[FFmpeg-user] ffmpeg issue

HallMarc Websites marc at hallmarcwebsites.com
Mon Dec 12 15:33:13 CET 2011

First, I have to say that the activity on this list over the past three days
is more than I've seen with all of the other days put together since I
joined this list a few months ago. 
Having said that: here is my 2 cents fwiw. 

First, off; learning video compression is a full time task in and of itself.
There are so many variables that can be involved: type of camera used in the
shoot, which country, SD, HD, 3D, which container is best and then which
codecs are supported, licensing, interlaced or progressive, which OS will be
using, how will the end user be viewing it and these are just SOME of the
variables that I am familiar with. Because of this it can be more than just
a little overwhelming to the novice. 

Secondly, you keep complaining about *nix; why? If it isn't the environment
you like and/or are familiar with then why are you beating your head against
it repeatedly? I suspect you have taken on a project that needs you to learn
about LAMP environments. Here's the gist, there are pretty much two flavors
of programs and programmers; those that like freedom and those that want all
the bells and whistles to just work without knowledge of what makes them
work. I like freedom myself in some circumstances and in others I am willing
to pay the money to just have it work. In either scenario, money or hard
work are required if you need something built by anyone else but you. Mac
OSX costs money, so does Windows. They will do a lot with just button
mashing. Some things still need to be added separately. Some of those are
free and some cost money. Things that are free are great and they also
require you to learn all of the workings that go on behind the scenes and by
doing so empower the user with the freedom to make it exactly the way he/she
wants it. Same argument/debate over closed/open source applies here as well.
Getting mad usually not so productive.

Next, as far as the documentation, I am still learning a great deal about
this field, ffmpeg, the libraries, the builds, the codecs and et al. The
documentation I read so far for ffmpeg feels more like a grocery list than
information about what it is and how to use it. I wish the documentation
read better than it does. C'est la vie. Again, because they are so many
different environments that ffmpeg could be installed too, especially when
it comes to *nix, that I'm not sure at this point what needs to be done
exactly to improve it, yet. I would however, expect the folks that write
ffmpeg to be able to sort that one out and improve the documentation. A nice
section on the basics would be awesome for those of new to ffmpeg. Learning
Linux, Apache, Mac, Win, etc. is also necessary and also not part of this

Lastly, as far as this list and how they seem to expect people to be
somewhat near their level of understanding about all things ffmpeg, I've
complained about this as well. This list seems to expect that and if you
don't understand the info given to you; tough boogies. What this list seems
to be missing is the ability to remember that they are speaking to some of
us that are just coming on to ffmpeg and we don't understand the lingo or
even the basics sometimes. Kinda why we came to this list to begin with. For
instance, stop just telling people, "Missing command line, complete unedited
output" without telling them what this is, how to get it and WHY it is so
necessary. That little bit of enlightenment will go miles and miles in
creating a better experience all around. The responses I've seen for the
newbies on this list are condescending to say the least. We come here to

What I've done so far to learn:
I bought Real World Video Compression on Amazon for about $15 USD and read
it from front to back. It's a good primer. Then I went back and started
reading the documentation on ffmpeg and I started reading up on the various
codecs I might need. I also sat here in my off time (still do as I have just
hit the tip of this iceberg) actually running commands on various clips and
then checking the results. 

And has been said more than a few times now, if you don't like *nix then
don't f'ing use it! Use what you are familiar with and call it a day.

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