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Ripping movies and shredding rules with FFmpeg

FFmpeg, an open-source multimedia project that makes it possible to convert video to different formats, takes the road less traveled, and it makes all the difference.

If you've ever used the open-source application Handbrake to rip a DVD to your hard drive, the chances are good that you've used FFmpeg, an open-source multimedia project that makes it possible to convert video to different formats, among other things.

I therefore found this interview with FFmpeg's founding development team fascinating. FFmpeg is as raw as an open-source project gets: the developers are beholden to no corporate interests and are free to scratch their own itches. And they do.

Blu-ray Disc support? FFmpeg's developers don't watch Blu-ray movies--they simply don't care--so don't expect to see Blu-ray support anytime soon. Waiting for a proper road map or release plan? The founders snub them as "old school."

In short, don't expect to get anything more than these smart and driven developers want to program--unless you plan to contribute. That's the beauty of open source: you're someone's consumer until you decide to become a contributor. That's when the real power kicks in.


Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.