Video transcoding with FFmpeg

Using the FFmpeg command line to convert MP4, OGV, and WebM video.

This quick guide goes through some of the details on how we convert some video using FFmpeg. Video conversion is really important for those who are hosting their own files and not relying on a third party site such as YouTube or Vimeo because you are looking for the most compatible video standards that offer the best quality at the lowest bandwidth so that no only your server is happy but the users that visit your site. FFmpeg is awesome in respects that since it’s open-source it’s a binary that can be compiled on a remote server that you own and begin converting videos on the spot if necessary and if you have the CPU power to do it. You could even run FFmpeg on a Raspberry Pi if you wanted to wait a few years for the results!

The real drawback is FFMpeg is pure command line with no GUI which may scare some people away. We have other blog articles talking about GUI video conversion later on for those who are interest.

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Make WordPress default to WebM first. MP4 and OGV last!

WordPress does not want to default to WebM out of the box.

Since I did a blog about WebP minus well do one about WebM. As some of you may know that I run a hybrid video/regular blog we use WebM because it’s the latest and greatest. Back when I was running with the Angular theme that included its own version of MediaPlayer.js and all was good because the WebM files were being referenced first and foremost. That changed when I reverted back to a more standard WordPress theme that relied on the out-of-the-box MediaPlayer.js which is totally fine except for one problem.

Default WordPress HTML5 video player grabs MP4’s first. Not WebM.

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