Version: 0.2.4 Web: http://bit.ly/2qK259K
We’re aware that playing a 4K video is too much for the small screen of a handheld device. Converting videos for a specific platform is generally a good move: you’ll save on disk space, and resource usage (and therefore battery life) on your smartphone or tablet PC.
Linux already has a decent range of media converters that you can choose from. Most of them are based on the widely used FFMpeg suite. The latter can be found almost anywhere, and if you chose to get rid of it, a standalone copy of FFMpeg will still exist inside your Chromium- based web browser.
Curlew is a nice addition to a feature-rich GTK3-based desktop. It wraps up a decent range of FFMpeg commands in a shiny and great-looking interface that features a header bar and stylish icons. The application does the similar job to Handbrake, another file converter, so choosing between the two is simply a matter of personal taste and visual preference.
Of the two, Curlew has the more compact interface and hides away its advanced settings by default. You need to open a file or a folder first, either by using the buttons on the header bar, or simply by dragging the content over the Curlew window.
The big button in the lower part of the window shows the current target format. Press it to choose from the solid list of supported media formats. Both video and audio options are listed here, so you can use Curlew to extract an audio track from a video, too. By pressing the setup button you can finetune each target format and dive into its settings to set your bitrate options, codec profiles, specific framerates and more. The program can process files that are in a queue, so it’s perfect for batch conversion. Granted, there aren’t that many extras on offer beyond the standard FFMpeg options, but most people will hardly be missing anything.
At less than 150KB, Curlew’s tiny, and depends on Python3, GTK3 and, as you’d expect, FFMpeg and Libavconv. The project kindly provides the DEB package for Ubuntu and its derivatives.
“Curlew’s great-looking interface has a header bar and stylish icons.”
We don’t know if greybacks are smart, but they are definitely fast and lightweight!