I know how to use google, but if I search for

"transcode: Which Video output format?"

I get a lot of results which are more then seven years old.

I am not a video codec guru, but AFAIK there was a lot of improvements in this area.

So could you give me a hint: Which Video output format should I use for transcode?


I have videos taken with a canon ixus digital camera.

First I want to remove shaking (Works well with the command found here https://askubuntu.com/a/228935/42348).

Then I want to use a matching output format.

  • @neon_overload, i have edited my answer with audio codec also. check it Mar 5 '15 at 9:02
  • Which video format do you want to transcode to? I'm not sure if you are talking about codecs or containers here. Can you elaborate?
    – Elder Geek
    Mar 6 '15 at 14:58
  • @ElderGeek Good comment. I just want a good codec and container. It should be usable by most people (without the need to download a special plugin). It should just work and the file size should be small.
    – guettli
    Mar 8 '15 at 20:19
  • Please edit your question to include the following. Desired codec, desired container. This a Q & A site. Determining which codec you should use is likely to be considered off topic here due to being a matter of opinion.
    – Elder Geek
    Mar 8 '15 at 20:50
  • depends on a number of factors - lossless (flac) ? open (ogg) or closed (mp3) source ? optimized for web (webm) ? For CD ? you need to be more specific
    – Panther
    Mar 8 '15 at 23:03

If you want to avoid Flash players (though most desktops still support them) I'd go with:

H.264 video compression format with the MP4 container. To dig a little deeper, you'll want a quality audio codec to mux that video with, that is also playable on most devices, which is the Advanced Audio Codec (AAC).

The main 'knock' against this solution is it contains lots of patented technology. However, depending on your users, needs and ability to license legally, a H264/AAC/MP4 solution "shouldn't" be a problem.

Another point is that this will not work for live video. The best format for DESKTOP live streaming is still FLV (Flash Video with RTMP plugin on the player) and for mobile, HLS.

Of course, there are dozens of other formats for on-demand playback (WEBM, Theora) and live streaming (e.g. DASH) but you will run into major limits as to which devices can play them (if any).


I am not an expert on the subject, but I will try to help you. I searched the web as well and found an Article on The Current State of Codecs. It was published in 2012, so I believe the information is fairly current. I think the ones you would want to use for a Linux distribution would be under the "The MPEG Family" heading.I also went to the Ubuntu Software Center and found these outputs on the "Transcode" software:

Transcode Outputs

I hope this helps.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.