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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.
General conversion tips
- 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 100MB (104,857,600 Bytes) you should enable chunked upload in your preferences (1000 MB = 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 file size 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 a .ogv extension, as this is now the preferred extension. For details see RFC 5334 and xiph.org.
- 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.
ffmpeg and avconv
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"
Converting to .webm example
avconv -i input.mp4 -c:v libvpx -c:a libvorbis -b:v 4M -qmin 0 -qmax 63 output.webm
Where -b:v 4M refers to the bit rate you want. In example above, it says, 4 Megabytes of Bitrate. The higher the value, the better video quality. However, if original video has, say 5M of bit rate and you convert using 10M, it won't make the quality better, except for making the file size bigger than necessary.
ffmpeg2theora was 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
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.
Video.online-convert.com allows you to upload the video file (max. 100MB without registration). 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.
Videoconvert on the Wikimedia Toollabs is a simple, webbased solution allowing users to convert common video formats into WebM and uploding them directly to Commons. See Special:OAuthListConsumers/view/4301b5f1f4fd2d196e174d5352bcf978 for version 0.2, use Special:OAuthManageMyGrants to manage connected apps.
VLC media player
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. On Mac OS, you can only do this using QuickTime 7, and you can download QuickTime 7 by visiting Apple.
- Ogg Video Tools
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.
- WebM with mkvtoolnix
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. VP9 video and OPUS audio in a WebM container are supported since 2013.
Tools for Windows
- See above for multi-platform solutions. Frequent FFmpeg builds and a user forum are offered by zeranoe.
- Video to Theora
- XMedia Recode
Tools for Linux
- See above for multi-platform solutions.
To list all available formats:
To convert MPEG4 to ogg video:
avconv -i 20090517005.mp4 -qscale 5 Merchtem Grote steltenlopers.ogv
If the input file has better/worse quality you can increase/decrease the quality (qscale).
- To keep only the audio, use the -vn flag; in that case use file type .ogg
- To remove the audio, use the -an flag (bad noise, wind, e.g.)
- To turn the image counterclockwise:
avconv -i P1040062.MOV -q 5 -vf transpose=2 output_file.ogv
You might need this if a video is "wrongly" recorded with a smartphone "upright".
- WebEx conference videos conversion (a subpage of this help page)
- Commons:Animated image resources: animated GIFs
- Commons:Video and Commons:Audio: covers converting audio
- Commons:YouTube (COM:YT): recipes for YouTube downloads.
- Commons:Media help: Help for how to play and view media files.
- Commons:Software: Tools for viewing or creating these formats.
- Open Source Toolset on Meta