Com­pil­ing FFm­peg

OpenSource For You - - FOR U & ME LET’S TRY -

Be­cause many au­dio/video codecs are en­cum­bered by soft­ware patents, GNU/Linux dis­tri­bu­tions have had to omit FFm­peg or bun­dle a less-ca­pa­ble FFm­peg ver­sion of it. Even if it were com­piled with sup­port for non-free en­coders/de­coders, there would be a risk of a li­cence vi­o­la­tion. Re­cently, FFm­peg re­leased its Ver­sion 3 with a to­tally na­tive AAC en­coder, but more work re­mains. The so­lu­tion was for users to do their own com­pi­la­tion. The FFm­peg Wiki site has com­pi­la­tion steps for sev­eral dis­tri­bu­tions. The com­pi­la­tion process does take a while to fin­ish, but it will even­tu­ally cre­ate the four bi­nary ex­e­cutable files. Copy them to your usr/bin di­rec­tory. If you don’t want to dis­turb the FFm­peg in­stal­la­tion that came with your Linux dis­tri­bu­tion, then you can ac­cess the bi­na­ries by pro­vid­ing their full path from a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tory.

While this FFm­peg in­stal­la­tion cov­ers most for­mats, I found that it would not en­code to the au­dio codec of the un­doc­u­mented AMV for­mat. AMV is used by many cheap Chi­nese-made me­dia play­ers. These tiny de­vices are pri­mar­ily FM and MP3 play­ers with the video op­tion added as a ‘ please ig­nore it’ ex­tra. The video res­o­lu­tion is a lux­u­ri­ous 160x120! I bought one of these play­ers with­out re­al­is­ing all this. For­tu­nately, there was a Google Code project called amv-codec-tools that pro­vided sup­port for AMV us­ing an old ver­sion of FFm­peg. If you need to work with this for­mat, then build a cus­tom FFm­peg bi­nary, spe­cially made for AMV,

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