I download videos in mp4 or flv format but I need to convert them to mpeg 1/2/3 so that I can watch them on my special gadget.

I think I need a program.

any suggestion thanks

  • 2
    @AkasAntony I would say it is clear that this recent meta discussion has affirmed that conversion type questions are on-topic, and should not be closed unless they are duplicates.
    – user76204
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:35

5 Answers 5


Use ffmpeg utility, it's awesome.

1. Install:
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

2. Convert:
ffmpeg -i input.mp4 output.mpeg

PS: For available formats supported by ffmpeg:
ffmpeg -formats

  • 1
    ffmpeg is going to be replaced by avconv ! ;)
    – riimzzai
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:26
  • 1
    what makes avconv more featured than ffmpeg ?? Mar 7, 2013 at 18:29
  • 1
    it seems they have merge. when you try some ffmpeg command, you will get something like : ffmpeg version 0.8.5-4:0.8.5-0ubuntu0.12.04.1, Copyright (c) 2000-2012 the Libav developers built on Jan 24 2013 18:03:14 with gcc 4.6.3 *** THIS PROGRAM IS DEPRECATED *** This program is only provided for compatibility and will be removed in a future release. **Please use avconv instead**.
    – riimzzai
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:37
  • 4
    @riimzzai The ffmpeg and avconv projects have not merged and are very much still separate if you take a look at their respective websites.
    – user76204
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:44
  • 1
    @ mik : youre right it seems they are concurrent and ffmpeg is not dead ! see interesting info here stackoverflow.com/questions/9477115/…
    – riimzzai
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:49

this can be done with avconv

sudo apt-get install libav-tools

and then use (for mpeg 2)

avconv -i video.mp4 -c:v mpeg2video video.mpg

also, check the (impressive) list of audio and video codecs with avconv -codecs

  • thanks mate riimzzai ..because I am quite new to linux, could you please explain to me what " -c:v" means? I mean should I adopt this code to my folder names?
    – emre
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:29
  • -c:v is for video codec (you can replace it by -vcodec) -c:a is for audio codec, etc. check the man page : man avconv, you will see how this tool is powerful (you even can backup dvd).
    – riimzzai
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:41
  • thanks again I just use the first code but I got this ----- sudo apt-get install avconv Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done E: Unable to locate package avconv what should I do
    – emre
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:43
  • sorry correction done : libav-tools. you still can install it via Software Center searching libav or ffmpeg or avconv
    – riimzzai
    Mar 7, 2013 at 18:57
  • well I am unlucky today .software manager seems to be working but it froze even I cant stop it on screen..is there any way to stop this program and re-open it
    – emre
    Mar 7, 2013 at 19:04

There are many good video Converters wich can run CLI or GUI.

I advise you to give a try to transmageddon.

To install just:

sudo apt-get install transmageddon

enter image description here

In the output field you can specify MPEG4.

Another pretty easy to use is Handbrake

enter image description here

To install in ubuntu:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install handbrake

Use avconv this way:

avconv -i file.mp4 -c:v mpeg2video -q:v 2 -c:a libmp3lame output.mpg

I use Arista Video Transcoder on Ubuntu. Though not highly rated, it is very good for video conversion. I use it to convert videos to match PSP's supported framerate and it does the job just fine. Most of the other prominent ones strip the quality while converting to a lower resolution, but Arista maintains the quality even when stepping the resolution down to that of a mobile device's.

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