Help:Converting video

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to: navigation, search

Shortcut: Help:CV

Video conversion help in other languages:

català | Deutsch | English | español | français | galego | italiano | 日本語 | polski | português | +/−

See also: Commons:Video
For help playing video, see Commons:Media help.

Wikimedia accepts only video files in the WebM and Ogg Theora formats. To upload videos to Commons, you'll probably have to convert the video file into the WebM or Theora format. On this page, you'll find a collection of tools and methods for doing so.

tleft tleft tleft tleft &c.

General conversion tips[edit]

  • When uploading a video (for use on Wikipedia), TimedMediaHandler will convert it into different versions, so you don’t need to provide separate versions for people on slow Internet connection. It is strongly recommended to upload your video with the best quality (bit rate and frame size) possible. If your resulting video file is larger than 100MiB (104,8 MB) you should enable chunked upload in your preferences (1000 MiB = 1048576000 Bytes limit) or use the Server-side upload (request help from a privileged user; no preset size limit).
  • Consider removing the audio on the video if it does not add anything to the video. This decreases the filesize of the video and, if the sound is distracting (e.g. wind noise, chatter), may improve the video.
  • WebM is the preferred format, but please do not convert from Ogg Theora unnecessarily, as it is also supported.
  • Some of the tools listed here for converting to Theora output the converted file with a .ogg filename extension. Rename the file to have a .ogv extension, as this is now the preferred extension. For details see RFC 5334 and
  • RFC 5334 .ogx for MIME type application/ogg is not yet widely supported; you can use .ogg for Theora video with FLAC instead of Vorbis audio.

Multi-platform solutions[edit]

ffmpeg and avconv[edit]

FFmpeg is the project upon which the ffmpeg2theora mentioned below is based. It provides a command-line program "ffmpeg", with which you can convert also to WebM, cf. TheoraVorbisEncodingGuide. Libav is a fork of FFmpeg providing the similar command-line program "avconv".

Command line examples
ffprobe -show_entries stream=codec_name,codec_type:format=format_name,duration -of compact "demo.mp4"
ffmpeg -i "demo.mp4" -c:v libtheora -q:v 7 -c:a libvorbis -q:a 6 "demo.ogv"
ffmpeg -i "demo.mp4" -c:v libtheora -q:v 7 -c:a flac -sample_fmt s16 "demo.ogg"
ffmpeg -i "demo.mp4" -c:v libtheora -q:v 7 -an "demo.ogv"


ffmpeg2theora command-line tool converting a video file

ffmpeg2theora is a popular converter recommended at the Theora project page. It is a cross-platform command-line tool. The latest version is 0.29, released in July 2012.

In most cases you will only need a simple command indicating the name of the file to convert. (Video and audio quality is set to max.)

Command line examples
ffmpeg2theora file.avi -v 10 -a 10
ffmpeg2theora file.avi --noaudio -v 10


Firefogg is a cross platform browser extension for Firefox which is supported by UploadWizard to automatically convert and upload almost any video file. Just download and install firefogg and use the UploadWizard as normal.


MPlayer is an open source multimedia player also being capable to transcode files but having the advantage of supporting both a GUI as well as the command line; available for most operating systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. The MPlayer included by some SMPlayer distributions for Windows does not contain mencoder.exe.

Online solutions[edit]

This solution allows you to upload the video file. The website will convert the video for you and present you with a link to download the converted file. The process may take several minutes depending on the size and quality of the video.

  • (Convert video to Ogg Theora online)
  • Wikimedia Labs (Convert video to Webm on Wikimedia Labs, login using Wikimedia Commons Oauth; can upload to Commons after downloading locally)
  • Youtube: Videos can be uploaded to Youtube under a number of formats including proprietary formats used by some video cameras that can be tricky to convert other ways, videos can then downloaded from Youtube in a .webm format for uploading to Wikimedia Commons or in other formats for editing (Youtube also has some inbuilt editing functions). Downloading Youtube videos is covered on the page Commons:YouTube files.

VLC media player[edit]

VLC is a GUI version media player with conversion capabilities. A helpful tutorial can be found at TheoraCookbook. Encoding using the GUI requires a targeted bitrate which yields inferior quality than encoding for a specified video quality.


Xiph's QuickTime Components can be used to add OGG support to QuickTime Pro, under both OSX (version 10.3.9 or later) and Windows. Download and install the component, and it will add a "Movie to OGG" option to the File->Export dialog.

Note on Mac OS, you can only do this using QuickTime 7, and you can download QuickTime 7 by visiting Apple.

Common editing[edit]

See above for the command line tools avconv, ffmpeg, and ffmpeg2theora.
Using mkvmerge to cut a video

Ogg Video Tools[edit]

The Xiph oggz tool is able to 'chop' or split a theora file between given start and end times and 'merge' or join two Theora-encoded videos.

Ogg Video Tools is a collection of command-line tools that help with OGG video editing, including resizing, splitting and joining, creating slideshows from png files, and joining or separating audio and video streams from a .ogv file.


Shotcut is free software for Windows, Linux, OS X.

WebM with mkvtoolnix[edit]

WebM files are just MKV (Matroska) files which use a subset of the features for this format.

With mkvtoolnix (GPLv2 for all platforms) it's very easy to manipulate them.

For instance, to cut a WebM video (for instance from YouTube), just open mkvmerge, add the video to "input files", select "Global" tab, enter the time interval in "by parts" ("Splitting" section, "Enable splitting"), then select a filename to save to and click "Start muxing".

Tools for Windows[edit]

Windows logo - 2012.svg
See above for multi-platform solutions. Daily FFmpeg builds and a user forum are offered by zeranoe.


FFCoder is a (portable) Windows program that uses ffmpeg and ffmpeg2theora for converting to Theora. Can be used for batch encoding. FFCoder 0.95 uses ffmpeg2theora 0.24. The default encoder is ffmpeg. If this does not work, try using ffmpeg2theora by changing it in the encoder menu.

  1. Add the files
  2. In the General field, select OGG. Change file extension to .ogv
  3. In Audio, choose Vorbis (libvorbis)
  4. In Video, choose Theora. Configure as needed.
  5. Set the output folder. Start the encoding.


MediaCoder is a free (ad supported) gui-based tool for Windows with which one can convert between various encodings. MediaCoder is also capable of batch transcoding.

Video to Theora[edit]

Video to Theora is a GUI wrapper for ffmpeg2theora created by a member of the team creating a remake in 3D to Sierra's King's Quest IV (Used for the game then he released it as a freeware).

This application is a GUI wrapper for ffmpeg2Theora which removes all complexity from the GUI and leaves only the conversion power of the commandline tool removing the editing options (so no cropping or resizing the video)

This means that anyone can use this tool which has all of the power of the command line, but super users which want to fiddle with all of the parameters like cropping / resizing etc should use the original command line application.

You can download the tool from the author's site: Video to Theora.

XMedia Recode[edit]

XMedia Recode - Conversion to OGV

Download and install (Portable version also available)

  • Drag and drop the video files into XMedia Recode
  • Select all video files (they turn blue)
  • Choose the following settings: (Profile : custom - Format : OGV, webm, … (extension : ogv, webm, …)
  • Optional: Goto the tab "Video" and set the "Bitrate" to 10000 for higher quality and larger file size
  • Click in the top on "Add job"
  • Click on "Encode"

Tools for Macs[edit]

See above for multi-platform solutions.

Simple Theora Encoder[edit]

Simple Theora Encoder is an easy to use program
  1. Open "Simple Theora Encoder"
  2. Click the "Add…" button.
  3. Select the file you wish to convert. Note: Simple Theora Encoder does not accept files without extensions (e.g. ".mov" ".mpg" ".avi" ".wmv") If the file you wish to convert does not have an extension, please add the appropriate extension before attempting to select it with Simple Theora Encoder. Additional note: Although Simple Theora Encoder will accept many video files, they will appear to be low-quality unless they have been encoded with an MPEG codec. For optimal video quality, please save your video with an MPEG codec such as MPEG-4.
  4. Add any additional files that you wish to be included in the Ogg. Simple Theora Encoder will concatenate them together for you.
  5. Click the "Encode…" button to convert your file(s) into an Ogg Theora file. Note: Files that you are going to encode will have a status that reads "waiting…." You do not have to wait for them. The "waiting…" status means that the program is waiting for you.
Simple solutions
  • Problem: Simple Theora Encoder creates poor-quality video files
    • Solution: Your source file is probably not compressed with an MPEG codec. Simple Theora Encoder works much much better with video files encoded in an MPEG codec. Try converting your source file into a file using an MPEG codec, such as a QuickTime video with the MPEG-4 video codec that is available in programs such as iMovie, GraphicConverter, and QuickTime Pro.
  • Problem: Simple Theora Encoder won't open my file.
    • Solution: Make sure your file has a file extension such as ".mov" ".mpg" ".avi" and ".wmv." If it still won't open it them it must not like your file format.
  • Problem: Simple Theora Encoder is stuck. It says "waiting…" and is not doing anything.
    • Solution: Simple Theora Encoder says, "waiting…" when the file has been successfully been added to the conversion queue. The program is not frozen. Press "Encode…" to save the file as an Ogg, or press "Add…" to add more files to convert.
  • Problem: Simple Theora Encoder is stuck. It says "encoding…" and is not doing anything.
    • Solution: You probably tried to convert a QuickTime movie with audio. Simple Theora Encoder can't convert QuickTime movies with audio tracks.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]