adjust the bitrate (e.g., -b:a 128k) and let the encoder choose what to do based on that.

If you do end up going down this road...

CD quality is 44100Hz sampling; typical video uses 48000Hz.

You may note that 22050 in the original question's example is 1/2 the cd quality sample rate. if you're downconverting CD material this is a good choice. If you're starting with 48KHz source (which you probably are; again, this is much more common than 44100 in video files) i'd use 24Khz instead. It probably won't matter much, but it may sound a little better and use a little less CPU to do the conversion.

  • re-reading my answer... In addition to the command line I gave above, you could copy only video or only audio, and re-encode the other. for example... "ffmpeg -i input.foo -vcodec copy -acodec libfaac -ab 128k -copyts output.mp4" this will copy the video stream and re-encode the audio into AAC. libfaac doesn't have great quality but it works. – Dan Pritts Mar 7 '12 at 22:15

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