Recommended ffmpeg options
May 27, 2011 5:04 AM   Subscribe

What are ideal command-line ffmpeg options, used to back up DVDs and AVIs to x264 mp4 files?

I have backed up several DVDs and AVIs to a large hard drive, which is running low on space. I would like to convert some of these to x264 mp4 files, which will be played on both a 720p screen and an iPad's 1024x768 screen.

What command-line settings would you recommend for backing up 480i and 480p DVDs and 480i AVIs to reasonably-sized x264 mp4 files?

For DVD backups, is it possible to keep multiple audio tracks in one mp4 file (to listen to alternate-track commentaries, for example)?

Alternatively, should I use handbrake, instead? And if so, are there any recommended adjustments there to presets?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
posted by Blazecock Pileon to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, try HandBrake. Much less headache than working with ffmpeg directly. If you want the best quality/smallest file, look for two-pass encoding options with h264 or ffmpeg's x264 encoder, but this takes a lot more time. Recent versions of Handbrake claim to be able to rip multiple audio tracks for mp4 or mkv containers, but I haven't tried it personally.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:29 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Agree with Handbrake. You can access all the options you need in its GUI easily, and it has pretty good presets. Make it do a two pass video encode for better space savings. Make sure you update VLC before doing this, as it depends on some of its libraries (might not be the case any more, but better safe than sorry).

Just try it out on some short clips to see the results before queuing up the entire drive full of videos.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:30 AM on May 27, 2011

If you have a large hard drive that's nearly full, re-encoding what's on it is going to take a loooooooong time. Are you sure the space you intend to save wouldn't be cheaper to acquire in the form of another large hard drive?
posted by flabdablet at 6:34 PM on May 27, 2011

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