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Useful Commands List in FFmpeg

FFmpeg is a powerful and extensible open-source software tool designed for audio and video processing. It allows us to manipulate, convert, transform, apply filters, among a large number of multimedia formats efficiently and accurately.

FFmpeg provides a command-line interface for performing complex tasks programmatically. And there are many many many (many!) possible combinations.

Of course, I never remember most commands, so I have my cheat sheet. I share it with you in case it is useful to you, for those of us with a fish memory 🐠. I hope it is useful for you!

To obtain information

Get system information: Get available codecs in FFmpeg.

ffmpeg -codecs
ffmpeg -formats

Get video information: Show detailed information about a video file, such as duration, resolution, audio and video codecs.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4

Get information without copyright banner: Display information of a video file without showing the copyright banner.

ffmpeg -i video.flv -hide_banner

Save information to a json file: Save detailed information of a video file in JSON format.

ffprobe -i video.flv -print_format json -hide_banner

To convert videos

Convert between video formats: Convert a video file from one format to another.

ffmpeg -i video_original.avi output.mp4

Recompress video: Recompress a video using the libx264 codec to improve quality and reduce file size.

ffmpeg -i youtube.flv -c:v libx264 filename.mp4

Concatenate multiple videos: Merge multiple video files into a single one without the need to re-encode them.

ffmpeg -i "concat:video1.mp4|video2.mp4|video3.mp4" -c copy output.mp4

Extract video segment: Cut a specific segment from a video without re-encoding.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -ss 00:01:30 -t 00:00:30 -codec copy output.mp4

Change video speed: Adjust the video speed by changing the frames per second.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -filter:v "setpts=0.5*PTS" output.mp4

To transform videos

Scale video: Change the resolution of a video while maintaining the aspect ratio.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf scale=640:360 output.mp4

Proportional scale video: Adjust the height of a video while maintaining the original aspect ratio.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf scale=320:-1

Rotate video: Rotate a video clockwise.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf transpose=clock output.mp4

Flip video: Flip a video horizontally or vertically.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf hflip output.mp4
ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf vflip output.mp4

Crop video: Crop a video to a specific resolution and position.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -filter:v "crop=640:480:200:150" output.mp4


  • 640:400, width and height
  • 200:150, X, Y coordinates of the crop

Add watermark: Add a logo as a watermark to a video.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -i logo.png -filter_complex overlay=10:10 output.mp4

To manage audio


Increase audio volume: Increase the volume of a video.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -af 'volume=0.5' output.mp4

Mute video: Remove the audio track from a video.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -an output.mp4

Add or remove tracks

Extract audio from a video: Extract the audio track from a video file.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vn output.mp3

Add audio track: Add an audio track to an existing video.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -i audio.mp3 -map 0:v -map 0:a -map 1:a -vcodec copy output.mp4

Conversion and resampling

Convert between audio formats: Convert an audio file from one format to another.

ffmpeg -i audio.mp3 -acodec pcm_s16le output.wav

Trim audio: Trim an audio segment without re-encoding.

ffmpeg -i audio.mp3 -ss 00:01:30 -t 30 -acodec copy output.mp3

Recompress audio: Recompress an audio file with a bit rate of 128.

ffmpeg -i audio.mp3 -ab 128 output.mp3

Resample audio: Change the sampling frequency of an audio file.

ffmpeg -i audio.mp3 -ar 16000 output.mp3

Extract images from video

Extract frames from a video: Extract a specific frame from a video.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -ss 00:00:30 -vframes 1 output.png

Extract images every 15 seconds (fps 1/15): Extract images from a video at specific intervals.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf "fps=1/15,select='not(mod(n,1))'" output_%d.png

Create a gif from a video: Convert a video to an animated GIF.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf scale=300:-1 -t 10 -r 10 output.gif

Create video from images

Combine images into a video: Combine static images into a video.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -r 0.25 output_%04d.png

Create a video with a static image and audio: Create a video with a static image and an audio file.

ffmpeg -loop 1 -y -i image.png -i audio.mp3 -shortest output.mp4

Concatenate images into video: Combine JPG images into a video.

cat *.JPG | ffmpeg -f image2pipe -r 0.3 -vcodec mjpeg -i -vcodec libx264 output.mp4