Displaying Progress Bar with FFmpeg: Tips and Tricks

FFmpeg is a powerful command-line tool for manipulating audio and video files. When working with FFmpeg, it can be useful to display a progress bar to let the user know how much longer the task will take to complete. Fortunately, FFmpeg makes it easy to display a progress bar with just a few simple tricks.

First, it's important to note that FFmpeg includes a progress bar by default, but it's not very user-friendly. To display a more useful progress bar, you'll need to use the "-progress" option. This option tells FFmpeg to output progress information to a specific file, which can then be read by your script and used to display a progress bar.

To use the "-progress" option, simply add it to your FFmpeg command like so:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -c:v libx264 -c:a aac -progress progress.txt output.mp4

This will output progress information to a file called "progress.txt" in the current directory. You can then read this file in your script and use it to update a progress bar in your application.

Another useful trick is to use the "ffplay" command to display the progress bar in real-time. To do this, simply run your FFmpeg command with the "-progress" option, and then pipe the output to "ffplay" like so:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -c:v libx264 -c:a aac -progress progress.txt output.mp4 | ffplay -

This will display a progress bar in real-time as FFmpeg processes the video file.

In conclusion, displaying a progress bar with FFmpeg is a simple task that can greatly improve the user experience of your application. By using the "-progress" option and piping the output to "ffplay", you can create a user-friendly progress bar that keeps your users informed of how much longer their task will take to complete.

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