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I recently purchased one of the Kodak Playsport cameras which takes 720p video @ 60 frames per second.

The video quality is great but the files are rather large for uploading to Youtube (about 150 Megs per minute of video). The files are output as Quicktime MOV files.

My question is:

Is there a command line tool that allows me to shrink the video down to a lower resolution/size for quicker uploading? I'm thinking something like imagemagick's convert but for video.

Thanks, Alex

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

There are a number video transcoders that you could use to covert mov files to different formats suitable for uploading. Handbrake is a popular one that has both a GUI and command-line version (handbrake-gtk or handbrake-cli). To use Handbreak on Ubuntu, you need to add a PPA: or the more current

I personally like, transmageddon which is a GUI app with nice simple pre-sets. It's available in the archives.


Another option is arista, another GUI transcoder available in the archives. In fact, it is a "Featured Application" in Ubuntu Software Center.

ffmpeg is another command line option that offers a lot of flexibility but can be a bit complex.

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Good answer. I totally forgot about ffmpeg although both of the gui based apps look good too. – alexpotato Oct 5 '10 at 12:48
WinFF is a front end to ffmpeg and it converts anything to anything. – Richard Holloway Oct 5 '10 at 15:17
This answer is still helpful! Transmageddon is a wonderful tool! – Kajal Sinha Oct 19 '14 at 15:51

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