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I was making a screencast, as I mentioned a few days ago, but the Ogg Theora output that Istanbul wrote turned into a psychedelic experience after Youtube man-handled it. After a bunch of failed attempts with things like mencoder, Arista, Transmageddon, some help from the kind folks on #theora@freenode pointed me at ffmpeg.

The screencast is an Introduction to the Proxmox Virtualization Environment with DRBD replicated disc and is up on youtube if you'd like to check out the results.

Read on for what I was able to get to work.

I had tried just a simple ffmpeg command like “ffmpeg -i inputfile.ogg outputfile.avi”, and that worked, but the quality was a little fuzzy. So then I tried a 2-pass encode using these commands:

ffmpeg -i outputfile.ogg -sameq -pass 1 outputfile.avi
rm -f outputfile.avi
ffmpeg -i outputfile.ogg -sameq -pass 2 outputfile.avi

The “-sameq” tells it to use the same quality as the input. The file was dramatically larger, over twice as large at 87MB versus 39MB.

I also tried “pitivi”, which is a non-linear editor. I loaded the video, went into the preferences and told it to do 720P output (which was what I was targeting in the screen-cast), and selected, I think, mpeg4 output. Then I told it to render the video.

The result of that seemed to be good as well, but it did take 35 minutes to convert and was a little lower quality than the final ffmpeg run I did. The ffmpeg transcode also only took a couple of minutes to run. So, if you aren't using the extra capabilities of the pitivi editing, it's probably best to just use the ffmpeg command.

The results looked just great after it went through Youtube.

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