Hello and Advice on Build Sought

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Hello and Advice on Build Sought

Phill Clarke
Hello!

This is my first post to the list and by way of introduction, I'll say that
I am a reasonably new FFMPEG user.

My main personal project is a motorcycle video website called Kapital Moto
TV - http://www.kapitalmototv.co.uk When I launched this I made a decision
to use QuickTime H.264 video, rather than the ubiquitous Flash. I wanted a
better quality viewing experience, at perhaps a hit on the installed
userbase. Turns out to be a good decision as the new Flash 9 player support
H.264 MOV files no problem (See http://www.kapitalmototv.co.uk/flash/ ) I
would loved to have used Ogg Theora. I created some test files and tried
Fluendo's Cortardo Java app, but at the time decided on QuickTime.

To create my clips up until now I have been using a combination of QuickTime
Pro, MPEGStreamclip and Adobe Premiere Elements on a Windows XP box. I may
have also accidentally, from time to time, used someone else's Telestream
FlipFactory to do some bulk transcoding. Ahem.

I want to move away from this setup and have my dedicated Linux server
transcode "on the fly." I intend to do this through a combination of using
FFMPEG as the transcode workhorse, cron jobs and shell scripts.

Recently I have successfully compiled FFMPEG from SVN . I wrote about the
method I used on my Debian Etch server:

http://slashdot.org/~PhillC/journal/190325<http://slashdot.org/%7EPhillC/journal/190325>

I also did the same thing on my Ubuntu Gutsy desktop, which required some
slightly different dependencies:

http://slashdot.org/~PhillC/journal/190344<http://slashdot.org/%7EPhillC/journal/190344>

What I am most interested in is advice from the list as to whether what I
have done can be further optimised. My main use for FFMPEG is as follows:

- Input media will be a variety of MPEG2, AVI, WMV files. Also captured DV
(maybe HDV if I can get Kino to play nice) from my camera.

- The input files may be a variety of sizes from 1080i HDV, 720x576 PAL and
perhaps 640x480 files in AVI or WMV.

- Output files need to be specifically H.264 encoded video AAC audio in a
QuickTime MOV container.

- The output files will be re-sized to, at this time, 480x360 @ 750kbps and
320x240 @ 350kbps.

- The output files need to have QuickTime fast start enabled.

From my FFMPEG build I have successfully output the desired QT MOV file,
with correct codecs at 480x360. Quality however wasn't great. I used the
following:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec libx264 -b 768000 -s 480x360 -deinterlace -ab
-pass 1 131072 -acodec libfaac test1.mov

I obviously followed this with a -pass 2

I'm sure there are more refinements to come.

So my key questions are:

- From my build review linked to above, should I have enabled anything else
to ensure the optimum output? For example, swscaler? If so, I'd appreciate
any links to where I can read more about whatever enabling is recommended so
I can understand what I am doing

- Any suggestions on refinements when executing FFMEG? I'm sure as I read
more documentation and examples I'll find my own, but suggestions always
welcome.

- How do I enable QuickTime fast start? I've seen qt-faststart mentioned,
but haven't found any documents with further explanation yet.

So, that's quite an introductory post! Thanks for taking the time to read it
and I look forward to your responses.

Regards,
Phill
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