I'm looking into developing our video content platform and part of it includes a better way for our users to upload their video content (anything from dvds, flash video, dxid, wmv, etc..) and have it automatically converted, at the moment to mp4(h.264) so that they can use it on the site though our CMS.

So what im basically asking is: What is the best CLI tool for doing this?

4 Answers 4


I use ffmpeg

It's open-source and cross platform, and used by a majority if not most of the existing encoders/converters out there.

  • Was just about to post it. +1
    – Sampson
    Jul 16, 2009 at 11:22
  • This is The One. Many of the other tools are simply wrappers around ffmpeg, it's only downside is the complexity of options.
    – chills42
    Jul 16, 2009 at 12:00
  • It's cross platform? Is there a Windows build somewhere?
    – user1413
    Jul 16, 2009 at 15:28
  • Download link available here: videohelp.com/tools/ffmpeg Jul 16, 2009 at 15:37

MPlayer comes with a tool called MEncoder that does decoding/encoding/recoding etc of videos. Free, open source & cross platform. It's essentially very similar to the already suggested FFmpeg


HandBrake has a pretty powerful command line interface, documented here.

One advantage of this setup is that you can use the HandBrake GUI to configure presets and then just specify a preset name from the CLI to use that particular configuration, instead of having to specify a ton of command line arguments to configure the conversion.




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